Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Ken Lewis, Bank of America

The ghosts of those Charlotte bankers scared the B of A Board and stripped Lewis of his Chairmanship. The revolving doors of government-owned banks will continue for years.

Can't you hear those old Merrill Lynch clowns chuckling on the golf course today? This will make great comedy before it's over. None of it makes any sense.

Paulson should be in jail. The cost of this boondoggle to the American taxpayer is unfathomable.

Congratulations Stuart Shim..........

"If I wanted to be with a bunch of maladjusted narcissists, I'd have stayed at Smith Barney."

Stuart Shim, principal at a new firm, Pacific Financial Management and former Smith Barney broker.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

General Electric

Immelt cutting the dividend didn't do much for shareholders.

Classic Bill Cosby.......a wanna-be politician

I HAVE DECIDED TO BECOME A WRITE-IN CANDIDATE.

HERE IS MY PLATFORM:

(1) 'Press 1 for English' is immediately banned. English is the official language; speak it or wait at the border until you can.
(2) We will immediately go into a two year isolationist posture to straighten out the country's attitude. NO imports, no exports. We will use the 'Wal-Mart policy, 'If we ain't got it, you don't need it.'
(3) When imports are allowed, there will be a 100% import tax on it.
(4) All retired military personnel will be required to man one of our many observation towers on the southern border (six month tour). They will be under strict orders not to fire on SOUTHBOUND aliens.
(5) Social security will immediately return to its original state. If you didn't put nuttin in, you ain't gettin nuttin out. The president nor any other politician will be able to touch it.
(6) Welfare - Checks will be handed out on Fridays at the end of the 40 hour school week and the successful completion of urinalysis and a passing grade.
(7) Professional Athletes--Steroids. The FIRST time you check positive you're banned for life.
(8) Crime - We will adopt the Turkish method, the first time you steal, you lose your right hand. There is no more life sentences. If convicted of murder, you will be put to death by the same method you chose for your victim; gun, knife, strangulation, etc.
(9) One export will be allowed, Wheat. The world needs to eat. A bushel of wheat will be the exact price of a barrel of oil.
(10) All foreign aid using American taxpayer money will immediately cease, and the saved money will pay off the national debt and ultimately lower taxes. When disasters occur around the world, we'll ask the American people if they want to donate to a disaster fund, and each citizen can make the decision whether it's a worthy cause.
(11) The Pledge of Allegiance will be said every day at school and every day in Congress.
(12) The National Anthem will be played at all appropriate ceremonies, sporting events, outings, etc.

Sorry if I stepped on anyone's toes.

GOD BLESS AMERICA,

Bill Cosby

Think you're safe and protected? Think again.......

Here are Rep. Gary Ackerman words to members of the SEC on February 2nd 2009 concerning their inability to uncover the Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi Scheme in spite of help from Mr. Markopolis nearly a decade earlier:

“I am frustrated beyond belief.

We’re talking to ourselves and you are pretending to be here.

I really do not understand what’s going on.

Previous witness said, you guys, as an agency, act like you are deaf, dumb and blind…

And I figured you were coming here, you were going to testify to Congress…

You have told us nothing.
And I believe that’s your intention.

I figured you’d leave your blindfolds and your duct tape and your earplugs behind, but you seem to be wearing them today …

What the heck went on?

Your mission, you said, was to protect investors.
And to detect fraud quickly.

How’d that work out?
What went wrong? …

It seems to me with all of your investigators…

One guy with a few friends and helpers discovered this thing nearly a decade ago, led you to this pile of dung that is Bernie Madoff, and stuck your nose in it, and you couldn’t figure it out!

You couldn’t find your backside with two hands if the lights were on!

Could you explain yourselves?

You have single handedly defused the American public of any sense of confidence in our financial markets, if you are the watchdogs.

You have totally and thoroughly failed in your mission. Don’t you get it?…

What happened here? …

Do we start with hear no evil? See no evil? Or do no evil?
Take your pick.”

( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOKSkaQoF_I&feature=PlayList&p=BB8182F8E40ACD74&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=34 )

( Rep. Gary Ackerman, D-New York, 5th District, Bayside - on 02/05/09. His spoken words to members of the SEC during a hearing on the Madoff Fraud.)

Scotties on 7th...........

Minneapolis, 1978-1979. The Studio 54 of the Twin Cities.

I'll be in a walker someday and still remember fondly the great times and the great place that was. The music, the lights, the people, the times.

It sounds corny but hey, the place was magical. If you were there, you know it was too.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The problem with government today..........

Pythagorean Theorem: 24 words.
The Lord's Prayer: 66 words.
Archimedes' Principle: 67 words.
The Ten Commandments: 179 words.
Lincoln's Gettysburg Address: 286 words.
The entire Declaration of Independence: 1,300 words.

Current US Government regulations on the retail sale of cabbage: 26,911 words.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Janice Dorn, M.D.,Ph.D. www.thetradingdoctor.com

One of the finest trading instructors in the world is Dr. Janice Dorn.

With her permission I have reprinted some words she penned that seem to fit the times in which we live with this Administration/SEC/Congress. If you are a trader and aspire to improve your performance you will want to consider her firm to take you to the next level. It won't cost anything long term. And that is not a lie.

Trading and Living in a Cesspool of Lies

There is a contagious epidemic of lies spreading all over the world, and it starts with rot at the highest levels of government. We are drowning in a cesspool of lies.
.All you have to do is open your eyes and ears. The litany of lies is everywhere. Even those who are doing everything possible to lead lives of radical honesty will slip and catch themselves in a lie. Maybe it’s a “little white lie” or something that is euphemistically called an “error of omission” or a “slip of the tongue.” Nonetheless, a lie is a lie. Why do people lie? Because they can.

