Monday, July 30, 2007

FINRA

FINRA is the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. They are the watchdogs of the securities business now. Their claim is that they need to separate hazards of investing from opportunity. Check them out at finra.org.

What they really need to do is get it right in 2007. The farcity of the inability of the average American investor to go to a governmental regulatory web site and look at the backgrounds of retail stock brokers is truly laughable. If they wanted the fox to stop guarding the hen house and allow investors to figure out what kind of person/broker they are or will be dealing with would be a real first step.

In the 1980's when I worked at Drexel Burnham Lambert in LaJolla, CA we had a trio of brokers in a certain part of the office whose offices all adjoined each other.

We called that part of the office "murderer's row".

If they want investor confidence they need full transparency.

Now.

Scary numbers for the next generation.........

Is it any wonder more blacks are in jail than in college? In Georgia, in 2004, 69.3 percent of black children, 46.4 percent of Hispanic and 24.5 percent of white children were born to unmarried women.

And another thing. None of us chose our parents. There isn't a full-blood Native or "half-breed" that can change their degree of Native blood. Your composition was genetically selected about 9 months prior to birth for you.

I don't have the statistics for Native American children, say in Minnesota, who are born to unmarried women but if birth announcements in my tribal newspaper are any indication, then the number is probably north of 60 percent.

Where are the men needed to raise these children? Being a father is not being a sire.

Another issue the Anishinabe never had to deal with

Something seems amiss with mighty Superior, the deepest and coldest of the Great Lakes, which together hold nearly 20 percent of the world's fresh surface water.Superior's surface area is roughly the same as South Carolina's, the biggest of any freshwater lake on Earth. It's deep enough to hold all the other Great Lakes plus three additional Lake Eries. Yet over the past year, its level has ebbed to the lowest point in eight decades and will set a record this fall if, as expected, it dips three more inches.Its average temperature has surged 4.5 degrees Fahrenheit since 1979, significantly above the 2.7-degree rise in the region's air temperature during the same period. That's no small deal for a freshwater sea that was created from glacial melt as the Ice Age ended and remains chilly in all seasons.A weather buoy on the western side recently recorded an "amazing" 75 degrees, "as warm a surface temperature as we've ever seen in this lake," says Jay Austin, assistant professor at the University of Minnesota at Duluth's Large Lakes Observatory.Water levels also have receded on the other Great Lakes since the late 1990s. But the suddenness and severity of Superior's changes worry many in the region; it has plunged more than a foot in the past year. Shorelines are dozens of yards wider than usual, giving sunbathers wider beaches but also exposing mucky bottomlands and rotting vegetation.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Time rolls on...............

Today was a milestone of sorts. I grew around plenty of water........from Pomme de Terre Dam near Morris, MN to the Big Muddy in South and North Dakota and alot of lakes in between.

I was introduced to the world of water skiing by a childhood friend, Joe La Fave at their cabin on Lake Minnewaska between Starbuck and Glenwood, Minnesota. They probably allowed me to attempt to get up far longer than they should have and I thank them for that. I know Joe's Dad went on ahead recently and he did so much for so many through his life. I do know I finally got up on two skiis on Angostora Dam in the southern end of the Black Hills and skied awful hard in the summer in Minnesota with my great pal, Jimmy Jost. His parents had a great boat with a great engine and we "hit it" awful hard..........we did plenty of dumb things in our day for sure just like any teen or college kid. Skiing naked almost killed me and we still howl about that. Skiing at night on the calm surface of Lake Emily east of Hancock MN (far and away my MOST favorite lake of all time) with a big full August harvest moon, throwing up a wall of water against the bright moon when making a nice cut on the Avanti was priceless.

Not only would my late Mother have been 79 years old today, God Bless You Mom, today was the first day my youngest son learned to ski. And he was up on his second try. To me , to him, to his family, it was a big deal. Whataday!!!!!!!!!!!!

Multiple issues, watch for yourself..............

http://sweeteyefilms.com/tlp/trailer.htm

Friday, July 27, 2007

Jim Cramer take heed......................

No one whines when the computer buying takes us up a couple thousand points. Jimmy, roll down your sleeves, take a deep breath and get on out for some fun and frolic in the surf this weekend. Americans, God bless them, lose far more than they have any right to lose in the markets. How else would your pals at Goldman Sachs make so much money?

