Wednesday, September 28, 2005

in the news

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin held a press conference a little bit ago, and started losing control to a media pool assembled that was showing signs of panic, due to the previous incompetence in the region by the local and state government. Lt. Gen. Russel Honore stepped in and literally took over. ….Here's what he had to say: Male reporter: General, a little bit more about why that's happening this time, though, and did not have that last time... Honore: You are stuck on stupid. I'm not going to answer that question. We are going to deal with Rita. This is public information that people are depending on the government to put out. This is the way we've got to do it. So please. I apologize to you, but let's talk about the future. Rita is happening. And right now, we need to get good, clean information out to the people that they can use. And we can have a conversation on the side about the past, in a couple of months. ( - The New Orleans police chief resigned abruptly on Tuesday, giving no reason. But as the Houston Chronicle reported, Police Superintendent Eddie Compass stepped aside on the same day that he and Mayor Ray Nagin were accused by the New Orleans Times-Picayune of embellishing stories of post-Katrina crime and mayhem at the Convention Center and Superdome.

It may be the oddest tale to emerge from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Armed dolphins, trained by the US military to shoot terrorists and pinpoint spies underwater, may be missing in the Gulf of Mexico. Experts who have studied the US navy's cetacean training exercises claim the 36 mammals could be carrying 'toxic dart' guns. Divers and surfers risk attack, they claim, from a species considered to be among the planet's smartest. The US navy admits it has been training dolphins for military purposes, but has refused to confirm that any are missing .(

Hillary Clinton was asked whether she favored curbs on the Internet, after the DRUDGE REPORT made headlines with coverage of her husband's affair with a White House intern. "We are all going to have to rethink how we deal with this, because there are all these competing values ... Without any kind of editing function or gatekeeping function, what does it mean to have the right to defend your reputation?" she said.(Matt Drudge)

( - Authorities in China, where at least three journalists have been jailed this year for political "crimes" involving the Internet, clamped down further at the weekend by introducing new regulations for online news services.

( - Following five years of United Nations control and billions of dollars of international aid, Kosovo is a lawless region "owned" by the Albanian mafia, characterized by continuing ethnic cleansing and subject to increasing infiltration by al Qaeda-linked Muslim jihadists, according to a whistleblower interviewed by Cybercast News Service.

Sept. 28 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. orders for durable goods rose a greater-than-expected 3.3 percent in August, rebounding from the biggest drop in 18 months, as businesses sought to rebuild stocks depleted by surging sales.

Orders rose in all categories except defense equipment.
The Federal Reserve's success in taming the economy's ups and downs may have also raised the risks of reckless investor behavior, Chairman Alan Greenspan said. (WSJ)

Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, drawing on new research he has personally supervised, said American consumers have become enormously dependent on borrowing against their homes to fuel their spending, and that a rise in mortgage rates could trigger a spending pullback. Mr. Greenspan's new data show that borrowing against home values added a stunning $600 billion to consumers' spending power last year, equivalent to 7% of personal disposable income -- compared with 3% in 2000 and 1% in 1994 (WSJ)

Defying expectations, sales of previously owned homes rose in August to the second-highest level on record with home prices rising at the fastest pace in 26 years. The National Association of Realtors reported Monday that sales of existing homes rose 2 percent in August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 7.29 million units, a sales pace that was exceeded only by an all-time high of 7.35 million units in June. (MARTIN CRUTSINGER AP)

NEW YORK -- This summer's back to back superstorms are proof positive we have entered a new period of "global warming emergency," artist/citizen Barbra Streisand warns.(Matt Drudge)

Although this has been an exceptional year in terms of the number of storms, there have so far not been as many as there were in 1995, when we had 19. There have been similarly active seasons dating back decades. In both 1960 and 1961 there were two Category 5 storms in the Atlantic region and in 1933 there were 21 storms. ( Julian Heming of the Met Office in Exeter)

If you discount Ophelia, which grazed the Carolinas, three hurricanes have so far made landfall over the US this year. In 1886, records show that there were seven. (Julian Heming of the Met Office in Exeter)

just trying not to be"... stuck on stupid?"......

September 27, 2005


Some sound advice was offered to all investors this week in the after math of hurricane Rita by National Guard Lt. General Russel Honore, when he asked rhetorically “You are stuck on stupid”? Often the stock market has a habit of making anyone feel that way. Wall Street firms JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs not to be out done are trying to factor the risk of global warming and climate change into your portfolio. Ask any Dinosaur how climate change can be detrimental to your health. As for me I would just be happy if some one could accurately predict the weather for tomorrow.