We start lying at around age 4-5 when we gain the power and awareness of language. The first lies we tell as children are not malicious, rather they are tests of the degree to which we can manipulate our environment. Eventually, children learn that lying can be used to get what they want or get out of trouble. Everyone lies a little. How many times today have you told a lie? Right now, I might be lying to you about lying.

So we have the little liars and then we have the big liars. These are people who are compelled to lie about almost everything. They lie to protect themselves, make themselves look good, gain financial, sexual or social rewards, avoid punishment or manipulate others. Manipulation is a huge motivation for these big liars. In the extreme, such individuals are given vague descriptions like “pathological liar” or actual psychiatric DSM-IV diagnoses (Antisocial Personality Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, etc). How neatly official. Big Deal. They now have a name and a label, but if their lips are moving, they’re lying. Period.

One lie leads to another and another until there is no way to distinguish the truth from the lie. Lying wears people out. Lying causes stress and stress kills. Lying puts people into a prison cell of their own making. There is no freedom, rather more and more need to keep boxing themselves further into the corner of their lying brain box. I assure you that once you have been “played” by a compulsive liar, you will never be the same person. If you want to feel the depths of total frustration and absolute crazy-making, then get intimately involved with a big time liar.
The internal rot that plagues a family, culture or country begins at the top and like an unleashed deluge of contaminated rotting sewage, trickles downward. We all know that politicians lie. After all, the origin of the word politics might as well be from poly (many) and tics (small blood-sucking insects). It is a foregone conclusion that those in poli-tics will lie to us to get what they want from us and to further their own agendas.

Take the financial markets, for example. My inbox is polluted with crap. I make it a point to stay on over 25 mailing lists of hocus-pocus newsletter services that offer unlimited riches (without your doing any work of course!) by trading this or that Holy Grail indicator or magical formula that has just been discovered and will turn your $1,000 to $1,000,000 in less than a year. Right. Sure. Please give us all a break here. Marketing to groups of people who are addicted to money (that means just about everyone in the world) is easy. All the “neuromarketers” have to do is to appeal to the dopamine-driven rat brain areas. Just the thought of making money through these “revolutionary instant cash machines” produces dopamine and “lights up” the pleasure centers of your brain.

The interesting aspect of this is that the most effective way to sell is to lie. Oh, no! Can that possibly be true? In order to sell you something, people have to lie to you? It doesn’t have to be a whole lie; it can be a partial lie. So how do you know what part of it is a lie and what part isn’t? You don’t and you likely never will until after it’s too late and your money is long gone.

They are there to get your money, and they will do everything possible to separate you from your hard-earned cash. There are some very powerful hammerhead sharks lurking around every corner and doing every sneaky deal imaginable to convince you to buy something; anything. Come on in, the water’s fine, so just keep buying. There is no danger here---none at all! Everything is just wonderful, so keep buying these worthless pieces of paper.

There appears to be no limit to the sneaky slimy cesspool of deception that runs through the financial markets and our society. As the social mood continues to darken, and our currency spirals downward, the rot and stench will increase. Desperate people do desperate things and it’s all about separating you from your money. My bonus report published today for subscribers begins a series on how not to be scammed by gypsies, tramps and thieves. There is nothing underneath the glitz. There are no invisible golden threads. The emperor is naked. It is a sham that will devour and steal from you until it has the greed has gorged itself and moved on to the next victim and the next and the next.

Please, everyone who is reading this: Open your eyes; do not allow yourself to be led down some garden path that appears lush with trees and flowers, but ends up in the vast wasteland of wiping out your life savings and stealing what is left of your sanity. Beware of false prophets, hypesters and crooks. Your rat brain is always out to get you, and the scam artists know exactly where your rat brain lives.
Use your rational brain to override the rat brain impulses and allow yourself time to measure and judge with logic and reason. Beware and be careful. Verify. Believe in a Higher Power, but remember to lock your car.

One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we've been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. The bamboozle has captured us. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back…....Carl Sagan

Thanks and Good Trading!

Janice

Janice Dorn, M.D.,Ph.D.
www.thetradingdoctor.com


Copywrite and Illustration Copywrite: 2009, Janice Dorn, M.D., Ph.D.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Doddisms...............

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMnSp4qEXNM&NR=1

There is a price to pay for Indifference........

One of the greatest speeches of all time, by Elie Wiesel

Mr. President, Mrs. Clinton, members of Congress, Ambassador Holbrooke, Excellencies, friends:

Fifty-four years ago to the day, a young Jewish boy from a small town in the Carpathian Mountains woke up, not far from Goethe's beloved Weimar, in a place of eternal infamy called Buchenwald. He was finally free, but there was no joy in his heart. He thought there never would be again. Liberated a day earlier by American soldiers, he remembers their rage at what they saw. And even if he lives to be a very old man, he will always be grateful to them for that rage, and also for their compassion. Though he did not understand their language, their eyes told him what he needed to know -- that they, too, would remember, and bear witness.

And now, I stand before you, Mr. President -- Commander-in-Chief of the army that freed me, and tens of thousands of others -- and I am filled with a profound and abiding gratitude to the American people. "Gratitude" is a word that I cherish. Gratitude is what defines the humanity of the human being. And I am grateful to you, Hillary, or Mrs. Clinton, for what you said, and for what you are doing for children in the world, for the homeless, for the victims of injustice, the victims of destiny and society. And I thank all of you for being here.