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Beware of salesmen in retirement

Maybe you are one of the many Americans who don't use the services of a fiduciary firm for your retirement money. You probably should be.

If your retirement assets aren't some of your more important personal assets maybe they should be.

And if you think Social Security is social and secure at your retirement keep dreaming.

The real tragedy of American baby-boomers is their lack of focus on outliving their money, rather than their misguided fear of losing it in the financial markets. Long term the markets only go one way, even with hiccups like today's action.

Corporate Taxes.......

Listening to our Treasury Secretary today talk about the complexity of the US Tax Code was rather startling. Apparently he hasn't been dining with the lobbyists who need the current US Tax Code to keep their large clients from paying into the Treasury coffers.

Maybe some of his pals at Goldman Sachs are rather tired of paying so much to the Government. Ya think?

Ann Coulter weighs in....................

Fox News ought to buy a copy of Monday's Democrat debate on CNN to play over and over during the general election campaign. For now, the Democratic candidates need to appeal only to their nut-base. So on Monday night, the candidates casually spouted liberal conspiracy theories that would frighten normal Americans, but are guaranteed to warm the hearts of losers blogging from their mother's basements.B. Hussein Obama got the party started by claiming he couldn't get a cab in New York because he's black. This line was a big hit with white liberals in the audience who have never been to New York.Even writers for The New York Times don't drag this canard out anymore. Last year, a black writer in the Times pointed out how things had changed in New York in the 10 years since he had been out of the country. Not only did he have no trouble getting a cab, but he cited statistics from taxi sting operations that showed a 96 percent compliance rate among cabbies in picking up blacks. (Remarkable, considering that New York cabbies' compliance rate on daily bathing is less than half that.)

As the Times writer noted, even 10 years ago, "most of the drivers who refused to pick me up or take me to my destination during that time were of African descent." When he asked one cabbie -- 10 years ago -- why he avoided picking up black customers, the driver displayed a scar across his neck, a souvenir from a black customer who had robbed him. "I have to choose which is worse," the driver said, "a fine or death."Thanks to Rudy Giuliani, cab drivers in New York no longer have to make that choice. Under his mayoralty, New York City became a lot safer for cab drivers -- and everyone else. The murder rate went from about 2,000 murders a year under Mayor David Dinkins to about 700 by the end of Giuliani's term. The last time a cab driver was killed in New York was in 1997.In addition to making it safer for (mostly African-American and Muslim) cabbies to pick up African-Americans, Giuliani made it costly for them not to. He started "Operation Refusal" in 1999, sending out teams of black undercover cops and taxi commissioners to hail cabs and give fines to those who refused to pick up blacks.Even back in 1999, in the first 12 hours of "Operation Refusal," out of more than 800 cabs hailed, only five cab drivers refused to pick up a customer -- one of whom was a white woman with children. And by the way, I've had dozens of cabs refuse to stop for me on Fifth Avenue. Sometimes they forget to turn on the "off duty" light, or they're daydreaming or maybe they've read my columns on Muslims.

Next time, B. Hussein Obama ought to tell us the one about Kool cigarettes being owned by the KKK and causing impotence in black men. There may not be overwhelming evidence disproving that one as there is for the yarn about blacks not being able to get a cab in New York.Overall, Hillary appeared to be the only Democrat even dimly aware that there will eventually be a general election. But she too played to her audience with wacky conspiracy theories. Oops, I mean she "discussed the Democratic platform in detail." No need for me to get judgmental.Hillary raised the Bush-stole-the-2000-election fairy tale, saying: "I think it is a problem that Bush was elected in 2000. I actually thought somebody else was elected in that election, but ..." (Applause.)On Nov. 12, 2001, The New York Times ran a front page article that began: "A comprehensive review of the uncounted Florida ballots from last year's presidential election reveals that George W. Bush would have won even if the United States Supreme Court had allowed the statewide manual recount of the votes that the Florida Supreme Court had ordered to go forward."Another Times article that day by Richard L. Berke said that the "comprehensive review of the uncounted Florida ballots solidifies George W. Bush's legal claim on the White House because it concludes that he would have won under the ground rules prescribed by the Democrats."On Nov. 18, 2001, notorious pro-abortion zealot Linda Greenhouse wrote in the Times that the media consortium's count of all the disputed Florida ballots -- in which the Times participated -- concluded "that George W. Bush would have won the 2000 presidential election even had the court not cut the final recount short."If three prominent articles in the Treason Times isn't enough to convince Hillary that Bush won the 2000 election, forget the White House: ABC ought to hire her to replace Rosie O'Donnell on "The View." I know that's a big seat to fill, but maybe she can finally convince Elizabeth Hasselbeck that 9/11 was an inside job.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Ramblings from the Beach....................

