Friday, June 27, 2008

Conviction into July............

Today a 20% retracement off the highs. The pundits and talking heads will have a field day with this dismal performance. Wall Street is catching up to Main Street. Finally.

I didn't sleep well last night. The liberal nut cases who sit on the Supreme Court have taken any modicum of common sense and thrown brains out with the rapists. I fell asleep praying for the abused children and families preyed upon by rapists. The horror and disgust chilled me into slumber. God help our nation with such lunatics making the Supreme Law of the land. May rightful gun owners get the job done on child rapists. The sickening stench of liberalism emanating from the Court is killing us all.

Record oil prices today. What's new? The sheiks talking up their ramping of production with higher prices. What's new there? The grand global con continues. And we pay. These Congressional inquiries into higher oil prices are just grand. Our do-nothing politicians are a disgrace.

Yesterday I had an interesting conversation with someone in Seattle who works for a quasi-governmental agency. In total agreement with me that there is ZERO accountability by government. Passing the buck is status-quo. It is an affront to decency in dealing with many facets of government. And common sense in dealing with them? Forgetaboutit.........

The currents ebbing and flowing in the largest watered down casino on earth at the corner of Wall and Broad make for a fully manned life boat. Anything can happen here. Huge upside, huge downside althought a sustained "melt-up" probably isn't in the cards here.

Keep in mind that good times follow bad times.

I had a short chat today with an old friend. The topic of conviction came up. Conviction is hard to find in a Wall Street salesmen broker. They call here day after day with their games and gimmicks and deals and products to "help" us help our clients. When the questions start and the game gets serious the conviction is gone. It's over. The next time a broker calls to pitch some crap on you ask him or her if they own it themselves and listen closely to the response.
Then start the questions and listen for the conviction. The only conviction you will get is with their fees. That is their conviction. Taking money from your account to theirs.

Have a great weekend. Do something fun, get some exercise, eat something good. And look forward to the celebration of freedom and liberty we all should cherish.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tuesday ramblings........

The world is on sale, head to any mall...........zero percent financing for cars and homes will be the rage next year.........they can't sell them any other way...............Toyota eating GM's lunch.......whattaday!!!

Some of the best humor we get here every week is when we get to listen to the lament of clients of brokerage firms tell us the stories that their brokers weave. If they wouldn't lose so much money it might be really funny. We heard a good one yesterday on some excuses as to why the customer had gotten hammered since May. He said he is coming in next month to transfer all his accounts here. If he doesn't he loves abuse.

The software salesmen who kept calling us at every inopportune hour, (the guy was in a different time zone so he never paid attention to what time he would call here) was a real hoot.
His tale of being a former futures and derivatives trader was great........... it's funny how guys who wash out of making themselves or clients any money usually gravitate to selling software to help those who do.

Yahoo is a great short here.

Imus. Don brings out the best in Al and Jesse........two reverends who have never held a real job in their lives. You got to be kidding, right?

Market volume is muted. Summer is here, enjoy your day.

Monday, June 23, 2008

recession...........

Wall Street and the media will do their best to talk Americans out of their stocks.

Wall Street's brokers need the commissions involved in changing asset allocations and flipping their mutual funds and annuities. Unfortunately they are always late to the party.

Remember, bear markets are guaranteed. Historical fact. Stocks long term go only one way, historical fact. The wall of worry that stocks will climb is shaping up nicely.

The con game of the touts continues.

Wall Street Kool Aid..........

Monday ramblings, today the Merrill Lynch stock price was falling faster than Bill Clinton sniffing out an intern........Trump Dubai, how does one short it?.........the WSJ article today on Mr. Cox of the SEC was terrific, asleep at the switch while Rome burns........GM hitting the same price it traded at in 1975 when I was a junior in college, run Tracinda run..............I guess the Barrons article a few weeks on GM was a sure short sale indicator...............euphoria at quarter-end may happen fast.......... volume is anemic, imagine that. I'm headed out to swim, enjoy your evening!

Ice on Mars and other political jibberish.......