We are on the threshold of a new century, a new millennium. What will the legacy of this vanishing century be? How will it be remembered in the new millennium? Surely it will be judged, and judged severely, in both moral and metaphysical terms. These failures have cast a dark shadow over humanity: two World Wars, countless civil wars, the senseless chain of assassinations (Gandhi, the Kennedys, Martin Luther King, Sadat, Rabin), bloodbaths in Cambodia and Algeria, India and Pakistan, Ireland and Rwanda, Eritrea and Ethiopia, Sarajevo and Kosovo; the inhumanity in the gulag and the tragedy of Hiroshima. And, on a different level, of course, Auschwitz and Treblinka. So much violence; so much indifference.

What is indifference? Etymologically, the word means "no difference." A strange and unnatural state in which the lines blur between light and darkness, dusk and dawn, crime and punishment, cruelty and compassion, good and evil. What are its courses and inescapable consequences? Is it a philosophy? Is there a philosophy of indifference conceivable? Can one possibly view indifference as a virtue? Is it necessary at times to practice it simply to keep one's sanity, live normally, enjoy a fine meal and a glass of wine, as the world around us experiences harrowing upheavals?

Of course, indifference can be tempting -- more than that, seductive. It is so much easier to look away from victims. It is so much easier to avoid such rude interruptions to our work, our dreams, our hopes. It is, after all, awkward, troublesome, to be involved in another person's pain and despair. Yet, for the person who is indifferent, his or her neighbor are of no consequence. And, therefore, their lives are meaningless. Their hidden or even visible anguish is of no interest. Indifference reduces the Other to an abstraction.

Over there, behind the black gates of Auschwitz, the most tragic of all prisoners were the "Muselmanner," as they were called. Wrapped in their torn blankets, they would sit or lie on the ground, staring vacantly into space, unaware of who or where they were -- strangers to their surroundings. They no longer felt pain, hunger, thirst. They feared nothing. They felt nothing. They were dead and did not know it.

Rooted in our tradition, some of us felt that to be abandoned by humanity then was not the ultimate. We felt that to be abandoned by God was worse than to be punished by Him. Better an unjust God than an indifferent one. For us to be ignored by God was a harsher punishment than to be a victim of His anger. Man can live far from God -- not outside God. God is wherever we are. Even in suffering? Even in suffering.

In a way, to be indifferent to that suffering is what makes the human being inhuman. Indifference, after all, is more dangerous than anger and hatred. Anger can at times be creative. One writes a great poem, a great symphony. One does something special for the sake of humanity because one is angry at the injustice that one witnesses. But indifference is never creative. Even hatred at times may elicit a response. You fight it. You denounce it. You disarm it.

Indifference elicits no response. Indifference is not a response. Indifference is not a beginning; it is an end. And, therefore, indifference is always the friend of the enemy, for it benefits the aggressor -- never his victim, whose pain is magnified when he or she feels forgotten. The political prisoner in his cell, the hungry children, the homeless refugees -- not to respond to their plight, not to relieve their solitude by offering them a spark of hope is to exile them from human memory. And in denying their humanity, we betray our own.

Indifference, then, is not only a sin, it is a punishment.

And this is one of the most important lessons of this outgoing century's wide-ranging experiments in good and evil.

In the place that I come from, society was composed of three simple categories: the killers, the victims, and the bystanders. During the darkest of times, inside the ghettoes and death camps -- and I'm glad that Mrs. Clinton mentioned that we are now commemorating that event, that period, that we are now in the Days of Remembrance -- but then, we felt abandoned, forgotten. All of us did.

And our only miserable consolation was that we believed that Auschwitz and Treblinka were closely guarded secrets; that the leaders of the free world did not know what was going on behind those black gates and barbed wire; that they had no knowledge of the war against the Jews that Hitler's armies and their accomplices waged as part of the war against the Allies. If they knew, we thought, surely those leaders would have moved heaven and earth to intervene. They would have spoken out with great outrage and conviction. They would have bombed the railways leading to Birkenau, just the railways, just once.

And now we knew, we learned, we discovered that the Pentagon knew, the State Department knew. And the illustrious occupant of the White House then, who was a great leader -- and I say it with some anguish and pain, because, today is exactly 54 years marking his death -- Franklin Delano Roosevelt died on April the 12th, 1945. So he is very much present to me and to us. No doubt, he was a great leader. He mobilized the American people and the world, going into battle, bringing hundreds and thousands of valiant and brave soldiers in America to fight fascism, to fight dictatorship, to fight Hitler. And so many of the young people fell in battle. And, nevertheless, his image in Jewish history -- I must say it -- his image in Jewish history is flawed.



The depressing tale of the St. Louis is a case in point. Sixty years ago, its human cargo -- nearly 1,000 Jews -- was turned back to Nazi Germany. And that happened after the Kristallnacht, after the first state sponsored pogrom, with hundreds of Jewish shops destroyed, synagogues burned, thousands of people put in concentration camps. And that ship, which was already in the shores of the United States, was sent back. I don't understand. Roosevelt was a good man, with a heart. He understood those who needed help. Why didn't he allow these refugees to disembark? A thousand people -- in America, the great country, the greatest democracy, the most generous of all new nations in modern history. What happened? I don't understand. Why the indifference, on the highest level, to the suffering of the victims?

But then, there were human beings who were sensitive to our tragedy. Those non-Jews, those Christians, that we call the "Righteous Gentiles," whose selfless acts of heroism saved the honor of their faith. Why were they so few? Why was there a greater effort to save SS murderers after the war than to save their victims during the war? Why did some of America's largest corporations continue to do business with Hitler's Germany until 1942? It has been suggested, and it was documented, that the Wehrmacht could not have conducted its invasion of France without oil obtained from American sources. How is one to explain their indifference?