After the worst week in three months on Wall Street, there still seems a chance that September could finish positive for a change, considering the market sells off with higher oil prices and rallies when they subside. While Katrina took many by surprise in typical fashion lighting seldom strikes twice in the same spot and so Rita caused far less damage then was originally feared. Although there is much debate on the health of the oil industry in the gulf, the big issues are simple; the energy infrastructure in the USA has been significantly underinvested in for some time perhaps 40 years so there really is just not much room for “Murphy’s law” or a category 4-5 hurricane in the gulf.

Energy stocks like housing stocks seems to be operating under the, “if it can’t get any better than this, some cataclysmic event comes along that makes it even better”. All I have to say is that after 4 hurricanes in south Florida last year home prices showed enormous price appreciation. It is the same theme over and over again. My concern is that many of the home builders have traded off there highs significantly, this may be the signal of a coming slow down in housing or just another temporary consolidation, the jury is still out for the moment .Remember that in situations of over speculation things often look best just before the damn breaks, like in March of 2000 with the Tech and dot com bubble.

Rates look to keep rising as the FED seeks to temper the huge infusion of aid to the gulf region knowing that adding enormous amounts of liquidity should give the economy a bit of a sugar rush for the next several months.

And on a final note one look at the “new apprentice” it becomes obvious that Martha Stewart belongs in the kitchen. Don’t for get to check out my website and blog for updates.


Tuesday, September 20, 2005

lots of news this week

Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer, an Army intelligence officer who worked on the program, said Thursday that before the Able Danger data was destroyed, he had briefed senior officials in the Pentagon and White House on ways to excise U.S. persons' names without losing the entire database. He said the Pentagon must have obliterated the data for another reason that it is not disclosing. .( By John M. Donnelly from The Congressional Quarterly)

The chart topping hip hop rapper star who used a network hurricane fundraiser to charge "George Bush doesn't care about black people" was loudly and lustily booed during last night's NFL kickoff show. The appearance of Kanye West, who was beamed into the Boston stadium via remote from Los Angeles, received a strongly negative response from the crowd. "The boos were thunderous and lasted for much of his number," reports the BOSTON GLOBE.

Red Cross workers arrived in New Orleans with enough food, water and blankets for thousands of Hurricane Katrina victims the night before levees broke and flooded the city, but were prevented from delivering the aid to stranded citizens by state officials."I'm told that they were ready as soon as the winds died down and the roads were passable, which means before the levees broke," Fox News Channel's Major Garrett reported Thursday.(NEWSMAX)

Americans used 4% less gasoline amid skyrocketing pump prices last week than they did the week before Hurricane Katrina hit, the federal government reported. But whether that indicates consumers have decided to conserve or merely that they couldn't find all the gasoline they wanted isn't clear. (WSJ)

KUWAIT (Reuters) – Wealthy OPEC nation Kuwait is donating $500 million worth of oil products and other humanitarian aid to its ally the United States to ease the impact of Hurricane Katrina, state news agency KUNA reported on Sunday."The humanitarian aid is oil products that the devastated (U.S.) states need in these circumstances, plus other humanitarian aid to lessen the devastation these three states have been subjected to," Energy Minister Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahd al-Sabah told KUNA.Sheikh Ahmad said the gesture was a duty toward a friend by the tiny Gulf Arab state which was liberated in 1991 by a U.S.-led multinational coalition from seven months of occupation by IraqThe minister, who is also the OPEC chief, was speaking after the weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers. Tiny Kuwait controls nearly a tenth of global petroleum reserves.

“The floodgates would have blocked the flow of water from the Gulf of Mexico, through Lake Borgne, through the Rigolets [and Chef Mentuer] into Lake Pontchartrain,” declared Professor Gregory Stone, the James P. Morgan Distinguished Professor and Director of the Coastal Studies Institute of Louisiana State University. “This would likely have reduced storm surge coming from the Gulf and into the Lake Pontchartrain,” Professor Stone told Michael P. Tremoglie during an interview on September 6. The professor concluded, “[T]hese floodgates would have alleviated the flooding of New Orleans caused by Hurricane Katrina.”… Why was this project aborted? As the Times-Picayune wrote, “Those plans were abandoned after environmental advocates successfully sued to stop the projects as too damaging to the wetlands and the lake's eco-system.” (

"The inescapable conclusion from the committee's work is that the United Nations organization needs thorough reform -- and it needs it urgently," the report said (WSJ)

The document — the fourth report released by the IIC, headed by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker— lays out a pattern of "illicit, unethical and corrupt behavior" that overwhelmed the United Nations. It criticizes Annan and slams his stewardship and management skills, as well as the oversight of the Security Council. (FOXNEWS)

An analysis of the confidential medical report on Yasser Arafat's death reveals three main possibilities as to the cause: poisoning, AIDS or an infection. (By Amos Harel, Haaretz Correspondent, and AP)
WASHINGTON (AP) - A large solar flare was reported Wednesday and forecasters warned of potential electrical and communications disruptions. The flare was reported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Space Environment Center in Boulder, Colo. Significant solar eruptions are possible in the coming days and there could be disruptions in spacecraft operations, electric power systems, high frequency communications and low-frequency navigation systems, the agency said. "This flare, the fourth largest in the last 15 years, erupted just as the ... sunspot cluster was rotating onto the visible disk of the sun," said Larry Combs, solar forecaster at the center. The flare has affected some high-frequency communications on the sunlit side of Earth, NOAA reported.