The PR spin on our space program hereafter referred to as the Texas 20 year Full-Employment Program boggles the mind. As one would expect, W did a great job to keep the program alive with another moon shot down the road. That pork alone pales to what many Congressmen introduced this past budget. May that Star Wars defense system be alive and well when needed.

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Ford 150

Ford can't get out of it's own way. Buyer beware.

Photo Op moments.........

Presidents and presidential hopefuls always love photo op's...........is there such a thing as too little photo op exposure?

Watching Air Force One wheel onto the tarmac for the presidential visit to view the flood ravaged areas of Illinois and Missouri reminded me it is all about politics.

Imagine if these guys cared about holes in walls at our borders as much as they cared about holes in levees? The damage the criminal aliens cause can't be seen immediately like flood waters. There's probably 20 to 25 million of them living in this country. By law, they are criminals. The law does nothing. And the holes allowing them in go unfixed. Go figure.

It's about politics.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Too good not to repeat here...........

By Thomas Sowell

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Many years ago, a great hitter named Paul Waner was nearing the end of his long career. He entered a ballgame with 2,999 hits -- one hit away from the landmark total of 3,000, which so many hitters want to reach, but which relatively few actually do reach.Waner hit a ball that the fielder did not handle cleanly but the official scorer called it a hit, making it Waner's 3,000th. Paul Waner then sent word to the official scorer that he did not want that questionable hit to be the one that put him over the top.The official scorer reversed himself and called it an error. Later Paul Waner got a clean hit for number 3,000.

What reminded me of this is the great fervor that many seem to feel over the prospect of the first black President of the United States .No doubt it is only a matter of time before there is a black president, just as it was only a matter of time before Paul Waner got his 3,000th hit. The issue is whether we want to reach that landmark so badly that we are willing to overlook how questionably that landmark is reached.Paul Waner had too much pride to accept a scratch hit. Choosing a President of the United States is a lot more momentous than a baseball record. We the voters need to have far more concern about who we put in that office that holds the destiny of a nation and of generations yet unborn.There is no reason why someone as arrogant, foolishly clever and ultimately dangerous as Barack Obama should become president -- especially not at a time when the threat of international terrorists with nuclear weapons looms over 300 million Americans.

Many people seem to regard elections as occasions for venting emotions, like cheering for your favorite team or choosing a Homecoming Queen.The three leading candidates for their party's nomination are being discussed in terms of their demographics -- race, sex and age -- as if that is what the job is about.One of the painful aspects of studying great catastrophes of the past is discovering how many times people were preoccupied with trivialities when they were teetering on the edge of doom. The demographics of the presidency are far less important than the momentous weight of responsibility that office carries.Just the power to nominate federal judges to trial courts and appellate courts across the country, including the Supreme Court, can have an enormous impact for decades to come. There is no point feeling outraged by things done by federal judges, if you vote on the basis of emotion for those who appoint them.Barack Obama has already indicated that he wants judges who make social policy instead of just applying the law. He has already tried to stop young violent criminals from being tried as adults.

Although Senator Obama has presented himself as the candidate of new things -- using the mantra of 'change' endlessly -- the cold fact is that virtually everything he says about domestic policy is straight out of the 1960s and virtually everything he says about foreign policy is straight out of the 1930s.Protecting criminals, attacking business, increasing government spending, promoting a sense of envy and grievance, raising taxes on people who are productive and subsidizing those who are not -- all this is a re-run of the 1960s.We paid a terrible price for such 1960s notions in the years that followed, in the form of soaring crime rates, double-digit inflation and double-digit unemployment. During the 1960s, ghettoes across the countries were ravaged by riots from which many have not fully recovered to this day.The violence and destruction were concentrated not where there was the greatest poverty or injustice but where there were the most liberal politicians, promoting grievances and hamstringing the police.Internationally, the approach that Senator Obama proposes -- including the media magic of meetings between heads of state -- was tried during the 1930s. That approach, in the name of peace, is what led to the most catastrophic war in human history.

