Sunday, July 29, 2007
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Ronald Reagan was a wonderful, warm man. He made you love him by small acts of kindness and beautiful gestures. Raspberry Gumballs and the President.
But what America needed was the simple truth and a champion for individual rights and the Constitution; That Ronnie did not have to give. Today we need that individual even more desperately. We have that in Congressman Ron Paul.
United Republicans of California ("UROC") was founded on April 22, 1963, by then State Senator Joe Shell (see footnote) and Assemblyman Bruce Reagan to promote the candidacy of Senator Barry Goldwater for President of the United States. Many Republicans were disgusted with the corporate agenda adopted by the Rockefeller, big-money brokers who had controlled the Republican Party for so long. UROC's agenda was a real grass-roots campaign that took the ideas of Barry Goldwater directly into the homes and minds of Americans.
The method they adopted was shoe-leather activism. In San Marino alone, 15 groups of UROC members committed to going door to door for a registration drive that changed the make-up of the Republican Party. They went armed with Goldwater literature, two books: "None Dare Call It Conspiracy" by John Stormer and "A Choice Not An Echo" by Phyllis Schafly, and were prepared to talk about ideas. By this means, something like 2 million copies of “None Dare Call It Treason" were sold or given away by Goldwater activists.
UROC did not spend piles of money to enact change. Their activism, however, successfully changed the demographics of the Republican Party, awakening Americans to the ideas Americans had hungered for and encountered through several difference sources.
One of these sources,“Conscience of a Conservative,” by Barry Goldwater, was published in 1960. At that time, the then-rapidly-growing freedom – conservative movement was also fired with enthusiasm for the works of Ayn Rand and science-fiction master Robert Heinlein as well as the works of Rose Wilder Lane and Isabel Patterson.
Other organizations, such as the LA-based Foundation for Economic Education, established in 1946 by Leonard E. Read, and the John Birch Society, founded by "Taft Republican" Robert Welch in1958, promoted the benefits of free-markets and less government. These organizations continue to promote the same ideas today based on the foundations of freedom outlined in America's Founding documents.
Those ideas found fertile ground in the 60s, evoking a shift that continues today.
The ideas enunciated by UROC stood in stark contrast to the big government – corporate assumptions that had become institutional to American politics. America had undergone a take-over by corporate elites, led by Nelson Rockefeller, not yet recognized as such but the awareness that something was very wrong with America's direction resulted in an exploration of ideas that would eventually lead to the present.
The term Goldwater Republican became a badge of honor. The ideas that became the Conservative mantra defined what it meant to be a Conservative Republican. Those ideas were specific and reasoned. Today, being a Conservative means something entirely different.
The re-structuring of the term "Conservative" was accomplished by the reinterpretation of terms and issues using a carefully-orchestrated collation of faux history, misdirection, and political and personal coercion. Those who were, and are primarily, responsible for carrying this out were the interests, mostly corporate, who employed the NeoConservatives for just this purpose.
Unfortunately, the covert campaign to steal the term, 'conservative,' succeeded in grabbing it and the power of that movement from those in the Republican Party by the time of the Nixon presidency. Nixon was not a conservative but knew well he could not be elected unless he disingenuously assumed that mantle because Republicans had demonstrated a hunger for the rhetoric of freedom.
Ironically, it was Richard Nixon who fractured the Republican Party, driving out the Libertarian wing with his announcement of Wage and Price Controls on August 15, 1971. The Libertarian Party was officially founded on December 11, 1971, by David Nolan and a small group of former Republicans in the living room of activist Luke Zell in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
David Nolan had been an officer of three organizations at MIT which were working for the candidacy of Barry Goldwater. The three separate groups operating at MIT in 1963-64 were Young Republicans, Young Americans for Freedom ("YAF"), and Youth for Goldwater. The officers overlapped, making it possible for them to have more presence on the campus. Nolan came to the ideas on individual freedom, economics, and the Constitution from Barry Goldwater, Robert Heinlein, “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress,” and other fiction, and Ayn Rand's “Fountainhead” and “Atlas Shrugged.”
