Saturday, August 30, 2008

A White Earth issue across Indian Country

High rate of alcohol-related deaths came as no surprise to White Earth Band of Chippewa.

MAHNOMEN, MINN. — The numbers came as no surprise to Pat Moran, manager of a substance-abuse program on the White Earth Indian Reservation in northern Minnesota.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday that almost 12 percent of deaths among American Indians and Alaska Natives are alcohol-related — more than triple the rate in the general U.S. population.The report is based on the first-ever national survey of alcohol's role in Indian mortality. The CDC found the largest number of alcohol-related deaths among Indians in the Indian Health Service's Northern Plains region, which includes North Dakota and Minnesota. There was no breakdown by state or tribe.

"Those numbers don't surprise me at all," Moran said. "We have a high rate of alcoholism on the reservation, and a majority of deaths here are related" to alcohol or other chemical abuse.The White Earth Band of Chippewa Indians (PDF) offers intervention and prevention services, diagnosis and referrals. The band also operates several outpatient and after-care sites scattered across the large reservation and an in-patient treatment center for women and their children in Mahnomen.

The White Earth program is "short-staffed and short-funded," Moran said. "We're always looking for more money to do more things."With $2 million each from the state and the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, White Earth this summer bought a 40-acre treatment center in Bemidji, Minn., after it was closed by Episcopal Community Services. The band plans to spend a total of $8 million to reopen the center to treat American Indian teenagers with substance-abuse problems. Moran said there are other signs of progress on her reservation."I see people who are out walking who are in recovery," she said. "I'm one of them.

"In the Northern Plains, reservations often are remote, isolated and poor, the CDC report notes, and those factors may contribute to the higher alcohol-related death rate. In any case, the survey results should be "a call to action" for federal, state, local and tribal governments, said Dwayne Jarman, one of the study's authors and a CDC epidemiologist who works for the Indian Health Service.

Jarman said in an interview Thursday that states should increase alcohol excise taxes to cut demand. Policies against serving people who already are intoxicated need to be better enforced, he said, and there should be better coordination between tribal courts and health centers."We also need to look at new community-specific ways to address the problem," he said, bringing Indian cultural values more into play. Researchers analyzed death certificates from 2001 to 2005. They found that traffic accidents and alcoholic liver disease were the two leading causes of alcohol-related deaths, each accounting for about a fourth of the deaths. Homicide and suicide also were causes.There may have been more alcohol-related deaths, according to the report, because deaths attributed to such diseases as pneumonia and colon cancer were not counted, although alcoholism is considered a major risk factor in each. Men accounted for two-thirds of the alcohol-related deaths among Indians, according to the study. Almost two-thirds were younger than 50, and 7 percent were younger than 20.The study results confirm that alcoholism remains a crippling problem on reservations despite development in recent years of culturally sensitive "red road" recovery programs.

Linda Duckwitz, a licensed addiction counselor at the Spirit Lake Indian Reservation in north-central North Dakota, said the CDC statistics "are very troubling." The Spirit Lake Dakotah Nation "is doing some creative things, including equine therapy," where young addicts in treatment work with horses, she said. But the effort is hampered by a lack of state funding for treatment programs that aren't hospital-based and by permissive attitudes throughout the state toward binge drinking and alcoholism.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Simply amazing..........

This huge mess started years ago. The guys at the top lied for years on their earnings statements to investors and the SEC. They made hundreds of millions in stock options.

They are finally getting around to doing something, anything, to placate someone who might be dumb enough to commit more assets to bail out these thieves.

The stench is sickening.

Aug. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Fannie Mae Chief Executive Officer Daniel Mudd replaced his top managers at the beleaguered mortgage-finance provider as the company struggles to convince investors it has enough capital to weather the housing slump.

Chief Financial Officer Stephen Swad will leave and be replaced by David Hisey, the Washington-based company said in a statement today. Chief Business Officer Robert Levin will retire and Peter Niculescu will step into the role. Chief Risk Officer Enrico Dallavecchia will also leave and his duties will be assumed by Michael Shaw.

Mudd is seeking to restore confidence to Fannie after its shares tumbled more than 85 percent this year and debt costs climbed. Concern that Fannie and the smaller Freddie Mac didn't have enough capital prompted U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to draw up a rescue plan to inject unlimited amounts of money into the companies if needed.