And yet, my friends, good things have also happened in this traumatic century: the defeat of Nazism, the collapse of communism, the rebirth of Israel on its ancestral soil, the demise of apartheid, Israel's peace treaty with Egypt, the peace accord in Ireland. And let us remember the meeting, filled with drama and emotion, between Rabin and Arafat that you, Mr. President, convened in this very place. I was here and I will never forget it.

And then, of course, the joint decision of the United States and NATO to intervene in Kosovo and save those victims, those refugees, those who were uprooted by a man, whom I believe that because of his crimes, should be charged with crimes against humanity.

But this time, the world was not silent. This time, we do respond. This time, we intervene.

Does it mean that we have learned from the past? Does it mean that society has changed? Has the human being become less indifferent and more human? Have we really learned from our experiences? Are we less insensitive to the plight of victims of ethnic cleansing and other forms of injustices in places near and far? Is today's justified intervention in Kosovo, led by you, Mr. President, a lasting warning that never again will the deportation, the terrorization of children and their parents, be allowed anywhere in the world? Will it discourage other dictators in other lands to do the same?

What about the children? Oh, we see them on television, we read about them in the papers, and we do so with a broken heart. Their fate is always the most tragic, inevitably. When adults wage war, children perish. We see their faces, their eyes. Do we hear their pleas? Do we feel their pain, their agony? Every minute one of them dies of disease, violence, famine.

Some of them -- so many of them -- could be saved.

And so, once again, I think of the young Jewish boy from the Carpathian Mountains. He has accompanied the old man I have become throughout these years of quest and struggle. And together we walk towards the new millennium, carried by profound fear and extraordinary hope.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Quote of the Decade...........

"The very notion that anyone would infuse money into a financially troubled entity without demanding changes in management is preposterous."

- Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren, chair of the Congressional Oversight Committee monitoring TARP.

Colorado in April..........

Friday, April 17, 2009

My very few liberal friends were right...........

I have to admit it. My liberal friends were right.

They told me if I voted for McCain, the nation's hope would deteriorate, and sure enough there has been a 20 point drop in the Consumer Confidence Index since the election, reaching a lower point than any time during the Bush administration.

They told me if I voted for McCain, the US would become more deeply embroiled in the Middle East , and sure enough tens of thousands of additional troops are scheduled to be deployed into Afghanistan .

They told me if I voted for McCain, the economy would get worse and sure enough unemployment is approaching 8.8% and the new stimulus packages implemented recently have sent the stock market lower than at any time since 1995.

They told me if I voted for McCain, we would see more "crooks" in high ranking positions in Federal government and sure enough, several recent Cabinet nominees and Senate appointments revealed resumes of bribery and tax fraud, and two senior democrat congressmen were responsible for much of the economic collapse.

Well I ignored my Democrat friends in November and voted for McCain. And they were right... All of their predictions have come true.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Listen to this............

Click here:

http://www.fedupusa.info/Dylan_Ratigan_Interview

Dylan Ratigan...........

From the Wikipedia entry on Dylan Ratigan:

In Ratigan’s final CNBC broadcast from the floor of the NYSE he reported on what he called “an important story developing” that Goldman Sachs and “a variety of European banks”, in his assessment and that of his guests, essentially “perpetrated securities fraud” and an “insurance fraud scam” against AIG—and, by extension, the government and taxpayers funding that insurance company’s “bailout”—by insuring their questionable investment vehicles and, upon their devaluation, making claims on them to be paid by AIG “at 100 cents on the dollar” despite all of the markdowns “being forced upon every other” entity including the government, banks, shareholders, bond holders, taxpayers and homeowners. [6]

“I think that it should be a bigger political issue than whether somebody bought an airplane… Forget the private jets, forget who got a million dollar bonus. Fifty billion dollars”, he emphasized, minimizing what he saw as populist side issues to “the real question” of how “government policy makers” are to deal with the “problems of contract law” inherent in the agreements of businesses receiving government assistance during the financial crisis. [7]

“The banks are being asked to take ‘haircuts’ on their toxic assets, why are the Goldmans and the Deutsche Banks of the world not being asked to take haircuts on their toxic credit default swaps? It’s a real question. I will continue to pursue it for sure, I hope others will as well.” Ratigan praised New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo’s subpoena of AIG to determine the bank payouts as “legitimate inquiry” and looked forward to “a body of lawmakers in Washington D.C. who are going to ask, it appears, some of the same questions that I’m asking.” [8]

17 QUALIFICATIONS TO BE A GOOD LIBERAL

1. You have to be against capital punishment, but support abortion on demand.

2. You have to believe that businesses create oppression and governments create prosperity.

3. You have to believe that guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens are more of a threat than nuclear weapons technology in the hands of Iran or Chinese and North Korean communists.

4. You have to believe that there was no art before federal funding.

5. You have to believe that global temperatures are less affected by cyclical changes in the earth's climate and more affected by soccer moms driving SUVs.

6. You have to believe that gender roles are artificial, but being homosexual is natural.

7. You have to believe that the AIDS virus is spread by a lack of federal funding.

8. You have to believe that the same teacher who can't teach 4th-graders how to read is somehow qualified to teach those same kids about sex.

9. You have to believe that hunters don't care about nature, but PETA activists do.

10. You have to believe that self-esteem is more important than actually doing something to earn it.

11. You have to believe the NRA is bad because it supports certain parts of the Constitution, while the ACLU is good because it supports certain parts of the Constitution.

12. You have to believe that taxes are too low, but ATM fees are too high.

13. You have to believe that Margaret Sanger and Gloria Steinem are more important to American history than Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, or Abraham Lincoln.

14. You have to believe that standardized tests are racist, but racial quotas and set-asides are not.

15. You have to believe that the only reason socialism hasn't worked anywhere it's been tried is because the right people haven't been in charge.

