Monday, January 30, 2006

Monday night quarterbacking.......

Ran charts early tonight. I am amazed at how many good looking charts are still in the game. The charts only tell the facts, not what the corporate spinsters put out on the wires. Patterns seldom turn on a dime but they can turn in a nanosecond if they want. They usually do whatever they are going to do anyway with us or without us. The stocks don't know we own them and wouldn't behave any differently if they did. I like what I see. There's more money ahead. Performance anxiety for those behind the curve is a good place for those fully invested. Tech isn't dead.

Monday musings..................

Public "market" orders were once again handled properly at the market open. To the specialists and market-makers go the spoils. Exxon is making some serious coin; a billion a day in revenues is big even by today's standards. In todays Wall Street Journal the nugget of wisdom by Carl Icahn in the Letters to the Editor seems so honest from a gunslinger who puts his own capital at risk every day in the market. He brings to light what is wrong with corporate America. His claim is that there are no consequences for poor performance. I say the stock option grants, the warrants, the lack of putting personal money at risk is keeping the insiders from worrying about shareholder value and creation. They are all so worried about stock prices going up so they can sell into a rising stock price, not hold shares for the long term and build shareholder "value". I call it not having any "skin" in the game. I have said it before and it needs retelling. This Enron trial will bring up some days-gone-by tales of injustice. That whole Enron bunch should be locked up for a decade or two, even Mr. and Mrs. Fastow.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Palestinian elections...........

Hamas wins? A terror group in charge? Good will prevail some day. More mayhem and carnage will come first. May the Creator bless the innocent souls who will be lost before this nonsense ends.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Yes, it is a commodity......

The price will fluctuate and not necessarily with supply and demand at the margin like stocks trade. I am speaking of one barrel of crude oil. The average oil well in America maybe pumps a dozen barrels a day, if that.

In one barrel of crude oil equates to 42 gallons of crude oil. After refining, those 42 gallons of crude are produced into 19-20 gallons of gasoline. The rest is sold for other products.

Coming to your town soon.............

In 2000, only 52 meth labs were found in Georgia. IN 2004, 484 labs were found. In 2002, 1,532 meth addicts were admitted to treatment programs. In 2005, 4,329 were admitted.

If you are a stock trader you might want to keep an eye on the UCLA study on the drug protocol treatment offered by HYTHIAM. The symbol is HYTM.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Simply Staggering...............

Imagine these numbers. 34,785 registered lobbyists in Washington, D.C. Monthly spending by these winers and diners is about $193 million. Did you get that number? That is a dollar amount spent PER MONTH. And you think your vote counts? To top it off, there were 13,997 pork projects that individual members of Congress slipped into spending bills last year without debate, without discussion, without any process. Said lobbyists are like reservation bootleggers. As long as the money is there to give, somebody will be there to take it and give something in return. Isn't that the American way?

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Run little investor run...................

About a year ago the NASD and NYSE changed their modus operandi and announced to their arbitrator ranks some sweeping new rules that rankled many long time arbitrators, myself included. Remember who the NASD is. It is the brokerage houses themselves who are trying to police their ranks. In legalese it is called an SRO- a self-regualtory organization. I call it the fox still guarding the hen-house. As an arbitrator for over a decade the NASD decided that guys like me who are Registered Investment Advisors, (in my case, I am the Chairman of an RIA firm) who are fiduciaries, who have no axe to grind with commissions, in many cases are owned by brokerage-firms and have conflicts-of-interest. I have no conflicts. We are not paid to generate commissions and trading fees in any way, shape or form. In fact, at my firm we won't even allow soft-dollars to be used for research expenses.

