Manages Parisian Family Office. Began Wall Street, 82. Founded investment firm, Native American Advisors. Member, White Earth Chippewa Tribe. Was NYSE/FINRA arb. Conservative. Raised on Native reservations. Pureblood, clot-shot free. In a world elevated on a tech-driven dopamine binge, he trades from Ghost Ranch on the Yellowstone River in MT, his TN farm, Pamelot or CASA TULE', his winter camp in Los Cabos, Mexico. Always been, and will always be, an optimist.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Indian Country Today................

As of 2005 Census estimates, 1.0 percent of the US population is of American Indian and Alaska Native descent. This population is unevenly distributed across the country, with Alaska and New Mexico boasting double digit native populations.

Alaska 16%
New Mexico 10.2%
South Dakota 8.8%
Oklahoma 8.1%
Montana 6.5%
North Dakota 5.3%
Arizona 5.1%

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Interesting day on Wall Street............

I took about 4 hours of sleep last night and woke up to Bloomberg TV at 5 am. China was off about 9%. I rolled over and knew things were headed down in the be expected and overdue. There will be some chaos, no doubt some hedge funds will be in trouble and Wall Street trading desks will circle the wagons to feed on those clients, "near-death". Everybody loves a big loser on Wall Street, it makes the bonus's bigger.

My concerns are the health of the Chinese market infrastructure, the mortgage market here in the U.S. as option ARM's haven't stopped the foreclosure carnage, higher gas prices and leverage in the hedge fund universe. 416 Dow points aren't much. An old favorite of mine, Cogent (COGT) was up over 3% today, an amazing performance.

Ask yourself, what's changed?

Maybe the Goldman Sachs "guru's" who run the NYSE should invest some more money into some new Cray's. They need more computing power, not more specialist firms.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Southwest Indian Art Fair

I had the opportunity yesterday to attend the 13th annual fair in Tucson, Arizona.

There were 200-plus of the most renowned Soutwestern Native artists showing top-quality artwork including pottery, Hopi kachina dolls, paintings, jewelry, baskets, rugs, and blankets.

And the fry bread was excellent. A great show.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Bill Lawrence on Sovereignty.............

Lawrence applauds the minimization of tribal authority. In his view, tribal sovereignty--the notion that reservations ought to be treated as mini-nations, immune from many federal and state laws--is at the root of what troubles Indian country today: bureaucratic graft, civil-rights abuses, staggeringly high rates of unemployment, widespread poverty, educational failures, social dysfunction. "Sovereignty is what maintains the status quo," Lawrence says.

To most fellow journalists, tribal leaders, and treaty-rights activists, Lawrence's position is veritable heresy. Since the Sixties, the Indian establishment has pushed for greater autonomy. And to a large extent, they have been successful, with tribes coast to coast taking hold of everything from education to law enforcement.

In Lawrence's view, this has served only to hold back his fellow Indians. Even casinos--the much celebrated "new buffalo," and the most tangible product of expanded Indian sovereignty in the past decade--rankle the publisher. "I think if we had an unbiased study of the effects of gambling, it would show a net negative," he opines. Then he cracks a wry smile. "That's why nobody's done it."

TN hog hunting.............

The snow was nice. The sun out. I could hear them long before I could see them in the thick ivy close to Fox Creek. Their hair was long and they looked black with shades of gold and brown.

It sounded just like a pig lot in Minnesota. They were enjoying life. At the crack of the rifle they scattered like under-age beer drinkers at a frat party. The bullets never touched pig flesh and the mast-eating piglets won't make it to my barbeque spit. There's always next year.

Monday, February 19, 2007

High-tech humor from one of my best friends, Susan!!!



Wednesday, February 14, 2007

With love on Valentine's Day............

Today, tonight, celebrate life. Celebrate your family, your friends.

Chippewa Partners lost a great friend today. With great sadness and a heavy heart the call came this morning. My good friend went on ahead this morning and left the world a better place. I am thankful to have known him for decades, to have represented his interests in the financial markets and to know and love his family.

May the Creator bless the soul of Richard "Trapper" Rasmussen of Balaton, Minnesota.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Hey Al Gore.............

Greenland was under the plow, not ice, 1000 years ago, and there were vineyards north of London several centuries ago. So much for our planet warming up.

Friday, February 09, 2007

The Valentines Day meeting ............