It was a week well spent..............Florida's panhandle, deep white sand, nice temps, clear water, lots of sun. What's not to like?

It was far too short having left last Monday. At 53 I am still in need of a 72 hour decompression mode. Nothing changes with age there.

Observations for the week are many and varied. Sand crabs were non-existant. I need to research why they are gone. Porpoises were around in record numbers. So were sharks. I saw for the first time in my life, having spent a lot of time in the water in Southern California a big shark coming in on a wave chasing a "prey" fish at a rate of speed I couldn't even imagine. Like the speed of light that predator was. Truly shivering to see how fast that big primordial piece of killing machinery moved.

Americans are not getting any smaller at the beach. For the hundreds of millions of dollars of low-fat, non-fat, diet fare sold in grocery stores it isn't happening. And those of us without tats are in the minority. I still can't figure that out. Maybe I'm just plain dull when it comes to body art. Speaking of art, I had a great time reading about the life of Leonardo de Vinci this week. His early work with sculpture and his great record-keeping while cutting and learning anatomy on dead criminals probably didn't make the Mona Lisa look any sexier but I came away with such a great appreciation for his work and the use of color. It was only a mere 500 years ago that he was at his zenith.

Just when you think real estate prices can't go any higher at the beaches in Florida you see a large number of "For Sale by Owner" signs. Folks who have sky high price tags who can well afford to sit for a few more years to get their price while at the same time State Farm announces they are cutting back on hurricane insurance for another 50,000 Florida residents.

Beach food is spotty. The trendy, high-dollar places that offered spectacular cuisine a few years ago are now just high-dollar affairs. Nothing stood out for me. They reduce themselves to simply "Shoney's at the Beach" because you can't keep the tourists away who are willing to pay big bucks to eat the the older "trendy" eateries. I need to do more work on finding great food and service. And I am tired of tipping for non-existent service. Future waiters and waitresses of mine, beware. I can and will be paying for what I get or don't get. My money tree for service just got a whole lot more difficult to water.

It was far too short and that needs to change next year.

Time waits for none of us. And like the ebb and flow of the tide action, Mr. Market looks to make a splash this week. Let's hope we are on the right side of the action.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

What country is this?