NASD member firms are paying much more in fines than ever before. Arbitrators make the awards. Brokers were to cough up over $125 million in fines which was a 21% increase over the amount in 2004. Total fines collected over the past four years increased 84%. Six big firms were fined more than $40 million for unsuitable Class B and Class C shares in mutual funds. (The brokerage ranks feed off of switching mutual funds and hiding the sales charges in Class B and Class C shares, ask any mutual fund wholesaler honest enough to admit it) Those firms being fined were Citigroup (Smith Barney perhaps?), Chase, Merrill Lynch, American Express (now Ameriprise of all names), Wells Fargo and Linsco-Private Ledger of Boston and San Diego.

What we do.............

I am the Chairman of Chippewa Partners which is a private investment management firm and was the first Native American mutual fund manager. For over a decade I was an arbitrator for the NYSE and the NASD.

First, let me tell you what we don’t do; we are not financial planners, whatever that is: we don’t sell insurance, we don’t do taxes, and we don’t draw up trusts. I find it disturbing that every stockbroker, banker and insurance agent calls a pie-chart, financial planning. We do not involve our clients in annuities, commodities, futures, real estate or currencies.

We are money managers. We manage investments across the globe for some very wealthy people, and, for some individuals who are much less fortunate. Now, let me tell you what we are really about. We’re about doing the right thing, the right way, for the right reasons for clients who don’t have the time, training, temperament or discipline to establish and reach specific goals for the growth and preservation of their assets.

We plan for the attainment of your goals, and we devise a strategy that is appropriate to reach them. We set the investment policy in writing, then execute the strategy. In broad outline, our strategy is to create a professionally managed account that could encompass two major themes.

The first point is very simple. I believe in a strategy based upon a combination of passive and active investments. Study after study reflects what we all know: for the long-term investor, index funds outperform actively managed mutual funds more than 90% of the time.

My second point is that we spread the different risks and balance the volatility.

We have a lot of strengths to offer and are very good at helping clients define their goals, create rational strategies to meet those goals, and select solid investments to handle each portfolio segment. Let me be clear, we want to get you where you want to go, but we’d rather you not get there via a roller coaster.

I want to make a commitment that if you decide to hire Chippewa Partners, throughout all the years we work together, you will never find another investment advisory firm who will care more about you and your family, or who’ll be more committed to the realization of your financial goals. I promise to invest your capital as carefully as I do my own, because your hopes for the future are every bit as sacred to you, as mine are to me.

I commit to tell you the plain, unvarnished truth all the time, especially, when you may not want to hear it. Nor will I tell you I’ll do something and then not do it.

At Chippewa Partners we "eat our own cooking". We have what I often call "skin in the game". We own the investments that you own. Clients understand that the serious money we manage for them is serious business. It deserves serious attention. Clients recognize that what distinguishes us is that our assignment to manage their investments is not just about portfolio growth but about their goals, retirements, hopes, dreams and to improve the quality of their lives.

We invite you to contact us to see if our approach fits your investment needs.

Volatility.................

With the volatility in the stock market the need for professional investment management has never been more critical. You could increase your investment results by hiring a professional firm who works full-time to manage your money.

“A portfolio that goes down 50% and comes back 50% is still down 25 percent”

As an exercise, get out all your brokerage statements and start adding them up—the different mutual funds, an old IRA or two, some stock here and there. After you’ve tallied it all up, take a moment to consider the total. Underline it. Then ask yourself two serious questions. “Is this amount of money, I have worked hard for all my life, something I am capable of handling on my own?” and “Do I want to rely on a stockbroker who is paid to sell investments and generate commissions or should I engage an investment management firm that as a fiduciary is hired to increase my net worth and protect my assets?”

As the NASD makes painfully, often rudely clear, in every regulatory initiative, investors should never let their guard down with brokers that are compensated by a sales agenda. This is the point when the responsibility of managing an investment portfolio can not and should not be shouldered alone.

It is at this point we at Chippewa Partners would like to say one word to you.

Welcome.

To University of Minnesota, Morris students.....................