Just walked in from the gym.....was bored with sitting around listening to the talking heads on CNBC yack about Fortress going public and making billionaires out of the management. If less than half of all hedge funds beat the S&P 500 why all the clamor? You can go to the London Stock Exchange and buy shares of the Quantum Fund any day of the week. This whole media blitz of private equity, hedge funds and Wall Street trading desks/wirehouses is getting a bit much. The layers and layers of fees are sickening although none of them have any of my money. The pricing and how the NYSE opened Fortress is again totally absurd. Where is Herb Greenberg or Charlie Gasparino when you need them? Cramer can call it the way he sees the game played as Knight Trading opened his company,, just like Fortress was opened today. The games apparently won't end. If these deals are so good why is the public buying and why are the insiders selling? Easy to answer that. The public believes that is what is new, hot and what they should own. Wall Street needs to create investment products to market to the masses simply because there isn't enough commission and fees in the old products. As most of you know, I moved to cash about 10 days ago with my more aggressive assets. I will be able to make the meeting on Valentines Day as my wife doesn't want to go to dinner with the masses expressing their love for each other. I wonder if that means she loves me less or just wants to spend a nice Wednesday night at home with her sons in a comfortable setting with her husband at IHOP? If enough of you would like to cancel the meeting just let me know and we can reschedule. I doubt if IHOP will be packed with lovers. One name I did not sell was ARRS and actually added more this week. You might check out the chart because positive money flows and momentum are written all over this Suwanee-based company. I am short the 15 calls on ARRS in both the February and March expirations as a matter of full disclosure. I hope I get to keep the option premium because I doubt I will rewrite the options if they expire worthless. May the Creator bless the soul of, that is not a stock symbol, just a blonde whose life and times will be retold a billion times on TV over the rest of my life. Ughhh.

Wednesday night lets talk about interest rates, inflation, general market conditions and specific stocks. No ANS discussion allowed. Have a great weekend, do something fun, celebrate those you love, eat something good and believe that the best is yet to come!

Chief Hicks taking the right road again.......

(02/08/07E -- RALEIGH) - Members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians who are convicted of drug dealing will be banished from the reservation under a law signed Thursday by the tribe's principal chief.

The Tribal Council will be able to determine the length of an exclusion, and a member convicted of dealing drugs will be able to petition the panel to return.

Banishment is a harsh penalty previously reserved for extreme circumstances -- such as when a member is convicted of committing a sexual offense against minors.
"Exclusion is rare -- up to now," said Michael McConnell, attorney general for the tribe. "It's a very serious thing."

Non-members can also face banishment under the law. Those suspected of dealing drugs could be immediately removed from the reservation and may only return for court hearings, according to the law set to take effect in April.

The Controlled Substances Act, first approved by the Tribal Council last week, allows the tribe to hand out stronger punishments while still following federal regulations. Federal law only allows the tribe to sentence people to a maximum of one year in prison and a fine of $5,000.
"But the tribe's most powerful -- and one of the remaining inherent powers we have -- is to say who can be here and who can't," McConnell said.

Banished members will still be able to retain their tribal membership and benefits. However, McConnell noted that a member banished from the tribe faces exclusion from their people and their homeland -- a severe punishment.

"The public outcry is that we need to set a standard that sends a strong message to those trafficking drugs in our community," said Principal Chief Michell Hicks. "We're not going to stand for it."

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians has a membership of about 13,500. Its land about 50 miles west of Asheville near the entrance of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Though the tribal law may dump drug offenders to nearby counties, Sheriff Jimmy Ashe in neighboring Jackson County said he welcomed any efforts to clamp down on the drug trade.
"Drug dealers know no boundaries," Ashe said. "We embrace (the law) as a good way for the Cherokee community to impress that they won't stand for drug dealing."

Similar laws have been adopted by the Lummi Nation of Washington, Upper Sioux Community in Minnesota, and the Chippewa of Grand Portage, Minn. The Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe in Nevada has been considering a banishment law.

liberal speed.........................

The Democrats are complaining about how long the war is taking. It took less time to take Iraq than it took Janet Reno to take the Branch Davidian compound. That was a 51-day operation. We've been looking for evidence for chemical weapons in Iraq for less time than it took Hillary Clinton to find the Rose Law Firm billing records. It took less time for the 3rd Infantry Division and the Marines to destroy the Medina Republican Guard than it took Ted Kennedy to call the police after his Oldsmobile sank at Chappaquiddick and it took less time to take Iraq than it took to count the votes in Florida!!!!


First trade was up 89% at $35...........half of the available float has traded by 11 am.......

The average hedge fund last year did NOT beat the S&P 500. The underwriters of this deal should be taken out to the woodshed for not pricing this deal correctly. Unfortunately, management all became billionaires on this deal so they really could care less.

What's a few more million for the boys in the boardroom when they have the billion on paper?

