Sunday, June 25, 2006


Because I am HOME ALONE for a few days, I use this time to reflect, and to watch bad movies. So last night I chose HOSTILE and Underworld 2

Now Hostile started out great, great looking woman taking their clothes off, party time in Amsterdam for the 3 friends, until they find out the hard way they been had....."I make money on you, that makes you my bitch" says the beautiful vixen. As it turns out, unsuspecting people are being sold for torture, and you could pony up $50K and pick one to mame and kill as you like.....what fun!!!!! Underworld? well who wouldn't love a classic battle against werewolves and vampires?

We are at a crossroads, right here, right now! WHat to do?

Summer rally could be nigh, and it would make sense to come next Wed/Thur around the next Fed meeting on interest rates. 2 more hikes according to futures bets seem clear, MOST think 50 more basis points and DONE....some even think 50 comes next week signaling the FED IS DONE FOR NOW!!!!!

Isn't that what everyone is waiting for? Isn't that reason to PARTY ON DUDE?

Let's think about that. What would the END OF HIKES MEAN FOR US? It would mean SHOR TERM rates halt their rise, but longer term rates are controlled by market forces, and if they DROP, they would INVERT again (already are) signalling RECESSION ahead is likely.

Wouldn't the market like a potential CUT in interest rates by FED? but after such a historic rise in home prices and building activity, lowering rates would NOT, IMHO lead to another leg up in housing.

The US DOLLAR has been in rally mode, and as EWT calls for a 100 index move for dollar, so many feel it impossible to happen, majority long the Euro, that is Hedge Fund buying. A crowded trade is not where I want to be.

Long term rates have broken out, and is causing much pain in economy, higher credit card rates, double minimum payments not to mention a coming rise to all those in adjustable mortgages.

Consider that REAL INFLATION is present in economy, even in manipulated government data, the hawkish tone of FED might mean they overcompensate for these inflation possibilities, as they often overshoot. I mean what would you call keeping rates at 1% for a year when rates fell?

I was just in Fla., and I saw MUCHO for sale signs, prices are easing, inventory rising, speculators may be caught with hand in cookie jar. Speculators fueled the unwanted rise in prices, not NORMAL demand, and it also has unwanted side effect of raising everyone's property taxes!!!

I have read the negative savings rate doesn't matter, that as long as Consumer's keep spending we'll be fine, or if they begin to lighten up, Business Spending will cover the slack. But a recent CEO POLL showed 41% CUTTING SPENDING!!!!!!!




Friends, the markets will tell us, price action will dictate our course, and there is NO reason trying to predict what no one can.



E-Mails Reveal Abramoff Requests, Contacts
By JOHN SOLOMON, Associated Press Writer
39 minutes agoUPDATED 12 MINUTES AGO