If I was to hire 5 of you today let me tell you what I would be looking for. I know Goldman Sachs Morgan Stanley or Bear Stearns won’t be showing up at UMM this spring to fill their seats on their trading desks but let me give you a heads up of what I would want to see in someone I would hire to trade my capital and the portfolios of my investors. Unfortunately, what I would want is a far cry from what they might want to fill the seat.

First, I would look for generosity toward your fellow man. To be a good trader you can’t be a jealous person. A jealous person has a hard time succeeding. They are always reacting, and not thinking. They make emotional decisions. Good traders have control of their emotions. What you don’t want to be is emotional in your trading.

Anybody golf here? A great analogy can be made by comparing great golfers to aspiring great traders. I think if you look at Tiger Woods and the way he plays golf, first of all, he doesn’t play in 60 tournaments a year. He is selective and therefore makes fewer decisions.
Second, he prepares himself for each tournament so that he’s not mentally worn down. Next, he doesn’t shoot a 64, then a 78. He is consistent. He is not riding an emotional roller coaster. He is playing within his capabilities. He takes care of himself. He works on his conditioning. He doesn’t try to kill each shot because he knows consistency is what counts. He doesn’t try to predict where his next shot is going to land. He doesn’t care where it lands. Wherever it goes he is going to handle it.. He doesn’t worry about it.

Now I am no golfer, trust me. I have new clubs, a beautiful bag, the clubs have never ever been on a golf course. So when I go up to the tee, what do I do? I worry. “I don’t want to hit it in the trees, I don’t want to hit into the lake. What if I hook it?” I have negative thoughts. Tiger goes up there, squares off and hits it. Wherever it lands he hits it again. He has the confidence he can handle the situation no matter what happens. For me it is the same thing in trading. For all good traders. When I am trading well, I don’t care if I have a monetary loss on a trade. I am going to handle it. Nothing can hurt me because I can handle whatever can happen.

Secondly, I would want a trader who can be happy. Most people equate money with success. That is false. Profits and losses are not a reflection of self worth or intelligence. Do not confuse self worth with net worth. Don’t sell yourself short. Success has nothing to do with happiness and everything to do with how you feel about yourself. Success is being happy doing what you want to do because you want to do it. Your net worth isn’t about money. It is about your ability to function. Getting to where you belong in life is very difficult for most people. I am where I belong in life now, but maybe I won’t belong here 5 years from now.

Third, successful traders realize that there are people who have greater talents. I would look for what the armed forces today call “quiet professionalism”. Every trader is like a factory, he has potential, a capacity, and an operating level. Like the stock market, a persons potential fluctuates. This ties in to what I said about jealous people. Don’t worry about the best traders, the guys who trade bigger and faster, just focus on you. I don’t have any monetary goals. I try to do the best I can all the time. My net worth is my ability to function. Money itself doesn’t really mean anything to me. It never really has. It just means I can buy things I’d like to have.

Lastly, I would want to work with people who understand themselves. I know that I am a behaviorist. I learn from observation. My observations allow me to see how things work. It goes back to my fear of science. I don’t have the intelligence to create things. I have always felt this business is about the man in the mirror. It is 15% analyzing the market and 85% working on myself. You have to know where you are at. The main purpose is to keep the mind clear and well balanced. For example, when I am tired I don’t control myself very well. I tend to make emotional mistakes. Isn’t that why most people cry when they are tired. Most people make emotional decisions. I limit my alcohol intake and monitor my sleep requirement during the week. Why do most people paint their house to sell it? Because buyers of houses make emotional decisions, not decisions based on the value of the construction materials. Controlling yourself is paramount. I don’t know if the conscious or subconscious rules me. But I always felt my subconscious was right. My gut feel tells me the truth. I think when you are in college, your subconscious basically rules you. That is why many times young traders do very well. They are very positive and have no fear.