"The equity research [analysts] question the investment bank's ability to accept stricter rating standards at the expense of revenues," wrote John Hoffmann, then head of research for Salomon Smith Barney, Citi's securities unit, to its banking boss Michael Carpenter in a 2002 memo. (NY POST)

sun spots in my eyes

September 12 2005


While the country is still arguing about who’s fault the hurricane Katrina is ,I have moved on to new hurricanes and a more plausible explanation ; sun spots. For years science has studied these solar flares know to the laymen as sun spots. They have been credited with the bull market of the 1980’s and 1990’s, the end of the Second World War, the fall of the Roman Empire; Roger Maris hitting 61 home runs and on and on. Some studies suggest that the good performance in the stock market tracks certain sun spot phenomenon. It has been rumored that certain large Wall Street firms has devoted significant resources to studying solar flares effect on the market. My personal experience has been a bit more mixed. Sun spots seem to explain only the crazy market inconsistencies and So if things seem a bit off, stocks down when they should be up the next time you hear blame game, just think quietly to your self, it is all about sun spots.

First it was all about who to blame for Katrina, now its blame everything on Katrina. Company after company is rushing to tell us that its not bad management, accounting irregularities, lack of vision, or poor judgment. It is just good old mother nature reeking havoc to the unsuspecting masses, yea right.

As I said in the last email Semi’s still looked good, with their technical charts intact and the first week of September was surprisingly strong .Of coarse last week things went back to the normal September swoon and sold off. As I have said before the key to the market returning to more normal performance would be a sizable rally in the Semi conductors. I am still looking at weakness thru the 3rd week of October and then a substantial year end market rally.

Looking over the past couple of years it is becoming increasing clear that it is all about timing and asset mix, I can have 20 accounts with the same stocks and yet the performance could run the gamut from up 30% to down 25% all depending on the date of purchase and percentage of a particular asset. Energy has dominated the winners, but several times I have been under the impression that the sector has gotten way a head of itself. It looks to me that the pressure on energy prices stems more from underinvestment, restrictions and underdevelopment of the infrastructure to deliver the energy to the consumer not some depletion of reserves as many would have you believe. I think what is confusing to lot of people is that the long term trend of raising energy prices and raising energy stocks, yet short term, which could last several months the corrections are giving very strong sell signals ,later to reverse to a strong buy signal. The pricing mechanism of the stock market seems to still be off, no efficient market at work here and it can take some time to dig yourself out when a stock goes against you and can take sometime for a stock to move up for very obvious reasons.


Wednesday, September 07, 2005

in and out of the news

Louisiana disaster plan, pg 13, para 5 , dated 01/00'The primary means of hurricane evacuation will be personal vehicles. School and municipal buses, government-owned vehicles and vehicles provided by volunteer agencies may be used to provide transportation for individuals who lack transportation and require assistance in evacuating'...(Matt Drudge)

WALL STREET shuddered yesterday after Alan Greenspan, the United States’ central banker, warned American homebuyers that they risk a crash if they continue to drive property prices higher.(TIMES ON LINE)

J.D. Smith, a defense contractor who claims he worked on the technical side of the unit, code-named "Able Danger" (search), told reporters Friday that he helped gather open-source information (search), reported on government spending and helped generate charts associated with the unit's work. Able Danger was set up in the 1990s to track Al Qaeda activity worldwide. (FOXNEWS)

Christian Coalition founder Pat Robertson prompted a firestorm of media outrage on Tuesday after he suggested that the Bush administration should assassinate a foreign leader who posed a threat to the U.S. - in this case, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. But when senior Clinton advisor George Stephanopoulos publicly argued for the same kind of assassination policy in 1997, the press voiced no objection at all. (NEWS MAX)

( - The al Qaeda terrorist network may be planning a terrorist attack in a major city in Asia as a bid to undermine investor confidence and cause serious economic damage, one of Europe's leading terrorist investigators has warned.