16. You have to believe that homosexual parades displaying drag queens and transvestites should be constitutionally protected, and manger scenes at Christmas should be illegal.

17. You have to believe that this message is a part of a vast, right-wing conspiracy.

Lenny Dykstra and hubris..........

The bankruptcy judge will be as tough as Nails on this "Dude".

I wonder what Cramer has to say on this fiasco?

Read these and weep. Not for Dykstra, for the fine folks who actually subscribe to his newsletter. And for the legions of investors who have lost so much more money than they have any right to lose by following Jim Cramer's investment advice.

http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2006/12/25/8396725/index.htm

http://www.zillow.com/blog/former-pro-baseball-player-lenny-dykstra-facing-foreclosure/2009/04/15/

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Derivatives 101.......

At last, what we've all been waiting for - an understandable explanation of derivative markets and why we are in the economic mess.

Heidi is the proprietor of a bar in Detroit. In order to increase sales, she decides to allow her loyal customers - most of whom are unemployed alcoholics - to "drink now but pay later." She keeps track of the drinks consumed on a ledger (thereby granting the customers loans).

Word gets around about Heidi's "drink now pay later" marketing strategy and as a result, increasing numbers of customers flood into Heidi's bar, and soon she has the largest sale volume for any bar in Detroit. By providing her customers' freedom from immediate payment demands, Heidi gets no resistance when she substantially increases her prices for wine and beer, the most consumed beverages. Her sales volume increases massively.

A young and dynamic vice-president at the local bank recognizes these customer debts as valuable future assets, and increases Heidi's borrowing limit. He sees no reason for undue concern, since he has the debts of the alcoholics as collateral.

At the bank's corporate headquarters, expert traders transform these customer loans into DRINKBONDS, ALKIBONDS and PUKEBONDS. These securities are then traded on security markets worldwide.

Naive investors don't really understand that the securities being sold to them as AAA secured bonds are really the debts of unemployed alcoholics. Nevertheless, their prices continuously climb, and these securities become the top-selling items for some of the nation's leading brokerage houses, who collect enormous fees on their sales, pay extravagant bonuses to their sales force, and who in turn purchase exotic sports cars and multimillion dollar condominiums.

One day, although the bond prices are still climbing, a risk manager at the bank (subsequently fired due his negativity), decides that the time has come to demand payment on the debts incurred by the drinkers at Heidi's bar.

Heidi demands payment from her alcoholic patrons, but being unemployed, they cannot pay back their drinking debts.
Therefore, Heidi cannot fulfill her loan obligations, and claims bankruptcy. DRINKBOND and ALKIBOND drop in price by 90%. PUKEBOND performs better, stabilizing in price after dropping by 80%. The decreased bond asset value destroys the banks liquidity and prevents it from issuing new loans.

The suppliers of Heidi's bar, having granted her generous payment extensions and having invested in the securities themselves, are faced with writing off her debt and losing over 80% on her bonds. Her wine supplier claims bankruptcy. Her beer supplier is taken over by a competitor, who immediately closes the local plant and lays off 50 workers.

However, the bank and brokerage houses are saved by the government following dramatic round-the-clock negotiations by leaders from both political parties.

The funds required for this bailout are obtained by a tax levied on employed middle-class non-drinkers.

Finally an explanation I understand .....

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Gun Salesman of the Year

Finally, a reason to be proud of Obama...........

Telling like it is at deepcapture.com.......from Patrick Byrne

April 13th, 2009 by Patrick Byrne

I seek to avoid criticizing individual public servants. Elected officials are fair game, in my view, but not public servants. They do not wake up and go into work wanting to do a bad job, I assume, and I have had too many tailwinds in life to criticize wantonly people who devote themselves to public service of any kind, simply as a matter of principle.

For Linda Thomsen, however, I’ll make an exception. (As Mr. Buffett says, “There are times when a man has to rise above his principles.”)

A few years ago, the San Francisco office of the SEC was conducting an investigation what seemed to many an observer to be collusion among short-sellers and crooked journalists who shilled for them using ammunition provided by “research shops” which were being fed their material by those same hedge funds, in a kind of “serpent-eating-its-tail” arrangement of financial hooliganism. It was a hard scheme to miss: any company shorted by Stevie Cohen (SAC), David Einhorn (Greenlight), Dan Loeb (Third Point), David Rocker, or a handful of others, could count on coming under the “where-there’s-smoke-there’s-fire” journalistic scrutiny of such worthies as Jim Cramer and Dave Kansas, Gary “Scaramouche” Weiss, Bethany “Long, Slow Thing” McLean and Roddy Boyd (both of Fortune Magazine), Carol Remond and Karen Richardson (both of DowJones), Floyd Norris and Joe Nocera, (both of the New York Times), and Herb Greenberg (MarketWatch), that “smoke” often being supplied by research shops of which those same hedge funds were clients. Oh, and invariably they’d be naked shorted as well, and show up on the Reg SHO Threshold List, and anyone noticing how this constellation of facts happened over and over with complete regularity could be counted on to be declared “wacky” by these same journalists.

I know this because I was invited to a meeting by the SEC staffers conducting that investigation. I’m pretty sure that “invitation” came in the form of a federal subpoena, but I am not completely clear on that, having over the last few years received enough such paperwork to wallpaper my bedroom. In any case, I arrived at the appointed hour, and was sworn in. My deposition was conducted by a man named “Mark” and overseen by his boss, Tracy, both of whose last names I see no reason to reveal. They both were the kind of federal employees that make one swell a bit with pride: They displayed neither favor nor enmity, but simply, white collar professionalism such as has largely been lost in Corporate America. They were prompt, prepared, and business-like, and, without being rude, challenged me as hard as they could while revealing to me as little as possible.