The root cause of volatility. Instantism… Less stable environment. Get-rich-quick mentality. Something for nothing. …. Lotteries, casino’s, CNN, cable TV… advances in communication technology. Plenty of time.. Everyone says that trading is a stressful business. That is nonsense. The only stress in trading comes when you are wrong and you don’t get out of the trade and cut your losses. Stress is living with problems. I don’t like or want to live with problems. When I have a trade that I get distressed over I get out of the trade. I know that I am wrong. I get out of the trade and eliminate the stress. Think of it like this…. A baseball player with 2 strikes and no balls will bat .220 but with no strikes and 3 balls he might bat .390. If you are constantly getting into the hole you are not going to do as well as you are capable….
Work hard at your passion, not someone else’s….. put some discipline in your personal life. It’s all about the journey not the destination. The direction you are facing has a lot to do with our destination.

For the "lurkers" who read this................

To Whom It May Concern:

I am taking the liberty to send this, it has been on my mind for some time. You see, the fundamental financial risk we both face is not losing one’s money but outliving it, which means equities are even more critical to financial survival than I thought 25 years ago. I have led many investors to water but I can’t make them think, because fear, not ignorance, is the primary cause of the failure of most investment plans (most investors do NOT have a written investment plan, I will see we construct one just for you, not me).

You see, your losses are not a function of what you bought, they are a function of timing. The thing that matters most is what people do, or don’t do, with the proper advice when those investments are down. Never forget, stocks solve long term investment problems and should be owned for the long haul.

As an arbitrator for both the NYSE and NASD, I can tell you there is significant potential for conflict-of-interest in commissions and in dealing with stockbrokers who have an objective of selling you something. I believe the only safety lies in the accretion of purchasing power and that the greatest long term risk of stocks is NOT owning them. I know the downs are temporary and the ups are permanent. I know that the words BEAR MARKET mean BIG SALE. And most importantly, I believe that, prior to retirement, people should own as close to 100% of stocks as they can emotionally stand. Then, after retirement, I believe they should own as close to 100% of stocks as they can emotionally stand. You see, I know the most mediocre stock funds are much better than the best BOND funds, over time. And I know that a mediocre stock fund that you hold on to through a 40% market decline is infinitely better than a world-class stock fund that you were scared out of and sold at the bottom.

If you decide to hire me as your investment manager, I can promise you that, throughout the years we work together, you will never find another investment advisor who will care more about you and your financial assets. I promise to invest your capital as carefully as I do my own. I commit to tell you the plain unvarnished truth all the time. You will encounter advisors “smarter” than I am. Some cheaper than I am. But you will never in your life find an advisor who you can trust more implicitly than you can trust me. I insist my clients plan and stick to their goals. Their goals, not mine. Understand clearly you are being asked to entrust your financial future to Dean Parisian, not to a generic financial plan spit out from a brokerage firm computer. Not to the latest investment fad de jour. To me.

And I’m offering to accept that responsibility.

Wish best wishes,

Dean T. Parisian

Worth a chuckle near the Super Bowl.............

George and Laura Bush and Bill and Hilary Clinton are traveling by train to the Super Bowl. At the station George and Laura each buy a ticket and watch as Bill and Hillary buy just one ticket. "How are the two of you going to travel on only one ticket?" asks George W, astonished at what he is seeing. "Watch and learn," answers Hillary. They all board the train. George and Laura take their respective seats but Bill and Hillary cram into a toilet together and close the door.
Shortly after the train has departed, the conductor comes around collecting tickets. He knocks on the toilet door and says, "Ticket, please." The door opens just a crack and a single arm emerges with a ticket in hand. The conductor takes it and moves on. The Bushes see this happen and agree it was quite a clever idea, so after the game they decide to try a similar plan on the return trip. When they get to the station they see the Clinton's at the window buying a single ticket for the return trip. To their astonishment, the Clinton's see that the Bushes don't buy any ticket at all. "Aren't you taking a terrible chance by traveling without a ticket?" says Hillary. "Live and learn," answers Laura Bush.