Soon after this, the first wave of eager and ambitious Trotskyites, soon to re-label themselves as Neo-Conservatives ("NeoCons"), left the Democratic Party to become Republicans. The first of these were Irving Kristol, his wife and son, William Kristol. These were soon followed by the cadre that, at present, still comprises the main intellectual end of the NeoCon cabal.
These idea-mongers had found a flush living re-packaging the strategies of Leo Strauss for use on Republicans and Libertarians. These included posh weekend-seminars that helped them identify potential academics and intellectuals who could accept their ideas with a straight face, keeping a clear eye on the potential for self profit.
Soon, the need to suborn and redirect the nascent Libertarian Movement and Party would be turned over to Edward H. Crane, III, and other profit-minded people.
Just a few years earlier, the same corporate interests had finished their capture of the Conservative Movement through the man who would become their first NeoCon President, Ronald Reagan.
UROC had encountered Ronald Reagan while it was still a shiny new organization still working on registration drives for Barry Goldwater. Ronnie had injected himself into Republican politics by giving the famous speech at the 1964 nominating convention that the corporate interests had been unable to stop directly.
Joe Shell said that during his campaign swings across California in 1962 his plane was sabotaged. It was an observant pilot who noticed, before the second leg of the flight, that the still-full second tank had been laced with barium. That observation saved them both.
According to Connie Ruffley, State Co-Chairman of UROC, Joe Shell had paid to have a speech written for Barry Goldwater who was to deliver it the 1964 Republican Convention. Nancy Reagan called Joe Shell and pleaded with him several times to allow Ronnie to read it. Nancy's tears and pleadings to allow Ronnie to read the speech over-came Joe and he reluctantly allowed Ronnie to deliver it instead of Barry. This speech gave Reagan a position as a Conservative and his courtship with UROC and the Conservative base in California. Joe Shell later remarked to Marion Hurley, State Co-Chairman of UROC, that he would regret to his dying day that he allowed Reagan to deliver that speech.
Ronnie then began to identify himself as a conservative. Until as late as 1960, however, he had been a leading member of United World Federalists (whose purpose was to merge America into a world government) and a charter member of Americans for Democratic Action. In addition to these far-left groups, Ronnie was a member of the National Advisory Council of the American Veterans Committee, which, according to a California Senate Committee report, was "under communist influence."
Reagan's interest in politics was sparked further when he was solicited to take a role by a group of wealthy men in Los Angeles, many with links to the University of Southern California ("USC"). This group provided funding and an infrastructure that allowed them to use The Great Communicator as their front man who sold himself as a 'conservative' using rhetoric that, after Reagan's election to office, was then refuted by their policies and appointments.
The change in what Conservative meant lasted until Reagan had obtained UROC's assistance in becoming governor of California in 1966. UROC, as it had done for Barry Goldwater for President, got behind Ronald Reagan for Governor. After the election of Reagan as Governor, UROC gave Reagan a list of reliable and qualified conservatives who would make outstanding candidates for California department heads, etc.
When Reagan's appointments as Governor began, none of those individuals UROC had recommended were named. His appointments were looked upon, first, as 'inexperienced.' The leadership of UROC spent a year researching and monitoring Reagan and his appointments and uncovered the fact that all of those named had been dedicated to vote for Nelson Rockefeller at the 1964 Republican National Convention.
It was a bad day for freedom, individual rights, and the U.S. Constitution. The Reagan Governorship in California left real Conservatives in shock, creating the raw material for injecting the NeoConservativism that would soon follow.
In 1963, UROC issued statement of principles which they stand by today. These principles define the operating principles of the larger Freedom Movement.
On May, 19, 2007, UROC endorsed Ron Paul for President because Dr. Paul's principles mirror those of UROC. Real Conservativism, Libertarianism and the U.S. Constitution have a champion. Americans hear Ron Paul and find new hope in a man who has lived his principles instead of speaking the emptiness of unfulfilled rhetoric.
The truth can be hard to face but only the truth heals and only the truth can set us free.
Footnote: Joseph Shell had been the Republican gubernatorial candidate for the Republican nomination in California in 1962 who lost to the Rockefeller forces. Shell believed he had been lucky to escape with his life. He told me about this over lunch while I was working on the White Campaign for 20th State Senate in 1990.