Jack Abramoff leaves Federal Court in Washington, Jan. ...
WASHINGTON - Wanted: Face time with President Bush or top adviser Karl Rove. Suggested donation: $100,000. The middleman: lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Blunt e-mails that connect money and access in Washington show that prominent Republican activist Grover Norquist facilitated some administration contacts for Abramoff's clients while the lobbyist simultaneously solicited those clients for large donations to Norquist's tax-exempt group.
Those who were solicited or landed administration introductions included foreign figures and American Indian tribes, according to e-mails gathered by Senate investigators and federal prosecutors or obtained independently by The Associated Press.
"Can the tribes contribute $100,000 for the effort to bring state legislatures and those tribal leaders who have passed Bush resolutions to Washington?" Norquist wrote Abramoff in one such e-mail in July 2002.
"When I have funding, I will ask Karl Rove for a date with the president. Karl has already said 'yes' in principle and knows you organized this last time and hope to this year," Norquist wrote in the e-mail.
A Senate committee that investigated Abramoff previously aired evidence showing Bush met briefly in 2001 at the White House with some of Abramoff's tribal clients after they donated money to Norquist's group.
The 2002 e-mail about a second White House meeting and donations, however, was not disclosed. The AP obtained the text from people with access to the document.
The tribes got to meet Bush at the White House in 2002 again and then donated to Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform, or ATR.
Though Norquist's own e-mail connects the $100,000 donation and the White House visit, ATR spokesman John Kartch said Norquist never offered to arrange meetings in exchange for money.
Instead, Norquist simply wanted Abramoff's tribes to help pay for a conference where lawmakers and tribal leaders passed resolutions supporting the Bush agenda, ultimately securing a brief encounter with Bush, Kartch said.
"No one from Americans for Tax Reform ever assisted Jack Abramoff in getting meetings or introductions with the White House or congressional leaders in exchange for contributions," Kartch said, suggesting some of the e-mails might be misleading.
"If you look at some of Abramoff's e-mails to third parties, they might be misread to suggest that he was misrepresenting or confusing support for a project with a specific meeting," Kartch said. "This could have been deliberate or just unclear."
Kartch said: "People were invited to ATR's conference and to the White House only if they worked on pro-tax-cut resolutions. Nobody was invited because they made a contribution to ATR."
Lawyers for Abramoff declined comment.
The White House said Rove was unaware that Norquist solicited any money in connection with ATR events in both 2001 and 2002 that brought Abramoff's tribal clients and others to the White House.
"We do not solicit donations in exchange for meetings or events at the White House, and we don't have any knowledge of this activity taking place," said a White House spokeswoman, Erin Healy.
After the tribes' 2002 event with Bush, Norquist pressed Abramoff anew for tribal donations _ this time for a political action committee. "Jack, a few months ago you said you could get each of your Indian tribes to make a contribution. ... Is this still possible?" Norquist asked in an October 2002 e-mail.
Abramoff responded that "everyone is tapped out having given directly to the campaigns. After the election, we'll be able to get this moving."
The e-mails show Abramoff delivered on his original promise to get tribal money for the event that included the Bush visit, sending one check from the Mississippi Choctaw tribe in October and one in November from the Saginaw Chippewa of Michigan. Kartch said Abramoff didn't deliver on PAC contributions.
Norquist and Abramoff were longtime associates who went back decades to their days in the Young Republicans movement. Norquist founded ATR to advocate lower taxes and less government. He built it into a major force in the Republican Party as the GOP seized control of Congress and the White House.
Abramoff became one of Washington's rainmaker lobbyists before allegations that he defrauded Indian tribes led to his downfall and a prison sentence. He is cooperating with prosecutors.
At the time ATR dealt with Abramoff, Kartch said, "he was a longtime and respected Republican activist in Washington. There was no reason to suspect any of the problems that later came up."
The e-mails show Abramoff, on multiple occasions, asked clients for large donations to Norquist's group while Norquist invited them to ATR events that brought them face to face with top administration officials.
For instance, several months after donating $25,000 to Norquist's group, Saginaw officials attended a reception in the summer of 2003 at Norquist's home. They posed for a photo with Norquist and Labor Secretary Elaine Chao.
A few weeks earlier, then-Saginaw tribal chief Maynard Kahgegab Jr. had been appointed by Chao to a federal commission, according Labor Department and tribal documents obtained by the AP.
The Saginaw used the Chao photo, the commission appointment and photos they took with Bush at the White House to boast on their internal Web site about the high-level Washington access that Abramoff's team had won.
Labor officials confirmed that Chao attended the reception at Norquist's home. But they said they do not know who recommended Kahgegab to be appointed in May 2003 to the U.S. Native American Employment and Training Council. The department sought to remove the chief a year later after he lost a tribal election, documents show.
"This is one of hundreds of advisory appointments that are sent forward by agencies within the department for front office signoff," said a department spokesman, David James.
ATR's Kartch suggested Chao's contact with the Saginaw at Norquist's home was incidental. "ATR does many receptions for supporters. There were dozens of people in attendance that evening. This event was not organized specifically for any person, but was rather a widely attended general event," he said.
Norquist did make a special effort _ at Abramoff's request _ to introduce a British businessman and an African dignitary to Rove at another ATR event in summer 2002.
Abramoff bluntly told Norquist he was asking the African dignitary for a $100,000 donation to ATR and suggested the introduction to Rove might help secure the money.
"I have asked them for $100K for ATR," Abramoff wrote Norquist in July 2002. "If they come I'll think we'll get it. If he is there, please go up to him (he'll be African) and welcome him."
Norquist obliged.
"I am assuming this is very important and therefore we are making it happen," the GOP activist wrote back, promising to introduce the two foreigners as well as a Saginaw tribal official to Rove that night.
A day later, an ecstatic Abramoff sent an e-mail thanking Norquist for "accommodating" the introductions. "I spoke with the ambassador today and he is moving my ATR request forward," the lobbyist wrote, referring to the donation.
Kartch confirmed Norquist invited the foreigners to the ATR event, but Kartch said the group never asked for, expected or received the $100,000.
It was not the first time that Abramoff sought ATR donations in connection with lobbying business. E-mails dating to 1995 show Abramoff solicited donations from clients to Norquist's group as part of lobbying efforts.
"I spoke this evening with Grover," Abramoff wrote in an October 1995 e-mail outlining how Norquist and his group could help a client on a matter before Congress.
Abramoff wrote that the lobbying help he was seeking from Norquist's group was "perfectly consistent" with ATR's position but that Norquist nonetheless wanted a donation to be made.
"He said that if they want the taxpayer movement, including him, involved on this issue and anything else which will come over the course of the year or so, they need to become a major player with ATR. He recommended that they make a $50,000 contribution to ATR," the lobbyist wrote.
Abramoff cautioned one of his colleagues that the donation needed to be "kept discreet."
"We don't want opponents to think that we are trying buy the taxpayer movement," he said.
Kartch denied that anyone at ATR asked Abramoff for the money. "ATR is not responsible for comments by Jack Abramoff to third parties," he said.
Copyright 2006 The Associated Press

Thursday, June 08, 2006


A Very Likely Scenario Is For Rate Cut To Cause A Short Term Bounce In Stock Market:
In the past the stock market normally advanced quickly on 1st or 2nd cut of rates by the Federal Reserve. If rates are cut on Tuesday, then this will be the 3rd cut. Our expectation is for there to be a market rally for a few days or a couple weeks. Then we expect the market to turn down and move into lower territory. In other words we believe there is a strong likelihood of a Bear Market Rally, but we do not believe this is the end of the Bear Market. Those needing to raise some cash could liquidate some stocks if the advance occurs, but I do not believe this is a time to be increasing commitment to the stock market.