When they board the train the Bushes cram themselves into a toilet and the Clinton's cram into another toilet just down the way. Shortly after the train leaves the station, George W. leaves their toilet and walks over to the Clinton's toilet, knocks on their door and says, "Ticket, please."

And you're still trying to figure out how the Democrats lost that election.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Friday's Selling..............

Wow. What nice fear we have. I love fear. When they are puking them up in Japan and on Wall Street and finally on Main Street it is time to load the boat. I liked what I saw today. The call option speculators were wacked today. Nice. The market did what just about everybody thought it wouldn't do. Wonderful.

I liked how they tried to rally them in the early afternoon and then KABOOM......down we went. Not a bull in sight to uphold the onslaught of selling. Stock prices being set at the margin, that is, being set by the current amount of buyers and sellers showing their hand at the specialists post or on the electronic screens (which will drive the stock markets of the future or should anyway) are only concerned with the supply and demand, accumulation and distribution of stocks at the point of trade. The hypsters in the media talking poor earnings of many big companies are rather bored. Their job is to blame the selling on something, anything. They have deadlines and ink to burn. Sometimes you just get a good old-fashioned wash-out. About time. Wonderful.

Excellent words.........

From one of California's premier real estate agents, Val Tichy: Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

CNBC..............

The talking heads are taking it to a new level with all the "reporting" from the floor of the NYSE.

The place should be a museum. Their reporting should be from a massive bank of Cray supercomputers.

Specialists getting in the way of over 50% of the NUMBER of trades to line their pockets is archaic, expensive and wrong.

From a cowboy.............

"You can get in a car to see what man has made, but you have to get on a horse to see what God has made." Charlie Russell.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

If you are a client of A.G. Edwards give us a call................

It is going to cost more for customers of A.G. Edwards to make trades.

The St. Louis-based retail brokerage said it is raising commissions on agency equity and option transactions by 5%. The brokerage also will add a 50-cent "postage and handling fee'' on stock, bond, commodity and certain mutual fund transactions.

The commission increases at A.G. Edwards, which mainly relies on 7,000 brokers to handle customer trades, are the first since 1994. The company said it last raised postage and handling fees in 2003.

This month, the U.S. Postal Service raised the cost of mailing a first class letter by 2 cents to 39 cents.
A company spokeswoman was not immediately available to comment on the commission increases.

The commission hikes at A.G. Edwards are bucking an industry trend toward cost cuts.

Economics of Gaming.........

Fun day trips on deluxe motorcoach. Board in Marietta at Perimeter Center MARTA. Play 5 hours at the casino and return the same evening. *Pay $20 pp and get $20 cash back from the casino upon arrival, so net cost=FREE.

The above internet ad is all about economics and human behaviour. Economics, (one of my majors at the University of Minnesota) is really the science of choice. The science of supply and demand. Economics is a complete mystery to most Americans as it was to most college students. I enjoyed it. I live and breathe economics every single day in the stock market. Casino's know that the nanosecond somebody enters a casino the odds of a gambler losing money are all in their favor. The "something-for-nothing", get-rich-quick" mentality of gaming pervades our nation and our Native American communities.

Unfortunately, many people, many who can ill afford losing money, call it entertainment.

LIVEDOOR

This Japanese company wouldn't make front-page in the Wall Street Journal if it were in the United States instead of Japan. Knocking a billion plus dollars off of market capitalization is hard on insiders who need to feed on restricted shares, warrants, stock options, etc.

Victor's concentration............

Vic Niederhoffer said that his greatest skill was his ability to concentrate and focus on the screen in front of him one time for 52 straight hours without sleep.

Saving money..............

China had a record 14 trillion yuan (1.74 TRILLION in US dollars) of personal savings by 12/31/2005.

That figure increased 11% from 2004. Chinese families spend 60% of income and save 40% of income. Wait until that money finds its way to United States investment banks scurrying to build presence in China.