Joe said that during his campaign swings across the state before the primary his plane was sabotaged. It was an observant pilot who noticed, before the send leg of the flight, that the still-full second tank had been laced with barium. That observation saved them both.
Saturday, July 14, 2007
It probably should have occurred to me that some people reading my article last week, Blackstone Group LP and Your Piece of the Rock would have a more than academic interest in the vulnerability of money held in such instruments as mutual funds. It didn't. So I was slightly flummoxed when I started receiving e-mails and calls on the subject of where money ought to be put instead and then amused when Cramer of Mad Money took fire with the same story four days later.
A perusal of the Mad Money site lends weight to the idea the show is a useful shill for corporations trying to mainstream their Grid offerings above all. I did not expect this kind of, 'me tooism.' Fine. Jim and I will not be giving the same kind of advice to the anxious investor and my readership is tiny. His is huge; Our motives could not be more different.
The problem posed was the problematical security of funds invested in supposedly secure managed instruments such as mutual funds, IRAs 401Ks, pensions and annuities when these are then invested, unbeknownst to the owner, in high risk ventures such as Blackstone Group Limited Partners.
It takes three days for the agent to move the funds invested through any of the above instruments. There is no telling how long it will take to get the agent to move on the request.- if you can get them to answer the telephone in a volatile market. High risk ventures can plummet in a matter of hours.
While there is law and regulation that should make this impossible, in fact this is happening. Therefore the prudent investor must ask themselves what alternatives are available. The insightful investor who is able to encompass the whole of the action must go further than their mad money portfolio; that investor must venture into substance.
There are answers. In fact, there are two answers to keep firmly in mind.
Let's dispose of the issue of the present grid market first.
That answer is a Roth IRA. This self-managed individual retirement plan is much like a traditional IRA but contributions are never deductible and qualified distributions are tax-free. So if you know an investment in, say a promising stock in a green venture, could return dollars for pennies putting it into a Roth IRA could mean you could realize profits as follows.
You invest $1,000.00 in common stock valued at $.01 a share. You pay tax on the money. Six months later the company strikes it big with those lovely off grid units selling like hot cakes and the stock soars to $2.00 a share. You had 100,000 shares of stock worth $1,000.00. Now you have 100,000 shares of stock worth $200,000.00.
This does not include companies selling solar technologies or any other technologies linked to tax incentives. Tax incentives allow the production of higher priced approaches that will be cut off at the knees when those incentives end, which they will. These are a chaff, allowing grid corporations to continue to pump a little longer. Familiarize yourself with the faux grid offerings so you can avoid their seductive advertising and study the range of those technologies and services now approaching the market that are low cost to the consumer. Those faux green alternatives will soon be CorporaCorpses, dead in the water companies extinct for cause.
Now, you must have established that Roth IRA account five years previously to take money out. But you can withdraw funds without tax being assessed when you reach the age of 59 ½, become disabled, or want to use the money to purchase a first time home. When you die the money is inherited tax free by your beneficiaries. This is what the investment community means when it says, “buy low, sell high.”
You can move the investment yourself instantaneously using Scottrade, an online service that allows you to sell and buy for just $7.00 if the trade is over $1.00. Fees can eat up a lot of loot, so this allows you to avoid that.
Hands on and aware is the only the answer. And if this is the best strategy available using the present investment system remember it is one that gives informational access to those who control the grids and severely limits your access to your assets. But that is really only shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic. Saving your funds for the moment should not lead you to the conclusion that all else will remain status quo. The world, it is a changing.
Now to the most important grid exit issue.
Invest in yourself first. Get out of debt. Pay off your credit cards, your mortgage, that new car. Debt makes you vulnerable in ways you cannot even imagine. But you may already have seen the haunted look in the eyes of your friends who ignored the need to get off the debt grid.
Remember those endless ads cajoling you into refinancing, borrowing, buying; those seductive offers of, 'no payments for a year with approved credit?' Those were and are a trap for the unwary. GET OUT OF DEBT NOW. The opportunities for investment that will build a post Grid world are coming. If you have funds left after paying your debts keep those funds liquid and ready by following the strategy outlined above. Keep in mind what China is holding and that the dollar is about to implode, too. Take back control of your financial future.