Are Dutch auctions a thing of the past?

rich liberal digs...................

Thursday, February 08, 2007

NASD/SEC commentary.........

As part of its 2007 legislative agenda, the North American Securities Administrators Association Inc. is calling for the new Democratic Congress to review the arbitration system. It needs major work, maybe even scrap it. It isn't the arbitrators fault. In my career spanning a decade as an arbitrator for both the NASD and NYSE there wasn't a single arbitrator who I worked with that didn't do a good job in adjudicating any dispute though some were not even remotely aware of how the brokerage industry operates in reality, and some were not aware of the "bad clients" and "bad attorneys" who file suit to try to recover assets after seeing massive investor stupidity. What I find appalling is the situation I found myself in a year or two ago. As the President and Chief Investment Officer of Chippewa Partners, a Registered Investment Advisor, a firm I started in 1995 after having gone to work in the securites business way back in 1982 there was never a time in my life that I was more prepared to be what the arbitration process needed. Someone who knows the industry, has tremendous experience in the industry and having attended law school, can ferret out the facts presented in each case. Low and behold, the NASD came up with a new rule that says any person who is a manager of an RIA firm can NOT be an arbitrator. There reasoning was that many RIA managers are actually owned by broker-dealer firms and hence can not be objective. There's more to it than that and the stench is loud. The industry knows it. There were many arbitrators tossed out of the arbitration pool over that ruling and it probably stems from guys like me holding a fiduciary standard that a firm like Chippewa Partners adheres to.
Now, the there is ever more willingness to allow the brokerage industry to self-adjudicate through mandatory arbitration and control public access to the brokerage industry's criminal and disciplinary histories. The merger between the NYSE and the NASD enforcement divisions is a yawn. Everyone knows that self-regulation involves a conflict of interest. One of the most egregious examples of the fox guarding the henhouse is the Broker-Check program run by the NASD. (NOTE: NASD is the National Association of Securities Dealers, Wall Street itself!) The NASD says it "should be your first resource to learn about the professional background, registration/license status and conduct of NASD-registered firms and their registered brokers." Would you believe that the program does not permit a broker or firm to respond "yes" to the question of whether the broker or firm has any disciplinary matters in his or its past. Only two answers are permitted "no" and, get this, "maybe." If that is what is called industry self-regulation in the publics interest I have some swamp land in Florida for sale today.
For an agency that spends $888,000,000 a year you would think small investors would have far better protection and greater internet access to information on an industry they rely on to protect their assets. The beat goes on. Little guy beware, Wall Street wants your money to "invest" in the latest new investment-fad, product du jour. And you can take that to the bank.

Great job son......................

My oldest son is a freshman at a large public high school in north Atlanta.

Today he swims in the Georgia High School state swim meet.

It seems like just yesterday that I had him in the pool, holding him up with a "swimmie" diaper on. His hard work has paid off. Congratulations big guy, you make Dad proud!!!

2007 Indian Country $$$$$$$

The 2007 BIA budget would be funded at $2.2 billion, about $1 million less than the amount in the 2007 appropriations bill recently passed by the House. The budget contains cuts of $104 million, including the outright elimination of the $23.4 million Housing Improvement Program.
According to the administration, the HIP duplicates efforts by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Other cuts were made to tribal education assistance (-$12.7 million); education construction (-$18.4 million) and Indian land consolidation (-$49.4 million).
"Founded on treaties and a trust responsibility between Native Americans and the U.S. government, our relationship with Indian Country is one we have to honor and respect," said Rep. Nick Rahall (D-West Virginia), the chairman of the House Resources Committee. "Yet, funding for the Bureau of Indian Affairs has been on a downward spiral under this administration -- decreasing by $50 million since FY 2006, while at the same time military spending is increasing dramatically."

Rahall welcomed the inclusion of the Safe Indian Communities Initiative but said $16 million won't be enough. The National Congress of American Indians recommended at least $150 million just to address the need to build, staff and operate tribal detention facilities.

Overall, the budget seeks $10.7 billion for Interior, which represents a 4.5 percent increase over the 2007 appropriations level approved by the House. The biggest boost went to the National Park Service, which will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2016.

Kempthorne was confident the public will support the budget, which contains just two other new initiatives besides the Indian ones. "With our Native Americans, the fact that they are being preyed on by organized crime and by drug cartels -- we're not going to stand by and watch that," he said. "We're going to do something about it."

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Mitt Romney..........

America wants to be a star. Finding politicians who have real ideas to save our nation is secondary to who looks presidential. A couple of years ago when I first noticed Mitt Romney's aspirations to lead America I thought he had the looks and charisma to come across as a contender, no matter his politics or flip-flopping on the issues. It's all about the packaging.