American families have on average over $7,000 of credit card debt. Go figure.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Mid-January, 2006

What has changed over the last 14 days? Not much. More buyers than sellers for sure. The Fed putting a halt to interest rate increases, maybe. Right now, the bulls are in control and it's been a stellar two-week run. It is nice to see profits come so fast right off the bat of a new year. Trust me, this torrid pace won't last all year!

To the clients of Chippewa Partners who have called, emailed and sent notes my way I want to say "thank you" for your wonderful friendships, your business, your introductions to new clients of the firm and most of all the faith and trust you place in us every single day with your serious money.

I hope your 2006 is off to a great start. We've been showered with some wonderful gains and the last couple of "down" days were sorely needed to cool the bullish sentiment. We need that "wall of worry" to continue.

Rainy days will come soon enough. Enjoy the long holiday weekend and call me if something good happens.

Go Patriots!

Martin Luther King, Jr.

For a black man to have had the vision and courage to take on a wrong that needed to be corrected is truly worthy of a national holiday. His family should have the same vision and courage to do what is right and keep taxpayer money out of their domain. The King family legacy is under siege and rightly so.

A Hunter's Mars n Venus.........

HER DIARY: Saturday night I thought he was acting weird. We made plans to meet at a bar to have a drink. I was shopping with my friend all day long so I thought he was upset that I was late, but he made no comment.Conversationwasnt flowing so I suggested we go some place we could talk, he agreed but he kept quiet and absent. I asked him what was wrong he said nothing. I asked him if it was my fault that he was upset. He said it had nothing to do with me and not to worry. On the way home I told him that I loved him, he simply smiled and kept driving. I cant explain his behavior; I don't know why he didn't say I love you too. When we got home I felt as if I had lost him, as if he wanted nothing to do with me anymore. He just sat there and watched TV.He seemed distant and absent. Finally I decided to go to bed, about ten minutes later he came to bed and to my surprise he responded to my caress we made love, but I still felt that he was distracted and his thoughts were somewhere else. I decided I could not take it anymore so I decided to confront him with the situation but he had fallen asleep. I started crying and cried until I too fell asleep. I don't know what to do. I'm almost sure his thoughts are with someone and I feel my life is ruined. HIS DIARY: I missed an enormous 10-point buck this morning. I can't shoot worth a damn anymore; maybe my eyesight is getting bad? Got laid.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

After a big week of an UP market, here's a laugh ..........

A guy walks into the local welfare office, marches straight up to the counter and says, "Hi... You know, I just HATE drawing welfare. I'd really rather have a job." The social worker behind the counter says, "Your timing is excellent. We just got a job opening from a very wealthy old man who wants a chauffeur and bodyguard for his beautiful nymphomaniac daughter. You'll have to drive around in his Mercedes, but he'll supply all of your clothes. Because of the long hours, meals will be provided. You'll be expected to escort her on her overseas holiday trips. You will have to satisfy her sexual urges. You'll be provided a two-bedroom apartment above the garage. The starting salary is $200,000 a year." The guy, wide-eyed, says, "You're bullshittin' me!"

The social worker says, "Yeah, well... you started it."

Yes..................

"People of mediocre ability sometimes achieve outstanding success because they don't know when to quit. Most men succeed because they are determined to."
-- George Allen

Way beyond Cabazon................

Reprinted from the January 11, 2006 Wall Street Journal

INDIAN TAKER
By Holman W. Jenkins Jr.

Jack abramoff was sui generis- a personality out of control, flamboyantly corrupt, engaged in bizarre antics that your average Zegna-clad Washington lobbyist would never have dreamed of. And yet of the soggy papers that we journalists have a hard time punching our way out of is the notion that any scandal, when it reaches a certain prominence, must be representative. Enron wasn't the exception but the norm of corporate behavior. Jack Abramoff is just the protruding left toe under a bed sheet of K Street corruption.

