Wednesday, October 26, 2005

10/26/2005 Briefly Speaking, by Victor Niederhoffer

It is with great respect and admiration that I relay some thoughts on yesterdays market action penned by Victor Niederhoffer. When my schedule permits, I expect 2006 will find me visiting the offices of Manchester Trading and the Matador Fund and many thanks to Mr. Steve Wisdom for the gracious offer to send a car from the City. Here is some fodder for the minions that don't believe. They don't get it. Ask yourself, and no BS here, have you ever met a successful pessimist? This is from Victor........


"It is hard to measure negative sentiment and to figure out what levels or changes in level are predictive. However, if articles that I have read attributing yesterday's 0.2% decline in the S&P and 0.1% decline in the Dow are typical, then there is gloom and doom all over. Consumer confidence is at an all-time low; Texas Instruments and Amazon both reported disappointing profits; the S&P 500's earnings growth is expected to drop to 6% from 11% next year; higher energy prices are putting consumers under a lot of pressure going into the holiday season. There's a heavy overload of negative sentiment overhanging the market, the bears say; yesterday's rise was just a reflex rally that will be stalled by the same. It has been a month since the market has managed to rise for two consecutive days. The market's terrible state is shown by the fact that we are on target, according to the doomsdayists, for the worst October in recent times and the worst monthly performance since July 2004. Such were just some of the bearish factors cited by my favorite wire service (the Collab's former employer). This was on a 7-point drop in the Dow; just imagine what would have been said if the average had declined its normal 50 points. Such is the chronic pessimism from which the phoenix soars."

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Think about this........now it's 2005 !

June 11,1999

To the Editor,

Louis Bad Wound and Larry Red Shirt would surely cry. Both Lakota freedom fighters have gone on ahead with the Creator. Both were part of the original group who worked so hard for the return of the Black Hills to eight Sioux Tribes.

As an enrolled member of the White Earth Chippewa Nation and the President of the oldest Native American-owned growth equity investment management firm, having registered with the US Securities & Exchange Commission in 1995, I thought I would show cause as to why Native American Tribes need to invest prudently in the equity markets and why Tribes should question the role of the BIA in managing their assets.

In June of 1980, a decade after I attended high school in Pine Ridge, South Dakota the Supreme Court of the United States upheld an award of $105.9 million to the Sioux for the value of land taken by the US Government plus accrued interest. Those assets have been held “in trust” by the BIA ever since. The money has been invested in bonds guaranteed by the US Government, the same Government that has violated almost every treaty agreement signed with Tribal leaders. That original investment, in bond investments “managed” by the BIA has grown to around the $500 million mark; not a small amount for any investment management firm today.

But, had the BIA been directed, asked, or instructed by Tribal or Federal authorities to invest that monetary award, in June of 1980, into the US stock market, into an unmanaged, passive index of United States stocks comprised of the largest 500 stocks in America (the S & P 500 index), that original $105.9 million would have grown to an absolutely staggering amount of $2,313,915,000 (2.3 billion) in April of 1999.

Think seriously about these numbers. The time it would take today to invest $105.9 million into the S & P 500 Index would be only minutes. Imagine the power these eight tribes would have with over $2 billion in assets in securing the 1.3 million acres of US Forest land they wanted returned. As a former Trust Officer for one of the largest US banks, I don’t call that a trust relationship. I call that a rip-off.

Stop asking what the BIA can do with your money, that answer seems obvious. Start asking what professional investment management firms can do for Native American money. How long can Native people wait, for if not today, when? The time is now to break the cycle of dependency on BIA financial mismanagement. For all the wonderful Sioux people who could be benefiting from these funds, think very seriously. I know Louis Bad Wound and Larry Red Shirt would.

Megwitch,

Dean T. Parisian

Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn

What a refreshing politician. Oklahoma should be dam proud of this man.

The boys in the "CLUB" called the Senate don't like to rock the boat when it comes to their "pork".

Coburn is fresh air in a cesspool of government waste. Thank you Senator Coburn.