Monday, August 25, 2008

This is how it started ......

My father, Douglas Parisian, worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs and we lived on many Indian reservations across the Great Plains. Growing up, the hills of the Sisseton-Wahpeton tribe on west to the Big Horn Mountains on the Crow Reservation were home to me.

It was near Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge Reservation of South Dakota I spent my high school years. Only 80 years before, Hotckiss guns were carefully trained on a group of terrified and disarmed Sioux. It wasn’t a battlefield at Wounded Knee, like historians suggest, it was an assassination; as were America’s first freedom fighters; Sitting Bull, Dull Knife and Geronimo.

The carnage continues today as the Indian Affairs Trust Office still can not account for two billion dollars of Native American fund transfers. This company was founded in 1995 to manage serious wealth for those tribes and tribal members who understand that casino gaming alone is not the answer to viable long-term economic success.

Excellent ndn rez humor...........

When NASA was preparing for the Apollo Project, it took the astronauts to a Navajo reservation in Arizona for training.

One day, a Navajo elder and his son came across the space crew walking among the rocks.

The elder, who spoke only Navajo, asked a question. His son translated for the NASA people: 'What are these guys in the big suits doing?' One of the astronauts said that they were practicing for a trip to the moon. When his son relayed this comment the Navajo elder got all excited and asked if it would be possible to give to the astronauts a message to deliver to the moon.

Recognizing a promotional opportunity when he saw one, a NASA official accompanying the astronauts said, 'Why certainly!' and told an underling to get a tape recorder. The Navajo elder's comments into the microphone were brief. The NASA official asked the son if he would translate what his father had said. The son listened to the recording and laughed uproariously. But he refused to translate.

So the NASA people took the tape to a nearby Navajo village and played it for other members of the tribe. They too laughed long and loudly, but also refused to translate the elder's message to the moon.

An official government translator was summoned. After he finally stopped laughing, the translator relayed the message:

'WATCH OUT FOR THESE ASSHOLES - THEY HAVE COME TO STEAL YOUR LAND.'

Peking, Bejjing, who cares........?

China did a colorful job.

Unfortunately, the pollution will continue unabated. Our Earth Mother is under attack.

Congratulations to all of the athletes, sponsors and organizing committee.

May London do so good.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Ignorant politicians.........

The Minnesota Legislature this year passed a measure allowing youths age 10 and 11 to hunt big game before attending firearms safety classes.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

An American debacle.........

The quagmire of Freddie and Fannie continues.

What it says about America, the SEC, enforcement, investment banks and greed makes Enron look good.

At least Enron sent a couple of thieves off to jail. It won't happen here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Native Americans fleecing........

Native American money has been getting fleeced for decades. Most tribes don't have a clue. Whether it is tribes doing bond underwritings without competive bidding, gross negligence by tribal officials in failing to negotiate lower fees in bond deals and retirement plans, lack of exposure to the equity markets or the lack of assets being managed on an absolute versus a relative basis, it goes on and on and on. I founded Native American Advisors simply because of all the carnage I saw with Native money by the federal government.

Some days I firmly believe nothing has changed.

Today was one of those days.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Auction-rate securities probe.......

$30,000,000,000 will be going back to investors per the NY Attorney General Cuomo.

Why did it take the AG of NY to have investors made whole and not the SEC?

JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley didn't step up to be good citizens, their hand was forced.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Cuomo, justice and Wall Street.......

So Cuomo has just about every investment firm on their knees with check-book at the ready to cough up some bucks and make the customers whole. And then they write some checks to Cuomo which he calls a "fine". That is a good thing, partially.

My problem is the fines themselves. They are not going to any “victims” but rather to the scoreboard of slimy politicians.

Secondly and perhaps more pertinent is the fact that these popular “fines” don’t really punish the people who commit the injustice on investors but rather the majority shareholders, which are outside institutions representing millions of innocent, unsuspecting Americans.

This isn’t about justice, it’s about plundering large sources of vulnerable money. Underhanded lawyers have mastered this stratagem. If they really wanted justice, they would punish the individuals who were responsible for the bad practices. They would make them pay fines from their personal assets and/or make them serve time if they broke the law.

You see, there’s not as much money in real justice. Another aspect I find amazing is how nobody in the media is even aware of this scam being indirectly perpetrated against retirement and pension plans across the country.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Another Native American rip-off.............