Background:
Britain's American colonies broke with the mother country in 1776 and were recognized as the new nation of the United States of America following the Treaty of Paris in 1783. During the 19th and 20th centuries, 37 new states were added to the original 13 as the nation expanded across the North American continent and acquired a number of overseas possessions. The two most traumatic experiences in the nation's history were the Civil War (1861-65) and the Great Depression of the 1930s. Buoyed by victories in World Wars I and II and the end of the Cold War in 1991, the US remains the world's most powerful nation state. The economy is marked by steady growth, low unemployment and inflation, and rapid advances in technology.
Geography Location:
North America, bordering both the North Atlantic Ocean and the North Pacific Ocean, between Canada and Mexico
Geographic coordinates: 38 00 N, 97 00 W
Map references: North America
Area: total: 9,631,418 sq km land: 9,161,923 sq km water: 469,495 sq km note: includes only the 50 states and District of Columbia
Area - comparative: about half the size of Russia; about three-tenths the size of Africa; about half the size of South America (or slightly larger than Brazil); slightly larger than China; almost two and a half times the size of the European Union
Land boundaries: total: 12,034 km border countries: Canada 8,893 km (including 2,477 km with Alaska), Mexico 3,141 km note: US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba is leased by the US and is part of Cuba; the base boundary is 29 km
Coastline: 19,924 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm contiguous zone: 24 nm exclusive economic zone: 200 nm continental shelf: not specified
Climate: mostly temperate, but tropical in Hawaii and Florida, arctic in Alaska, semiarid in the great plains west of the Mississippi River, and arid in the Great Basin of the southwest; low winter temperatures in the northwest are ameliorated occasionally in January and February by warm chinook winds from the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains
Terrain: vast central plain, mountains in west, hills and low mountains in east; rugged mountains and broad river valleys in Alaska; rugged, volcanic topography in Hawaii
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Death Valley -86 m highest point: Mount McKinley 6,194 m
Natural resources: coal, copper, lead, molybdenum, phosphates, uranium, bauxite, gold, iron, mercury, nickel, potash, silver, tungsten, zinc, petroleum, natural gas, timber
Land use: arable land: 19.13% permanent crops: 0.22% other: 80.65% (2001)
Irrigated land: 214,000 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards: tsunamis, volcanoes, and earthquake activity around Pacific Basin; hurricanes along the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts; tornadoes in the midwest and southeast; mud slides in California; forest fires in the west; flooding; permafrost in northern Alaska, a major impediment to development
Environment - current issues: air pollution resulting in acid rain in both the US and Canada; the US is the largest single emitter of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels; water pollution from runoff of pesticides and fertilizers; limited natural fresh water resources in much of the western part of the country require careful management; desertification
Geography - note: world's third-largest country by size (after Russia and Canada) and by population (after China and India); Mt. McKinley is highest point in North America and Death Valley the lowest point on the continent
People Population: 295,734,134 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 20.6% (male 31,095,725/female 29,703,997) 15-64 years: 67% (male 98,914,382/female 99,324,126) 65 years and over: 12.4% (male 15,298,676/female 21,397,228) (2005 est.)
Median age: total: 36.27 years male: 34.94 years female: 37.6 years (2005 est.)
Population growth rate:
0.92% (2005 est.)
Birth rate:
14.14 births/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Death rate:
8.25 deaths/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Net migration rate:
3.31 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.72 male(s)/female total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2005 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 6.5 deaths/1,000 live births male: 7.17 deaths/1,000 live births female: 5.8 deaths/1,000 live births (2005 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 77.71 years male: 74.89 years female: 80.67 years (2005 est.)
Total fertility rate:
2.08 children born/woman (2005 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.6% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
950,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
14,000 (2003 est.)
Nationality:
noun: American(s) adjective: American
Ethnic groups:
white 81.7%, black 12.9%, Asian 4.2%, Amerindian and Alaska native 1%, native Hawaiian and other Pacific islander 0.2% (2003 est.) note: a separate listing for Hispanic is not included because the US Census Bureau considers Hispanic to mean a person of Latin American descent (including persons of Cuban, Mexican, or Puerto Rican origin) living in the US who may be of any race or ethnic group (white, black, Asian, etc.)
Religions:
Protestant 52%, Roman Catholic 24%, Mormon 2%, Jewish 1%, Muslim 1%, other 10%, none 10% (2002 est.)
Languages:
English 82.1%, Spanish 10.7%, other Indo-European 3.8%, Asian and Pacific island 2.7%, other 0.7% (2000 census)
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write total population: 97% male: 97% female: 97% (1999 est.)
Government
Country name:
conventional long form: United States of America conventional short form: United States abbreviation: US or USA
Government type:
Constitution-based federal republic; strong democratic tradition
Capital:
Washington, DC
Administrative divisions:
50 states and 1 district*; Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia*, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Dependent areas:
American Samoa, Baker Island, Guam, Howland Island, Jarvis Island, Johnston Atoll, Kingman Reef, Midway Islands, Navassa Island, Northern Mariana Islands, Palmyra Atoll, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Wake Island note: from 18 July 1947 until 1 October 1994, the US administered the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands; it entered into a political relationship with all four political units: the Northern Mariana Islands is a commonwealth in political union with the US (effective 3 November 1986); the Republic of the Marshall Islands signed a Compact of Free Association with the US (effective 21 October 1986); the Federated States of Micronesia signed a Compact of Free Association with the US (effective 3 November 1986); Palau concluded a Compact of Free Association with the US (effective 1 October 1994)