$8.96

This amount represents the final adjustment we had to pay the IRS for 2005. Outside FEMA, the Dept. of Interior (BIA for you Native Americans) and the Dept. of Agriculture there can't be a more inept governmental agency. Amazing what they do to get the last $8.96 from a taxpayer.

And the AMT is government theft.

Is anybody in Washington looking out for the little guy?

Monday, October 24, 2005

My son, Hunter................

On Hunters 10th birthday it made for a great present. A Browning BAR .243 rifle. A gun I dreamed about in my early years. I put a Leopold Vari-X scope on it, ordered an Uncle Mikes sling and it was good to go. I took the gun out a few of times after we sighted it in. I think the first 5 or 6 shots while hunting with it I downed deer and coyotes when Hunter couldn't accompany me. I loved the way it handled and the light recoil. As well, a real present for me was when Hunter scored a 98 on his test to get his gun safety certificate that year. The past couple of years Hunter, now 13 and little brother, Jordan, 9 have practiced diligently in their climbing stands. We go out in the summer heat and practice. We practice getting into our safety harnesses. We go out at night and practice getting up a tree in the dark with a safety harness on. We practice pulling up rifles with ropes. We practice lowering rifles with ropes. We practice moving the stands 360 degrees around the tree to move with the sun and get in a better position. Yet, the last couple of years have been difficult for Hunter to get some actual shooting in. We have seen plenty of deer. We have had tremendous fun and great excitement. He's had deer wind him from behind and scare him with their "blow". Hunter just hadn't had the right opportunity to connect on one of the Creators most magnificent creatures. We even hunted TN with his cousins and were covered up with does in a buck-only season. It just wasn't his time to score. His time would come. Last Saturday morning found us searching for a tree stand in south Georgia about 45 minutes before any light. My great pal and a top notch deer hunter himself, Ron Branch, had locked on Hunters tree stand last week in some very thick planted pine trees with three fairly decent shooting lanes to cover. I had taken several deer in this area myself and knew it was a great travel corridor. When I called Ron last week late one afternoon and he was huffing and grunting I asked him what he was doing and he replied, "I am cutting tree limbs and have got Hunters tree stand on a great tree". As a matter of fact, it was about 60 yards from a scrape that a poacher/trespasser shot a buck in last year while Hunter and I were on stand together about a quarter of a mile away. Sometimes things aren't fair. In hunting or in life. We didn't think we were going to make the opening day of deer gun season this year as we are leaving in 48 hours to hunt geese in North Dakota but with the cooler weather coming in and a lot of deer on our property in Turner County I knew we just had to go. Jordan, playing fullback and linebacker on his football team wasn't able to accompany us and was sad but his days are ahead. He will be getting his hunter (gun) safety certificate this year and unbeknownst to him his new Browning BAR .243 is in the gun safe now and will be wrapped for his birthday next October. The price was right and Dad just had to do it early. My LED-light picked up the tree stand and we went to work getting Hunter up the tree. It was like clock work. Smooth, quiet and comfortable. No straining, no hassle, nothing out of place. The years of practice were in play moving in the dark. He settled in, secure, chambered a round and gave me the thumbs up. All was right with the world. An owl gave a big hoot and I moved silently back out the trail we came in on. My LED-light picked up the shining eyes of a fox coming down the trail and he bolted like a rabbit into the thick undercover. As sunlight came up I was about a half mile away covering a scrape line Probably doing more thinking than hunting. The morning wore on. We had not talked to each other for a couple of hours and I was beginning to wonder. There were a lot of guys in the woods across I-75 and I hadn't heard any shots being fired. A lot of those "hunters", (I call them shooters) were shooting over corn (bait). Maybe it was too warm and though the scrapes had been hit that night the big rut is still to come. I knew there were plenty of deer in the area because we hadn't taken but a few all last year out of there. And plenty of sign was evident.I was moving slow down to an area I had taken a big doe last year on opening morning right at daylight. Jordan was walking behind me then when she "blew" and with her "white flag" up made a mortal mistake and stopped after a few jumps. I went to a knee and with Jordan looking right down my gun barrel over my shoulder he watched the muzzle blast and the deer crumple. Pretty exciting for an 8 year old. Dad too. As I was moving slow I heard a shot. Then the cell phone rang. I quickly pulled it out of my pocket and heard a voice whisper, "Got one". I said "Who is this, Ron or Hunter?" The quiet voice said, "Hunter". My glee was hard to mask. I told him to sit tight, don't get out of the tree, watch for more deer and to be safe. As I was moving to him, about 5 minutes after that phone call I heard another shot. It was Hunter's rifle. Deer # 2 was down. I have always preached about remaining quiet after a kill. He listened. It worked. He had made two terrific shots, one buck, one doe were down. He had plenty of excitement to share. I am a very blessed man. Healthy sons, a great family, wonderful friends. As hunters, we never forget deer number one and Hunter will never forget number two. Things are good and they are going to get better.The best is yet to come. Later that evening, Ron scored on two nice whitetails while still hunting some fairly thick cover. His patience paid off on the second one as well. As for the "baiting" crowd, they were shut out. Zero deer. Shooting doesn't pay real dividends, hunting does. Just ask Hunter.