That said, try as anyone in that position might, it was impossible for them to be as blank to me as they wished. After all, if someone asks, “What do you know about the possibility that Colonel Mustard killed his victim in the library with a rope?”, then the possibility that the utterer suspects that Colonel Mustard did indeed kill someone, in the library, with a rope, is a reasonable inference to make. Especially if one has never mentioned Colonel Mustard, or the library, but the rope.

In this fashion, I became reasonably confident that while the New York financial press was bleating about how wacky I must be to notice patterns that every sane observer had noticed, those same patterns had been noticed by others better placed to do something about them than I. (Incidentally, normally I would be loathe to reveal the contents of such a deposition, but given that this is all moot now, yet tied to today’s news, and the bad guys are using FOIA requests to get this stuff anyway, it seems like the right thing to do.)

Somewhere around this time, Jim Cramer and others of the journalists mentioned above received their own subpoenas. All hell broke loose, because they made it break loose (see for example “Herb Greenberg, The Worst Business Journalist in America, on the Conspiracy“). Of course, in a world where editors had integrity, it would be considered somewhat unseamly to have journalists reporting on an investigation of which they, themselves, had become the targets (I’m not sure why I mention that: I suppose it seems like it should be germane or something). Interestingly, not all the press backed up their brethren: an editorial in a Houston Chronicle springs to mind in that regard (which I would be much obliged if a reader would locate for me). But by and large, the profession of business journalism stood mute while the reporting on a federal investigation was dominated by people who were themselves the target of that investigation.

Then the investigation was shit-canned. There’s no other way to describe it: the investigators were summoned to Washington, publicly crapped upon from a great height by SEC Chairman Chris Cox, the Enforcement Director who signed those subpoenas stood by idly while this happened to her staff, and we returned to our regularly scheduled programming of Muzak and bromide business reporting interrupted occasionally by B-list actors pitching Grandmother-Safe financial products and narcissistic hustlers promising that for real this time they wanted to make you money, Mad Money!

That Enforcement Director was Linda Thomsen.

That would be the same Linda Thomsen who, for the entire 14 year duration of her service in the Enforcement Division of the SEC (the last four as Director), missed the $67-billion-and-counting walking Ponzi scheme/human brown stain known as Bernie Madoff, though concerned citizen Harry Markopolis not only did the work for the Enforcement Division, he all but spray-painted his findings on the lovely Italian marble of the SEC’s posh new DC headquarters.

That would also be the Linda Thomsen who, regarding Mr. Markopolis, acquitted herself so handily in this infamous exchange with Congressman Gary Ackerman.



That would be the same Linda Thomsen against whom the SEC’s Office of the Inspector General recommended disciplanary action for her role in hanging out to dry SEC Senior Investigator Gary Aguirre, due to his impertinence in subpoenaing Morgan Stanley CEO John Mack, a Wall Streeter “with juice” (in the words of Aguirre’s boss), just because a trail of clues in “the most important insider trading case in 30 years” led directly to him.

That would be the same Enforcement Director to whom a recent report of the SEC’s own Office of the Inspector General was obliquely referring, in page after page, for 55 pages, in a report explaining how three well-organized 6th graders could have handled the nation’s naked shorting complaints better than did the SEC’s Enforcement Division.

That Linda Thomsen is the same one whose resumption of employment with white-shoe law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell (I say “resumption” because Ms. Thomsen worked at Davis Polk until she joined the SEC in 1995) was announced today in this gem (”SEC Enforcement Chief Joins Davis Polk“) from the Blog of Legal Times (”Law and Lobbying in the Nation’s Capital”).

The announcement reads, with no detectable irony:


Linda Thomsen, who headed the SEC’s enforcement division until February, is starting as a partner in the firm’s white-collar defense and government investigations and enforcement practices in June. She will be joining former SEC commissioner Annette Nazareth, who started at Davis Polk last year, and Robert Colby, who joined the D.C. office this year after serving as deputy director of the SEC’s trading and markets division…


Thomsen practiced in Davis Polk’s New York office before joining the SEC in 1995. She started at the commission as assistant chief litigation counsel and went on to become head of enforcement in 2005. After leaving the SEC earlier this year, Thomsen says, “I had no preconceived ideas about where I was going to go, or what I was going to do.” - Translation: “I swear, it never occurred to me to go work for the law firm defending wealthy clients against whom I was overseeing cases until weeks ago.”

At the firm, Thomsen will advise clients on internal investigations and defend them against SEC probes. - Comment: Probes such as those ones she was overseeing weeks ago.

After serving at the agency for 14 years, Thomsen says she understands the kind of questions clients should be asking themselves to stay out of trouble with the commission. “I think I know and can see the kind of issues that get people into trouble, and the kinds of processes that cause them to, perhaps, ignore warning signs,” says Thomsen. - Comment: Yes, I am sure Ms. Thomsen is one of the world’s most recognized experts on the subject of processes that cause people to ignore warning signs.

Thomsen headed the enforcement division as it came under fire for failing to catch Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, as well as problems that contributed to the meltdown on Wall Street. In response to critics, Thomsen vehemently defends her former division. “I think the professionalism in the division of enforcement is really unparalleled,” she says. ‘If you look at the totality of the enforcement efforts…it’s really a record that I know I’m proud of.”

Considering the world-historic implosion of the US capital market occurring to vamp-til-Ray accompaniment of Ms. Thomsen’s blind-piano-player-in-the-cathouse Enforcement Division, I’m at something of a loss for words with which to comment upon Ms. Thomsen’s “pride”.

But it is nice she landed on her feet.