Independence:
4 July 1776 (from Great Britain)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 4 July (1776)
Constitution:
17 September 1787, effective 4 March 1789
Legal system:
federal court system based on English common law; each state has its own unique legal system, of which all but one (Louisiana's) is based on English common law; judicial review of legislative acts; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations
Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President George W. BUSH (since 20 January 2001); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government head of government: President George W. BUSH (since 20 January 2001); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president with Senate approval elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by a college of representatives who are elected directly from each state; president and vice president serve four-year terms; election last held 2 November 2004 (next to be held November 2008) election results: George W. BUSH reelected president; percent of popular vote - George W. BUSH (Republican Party) 50.9%, John KERRY (Democratic Party) 48.1%, other 1.0%
Legislative branch:
bicameral Congress consists of the Senate (100 seats, one-third are renewed every two years; two members are elected from each state by popular vote to serve six-year terms) and the House of Representatives (435 seats; members are directly elected by popular vote to serve two-year terms) elections: Senate - last held 2 November 2004 (next to be held November 2006); House of Representatives - last held 2 November 2004 (next to be held November 2006) election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - Republican Party 55, Democratic Party 44, independent 1; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - Republican Party 231, Democratic Party 200, undecided 4
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court (its nine justices are appointed for life on condition of good behavior by the president with confirmation by the Senate); United States Courts of Appeal; United States District Courts; State and County Courts
Political parties and leaders:
Democratic Party [Howard DEAN]; Green Party [leader NA]; Libertarian Party [Steve DAMERELL]; Republican Party [Ken MEHLMAN]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
NA
Flag description:
13 equal horizontal stripes of red (top and bottom) alternating with white; there is a blue rectangle in the upper hoist-side corner bearing 50 small, white, five-pointed stars arranged in nine offset horizontal rows of six stars (top and bottom) alternating with rows of five stars; the 50 stars represent the 50 states, the 13 stripes represent the 13 original colonies; known as Old Glory; the design and colors have been the basis for a number of other flags, including Chile, Liberia, Malaysia, and Puerto Rico
Economy - overview:
The US has the largest and most technologically powerful economy in the world, with a per capita GDP of $40,100. In this market-oriented economy, private individuals and business firms make most of the decisions, and the federal and state governments buy needed goods and services predominantly in the private marketplace. US business firms enjoy considerably greater flexibility than their counterparts in Western Europe and Japan in decisions to expand capital plant, to lay off surplus workers, and to develop new products. At the same time, they face higher barriers to entry in their rivals' home markets than the barriers to entry of foreign firms in US markets. US firms are at or near the forefront in technological advances, especially in computers and in medical, aerospace, and military equipment; their advantage has narrowed since the end of World War II. The onrush of technology largely explains the gradual development of a "two-tier labor market" in which those at the bottom lack the education and the professional/technical skills of those at the top and, more and more, fail to get comparable pay raises, health insurance coverage, and other benefits. Since 1975, practically all the gains in household income have gone to the top 20% of households. The response to the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 showed the remarkable resilience of the economy. The war in March/April 2003 between a US-led coalition and Iraq, and the subsequent occupation of Iraq, required major shifts in national resources to the military. The rise in GDP in 2004 was undergirded by substantial gains in labor productivity. The economy suffered from a sharp increase in energy prices in the second half of 2004. Long-term problems include inadequate investment in economic infrastructure, rapidly rising medical and pension costs of an aging population, sizable trade and budget deficits, and stagnation of family income in the lower economic groups.
GDP:
purchasing power parity - $11.75 trillion (2004 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
4.4% (2004 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $40,100 (2004 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 0.9% industry: 19.7% services: 79.4% (2004 est.)
Labor force:
147.4 million (includes unemployed) (2004 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
farming, forestry, and fishing 0.7%, manufacturing, extraction, transportation, and crafts 22.7%, managerial, professional, and technical 34.9%, sales and office 25.5%, other services 16.3% note: figures exclude the unemployed (2004)
Unemployment rate:
5.5% (2004 est.)
Population below poverty line:
12% (2004 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 1.8% highest 10%: 30.5% (1997)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
45 (2004)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
2.5% (2004 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
15.7% of GDP (2004 est.)
Budget:
revenues: $1.862 trillion expenditures: $2.338 trillion, including capital expenditures of NA (2004 est.)
Public debt:
65% of GDP (2004 est.)
Agriculture - products:
wheat, corn, other grains, fruits, vegetables, cotton; beef, pork, poultry, dairy products; forest products; fish
Industries:
leading industrial power in the world, highly diversified and technologically advanced; petroleum, steel, motor vehicles, aerospace, telecommunications, chemicals, electronics, food processing, consumer goods, lumber, mining
Industrial production growth rate:
4.4% (2004 est.)
Electricity - production:
3.839 trillion kWh (2002)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 71.4% hydro: 5.6% nuclear: 20.7% other: 2.3% (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