Friday, October 21, 2005

American Terror...............

120,000 members, 1,500 gangs in 45 cities using firearms 84% of the time when committing crimes. And that's not counting all the gangs and violence in Indian country these days. The terror is within. Immigration laws and homeland border security are only lip service. You are far more at risk for having a thug car-jack you than a foreign "terrorist" take you out. It all starts with a chance for getting an education within a family unit. Parental supervision with lots of love. It's not happening.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Waste.............

NASA's waste of taxpayer (OUR) money to put us back on the moon is easily summed up. Pointless.

Should we care that the Hubble Space Telescope has turned its attention to our moon and found mineral concentrations that might be sources of oxygen. Nope. Pointless. Lets do other things with the money. Drive public transportation, fight drug addiction, cure cancer, curtail gangs or lower obesity.

Yesterday..............October 19th

In reflecting on yesterday's 18th anniversary I remember vividly sitting in the LaJolla offices of Drexel Burnham Lambert with my great friend, Maurice Altshuler. Talking about the future, the NYSE system collapse, our futures, the future of the market. We weren't worried at the time I didn't think. We would be okay. We had our health. Maurice never let on that he had an unsecured debit in a new account for about a million dollars from an overseas account. That alone is a tribute to my friend thru the years I have known him since 1984. Steady, solid and true to his core. The orders we placed that day for clients were in "cyber"space. We had no clue at what price, how much, or even if, orders had been executed. It is an anniversary I will never forget.

Native American Gambling.............

When I speak to tribal leaders, one of the things I always mention is the simple fact that tribal employees should be barred from gambling in their own casino's. They seldom listen to me. Yet, the numbers and problems speak for themselves. Negative expectation games are by definition losing the money for those who should not be playing. They can't afford it. They lose, their children lose, the tribes lose. Who are these mythical people who routinely gamble with money they can afford to lose? I sometimes lie in bed awake at night dreaming of crowded Native American casino's filled to overflowing with Native American afford-to-lose people. There is no dumb money quite as dumb as carefree loser money. It must be stated clearly: if you can afford to lose, you will, never win. Winning is the antithesis of losing. You can't have one without the other. There are more and more gaming enterprises in Indian Country. The number that are profitable remains to be seen. The hidden "costs" of gaming are not being talked about.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

A Dad's Double .....

Watching my 9 year old son rip off a run for 60 yards from his fullback position on Saturday was a treat. Not only did we win the game but today i was graced with a perfect 100 on his math test. The math will carry the ball much further than my coaching. The desire, work ethic and love are there.