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - U.S. jets launched airstrikes Tuesday near the Syrian border, destroying three houses and killing a ``known terrorist,'' the U.S. military said. Iraqi authorities said fighting had broken out in the area between a tribe that supports foreign fighters and another that backs the government. (AP)

Washington ( - The Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., the current home of hundreds of wounded veterans from the war in Iraq, has been the target of weekly anti-war demonstrations since March. The protesters hold signs that read "Maimed for Lies" and "Enlist here and die for Halliburton."

UNITED NATIONS - In a move hailed by American officials as "dramatic," and which has given hope to Syrian dissidents who aim to replace the Baath regime of Bashar Assad with a democracy, a U.N. investigator yesterday pointed to five former Lebanese security officials - all of whom have close ties to Syria - as possible suspects in the assassination of a former Lebanese prime minister, Rafik Hariri. (NY SUN)

A group led by New York financier Carl Icahn is considering making a tender offer to buy as much as 10% of Time Warner Inc., hoping to put more pressure on the media conglomerate to respond to Mr. Icahn's overtures (WSJ)

BEIRUT (Reuters) - U.N. investigators quizzed five senior pro-Syrian figures, including a top aide to Lebanon's president, on Tuesday as suspects in the February killing of former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri. Lebanese police and U.N. investigators detained three former security chiefs in dawn raids, the first time they have implicated allies of Syria in the killing that shook Lebanon and hastened the departure of Syrian troops after three decades.

JERUSALEM – The arrests today of three pro-Syrian security chiefs over the murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri has many leaders, security officials and top journalists in Beirut who may be seen as threats to Damascus worried about possible reprisals against them – with some having already departed the country. (ARON KLIEN, World Net Daily)

UNITED NATIONS -- A sweeping yearlong probe of the Iraq oil-for-food program has concluded that the United Nations allowed "illicit, unethical, and corrupt behavior" to overwhelm the $64 billion operation, and must adopt sweeping reforms to reclaim its credibility before taking on such tasks again. (WSJ)

the issue is becoming the scale of corruption in the U.N.'s normal operations — and which individuals and corporations are reaping the benefits of a network of bribery and conspiracy that investigators have just begun to uncover. So far, those identities are still a mystery — but perhaps not for much longer. (FOXNEWS)

rally interupted

August 29th 2005


With Katrina smashing into New Orleans, looks like I will have to put off my trip to the French quarter for another couple of months. Worse yet better batten down the hatches, September is by and large the worst month to own stocks historically. The historical data suggest that 30% of the time September is an up month, 70% of the time September is a down month. The average return is a loss of 1.31% making it the worst month of the year .Up months have produced an average return of 3.49% and losing moths have produced an average loss of about 4.69%. This makes September the worst month statistically, but as they say in baseball this could be one of the 3 in 10 that is actually up.

Taking a break from the, I told you so’s and blame game surrounding the after math of the hurricane, the, market looks more likely to continue its rally interrupted. By interrupted I refer to the summer rally that sprouted during the early days of June till the middle of July. If oil prices fall from there decade highs, and the FED decides enough is a enough two of the central features of the current environment that continue to put a lid on the markets at every attempt to rally will be subdued at lest temporarily.

What makes me optimistic is that the Semi conductors though unable to get going the last few weeks, continue to have their positive chart action intact. The Semi’s in the past have led the way to higher market highs. I am also very positive about the hurricane ,yes that’s right because in the past the after math of hurricanes have led a booming building trade and all the elements that feed the process. The negatives of coarse abound, the media and human nature have a tendency to view the world thru short term negatives, but long term the power will come back on, the rigs will start pumping. the ships will sail, the refineries will snap, crackle and pop and we might actually start to get some sensible energy policy once and for all.


Friday, September 02, 2005

come out support the arts!!!!!

This show has been banned!

Kristine D. Paige and the Sound and Vision has been banned yes that’s right banned from performing at the Monroe Center in Hoboken. Law enforcement was threatened to be brought in and the show stopped. But our savior has arrived and in last minute through the kindness and generosity of Hudson County Art Supply a daring offer through great personal cost was made to host the event. The new venue just 2 short blocks from the Monroe Center,( simply park in the back for free at the Monroe Center and take the elevator up the hill from the light rail station to Jersey City Heights and walk straight up Congress Street). Come Saturday September 3rd starting around 9pm 38 Congress Street, Jersey City (yes it is safe, the only danger to you is the inspiration of Art and Music) and see what all the fuss is about. Don’t let our constitutional right of freedom of speech be trampled, join us and support the Sound and Vision the show, forced to flee its original venue but now relocated at 38 Congress Street ,Jersey City.

The Sound and Vision Show featuring 17 Paintings and 21 Sketches by Kristine D. Paige and Live music by Denise Barbarita


James & Kristine