3.66 trillion kWh (2002)
Electricity - exports:
13.36 billion kWh (2002)
Electricity - imports:
36.23 billion kWh (2002)
Oil - production:
7.8 million bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - consumption:
19.65 million bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
NA
Oil - imports:
NA
Oil - proved reserves:
22.45 billion bbl (1 January 2002)
Natural gas - production:
548.1 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
640.9 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
11.16 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
114.1 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
5.195 trillion cu m (1 January 2002)
Current account balance:
$-646.5 billion (2004 est.)
Exports:
$795 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Exports - commodities:
agricultural products (soybeans, fruit, corn) 9.2%, industrial supplies (organic chemicals) 26.8%, capital goods (transistors, aircraft, motor vehicle parts, computers, telecommunications equipment) 49.0%, consumer goods (automobiles, medicines) 15.0% (2003)
Exports - partners:
Canada 23%, Mexico 13.6%, Japan 6.7%, UK 4.4%, China 4.3% (2004)
Imports:
$1.476 trillion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Imports - commodities:
agricultural products 4.9%, industrial supplies 32.9% (crude oil 8.2%), capital goods 30.4% (computers, telecommunications equipment, motor vehicle parts, office machines, electric power machinery), consumer goods 31.8% (automobiles, clothing, medicines, furniture, toys) (2003)
Imports - partners:
Canada 17.1%, China 13.7%, Mexico 10.4%, Japan 8.8%, Germany 5.2% (2004)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$85.94 billion (2003)
Debt - external:
$1.4 trillion (2001 est.)
Economic aid - donor:
ODA, $6.9 billion (1997)
Currency (code):
US dollar (USD)
Currency code:
USD
Fiscal year:
1 October - 30 September
Communications
Telephones - main lines in use:
181,599,900 (2003)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
158.722 million (2003)
Telephone system:
general assessment: a large, technologically advanced, multipurpose communications system domestic: a large system of fiber-optic cable, microwave radio relay, coaxial cable, and domestic satellites carries every form of telephone traffic; a rapidly growing cellular system carries mobile telephone traffic throughout the country international: country code - 1; 24 ocean cable systems in use; satellite earth stations - 61 Intelsat (45 Atlantic Ocean and 16 Pacific Ocean), 5 Intersputnik (Atlantic Ocean region), and 4 Inmarsat (Pacific and Atlantic Ocean regions) (2000)
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 4,854, FM 8,950, shortwave 18 (2004)
Radios:
575 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
more than 1,500 (including nearly 1,000 stations affiliated with the five major networks - NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, and PBS; in addition, there are about 9,000 cable TV systems) (1997)
Televisions:
219 million (1997)
Internet country code:
.us
Internet hosts:
115,311,958 (2002)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
7,000 (2002 est.)
Internet users:
159 million (2002)
Transportation
Railways:
total: 227,736 km standard gauge: 227,736 km 1.435-m gauge (2003)
Highways:
total: 6,393,603 km paved: 4,180,053 km (including 74,406 km of expressways) unpaved: 2,213,550 km (2003)
Waterways:
41,009 km (19,312 km used for commerce) note: Saint Lawrence Seaway of 3,769 km, including the Saint Lawrence River of 3,058 km, shared with Canada (2004)
Pipelines:
petroleum products 244,620 km; natural gas 548,665 km (2003)
Ports and harbors:
Anchorage, Baltimore, Boston, Charleston, Chicago, Duluth, Hampton Roads, Honolulu, Houston, Jacksonville, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, Port Canaveral, Portland (Oregon), Prudhoe Bay, San Francisco, Savannah, Seattle, Tampa, Toledo
Merchant marine:
total: 486 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 12,436,658 GRT/14,630,116 DWT by type: barge carrier 7, bulk carrier 19, cargo 152, chemical tanker 19, container 92, passenger 17, passenger/cargo 57, petroleum tanker 79, refrigerated cargo 2, roll on/roll off 28, vehicle carrier 14 foreign-owned: 49 (Australia 2, Canada 8, China 1, Denmark 20, Malaysia 2, Netherlands 1, Norway 2, Singapore 11, Sweden 1, United Kingdom 1) registered in other countries: 680 (2005)
Airports:
14,857 (2004 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 5,128 over 3,047 m: 188 2,438 to 3,047 m: 221 1,524 to 2,437 m: 1,375 914 to 1,523 m: 2,383 under 914 m: 961 (2004 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 9,729 over 3,047 m: 1 2,438 to 3,047 m: 7 1,524 to 2,437 m: 160 914 to 1,523 m: 1,718 under 914 m: 7,843 (2004 est.)
Heliports:
155 (2004 est.)
Military
Military branches:
Army, Navy and Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard (Coast Guard administered in peacetime by the Department of Homeland Security, but in wartime reports to the Department of the Navy)
Military manpower - military age and obligation:
18 years of age (2004)
Military manpower - availability:
males age 18-49: 67,742,879 (2005 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 18-49: NA (2005 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 2,143,873 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$370.7 billion (FY04 est.) (March 2003)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
3.3% (FY03 est.) (February 2004)
Transnational Issues
Disputes - international:
prolonged drought, population growth, and outmoded practices and infrastructure in the border region strains water-sharing arrangements with Mexico; the US has stepped up efforts to stem nationals from Mexico, Central America, and other parts of the world from crossing illegally into the United States from Mexico; illegal immigrants from the Caribbean, notably Haiti and the Dominican Republic, attempt to enter the US through Florida by sea; 1990 Maritime Boundary Agreement in the Bering Sea still awaits Russian Duma ratification; managed maritime boundary disputes with Canada at Dixon Entrance, Beaufort Sea, Strait of Juan de Fuca, and around the disputed Machias Seal Island and North Rock; US and Canada seek greater cooperation in monitoring people and commodities crossing the border; The Bahamas and US have not been able to agree on a maritime boundary; US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay is leased from Cuba and only mutual agreement or US abandonment of the area can terminate the lease; Haiti claims US-administered Navassa Island; US has made no territorial claim in Antarctica (but has reserved the right to do so) and does not recognize the claims of any other state; Marshall Islands claims Wake Island