In fact, the downfall of the man known in every press account as a "Republican lobbyist" was not remotely the upshot of workaday lobbying on behalf of corporations over this or that tax or regulatory issue. The media is wowed by the numbers of such cases but the millions the government giveth or taketh away are less impressive on corporate income statements, and are usually competed away in the marketplace for a company's goods or services.

How different when Washington can conjure vast wealth for specific individuals or small groups by granting unique priviliges to exploit the public without competition, as in the peculiar case of Indian casinos.

Mystifying, then, is why all hands insist on treating Indians as Mr. Abramoff's "victims." Lousiana's Coushatta Tribe was under no compulstion to pay him $32 million; it did so to foil another tribe's gambling project and secure its own inflated margins.

"You're the problem, buddy, in what happened to American Indians," Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell lectured an Abramoff associate two years ago. Huh? Mr. Custer's, er, Mr. Abramoff's sole interesting feature, aside from his self destructiveness and his possibly larcenous attempt to get into the gambling business himself, was his chutzpah in asking for such a big piece of change to do the tribe's dirty work.

Political anthropologists will have to excavate why Mr. Abramoff is a mega-scandal when peeps were barely raised about previous outrages in which the chief actors were public officials who presumably owed a higher standard of conduct. Say, several political appointees in the Bureau of Indian Affairs who, in the waning days of the Clinton administration, tossed aside expert advice and recognized, "tribes" just before spinning themselves out the revolving door and into jobs as lawyers for Indian gambling interests.

One of them, Michael Anderson, after he'd officially left his post, continued to sign and backdate documents to help one tribe. Mr. Anderson, an "enrolled member" of the Muskogee Nation, and a deputy, Loretta Tuell, a Nez Perce member, are now partners at the firm of Monteau and Peebles, connected lineally to the very foundation myth of Indian gaming.

No, we're not referring to the prehistoric "hoop and pole game" touted on one tribe's Web site. The beginning traces to the ancestral year of 1983, when an unemployed Connecticut welder, who may or may not have been one-sixteenth Pequot, wangled recognition for his defunct tribe. With backing from a Malaysian billionaire, and over the impotent objections of most of Connecticut, he launched the Foxwoods casino.

Foxwood's operators felt vulnerable and in need of allies, so another resurrected tribe, the Mohegans, teamed up with another billionaire, South African Sol Kerzner. Swiftly approving their Mohegan Sun casino was Harold Monteau, the Clinton-appointed head of the National Indian Gaming Commission, who ignored opposition from agency staff and from both of his fellow commissioners.

Need we add that Mr. Monteau, a Chippewa-Cree, was eventually shooed from office by congressional critics (mostly Democrats)? His law firm, with the Mohegans as a major client, now serves as a landing place for other fixers on the wing.

Mr. Abramoff was sui generis; all right. He wasn't an Indian and obviously lacked the discretion to keep his sleaze between even such compendious lines, allowing him to enjoy the fruits thereof undisturbed by prosecutors.

If there's a lesson for anyone but lobbyist trainees here, it's not a very original one. Where opportunities for enormous, instant wealth are sloshing around at the discretion of bureaucrats and legislators, invariably is bad policy to be found.

Take the minority and small business "set-asides" that produce indictments and jail sentences with such regularity that it's hardly noticed anymore. Or take the FCC auctions for wireless spectrum: A Journal front-pager recently detailed how favoritism for "disadvantaged" entrepreneurs allowed an aerobics instructor and others to pocket large fees as fronts for secret investors.

Typically of high-profile scandals, the Abramoff affair is a spectacular bit of flotsam left behind by a tide that has already begun to recede. Dozens of "defunct" tribes still seek recognition, and dozens more have their eyes on reclaiming traditional lands that just happen to be near major population centers and freeway interchanges. But the backlash was already underway. It comes from gaming tribes that don't want the good thing spoiled, from state governments that covet gambling proceeds for themselves, from a Congress fed up with "reservation shopping" by casino promoters.