Monday, April 13, 2009

2009 taxes.........

Writing a big check to the Internal Revenue Service today almost made me vomit.

fairtax.org

I paid enough to pay all of the new dog's expenses for the next few years in the White House. Those funds could have been used to "stimulate" the economy. Now the Obama/Geithner team get to direct them to the fat cat thieves who still inhabit Wall Street. I love how these bankers are setting themselves up to coin money off of these toxic assets. It's beautiful on how Congress, lobbyists and the Wall Street honcho's feed the media and America gets hosed.

On another note, it was nice to see Captain Phillips survive. I figured the Obama spin machine would try to elevate BHO as the "hero" of the rescue efforts of the truly heroic Captain. Do some work and find out what really was said and the actions of the Obama team in all of this. I'm hoping that the Captain and his wife (who came close to being a widow) and the Navy Commander who gave the order to shoot don't dignify this appalling farce by attending any congratulatory photo-op ceremony at the White House.

The best way to deal with pirates has always been to kill them, and that's still true today.

Cannacord Adams

Dave Rovelli is right on.

The guy made the talking heads look silly several weeks ago.

Congratulations Mr. Rovelli!!

Bernard Marcus of Home Depot fame.......

One of Atlanta's biggest business guns, largest philanthropist and visionary will be on CNBC's squawk box on Wednesday morning. The guy is a "must-watch" every time he is a guest amongst the talking heads.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Michael Storey wrote.............

If your only knowledge of American Indians falls somewhere between "kemo sabe" and banned college mascots, prepare to be educated and entertained.

PBS is diving into an ambitious and entertaining series of five documentaries "spanning 300 years to tell the story of pivotal moments in U.S. history from the Native American perspective."

American Experience: We Shall Remain airs on AETN starting at 8 p.m. Monday (encore at 10 p.m.) and will continue on subsequent Mondays through May 11.

Benjamin Bratt narrates each well-crafted episode produced by WGBH in Boston in association with Native American Public Telecommunications (NAPT). The series spans the nation's history from an Indian perspective, from the arrival of the Mayflower in 1620 to the siege of Wounded Knee in 1973.

Here are overviews of each episode.

Monday: "After the Mayflower." The series begins with the March 1621 negotiation between Massasoit, the leading chief of the Wampanoag, and the ragged survivors of Plymouth Colony.

An alliance was struck. The settlers survived. The first Thanksgiving was celebrated.

Things went downhill. A half century later, the Colonists were at war with a confederation of New England Indians. The Indians lost.

April 20: "Tecumseh's Vision." In 1805, Shawnee prophet Tenskwatawa had a vision that warned him of the danger of adopting white culture. A widespread Indian spiritual revival followed led by Tenskwatawa's older brother Tecumseh.

Tecumseh created an unprecedented military and political confederacy of disparate tribes united in the attempt to halt white westward expansion.

Tecumseh came close, but his dream died when he was killed in 1813 fighting alongside his British allies in the War of 1812.

April 27: "Trail of Tears." Arkansans might know more of this period because the trail cut across the state.

The episode picks up in 1838 when federal troops forced thousands of Cherokee to leave their homes in the Southeast and move to what is now eastern Oklahoma. More than 4,000 died along the way.

Many Cherokee had tried to avoid removal by becoming Christians and adopting other "civilized" ways. The efforts eventually proved futile. However, the film notes, "with characteristic ingenuity, they built a new life in Oklahoma."

May 4: "Geronimo." On his deathbed in 1909, the fierce Chiricahua Apache medicine man Geronimo whispered, "I should never have surrendered. I should have fought until I was the last man alive."

Geronimo gave it a good shot. When his tribe was moved to an Arizona reservation in 1872, Geronimo and his tiny band of followers fought on.

Geronimo became either "the archfiend, perpetrator of unspeakable savage cruelties" or "the embodiment of proud resistance, the upholder of the old Chiricahua ways."

It all depends on your perspective. Geronimo and his band finally surrendered in 1886.

May 11: "Wounded Knee." On Feb. 27, 1973, 54 vehicles rolled into the hamlet of Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in southwest South Dakota. Before long, some 200 Oglala Lakota and American Indian Movement activists had seized and occupied the town and demanded redress for grievances.

The world watched as protesters held the town for 71 days, until federal troops closed in and negotiations ended the siege.

The film notes, "The event succeeded in bringing the desperate conditions of Indian reservation life to the nation's attention. Perhaps even more important, it proved that despite centuries of encroachment, warfare and neglect, Indians remained a vital force in the life of America."

Executive producer Mark Samels says the series aims to correct a few misconceptions about Indian history.

"It's a history that has been marginalized, distorted and often forgotten" Samels says. "In bringing these little-known stories to the forefront, we want to break through the stereotypes that have defined Native Americans for centuries."

The series should prove enlightening for most viewers. At the very least, it'll be easier to understand why some people get upset when fans sporting foam hatchets do the "tomahawk chop" at Atlanta Braves games.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday, 2009

As Christians around the world commemorate the death of Jesus I am reminded of my trip to Israel in 2007 and my visit to Jerusalem and the places that, as tradition says, the last days of Jesus unfolded. If you are a Christian and can afford the trip you should go. If you aren't a Christian and can afford the trip you should go.

On this day I want to publicly thank Meredith Whitney and Michael Mayo for their honest public assessments of where we stand in this financial carnage.

It sure isn't coming from Wall Street, Treasury or White House spin machines.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Look for me in August...... on CMT

Ted Nugent gets to hunt people
Posted Apr 2nd 2009 1:08PM by Brad Trechak

I knew that television executives were insane, but I didn't know they would go this far. They're letting right-wing gun advocate rocker Ted Nugent host his own reality television show. In that show, he will train a group of volunteers on how to survive in the wild and then he, along with his 18-year-old son, will hunt them down like dogs.