Thursday, July 12, 2007

It's not often we get to use the term........

"melt-up" in the stock market.............

Prophetic understatement...........

One of the honcho's at the NYSE, Grace Vogel, executive vice president for member regulation came up with a doozy in today's Wall Street Journal. Her comment was in reference to the record margin debt of $353,000,000,000. Yes, billion.

She was quoted as saying, "I wouldn't necessarily say that leverage equates to risk" and that "We feel that the amount of margin being collected by the firms is appropriate, given the strategies in (their customers) portfolio's."

What goes up, often comes down and leverage works both ways in the stock market.

One of these days Grace the time will come again to take out the canes and buy stock indiscriminately across the board. That time will come when record margin debt is drastically reduced. With market induced reductions.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

New FDA approved drugs for women..........

D A M N I T O L Take 2 and the rest of the world can go to hell for up to 8 full hours.

E M P T Y N E S T R O G E N Suppository that eliminates melancholy and loneliness by reminding you of how awful they were as teenagers and how you couldn't wait till they moved out.

ST. M O M M A'S W O R T Plant extract that treats mom's depression by rendering preschoolers unconscious for up to two days. P E P T O B I M B O Liquid silicone drink for single women. Two full cups swallowed before an evening out increases breast size, decreases intelligence, and prevents conception.

D U M B E R O L When taken with Peptobimbo, can cause dangerously low IQ, resulting in enjoyment of country music and pickup trucks.

F L I P I T O R Increases life expectancy of commuters by controlling road rage and the urge to flip off other drivers. M E N I C I L L I N Potent anti-boy-otic for older women. Increases resistance to such lethal lines as, "You make me want to be a better person. " BUYAGRA Injectible stimulant taken prior to shopping increases potency, duration, and credit limit of spending spree. J A C K A S S P I R I N Relieves headache caused by a man who can't remember your birthday, anniversary, phone number, or to lift the toilet seat. A N T I-T A L K S I D E N T A spray carried in a purse or wallet to be used on anyone too eager to share their life stories with total strangers in elevators. N A G A M E N T When administered to a boyfriend or husband, provides the same irritation level as nagging him.

Two-sided talk..........

This morning in one of the three newspapers I read every morning there was a full page ad from a major Wall Street brokerage house about how wonderful they are at managing risk.

That same newspaper has been covering the carnage inflicted on investors in that firms two hedge funds over the past month. In fact, the brokerage firm tossed in over $3,000,000,000 of their own to keep one of the funds afloat.