REFCO and Derivatives

The derivatives market has been wide open for 30 years. Refco was treading on thin ice and was hammered, sliced and diced like a chain saw to butter. Yet, the icebergs are looming. Where is the cure for the cool-aid? It isn't Congress, Sarbanes-Oxley hasn't done much has it? The SEC? They put a few mighty canary's to singing but are in remission. Bird flu seems to have center stage. And Bush's bumbling bunch of bureaucrats who want nothing more than to INCREASE taxes to pay for the massive increases in spending that this Administration has fostered on America won't even give FAIRTAX.ORG a cursory glance. Almost galling. Go ahead. Do some work on fairtax.org. Tell me what you think at thechippewafund@aol.com

Todays youth need parents to................

shut off the playstations and x-boxes..............and for those parents in carpool who play DVD's for their kids on the way to school..............give it a break. Is life that boring and pathetic you can't just TALK to your children a few minutes on the way to school?

My great uncle, Fred, in Florida..........

may have a difficult time with WILMA. These behemoth storms are true terror. Batten it down. Fred and Wilma. It may be "Flintstone-like" but everyone should ride away from this dinosaur-like storm.

Jonathan Clements

Could probably help more Americans than 1,000 Suze Ormans. When will he jettison his stage at the WSJ and start up his own show? The guy is good. For everyone. For America.

Chevron so eloquently states............

It took us 125 years to use the first trillion barrels of oil. We'll use the next trillion in 30.

Think about it.........

Preventing a bird migration is like preventing ice from forming at the North Pole.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Refco's Death, Victor Style..........

10/13/2005Detritivores and Other Destroyers, by Victor Niederhoffer
There's something unholy about the market's reaction to every twist and turn in the Refco death dance. With every bit of news that made the company's death seem more likely, the market dropped 1% in a minute. Yes, they might go under, as did Enron. And Delphi, with $1 billion in market cap, also went under amid the change in bankruptcy laws. But how does that compare in significance to the many companies that reported 15% earnings growth this week, the three-quarters of the total that reported positive surprises, the decline in energy prices to three-month price lows, the great news from McDonalds and Alcoa, the technology breakthroughs at Apple, the paltry 0.1% rise in the core inflation rate for a fifth straight month, the differential between earnings yield and bond yields of a few percent in stocks' favor, and the fantastic performance of every other market relative to ours so far this year? Are we that bad?
It's a major, terrible tendency of market players to feast on the dead. Those who have been around recall how the market went down a fast 10% as the vultures circled around the Long-Term Capital Management collapse. Whenever the firm went in to find a buyer, the prospect couldn't wait to kick them out, to sell in front of them. That's the tradition. The same thing happened with Baring's collapse, and I well remember how the U.S. market stopped dead in its tracks the week of Oct.. 19, 1987, and how it dropped 5% whenever there seemed any likelihood that the British government would hold the U.S. underwriters to their pre-crash commitments on British Petroleum.
History abounds with these paralyses caused by death. In Henry Clews's classic books on Wall Street, he describes how Governor Flowers was the leader of the bull claque, and when the homely rustic died, the market ''dropped to zero.'' The reaction to all the rumors planted about ''Doctor'' Greenspan's death or, it is hoped, retirement are another horse from the same shed. And this must be quantified.
Detritivores and reducers play a key role in the ecosystem by recycling nutrients and minerals that couldn't otherwise be used by organisms. About 90% of the organic material in the forest is recycled only when it is dead and the bacteria and worms take over. Vultures and crabs are specialized to ingest decaying matter. It's disgusting to see them on the road or shore, the same way it is to have your counterparts watch over you like a hawk or vulture to see if you're near death, try to precipitate it, and then with no risk of their own, eat your fixed remains. Such is so common in markets.
The general principle here is that the inflexible and the slow-moving are easy prey for those who are flexible. The principle reaches its ultimate expression and a terrible realization in the case of market death.
One of the rumors that constantly swept the floor this week was that a certain firm was intimately involved in some way in the Refco debacle. The surfacing of this rumor was usually good for a quick quarter-percent decline in the market. Thank goodness the rumor was squelched -- and yes, it was false, and the presumed dead will rise, and it's ill waiting for dead man's shoes.

Taking hits hasn't kept he nor I down.....................