While you did not notice prices and your 'needs' have risen to consume everything you make. This is why are you paying $2.00 for 16 oz. of water coming to $12.00 a gallon. You are paying more for water than gasoline.
Right now the Grid People are sucking out that last, sweet infusion of money stolen from those of us they view as expendable. That means you and me. It is ugly to consider; how you are going to feel when you look into your kids eyes and have to tell them there is no money to keep the power on, pay the mortgage, or put food on the table? This was a carefully honed plan that will take your job, your 401K, that IRA and your annuities and pension. You will be offered jobs you would never have imagined even considering.
Climb off now. There is hope in our future.
The dissolving economy will be flush with opportunities for improving your life; in a few years you will wonder at the choices you made that limited, not extended, the number and quality of choices available to you. Consider each point on the Grids and you can see why that is. The Grids are about forcing you into limitation at every turn. Energy, Communication technologies, Oil, Transportation, finance and more. Each of these force you to shell out money every month for 'services' and 'products' that enrich those who control those same grids. Listen and you can hear the squirrel cage you power. Keeping you working and paying is their singular goal, the bottom line. Your goals are different, they are about a better world for you, your family and for your community.
In each instance there are not one but many alternatives that make it possible to stop the outflow from your wallet and provide cheaper, more convenient, more varied and healthier options.
That world is coming.
Until then contemplate these tiny shards of sense.
In a declining economy always remember that cash is king, and keeping what you have is better than hoping what you lost will magically reappear.
Discretion is the better part of valor. When the market is roaring sometimes it is better to be a live dog than a dead lion.
Buy low. Sell high. With our market at an all time high logic would dictate that this is the time to convert to cash – beat out the big guys who will be going there soon.
The world is about to change big time. Get ready.
Sunday, July 08, 2007
As I write, the richest people in the world are divesting themselves of long term investments. Paris Hilton's personal fortune, something she probably does not know originated from a loan from John D. Rockefeller, will probably receive a notification that her interest in Hilton Hotels has been sold. She may notice – probably not.
Those who work for folks like Paris are, as you read this, stuffing assets such as Hilton (the corporation, not Paris) into pink dresses and pimping those long profitable but now matured enterprises out for sale. This means prettying up the balance sheet and fluffing the pillows, mostly. Those who do that work will be well compensated.
The Big Money People have left the room.
All of their cash is being carefully sequestered in banks, remote from risk. What the action tells you is to expect that the final segment of a long running con game is going into its final phase. Those in control are drooling in anticipation of one long final suck on the life's blood of America.
The target is your money, the money you thought was safe. The weapons are such Limited Partnerships as Kolberg, Kravitz Roberts & Co (KKR), Blackstone Group LP, and Apollo. This will be a big operation. That is why Blackstone went public last week. This week it is Apollo's turn. Limited Partnerships issue hunting licenses on your wealth you did not know existed. These LPs are opening their eyes, ready to go hunting for those huge repositories of long term capital in which you are probably happily invested.
Your money, tucked into those cozily safe mutual funds, IRAs, 401Ks, annuities or in your company pension plan are squarely in the crosshairs. Think again and familiarize yourself with these terms.
Terms and tiny bits of history you need to know for your own protection
Accredited Investor – Some one presumed to know how to protect themselves in the shark infested waters of finance. Possesses a net worth of at least one million, has an income of over $200,000.00 a year in addition to other wonderful qualities. $300,000.000 if they are married, but that's an entirely different article. More on that later.
Nonaccredited Investor- An individual who, even if they are wealthy, does not meet the sophistication criteria to be classified as accredited. Only 34 of these are supposed to be involved in many high risk Limited Partnership style ventures.
Investor - Along with owning an asset they are also referred to in the financial trade as 'patsies.'
Limited Partnership– A license to play with other people's money (OPM) with virtual impunity. May be started by only one individual. "Two or more partners formed to conduct a business jointly, and in which one or more of the partners is liable only to the extent of the amount of money they have invested, known as the "General Partner". Limited partners do not receive dividends, but enjoy direct access to the flow of income and expenses, if any is left after the GP and his friends get all their fees and commissions."
