Skeleton in the EU Banking Closet; Parsing Jobless Claims Data: Best of Kass

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Doug Kass of Seabreeze Partners is known for his accurate stock market calls and keen insights into the economy, which he shares with RealMoney Pro readers in his daily trading diary.

Last week, Kass wrote about problems in the EU banking industry and jobless claims data.

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The Real Skeleton in the European Banking Closet
Originally published on Friday, July 11, at 7:37 a.m. EDT

I spent the better part of my early Wall Street career following the banks.

I have some Street cred.

It all began when I was a Nader Raider, and I wrote three chapters in Ralph Nader's book Citibank while an MBA student at Wharton. (It began my master's thesis, and I got an A+!) I then went on to the research department at Putnam Management, where I covered the banks, government-sponsored agencies, savings and loans and selected financial companies. (Institutional Investor Magazine voted me the No. 1 buy-side banking analyst in the 1970s.)

[Read: Banco Espirito Santo Tries to Calm Capital Worries]

Leading up to the Great Recession, I accurately forecast that the deepening problems in the U.S. financial sector would lead to a massive global credit crisis and economic contraction. I made a lot of money being short Countrywide FinancialCitigroup  (C), Bank of America  (BAC), AIG  (AIG), MGIC Investment  (MTG), PMI GroupRadian (RDN), Ambac  (AMBC), MBIA  (MBI), Fannie MaeFreddie Mac and others. Most of these stocks declined by over 90% when I was short them. At one point, several dropped by 99%!

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