One of the reasons i admire and respect Victor Niederhoffer, besides his gracious offer for me to join the Old Speculators List at his junta in NYC is the fact that he never, ever gives up. In 1997 a perfect storm engulfed his trading enterprise. Beyond anyone's wildest thoughts and against all odds, his clearing firm shut him down. He fought back to trade again. Likewise, in the fall of 1998 I took a hit in my trading partnership just as Jim Cramer was hammered and backed into a corner. A Russian crisis had everything to do with U.S. growth stocks it seemed. Here is again another self-analysis on how he handled his adversity. And the futures driven, Matador Fund, by the way, is taking the cover off the ball again this year.

10/13/2005Victor Niederhoffer: A Note on Refco
Many people have told me that they heard my name mentioned in this or that medium in conjunction with the Refco debacle. I have not spoken to any media nor have I been called, except that our Treasurer was asked to comment by the Financial Times. Apparently the way it works is that reporters use Google or remember Refco and trouble and find me mentioned in 1997 along with receivables. They mention my name as a stray fact in their story. Once it hits one newspaper or Web site, all the others pick up on the connection and embellish it. My adversaries expand it, and the rumor mill starts working, constantly expanding it, until the innuendo is that I have some proximate or intimate relation with the main story.
I have found that whenever there is a big squeeze in the market -- e.g., squeezes in gold, squeezes in oil, squeezes in bonds -- our name is mentioned along with others. I haven't traded any of those markets except in lots of five or 10 once or twice in eight years. Ordinarily I like it that whenever there's a big loss someone associates it with me; it keeps my adversaries hopeful and extended. That's why I always mention at least once a week my difficulties in 1997 when my fund went under in connection with the Thailand meltdown and the closing of the US market.
That event happened eight years ago, on Oct. 27, 1997. Two days after it happened, Refco and my firm mutually resolved all claims present, past and future in a fair, straightforward manner. We received a full release from Refco on that date, and gave them a full release also. We were represented by a major law firm, Rosenman & Colin. The releases between Refco and me were scrutinized by several regulatory authorities at the time and thereafter. There were no loose ends, accommodations or outstanding receivables or debts of any kind between us, except as described below:
Refco, in the heat of the moment, liquidated my personal options positions on Oct. 28, 1997, at highly unfavorable prices. It caused a loss of some $2 million above my equity there. I agreed to pay that back to them, as part of our mutual releases, in installments over the next year as I sold off assets, and I did pay them back in full within a year.
I paid all my debts in full, and I was given no accommodations by anyone. In fact, I spent a few millions of my own to get money back for my clients, which I turned entirely over to them. (No one has ever done anything like that for me when I lost money with them.) I had a substantial net worth at the time the fund closed, and was never close to insolvency or bankruptcy as my adversaries like to imply.
I notice on Refco's balance sheet that the firm has $77 billion in assets and $66 billion in debt. I have no idea whatsoever how they have treated their transactions or errors in transactions with me or any other person or entity or hedge fund in the eight years subsequent to 1997, but I know that they negotiated a very stern and businesslike deal with us at that time., with no accommodations or loose ends of any kind.
I have had no contact with Refco for approximately seven years, except that about six years ago I phoned Phil Bennett, who always behaved very responsibly and in a most straightforward fashion in all his dealings with me, to ask how he was doing. He wasn't in and he didn't return my call.
In addition, in 1998 we had a few meetings with Refco in connection with a lawsuit we jointly brought as plaintiffs against certain parties we felt had damaged us in connection with the closing of the CME that day, which was amicably settled a few years later without further contact with them.
Neither my firm nor I have any accounts with Refco. I have not spoken with Phil Bennett for seven years. Neither I, nor my firm, nor anyone associated with me has had any loans or financial dealings of any kind with Refco in seven years.
PS. Always part of rumors about me is the hope that some dead or decaying flesh will be left exposed to eat. My firm, Manchester Trading, has served as trading adviser to the well-regarded Matador Fund for the last four years. That fund's performance is available through all the rating services, including TASS, MAR, HFN, HFR and Bloomberg.
PPS. I have not shown this letter to counsel before publishing it, nor do I intend to as I would like without equivocation to set the record straight. It's bad enough that I can't respond when my critics say that nothing I say in my blog or in my books makes sense because I don't know how to trade, as it's not cricket to refer to my performance without a full disclosure statement to qualified investors only. I have received much abuse for the performance and selection of trades of my fund during 1997. Indeed, before a firm associated with my more illustrious and much larger colleague from the University of Chicago, suffered a similar fate to mine, but did receive accommodations and assistance, I was a poster boy. But these latest rumors and innuendoes are too much to just ignore as if there is any element of truth to them.
PPPS. It's possible that I may have inadvertently been off here by a day or two on dates, or a percent or two in amount. That is counterbalanced by the very tight, fair and limited transaction that Refco negotiated with us, and that we paid in full.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Polls..................