Mutual Fund – As the name suggests, other people mutually using your money to fund their deals; to you, a way for people to invest who really don't know anything about the world of finance and markets and spread their risk around. Many retirement funds are invested in mutual funds as well as IRAs, 401Ks, annuities, and most corporate pension plans. These are very illiquid and can take up to three days for a sales settlement to occur. Most major stock market drops happen in a few hours leaving those holding these sorts of investments SOL. That is why they are not allowed to invest in risky ventures, such as Limited Partnerships. The Mutual Fund was created as a financial instrument to use small investor capital to prevent a total market collapse. In other words your safe money has been converted into a financial instrument that provides a buffer for hedge funds to manipulate the market without a complete collapse.
The Securities Act of 1933 - After The Crash the Federal government began mandating more transparency in the sale of securities. This was to prevent the con games then associated with the sale of stock and securities. There are a variety of terms used in the industry for these schemes. That article will follow soon.
Grid Business – A business whose profits are guaranteed by using government to deny you choices.
What you should have done was to invest in yourself first – get rid of your debts. But that is hard to do when going into debt is so very inviting. From every point on the chart you are urged to buy – on credit. You see new cars, new clothes, amazing vacations, and enticing luxuries. You hunger and bite.
Consider the case of Mary Swan.
An only child, Mary inherited a home from her mother. When Mrs. Swan bought the place it cost her $11,000.00. When Mrs. Swan died 10 years ago the small home in Iowa was worth $80,000.00. There was no mortgage. Mrs. Swan did not believe in debt.
Mary works in the local Five and Dime Store. A year ago she had the home appraised and low and behold it was worth $160,000.00 and Vitech refinanced the home for her and allowed her to borrow 125% of the value of her home or $200,000.00. Mary bought her first new car and upgraded the house.
She also took a trip to Europe that had always been beyond her means. Mary was sure the house would continue to go up in value. And even if it didn't she invested the rest of the money. She would have enough, she was sure, to make the mortgage payment.
The hard reality is that in two years Mary will be homeless. Unable to make the new mortgage payments on her family's home she will need her job, which pays only $500.00 a week, like never before. But that new car will have finished the cycle of its planned obsolescence; or be repossessed if she cannot make the payments, even if she does it will be worn out. Without the car she will lose her job.
We all want a piece of the Rock, meaning we want financial security; most of us know very little about the mysterious, esoteric world of high finance. So we tend to be conservative about how we invest. We put our money in things like mutual funds so we will never be confronted with a poverty stricken old age, be unable to get our kids through college, or face medical bills that destroy us financially. We want prosperity and the comforts of life and all of us have worked hard to establish that for ourselves.
Mutual Funds and those other kinds of investments, 401Ks, IRAs, pension funds, did not exist in 1929. It was the demand for more secure investments and ordinary investors reluctance to trust the power brokers, that caused them to be brought into existence. The generation that experienced the depression demanded security first, after all they couldn't even trust the federal government and the banks. We entered into a war to shock Americans back into subjection.
It was an all cash no funny money society, You can't multiply cash into a 10 to 20 multiple, especially if it's buried in the back yard.
The problem is that those who run the finance game wanted larger and larger percentages of our blood. We already talked about Short Selling and the SEC in prior articles, now we need to consider what is happening with mutual funds and the like.
The accumulation of real money in mutual funds, IRAs, 401Ks and our pension funds have probably been driving them insane with desire for years now.
Savvy market manipulators see this locked up money as a treasure they must steal before the collapse. You thought no one could get at those funds. Oops. Wrong Again!
If you think you have security because you are invested in mutual funds, possess a hefty bank account and a managed portfolio of stocks you were assured will yield well, and live in a home with substantial equity, you may be on thinner ice than you realize. If you listen carefully, this summer you may well hear the sound of frigid ice of a heartless financial system cracking under your feet.