Why Expect Immediate Advance In Stock Market (if it occurs) To Be Short Lived:
There are two fundamental reasons for believing that the Bear Market will continue, and it will take more cuts in the Discount and Federal Funds rate before the bottom is in place. The first problem is that levels of market valuation remain high and are not consistent with market bottoms. For example, the P.E. ratio of the S&P 500 climbed from 16 at beginning of 1995 to 36 (a 50-year record) at the top of the market in March 2000. The P.E. Ratio for the S&P 500 has come down to 22.6 from 36, but is still way above the average of 16.2 P.E. from 1970 to the present (see chart). In addition, as stock prices soared the dividend yield has fallen from 6% in 1980 to a little over 1% a few weeks ago (now 1.36%). In other words, for the market to put in a real bottom we would expect the P.E. Ratio to fall from 22.6 to around 15, or a decline of another 35%.

The NASDAQ Is Even More Overvalued:
The NASDAQ climbed to a P.E. of 200 at the top of the market in early 2000 and has fallen to around 80. The average PE for the NASDAQ is close to 35 times earnings so the NASDAQ could fall by another 50% to bring it down to its historical average.

Other Problems Hanging Over The Stock Market:
We have gone through the longest economic expansion in history that started in March 1991. The almost 10-year long boom has presented great economic times for many Americans. But at the same time there have been some excesses that have come along with the economic boom. To participate in the good times, consumer credit has exploded with credit cards being extensively used to acquire more of the good life. Home equity (% of equity in a home to the value of the home) has fallen sharply as home owners have refinanced their homes and increased their mortgages, while others have taken out secondary mortgages on their home to finance consumption. Huge credit card debt and home mortgage debt is a hangover from the longest expansion in the history of our economy.

Danger In A Near Zero Savings Rate:
The personal savings rate during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s ran from 7%-8%, but in the booming carefree 1990s the personal savings rate has fallen to near zero. With the implosion of the stock market and family wealth and job uncertainty (and rising unemployment if economy further tightens), it can be clearly anticipated that the personal savings rate will start to rise. When everything is bright (good jobs, easy credit, and growing retirement and investment portfolios), then people will cut their savings rate (as has occurred during the booming 1990s). If the saving rate were to start climbing from the 0-1% level now back to 7%-8% (the norm), then this could take 2%-3% out of GDP for several years and cause stagnation much like has occurred in Japan. If the black economic clouds grow, then Americans will pull back from their spending ways and start again saving for a rainy day. We could become more like Japan where personal savings has rapidly increased over the last 12 years while the Japanese economy has been in the tank.


We expect the Federal Reserve to cut rates when it meets tomorrow and this is in our opinion the appropriate policy. In the past cuts in the Fed Funds and Discount Rate has been very bullish for the stock market. We believe there is a good chance of a Bear Market Rally if the Fed cuts rates on Wednesday. But after a few days or a couple of weeks, we expect the market to move to new lower territory. Primary reasons for this opinion is that levels of market valuation remain fairly high (not what are usual at market bottoms). In addition, there are excesses associated with the record long economic boom that will have to be worked out before the economy can again advance strongly with stock prices climbing.
Flash forward to today!!! (Duratek)

We now have negative saving rate, consumption was NEVER curbed during the 2001 Recession nor anytime during the 2000-2003 Bear Market, only more excesses more piled up, more debt etc. We are LESS prepared then to deal with any economic adversity.

Higher energy costs, inflation in areas of consumer needs not wants make the disposable income scenario much worse, as wages have FAILED to keep up with even basic inflation.

Real estate has begun to deflate, a major driver of economy, and is why I believe the commodity prices have begun to decline, and may be entering a bear market.

Chinese stock market is in bear market and recently plummeted by 5%.

VIX ratio is now in an uptrend and we have experienced TWO 90% DOWN DAYS in stock market in past 30 days, VERY good chance Bear Market is BACK!!!!! The risk is to the downside, and we have enterred the weakest 6 months of stock market returns.

Stock market leadership is nowhere to be found, MANY Dow and SPX stocks near 52 week lows, any near 52 week highs continues to diminish near record levels.

IMHO, with cyclical bull rally in very elder stages, extreme caution is now advised. Consult with your financial professional to see if your portfolio can withstand the return of the Bear Market should that be the reality.

The financial mechanisms are surrounded by GS cronies, let's see what PPT team can do.