The other fund they let crash and burn. Much to the detriment of their investor clients.

When Wall Street talks folks, grab your wallets.

As salesmen, they aren't worried about your outcome, only their income.

And you can take that to the bank.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Eradication of US graft, corruption, pork projects, etc................

Maybe China could be the leader in all of this...........check this out for starters;

BEIJING (July 10) - China executed the former head of its food and drug watchdog on Tuesday for approving untested medicine in exchange for cash, the strongest signal yet from Beijing that it is serious about tackling its product safety crisis.

America, can't you just imagine a couple of Congressman swinging from a noose in the wind to get the attention of all of the other Beltway spend-thrifts? I know, I know, that is a bit harsh for all of you with a liberal bent, but, it's a start to wake you up.

They are killing you financially folks. Social Security is the tip of the carnage. Think about these for a second.

Accounts Receivable Tax, Building Permit Tax, CDL license Tax, Corporate Income Tax, Dog License Tax, Excise Taxes, Federal Income Tax, Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA), Fishing License Tax, Food License Tax, Fuel Permit Tax, Gasoline Tax (42 cents per gallon), Gross Receipts Tax, Hunting License Tax, Inheritance Tax, Inventory Tax, IRS Interest Charges, IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax), Liquor Tax, Luxury Taxes, Marriage License Tax, Medicare Tax, Personal Property Tax, Property Tax, Real Estate Tax, Service Charge Tax, Road Usage Tax, Sales Tax, Recreational Vehicle Tax, School Tax, State Income Tax, State Unemployment Tax (SUTA), Telephone Federal Excise Tax, Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax, Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Taxes, Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax ,Telephone Recurring and Non-recurring Charges Tax, Telephone State and Local Tax, Telephone Usage Charge Tax, Utility Taxes, Vehicle License Registration Tax, Vehicle Sales Tax, Watercraft Registration Tax, and Workers Compensation Tax.

If not now, when? If not us, who?

Monday, July 09, 2007

Alcoa reports...it's earnings season once again ........

If you looked through every world stock market as to its performance this year, you'd find the US below about 90% of them. This has been the case for the past three years.

Perhaps it indicates the hatred of the US that permeates the rest of the world and carries over to investments and leaves the US cheap relative to other countries.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

July 4, 2007

Happy birthday America, may you live long and prosper.

With the biggest stock market indices moving into record territory again this year I want to reiterate the message that should and must be rung like the Liberty Bell.

The stock market, long term, only goes one way. This isn't Vegas, this isn't betting the Derby, this isn't taking the Giants by 10 over the Colts, this isn't Social Security or your Super Bowl betting pool. No slots, no wheels, no cards found here. It only goes one way, long term. And owning RSP is the best way to own it.

Now please tell me America why can't the brainwashed, negative people out there see that there exists an unabated movement that is called an upward biased stock market drift that is picked up and carried magically upward?

Can't they see that the engine gets greased and refueled daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly by the legions of market players, dealers and participants who need the market to go up?

Negative journalism sells. Eradicate the financial pornography on CNBC and you will do fine.

The best birthdays are yet to come!

Monday, July 02, 2007

FRZ

What a beautiful start to July...........thank you very much Mr. Market.........!!!

Native American Advisors CHIPPEWA PARTNERS

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CHIPPEWA PARTNERS, Native American Advisors, Inc. is a Registered Investment Advisor, founded by Dean Thomas Parisian in 1995. The firm is a manager to an exclusive clientele and is closed to new clients. As a Registered Investment Advisor, our expertise developed over 35 years balances experience, integrity and tremendous work ethic. Dean Parisian is a member at the White Earth Reservation of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, a former NYSE and FINRA arbitrator and trader who began his career with Kidder Peabody and later worked for Drexel Burnham Lambert in LaJolla, CA. His philanthropic interest is in Native American education and he's endowed a significant scholarship for Native Americans at the University of Minnesota. His greatest accomplishment includes raising two sons and 26 years of marriage. The Parisian family enjoys outdoor pursuits at Pamelot, their farm in Tennessee and at the Ghost Ranch, their ranch on the Yellowstone River in Montana. For media requests contact the firm via email: ChippewaPartners (at) gmail dot com, on Twitter: @DeanParisian. Global 404-202-8173