August 7, 2008: 5:19 PM EDT
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A federal judge ruled Thursday that American Indian plaintiffs are entitled to $455 million in a long-running trust case, a fraction of the $47 billion they wanted.
But U.S. District Judge James Robertson did not say how the government should award the money, writing that his opinion "leaves for another day the question of how and to whom the award should be distributed."
Robertson's final number is close to government estimates and far from the billions sought by plaintiffs in the 12-year trial. The lawsuit - filed on behalf of a half-million American Indians and their heirs - claims they were swindled out of billions of dollars in oil, gas, grazing, timber and other royalties overseen by the Interior Department since 1887.
The judge said he will have to hold another proceeding to decide how the money will be awarded, hinting that he hopes for a settlement between the two parties before then.
"Perhaps it is not too much to hope that the announcement in this memorandum of a hard number will give rise to some off-line conversation between the parties in the meantime," Robertson wrote.
At issue was how much of the royalty money was withheld from the Indian plaintiffs over the years, and whether it was held in the U.S. Treasury at a benefit to the government.
Robertson said in the opinion that plaintiffs did not successfully argue that the money was of benefit to the government over the years, significantly reducing his final estimate of what the American Indians were owed.
Because many of the records have been lost or destroyed, it has been up to the court to decide how to best estimate how much the individual Indians - many of whom are nearing the end of their lives - should be paid.
During the course of the trial, plaintiffs reduced the amount they said they were owed based on documents that became available in the proceedings. They settled on $47 billion, down from their estimate going into the trial, which was $58 billion. Earlier estimates were as high as $100 billion.
Filed by Blackfeet Indian Elouise Cobell, the lawsuit deals with individual Indians' lands. Several tribes have sued separately, claiming mismanagement of their lands.

Monday, August 04, 2008

"Citius, Altius, Fortius"

"Faster, Higher, Stronger"

Thain on CNBC today

Every day the Merrill Lynch bull runs across the screen on CNBC. They tell the world how to invest and why the world should invest with them. Investing with a firm that has eradicated billions and billions of shareholder wealth isn't a bright idea. They have shown the world they can't manage their own finances.

They need to make that money up somewhere and they will make it up alright. Every day the firm seems to be writing down more assets. They have diluted existing shareholders to the tune of 615,000,000 shares, to the point they have little opportunity to make up any earnings shortfalls in the near term.

They will make it up in the hidden commissions and fees from the legions of investors who use the brokers for buying or selling their investments. Brokers are not fiduciaries.

Invest at your own peril.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Wall Streets "VOMITORIUM"

Aug. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Four days before Merrill Lynch & Co. stopped supporting the auction-rate securities market and left thousands of individual investors stuck with securities they couldn't sell, the firm's analysts recommended clients buy.

"Reports of the imminent demise of the auction market seem to be greatly exaggerated, again,'' analyst Kevin Conery wrote in a Feb. 8 research note. ``We continue to be impressed by the auction market's resiliency.''

The remarks show Merrill's researchers were "co-opted'' during a seven-month drive by the New York-based firm's sales force to prevent a meltdown in the $330 billion market, Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin alleged yesterday in an administrative complaint filed in Boston. As the sales desk pushed analysts to publish upbeat notes, managers used gallows humor to complain about a ``collapsing'' market and the end of $2,000 dinners.

"Come on down and visit us in the vomitorium!!'' the auction-rate desk's managing director, Frances Constable, wrote to a co-worker in August, as demand began to dry up. "Market is collapsing,'' another executive cited in Galvin's complaint said in a November 2007 personal e-mail. "No more $2K dinners at CRU,'' a Manhattan restaurant where the wine list includes dozens of bottles for more than $1,000.

Galvin, 57, wants the third-largest U.S. securities firm to ``make good'' on sales of now-frozen holdings, compensate investors who disposed of their bonds or shares at a loss and pay an unspecified fine. He has already filed a related claim against Zurich-based UBS AG, and is still probing Bank of America Corp.

`Significant Danger'

"Research analysts routinely soft-pedaled significant negative events affecting liquidity in the auction markets,'' he said in the complaint. At the same time, managers knew ``the auction markets were not functioning properly and were in fact in significant danger of collapsing,'' he said.