Everything seems new to those too young to remember the old and too ignorant of history to have heard about it.

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of Basic Economics: A Citizen's Guide to the Economy.

Hey John and Obama, listen up.......

A recent Newsweek article reported, “Parents today spend 10 hours a week less with their children than in 1960. This is a product of absent fathers – which is disastrous, especially to boys, who differ in aggressive temperament from girls. Boys are harder to socialize. In modern society, aggressiveness is no longer an adaptive trait. Civilization is the attempt to turn male aggressiveness into appropriate channels. We’re losing.”

“America's unending cultural war once concerned slavery, temperance, and religion. Today it turns on illegitimacy, crime and entertainment. These will be the central subjects of political argument for the foreseeable future. Wouldn’t it be great to see the candidates talk about this?”

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

PerotCharts.com

In a statement Monday, Perot said the nation's debt reached $9.4 trillion in April and is rising more than $1 billion a day."We are leaving our children and grandchildren with debt they cannot possibly pay," he said. "The economic crisis facing America today is far greater than anything since the Great Depression."

The Web site, which Perot said is nonpartisan, includes a video of Perot, a blog and a chart presentation explaining the nation's economic problems.Perot, 77, founded Electronic Data Systems Corp. and later Perot Systems Corp., both of which provide technology services to other companies and government agencies. Last year, Forbes magazine estimated his personal wealth at $4.4 billion.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Native American Financial Dreams

All of the stockbrokers over the years who have perpetrated fraud, misrepresentation and theft against Native American entities should be enough to fill San Quentin. I have been privy to the carnage for more years and for more incidents than I can stomach starting with the oil and gas carnage in Alaska about 25 - 30 years ago.

The beat continues across Indian Country. With the hundreds of millions still being "managed" to the benefit of the US Government and their Dept. of Interior's, Bureau of Indian Affairs Office and to the detriment of generations of Native Americans ahead the sage continues to play out.

We come across tribes who have millions and millions to invest and we know their leadership shouldn't be allowed access to any source of tribal funds. I see tribal members throwing their precious dollars into negative expectation games at the local casino and their children have no milk. Go figure.

The hedge fund crowd is coming to a tribe near you. Recently we have found tribes that entrust their money to the big investment banks—Citibank, Chase, Merrill Lynch, or Morgan Stanley—which then invest it for them in hedge funds. Funds of funds, the word is on Wall Street, are the next bubble—the next place for financial market professionals to make a killing. You see, registered hedge funds sold by brokers have no liquidity, huge fees, bad to horrorific performance, and they're being sold by brokers who don't know anything about hedge funds. In fact, they are a sophisticated way to lose money, as opposed to the more mundane way of letting the layers upon layers of fees feed the Wall Street chiefs. The key features of these funds are that they trade in eye-watering risk and are barely regulated. The two are related. Because they answer to nobody but themselves, hedge funds have side-stepped regulation and can do as they like. What they like is risk - and their main tool is "leverage" - borrowing to play the markets. It is not unusual for a hedge-fund investor to control $100m in securities with only a $5m down payment. Of course, that means that when a bet goes wrong, it goes spectacularly wrong.
Never forget, when commissions are down, stockbrokers still have bills to pay. For those brokers morally challenged, the pressure is too great. In fact it reminds me of stockbrokers we had in the LaJolla office of Drexel Burnham Lambert whose offices adjoined one another. These commission generators were nicknamed, "Murderers Row"!
Tribes beware, if you want to gamble, buy more slot machines. That's a sure bet.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Inspiring........

One of the more inspiring moments of the week came when we watched Kathleen Hersey do a "swim clinic" for the Alpharetta Sharks swim team.

Have you ever laid your eyes on a human version of a dolphin?

Wow.

I sure hope this young gal makes the Olympic team. What a story she will be before she finishes up her work over the next few thousand miles in chlorine. Go Kathleen!!!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Private equity.......

Thain at Merrill needs to bulk up alright.......bulk some bucks into a new global private equity fund? Pretty scary stuff don't you think?

