Checking in with my network of branch managers and margin clerks, I am getting exactly what I did not want to hear: "The bounce that everyone has
taken for granted
ain't happening," one branch manager tells me. "So now we have to go to
account with credit exposure and warn them. Some sellouts today will occur without warning."
The silver lining here may be that the margin clerks and branch managers are so afraid of losing the capital they loaned -- remember it is in the billions and billions -- that they aren't waiting until the usual hour to sell people out.
That's why this selling wave is occurring earlier than usual. Branch managers are afraid that they have clients who bought this dip on margin at their firm and at other firms and might be kiting collateral. Deals are being cancelled. Secondaries are being pulled. But not fast enough.
We have not purchased anything since
the last downturn
, preferring to wait until later in the afternoon to see if the margin selling abates.