Conery, 47, received a ``six-figure'' bonus for 2007 after his year-end review credited him for "proactive and timely interchange'' with the sales desk and clients, according to the complaint. "Ultimately, his work contributed to better liquidity and lower inventory levels in the marketplace,'' the reviewer said.

"The influence that the supposedly independent research analysts were subjected to was extraordinary,'' said Philip Aidikoff, a partner with Aidikoff, Uhl & Bakhtiari, a Beverly Hills, California-based law firm that represents investors in complaints against firms over auction-rate sales.

Second Complaint

Merrill denied that its analysts acted improperly in recommending auction-rate securities, also known as ARS.
The analysts mentioned in Galvin's complaint "are men of integrity and intellectual honesty. They called the ARS market as they saw it, not the way anyone else did,'' Merrill spokesman Mark Herr said. ``Nothing the sales desk could do or couldn't do affected how much these analysts earned or their standing in our research department.''

Auction-rate securities are long-term bonds or preferred shares with interest rates adjusted typically every seven, 28 or 35 days through a dealer-run bidding process, providing them with the characteristics of money-market investments. Firms historically supported the auctions, without contractual obligation, when demand waned.

Merrill is the second bank to face a complaint by Galvin after brokers stopped supporting the auctions in mid-February as losses from securities tied to subprime mortgages mounted. Massachusetts last month filed a complaint against UBS, Switzerland's biggest bank.

Separate Settlement

UBS said it will contest the allegations. The bank agreed July 30 to pay $1 million to settle a separate complaint filed by Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley over the marketing of auction-rate securities to 20 towns and public agencies in the state. UBS also agreed to pay $38.5 million to the municipalities.

February's meltdown began in July 2007, when MBIA Inc. and Ambac Financial Group Inc., the two largest insurers of auction- rate debt, reported lower profits because of losses on securities backed by subprime mortgages. Losses at the insurers prompted auctions for $1.8 billion of their own securities to fail, according to Fitch Ratings.

That month, Constable, 51, objected to an analyst's report, which noted auction-rate bonds lack a so-called ``hard put,'' like some other variable-rate securities, which obligate the issuer to arrange a purchaser for any unwanted securities when rates reset.

Misplaced' Concerns

The reference was misleading, she said, because the report focused on municipal bonds and those instruments weren't yet failing. When the analyst, Martin Mauro, refused to retract the note, Constable sent an e-mail to colleagues within the firm.
"I HAD NOT SEEN THIS PIECE UNTIL JUST NOW AND IT MAY SINGLE HANDEDLY UNDERMINE THE AUCTION MARKET,'' she wrote in capital letters, according to Galvin's claim.

The research department withdrew the report a day later, Galvin said. While a revised version still included information on the hard put, it also recommended auction-rate securities, saying concerns were ``misplaced'' and they may offer good value.

"The same facts contained in the first report were all retained in a longer, fuller and clearer version,'' Herr said. Constable, Conery and Mauro, all located in New York, have no comment, he said, declining to make them available. They aren't named as defendants in Galvin's complaint.

Not Prohibited

Former New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer in 2003 won $1.4 billion in settlements from 10 firms including Merrill he accused of misusing analyst research to win investment-banking deals. The probe uncovered e-mails showing former Merrill analyst Henry Blodget touted stocks to clients while deriding them to colleagues, referring to one as a "piece of junk.''
That settlement barred contacts between investment bankers and equity analysts, and doesn't prohibit a sales employee from calling a fixed-income analyst to express opinions, Herr said.
Constable's objections had a lasting effect, according to Galvin. When an analyst drafted a report on the securities the following January, he asked his colleague for advice before publication.
"I want to make sure that research cannot be accused of causing a run on the auction desk,'' the analyst, who wasn't named, wrote in an e-mail.
To contact the reporter on this story: in New York at dscheer@bloomberg.net. Last Updated: August 1, 2008 11:11 EDT

Jim Cramers 1 year anniversary

Today marks the 1 year anniversary of Jim Cramers rant against the Fed.

It's retarded to blame Bernanke, who never wrote a bad loan.

Cramer, you must have something on the heads of NBC because it is impossible they would keep an entertainment tout like you on the air. You are a terrible stock picker...a terrible market timer...and to boot, you lie out your ass on a daily basis.

Leave your ego at the door, you are doing a disservice to those who blindly follow you as you market your show business empire.

Jim Cramer. Beyond shame at this point.

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