Listening to the honcho's that run these brokerage firms is like the wind.

It doesn't matter which way it blows it smells the same.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Beware the touts.............

In the hazy summer heat you might want to put your guard around your money if you are a client of a major brokerage house. When things get slow and markets are non-trending to trending down the brokers are in need of commissions and fees.

It's each man for himself when dealing with Wall Streets legion of salesmen.

Here at Chippewa Partners we take calls from every type of brokerage firm available. The latest and newest pitches usually contain the words "structured" or "guaranteed" or "notes". All words that should put up your line of defense when listening to a pitch.

The "fund of funds" crowd is growing thin. The actively managed ETF crowd is growing in popularity as the fees grow proportionally to the amount of "management" involved.

These "hybrid" brokers that split their time between acting as a fiduciary and a salesmen are the latest twist in the saga of parting clients from their hard earned money. Beware the touts.

Your best bet is to hire a fiduciary firm. And that is guaranteed.

Monday, June 09, 2008

George Ball.........

Watching and listening to George Ball on CNBC this morning was true comedy.

As he was telling the world what was wrong with Lehman I could hear the ghosts of Prudential howling at his every word. I have said this before and it needs to be said again, I doubt if ever there was a brokerage chief alive who "killed" more clients and employees than George himself.

That had to be the scummiest firm to ever operate on John Q. Public.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

LVLT

UBS raised the 12-month price target on the stock to $3.75 from $3 and maintained a neutral rating on the stock.

Iowa with her pants pockets wide open............

Iowa may be a blue state politically, but when it comes to farm subsidies Iowa is all red. According to the Environmental Working Group Farm Subsidy database, 70% of Iowa farms received subsidies in 2002 (most recent year available, data here), the second highest percentage in the country .

During the 2003-2005 period, Iowa led the nation by harvesting almost $4 billion in cash, i.e. farm subsidies (data here), or 10.8% of the $37 billion paid in total farm payments during that period. Iowa benefited from the generous $18 billion of subsidies given out by the U.S. government for growing (or not growing) corn, which is an amount equal to the subsidies paid for cotton, wheat, rice, soybeans, dairy, peanuts and barley COMBINED (data here).

Farm subsidies in Iowa are so popular and common that many citizens of the city of Des Moines partake of the government's generous agricultural largesse

Gas gouging.......

Todays comedic TV will come from George Soros addressing the Commerce Committee on the disconnect between futures prices and the physical commodity. They won't have a clue what he is talking about, I doubt if any of them have read any of his books. Listening to Senator Cantwell this morning on CNBC discuss market manipulation reminds me of somebody discussing the quality of violins on the deck of the Titanic. The Congress of this Nation is and has been totally ineffective in dealing with any kind of sustained energy policy.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Melvyn Weiss, another crooked attorney..........

From my old haunts of San Diego comes more comedy. Here is a king pin of the securities litigation arena that sucked shareholders out of hundreds of millions of dollars of legal fees. The travesty of this slime ball making so much money out of holding up honest corporate management teams (if there is such a thing) defies this measly sentence. He lied for 7 years to the court about his transgressions. If it weren't for his pals singing like the canaries they are he would have fought this charge tooth and nail. I hope this judge doesn't sleep for a week over such a pittance of a sentencing. It is beyond what any reasonable juror could ever fathom. I mean really, what is a puny $10,000,000 when he banked hundreds and hundreds of millions?

It's just more white collar crime hiding beyond the guise of legitimate legal work.

LOS ANGELES -- Melvyn Weiss, the plaintiffs' lawyer who pioneered a controversial and lucrative area of law suing corporations on behalf of shareholders, was sentenced today in federal court here to 30 months in prison. U.S. District Judge John F. Walter also ordered Mr. Weiss to pay $9.7 million in forfeitures and $250,000 in fines.

Ken Thompson, Wachovia

The ghosts of First Union are smiling.

Charlotte is buzzing. The longer I am an investor the more fearful I am of banks managing money. The Wachovia Board moved too late.

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