Sad, isn't it?

FEMA........and waste...........

I had an opportunity this morning to hear of some tales regarding the tremendous waste in our nations FEMA department. From someone on the "inside". It wasn't pretty. Between the Department of Agriculture and these FEMA folks it would seem rather easy to balance the budget.

Do you think anyone running for President in 2008 is remotely concerned about cutting government waste? Rudy, Hillary, Mitt, Obama, John listen up!

We need a new Department of Waste-Busting, pronto!!!

One phone call folks............


The company reported great earnings last night. Funny how Wall Street analysts had thrown this baby out with the bath water. New, better, upgraded Internet "backbone" infrastructure just rolls along. Globally, it has a long way to go.

Gasoline......premium or regular?

One of the things I learned this morning while perusing the WSJ was how "premium" gas is made. I always thought that "premium" was a different animal produced in the refinery. It is not. Premium gas is regular gasoline with a packet of "detergent" added to it. Sort of like adding detergent to a wash machine full of clothes.

I never buy "premium" gas. Never have. Never will.

Bank the difference.


Seems rather amazing what having Woods, Jordan and Fedderer on-board can do for a stock.

That sure sounded like some hubris from the company yesterday.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

It's 2007 and they are just now getting around to investigate insider trading?

In 1982 when I was with Kidder Peabody, I walked into a tiny little room at the New York Stock Exchange and there sat a couple of accountant-like geeks supposedly looking for abberations in trading activity. That was the surveillance effort of the NYSE. I dont' know what the SEC'seffort was at that point. After the recent fiasco's with specialist firms maybe things have been cleaned up. Maybe. You think?

Here is how the game is played, every day in some form or fashion on Wall Street. Believe it.

S.E.C. Is Looking at Stock Trading
Published: February 6, 2007
The Securities and Exchange Commission has begun a broad examination into whether Wall Street bank employees are leaking information about big trades to favored clients, like hedge funds, in an effort to curry favor with those clients, executives at Wall Street banks said.
The inquiry, these people said, seems aimed at determining how pervasive insider trading, or the illegal use of market-moving nonpublic information, may be on Wall Street. Knowledge about a large trade, like the sale of a big block of stock by the mutual fund giant Fidelity, would tell a trader which way the stock would move.

Trading ahead of client orders, or front-running, has long been an issue on Wall Street. Large mutual fund companies have often complained in the past that Wall Street brokerage firms were front-running their trades, using information about the funds’ plans to buy or sell to make a risk-free bet on a stock’s direction.

But the latest S.E.C. investigation appears to have a new twist: Rather than examine whether a bank is trading ahead of its own client by using knowledge of the customer’s trade, the scope of the investigation will allow regulators to see if banks tip their valued customers who then go trade at another bank, making the paper trail harder to detect.

The commission sent out letters in mid-January to the major Wall Street banks. The commission, according to one Wall Street employee, is requesting a wide swath of information: all stock and option trading data, for themselves and their customers, for the last two weeks of September. Those weeks are the close of the third quarter and investigators may be looking to see any pickup in trading activity as money mangers sought to dress up their returns.
Representatives for the Wall Street banks declined to comment on the investigation.

“Mutual fund traders have long complained that their big trades may be being front-run by market participants with inside information about their trades, and they believe the price on those trades suffers as a result,” said Lori Richards, the director of the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations at the S.E.C. “We are looking into these allegations in a systemic way. It is fact-finding and too early for any conclusions.”

The S.E.C. confirmed the existence of the investigation but declined to comment further.
Concerns about insider trading have escalated as mergers and buyouts have boomed and the use of complex derivatives has soared. Studies of various markets — including those for stocks and credit default swaps — have pointed to an unusual amount of trading ahead of announcements for deals.

The growing power of hedge funds — and their opaqueness and the wide range of trading strategies they employ — is feeding those concerns. Hedge funds control an estimated 30 percent to 50 percent of trading on most major markets. They are also Wall Street’s best customers. Hedge funds trade, borrow and finance more, on average, than other clients And as more hedge funds enter a crowded field, the premium on information has never been higher.
With data on millions of trades from most major Wall Street banks, the S.E.C. will try to examine whether outside traders like hedge funds or internal traders like those inside the firm who are trading with the bank’s money may be getting tips from the bank handling the mutual fund’s trade and using the information to place a trade elsewhere.