Wow. Just...wow. Is this legal? I expect that there will be no actual firearms used in the hunting of people, but with Ted Nugent it's hard to be sure. Two of the people behind this show are the same who brought us the two recent Scott Baio reality programs. They are Eric Bischoff, who used to run World Championship Wrestling, and Jason Hervey, who played Fred Savage's older brother on The Wonder Years. They seem appropriate for a show about twisted sport as shared amongst family members.

The show will air in August. I would watch it just to see if Nugent kills someone.

Look for me in August...........

'Runnin' Wild...From Ted Nugent' already my new favorite reality show (title)
Apr 2, 2009, 03:08 PM | by Mandi Bierly

Ted Nugent's latest reality project, Runnin' Wild...From Ted Nugent, will premiere on CMT this August. According to the press release: "In each one-hour episode...Nugent instructs three competitors on one of what he calls the 'Big Five of Survival,' which include psychology of Survival, Shelter, Water, Fire, and Food, and will then design an obstacle centered on that skill. The lessons learned in each episode will be put to the test in the 'big hunt,' as the competitors try to survive on their own, all while Nugent and Rocco [his 18-year-old son], attempt to hunt them down. In this twist on the competition/elimination format, Nugent will determine the outcome himself at the end of each episode."

There are many things that I love about this. Of course, the title. Hysterical. But also the fact that there is no mention of a prize because, presumably, getting to tell the story of how you were hunted by Ted Nugent -- a member of the National Bowhunters Hall of Fame and the Board of Directors of the National Rifle Association -- is gift enough. (Also, the "big hunt," for some reason, made me think of "the game" in the movie Gymkata. Please let there be a random pommel horse in the woods. Please.)

Thursday, April 02, 2009

This is NOT an April Fools joke...............

United States Senate
WASHINGTON, DC 20510

April 1, 2009

The Honorable Mary L. Schapiro
Chairman
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
100 F Street, NE
Washington, DC 20549

Dear Chairman Schapiro:

We were pleased to hear in January of this year that you were committed to a review of the uptick rule. More than two months have passed, and while we understand that the SEC has begun its review, the financial markets are still waiting to know if the SEC will restore an uptick rule, and whether it will take additional steps to address abusive short selling practices.

American investors are looking to the SEC’s meeting on April 8 to address these issues. It is urgent that we restore the integrity, efficiency and fairness of our securities markets by preventing manipulative short selling. Investors need to know that the market fairly values the actual shares issued by a company and that their transactions will not be distorted by manipulative naked short sellers creating “phantom shares.”

Because of our concern about abusive short selling practices, we were especially troubled by the response of the Division of Enforcement (the “Division”) to a recent report from the SEC’s Inspector General (the “IG”) entitled “Practices Related to Naked Short Selling Complaints and Referrals,” which detailed the results of an audit of the Division’s policies, procedures, and practices for processing complaints about naked short selling.

In the report, the IG found that despite receiving more than 5,000 complaints about abusive short selling, the Division had brought no enforcement actions. Further, the IG made eleven suggestions for improvements in processing and analyzing naked short selling complaints, yet the Division agreed with only one of those eleven recommendations.
Equally troubling is the Division’s reluctance to agree with the IG and the Commission itself that naked short selling is harmful. As the IG notes, the “SEC has repeatedly recognized that naked short selling can depress stock prices and have harmful effects on the market. In adopting a naked short selling antifraud rule, Rule 1Ob-21, in October 2008, the Commission stated, `We have been concerned about ‘naked’ short selling and, in particular, abusive ‘naked’ short selling, for some time.”

In response to the IG report, however, the Division stated “there is hardly unanimity in the investment community or the financial media on either the prevalence, or the dangers, of `naked’ short selling.”

As the new leader at the SEC, you have an opportunity to clarify the Commission’s commitment to end abusive short selling. We hope that your April meeting produces an unambiguous commitment to promulgate and enforce regulations that put an end to naked short selling. At a minimum, those regulations should address the need for an uptick rule, as well as a pre-borrow requirement to prevent naked short sellers from artificially depressing or diluting stock values.

To be clear, we are not opposed to short selling itself, which can enhance market efficiency and price discovery. But naked or abusive short selling has gone unaddressed for too long and simply must end if the SEC is to restore investor confidence in the markets. In the absence of a strong message from the SEC, we believe Congress will need to consider legislation that directs the SEC to do so.

Thank you for considering our views.

Sincerely,

EDWARD E. KAUFMAN
United States Senator

JOHNNY ISAKSON
United States Senator

JON TESTER
United States Senator

SAXBY B. CHAMBLISS
United States Senator

CARL M. LEVIN
United States Senator

ARLEN SPECTER “uptick rule”
United States Senator

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Politics as usual...............

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Justice Department asked a federal court Wednesday to "set aside the verdict and dismiss the indictment" in the corruption case against former Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska, court documents show.

Stevens, 85, was convicted in October on seven counts of lying on mandatory financial disclosure forms.

U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan on Wednesday scheduled a Tuesday hearing on the request to dismiss the indictment.

Stevens hid "hundreds of thousands of dollars of freebies" he received from an oil field services company and its CEO, Assistant U.S. Attorney General Matthew Friedrich said.

Many of the alleged free services were given as part of a renovation of Stevens' Alaska home.

Stevens maintained his innocence even after the conviction, and his sentencing has been delayed amid charges by an FBI agent of prosecutorial misconduct.

Stevens lost a re-election bid in November to Democrat Mark Begich, who had been Anchorage's mayor

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