A survey carried out by NBC-TV and the Wall Street Journal shows:
Support President Bush? Yes 38%, No 58%.Country is heading for the right direction? Yes 28%, No 66%.
General sentiment is the most negative in the past few years for President Bush.
Having said that, I have never seen low polls for the President at a market high. Generally, when business is good, poll numbers go up. Can I conclude: the low poll is near a market low?

Well said from my friend John Carson...........

The second kick of the mule should not be educational.

A derivative relationship.....can Georgia hedge it?

In Georgia, 4 out of 10 babies are born out of wedlock. In Georgia, 40% of students who begin High School do not graduate. It takes more than one parent. Siring is not parenting.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Never ending saga.............

Since the 1988 Cabazon decision, the BIA (Bureau of Indian Affairs) has been up to their "ABRAMOFFS" in applications for federal recognition of Indian tribes. From Bill Clinton on down, the beat goes on, much to the detriment of many tribes currently running gambling enterprises. Cannibalism is the threat. Can't they all just get along? Isn't there enough money being sucked out of society's coffers to share amongst those who have and those who have not? Wait until the Lumbee's recognition and casino puts the hurt on the Cherokee's in North Carolina to hear the "wolfpack" howl.

Members of the Tribe?

There's an adage among floor traders about "Selling Rosh Hashanah" and "Buying Yom Kippur." So far, if you sold on October 4 (Rosh Hashanah), you've been sitting pretty the last 6 sessions. If the saying holds true, then this Thursday, October 13, should finally start to see some buyers enter into this market.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

from the Speculator himself.................

10/11/2005Briefly Speaking: Market Moves, by Victor Niederhoffer
The market during the last 10 months has gone from a daily close below 1200 to a daily close above 1200 on six separate occasions. It is hard to test whether this is random or not.
Of the 220 European stock market indexes listed on my screen, all are up. Of the 85 North American and South American markets on my screen, all except Jamaica and the U.S. are up. Of the 85 Asian markets, 75 of 85 are up, the only ones down being China and Taiwan and Malaysia. There is some double-counting here because many indexes are for the same country. Ten of the 20 U.S. markets are up.
The market has gone down open to close six days in a row, and is now below the open for the seventh day.
It is common to think that high oil prices are associated with low stock prices. However, the move up to $70 oil was in conjunction with a S&P well above 1200 and the recent move to five-month lows in oil circa $60 is in conjunction with the current S&P low. More microscopic testing confirms the relation.
Thomson projects third-quarter earnings comparisons for the S&P to be up 15%. The yearly estimated earnings, according to a Zacks survey based on eight estimates is $73.50 a share for 2005 and $78.40 for year-end 2006, based on diluted EPS from continuing operations.

Word of the Day...............

Erythrism: a morbid fondness for the color red (Funk and Wagnalls Int'l Edition)
Example: Since the start of October the market has seemingly developed a severe case of erythrism on my quote screen.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Perfect for Clients of Big Brokerage Firms.........