“If an investment bank is tipping a hedge fund on a trade we are doing on Dell, those people all need to go to jail,” said Andrew M. Brooks, vice president and head of equity trading at T. Rowe Price, the mutual fund company. “We are absolutely concerned and worried and paranoid about information leakage, information that would allow someone to know about our trades and run ahead.”
If the commission finds any evidence of possible insider trading, it would then commence a formal investigation. The S.E.C. could ultimately bring civil charges against individuals or firms.
Regulators and law enforcement officials have pursued other cases related to the sharing of information about trades. In what became known as the squawk box case, brokers from institutions, including Merrill Lynch, Citigroup and Lehman Brothers, were accused of allowing traders to listen in on the public outcry system — the squawk box on the trading floors — to glean tips about customer orders coming in.

The S.E.C. sued the A. B. Watley Group and 16 people in the case. Next month, the United States attorney’s office in Brooklyn will bring to trial a case against seven people. Two have pleaded guilty to insider trading. While the accusations in the squawk box case involve an obvious dissemination of insider information, detecting whether traders were illegally tipped in huge, fast-moving markets is much harder.

When Linda Chatman Thomsen, head of enforcement at the S.E.C., testified before Congress in September about insider trading, she outlined some of the problems inherent in such cases.

“Piecing together an insider trading case can be a complex and painstaking process,” she said. “It is rare to find a ‘smoking gun’; virtually all insider trading cases hinge on circumstantial evidence. It is quite common for insider traders to come up with alternative rationales for their trading — rationales that the staff must refute with inferences drawn from the timing of the trades, the movement of the funds and other facts and circumstances.”

There are many gray areas. If Mr. Brooks of T. Rowe Price wants to sell stock in the XYZ Company and he hires a bank to do that, the bank has to call clients to gauge interest in the stock. That is not tipping, but legitimate work for the bank to do. And detecting any trades will be difficult. If a trader received a tip about a stock whose price was set to rise, that trader could enter into trades that are harder for regulators to detect — like derivatives transactions that are not traded on any exchange and whose value may be linked to a change in a stock price rather than the stock itself or an option on the stock.

Here’s how a questionable trade might take place: If Fidelity asked brokerage firm X to sell a large part of its stake in I.B.M., and traders at that brokerage firm told its favorite clients to expect a drop in I.B.M.’s price as a result, that favorite client could go to another brokerage firm — or group of banks or trading venues — and sell I.B.M. shares short, betting on a decline and making money when Fidelity’s order went through. The trader could pay back the source of the tip by directing more business to his bank.

“The information is going to the bank as an agent, and the bank is only supposed to use the information for the mutual fund’s benefit,” said Larry E. Ribstein, a professor of law at the University of Illinois. “If it uses it for someone else’s benefit, you might have a concern.”
The hedge fund business has long argued that it is unfairly tarnished with suggestions of insider trading. Amid increased scrutiny by regulators into hedge funds’ use of information in the loan market, the Managed Funds Association said in a statement last year, “We reaffirm our collective commitment to promote fair and competitive markets in which inappropriate use of material nonpublic information is not tolerated.”

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Civil War..........

Sitting here in my beautiful office, sipping coffee, waiting for dawn to break, reading about the news going on in Iraq on Super Sunday, it's hard to imagine the carnage of that massive truck bombing in the busy market that killed and maimed so many.

My prayers are for all of Iraq, even those maniacal fools who today, tomorrow and weeks to come, will prepare for their deaths by loading explosives into vehicles to kill so many innocents.

I wish a battalion of U.S. Marines could get to the bastards first and let God sort out their eternal life. My prayers too for all of the U.S. military and their families.

America today, so bored it needs to get worked up for a football game. Will the day ever come when we care more about social security reform, tax reform, abolishing earmarks or halting the illegal invasion? Probably not, none of those topics make good fodder for water-cooler gossip. I wish they would show some news clips from Iraq during the half-time show.

Iraq is a reality show that the middle-class is paying for and the stench gets stronger day by day.

Friday, February 02, 2007


Annual audits of hedge funds are now in full gear. Fund administrators should assist auditors in disclosure of "soft compensation" for their clients so that investors are fully informed about compensation being paid. Administrators might inquire of the hedge fund manager, (especially if trading statements show commissions exceeding $1 or so per futures contract) if the IB or Trading advisor is receiving any type of "soft compensation" back from the clearing broker or its advisors. Then quantify the additional compensation based on the # of contracts, or from a schedule of receipts by the manager, and present it to the auditor in workpaper form for appropriate disclosure to the investors.

This type of compensation is often stealth to auditors. Usually auditors will rely on the trading statements for the clearing brokers. Nowhere is soft comensation paid to the manager or IB disclosed on the monthly trading statement.