We're still a long way from any senator (John McCain leaps to mind) being willing to say "enough" to the enduring nonsense of Indian "sovereignty" --but even that may come.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Executive pay disclosure..........

Does anyone see the Mr. Cox- led SEC doing anything to make the markets and companies more transparent?

Why has it taken until to 2006 to have a simple methodology of reporting ALL forms/types of compensation for these boardroom thieves? Good luck getting that past the lobbyists!

Tracinda...............

I love this Kerkorian. Is he the only guy left who can wake up management?

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Native American gambling money.................

January 5, 2006 (borowitzreport.com)RETURNED ABRAMOFF DONATIONS ERASE NATIONAL DEBT
Lawmakers Scramble To Shed Trillions in Tainted Cash

Politicians in Washington hurried today to dump trillions of dollars worth of campaign donations from disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, giving the money to the Treasury Department and all but wiping out the national debt.Congressmen, senators, and other politicians lined up around the block outside the Treasury building to give back their Abramoff riches, many of them carting piles of hundred-dollar bills in wheelbarrows."We are processing the Abramoff money as quickly as we can," said Donna LeBrock, a window teller at the Treasury Department. "There's just so much more of it than we ever imagined."The unexpected windfall of tainted cash means that the national debt, long considered an albatross on the U.S. economy, has all but vanished for the first time in the nation's history.At a press conference at the White House, President Bush said that the sudden influx of returned donations from the disgraced lobbyist was proof that his economic policies were working."Our program of receiving tainted political donations and then hurriedly returning them is finally paying off for the American people," Mr. Bush told reporters.At the Department of Health and Human Services, a spokesman said that some of the newly returned Abramoff cash would go to treat an epidemic of amnesia among politicians in Washington, many of whom can no longer remember meeting, speaking to, or having dinner with Jack Abramoff.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Time for some serious humor.................

World's Thinnest Books ~~@~~ FRENCH WAR HEROES by Jacques Chirac HOW I SERVED MY COUNTRY by Jane Fonda MY BEAUTY SECRETS by Janet Reno HOW TO BUILD YOUR OWN AIRPLANE by John Denver MY SUPER BOWL HIGHLIGHTS by Dan Marino THINGS I LOVE ABOUT BILL by Hillary Clinton MY LITTLE BOOK OF PERSONAL HYGIENE by Osama Bin Laden THINGS I CANNOT AFFORD by Bill Gates THINGS I WOULD NOT DO FOR MONEY by Dennis Rodman MY WILD YEARS by Al Gore AMELIA EARHART'S GUIDE TO THE PACIFIC AMERICA'S MOST POPULAR LAWYERS DETROIT: a Travel Guide! A COLLECTION of MOTIVATIONAL SPEECHES by Dr. J. Kevorkian ALL THE MEN I HAVE LOVED BEFORE b y Ellen de Generes GUIDE TO DATING ETIQUETTE by Mike Tyson SPOTTED OWL RECIPES by the EPA THE AMISH PHONE DIRECTORY MY PLAN TO FIND THE REAL KILLERS by O. J. Simpson YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE ME by Scott Peterson And the world's Number One Thinnest Book MY BOOK OF MORALS by Bill Clinton with introduction by The Rev. Jessie Jackson

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The NEA......

It's well understood that the NEA is an arm of the Democratic National Committee.

If you are a teacher check out www.union-reports.dol.gov to find out how your union chiefs did their best political thinking. Jesse Jackson wins again. When will the fog clear over school vouchers?

True Inspiration........

Say what you want, the real star on New Years Eve television was the host himself.

Stroke victim, Dick Clark.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

2006 and beyond.........

We returned from "PAMELOT" tonight.........it was a special holiday for all of us.

It is good to be back. Make that great to be back. Today's trading action alone was enough to bring a smile to most market participants for good reason. May 2006 be your best year physically, financially and spiritually.

Native American Advisors CHIPPEWA PARTNERS