Oct. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Suppose you wanted to invest in hedge funds and your principal was guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.? At first blush, this sounds like an easy way to anchor a risky investment within a safe vehicle. Two federally insured certificates of deposit (CDs) are being sold that are linked to the return of a hedge fund index maintained by Hedge Fund Research, Inc. of Chicago. One is offered by HSBC Securities USA, a unit of Europe's largest bank. The other is sold by Bear Stearns Cos., the New York-based securities firm. (..) There are a few catches with the principal guarantees on both CDs. Although Bear Stearns says it intends to maintain a secondary market for the CD, early redeemers would receive the lower amount in a bid-ask spread. The guarantee is only good up to $100,000 and only if you hold seven years to maturity. There's no minimum interest with either product. Both certificates only pay if the return of the underlying index --the HFR U.S. Global Hedge Fund Index (HFRXGL) -- is above an ``initial index level equal to the closing price of the index on the month the CD is issued,'' according to the Bear Stearns CD's terms. Then there are the expenses. Unlike a standard CD sold by a bank, Bear Stearns investors are charged a monthly fee called an ``adjustment factor'' that reduces the return of the index by 1.8 percent annually. (..) Mike Dubis, a certified financial planner with Touchstone Financial in Madison, Wisconsin, said he was troubled by the fact that neither certificate pays interest or dividends annually. ``I do not like what I'm seeing,'' he said. ``It's expensive, confusing, illiquid, no dividend inclusion, tied to a poorly managed index and psychologically confusing to investors. I would not allow any of my clients to buy this product.'' (.. )
Expensive, confusing, illiquid, no dividend inclusion, tied to a poorly managed index and psychologically confusing...Sounds like they've created the perfect product for clients of big Wall Street Brokerage firms! The sheep don't know what they buy, they just want to believe they have a shot at making half a buck. Layers of fees abound to the delight of the marketing guru's who put these products together. Wall Street once again going to the bank with slick advertising. The beat goes on.

Odds n Ends...........

With the Braves losing yesterday it started to rain in Atlanta. Is that a correlation we can trade? As of late the Wall Street Journal is so full of stories on accounting firm indiscretion that it defies being ordinary news. Hundreds of millions of dollars of fines are levied and the beat goes on. KPMG being a real scoundrel. Scum is more like it. And no one goes to jail. Today we have a Marine being fingered as a spy in the White House. Interesting. Guess he was trying to get out the information to his Filipino's pals. Good thing somebody was doing something in the White House to catch him. George W. Bush won't do anything on social security, tax reform or shutting down our borders. Of course, neither party will shut down the borders lest they offend the all-important Hispanic vote in 2008. Does anyone really care about OUR country anymore? We need this correction in the market. It is healthy. A wall of worry is healthy. Believe it. COSTCO today announced a share buy-back program. More of the same. Publicity stunts. Corporate America wants you to believe the best use of corporate assets is to buy back stock in the open market, decrease the number of shares outstanding and drive the earnings-per-share number higher. Oh, if it were that easy. There is no way that shareholders can STOP the massive dilution of earnings by the insiders themselves in issuing and exercising their stock options. Which is why real estate is such a beauty. No dilution. Believe it.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

On the Sage from the Baltimore Sun...........

Warren Buffett's digestion is threatened these days by more than T-bone steaks and Dairy Queen ice cream. Often as not recently, the world's foremost dollar doubter has been waking up to find the greenback gaining in value, shaming its critics and costing him and his shareholders millions... Not long after boss Buffett decided he was not just a stock-picker but an applied macroeconomist, competent to bet on global fund flows, Berkshire began lagging behind the stock market... If the greenback continues to rise or at least maintains most of its recent gains ... many scary stories you've heard about the future U.S. economy won't come true.

Worlds shortest fairy tale.......from Ron Branch

Once upon a time, a guy asked a girl "Will you marry me?" The girl said, "NO!" And the guy lived happily ever after and went golfing and hunting and fishing a lot and drank beer whenever he wanted. THE END

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Carnage.............

The Gulf Coast casino's were put out of business temporarily. They were stopped from destructing the assets of those who enter their premises. Amazing how the politicians think that a gambling casino is actually necessary for a healthy, vibrant local economy.

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