Those instruments for investment, mutual funds and stock portfolios, are being set up to be sucked dry. When the market goes South the power brokers regular stock holdings can be quickly sold and capital conserved immediately. It's called a "Stop Loss". You can't get a stop loss on a mutual fund... SUCKER!
You thought it was a level playing field, well it's not, and it never will be as long as the grasping gonzos who run Washington are still in power. Who did you think is invested in those Hedge Funds? Hedge Fund Short Sales will manipulate your mutual funds value into virtually nothing. With complete 'security', it's called a "Spread" or a "Straddle". Meanwhile your mutual funds holdings and so-called secure investments take three (3) days AFTER you persuade your investment firm this is what you need done to be converted to cash.
In three days your money will be long gone! Sleeping alongside all those fat cats money in Switzerland.
And now the kicker, demonstrating another fact about those who are sucking us dry.
Look over the holdings of Blackstone Group LP. It is a long list but take some time and just scroll through them. This LP is managed by people who appear not have a clue of what is about to happen in the burgeoning development of the new global infrastructure for communications, connectivity, and the supply of digital information, leave alone the fact that soon there will be 75 MPG automobiles coming from China.
That is the first point. The bulk of the companies in which they hold an equity interest are related to various points on the development chart in the related fields of communication devices, phones, etc., Internet, cable, business applications for the same, satellites, hardware, and enough other points on that development front to tell the informed reader that they are trying to anticipate every conceivable eventuality. You can't bey on every placement on the crap table and walk away a winner. No one knows what is eventually going to dominate the communications market. And remember how many of these start ups are handled by Hedge Funds; just like cattle are herded to the slaughter.
You can expect that most of these holdings, domestic and foreign, will either implode because they were wrong, be chopped up for consumption by Hedge Funds, or be acquired for pennies on the dollar in just a few years without having done more than consume the hopes and expectations of ordinary investors like yourself. That works for high risk businesses like Limited Partnerships. But why is your money there?
Remember that you, the uniformed investor, are not allowed to invest in those risky ventures? The SEC is supposed to ensure that does not happen.
However, that does not mean your professionally managed mutual fund can't and won't do it for you. They are doing just that right now. Blackstone Group, that very Limited Partnership, is a prime example. Now, you might well own a few grains of their sandstone through your so-called 'secure' investments.
I told you those in finance hungered for your funds; they are now preparing to consume.
Many big mutual funds are heavily invested in such LPs right now. Those in charge of those mutual funds are not accountable if there is, gasp, an unexpected loss, remember that.
The SEC, charged since its beginning with ensuring that you, the uninformed investor is protected, is taking no action, just to mention.
As an uniformed investor it is your derrière that is swinging naked over the swampish pit filled with crocs because although you shouldn't be able to invest in high risk securities. But you are just a bloke getting ready to be stung by that cute little pea and a big shell game carefully and strategically ignored by the SEC.
The proven holdings in that portfolio, which run along the lines of a 'grid' business strategy, making their income from matured forms of business, show some of this and that, a stew of businesses that act as scant flavoring with no real direction or sense of the future. These are, like those that formerly belonged to Paris. The prettified Pig wearing that fancy lipstick is now in the portfolio that secures your future – while Paris's money takes a hiatus in the Rivera in a the highest security venue possible. Oh, and in a currency backed by GOLD not the ability to print worthless greenback into infinity.
Someone's interests are being protected. That someone is not you, my friend.
Everyone involved is gambling with your money. Nice trick when it works, right?
All of this leads to several natural questions. Why has the SEC ignored the risk to uniformed investors? A word from the SEC could have stopped operations that clearly violate both the intention and word of the law. Which leads us to wonder where Chris Cox's doubtless significant coffers are cached.
If Blackstone Group and their LP friends makes you feel secure then grab that anchor and try floating. One thing to remember is that "There's Old Money and Bold Money, but there's no old bold money!
Thursday, July 05, 2007
If you think that the Securities and Exchange Commission extrudes those volumes of regulations to protect you the consumer, then I have a bridge to sell you; Quite the opposite. Those regulations that the SEC mandates actually make it nearly impossible for you to dream the big American dream. The chances of the ordinary investor getting a chance to invest in that little start up that will become the next Microsoft, IBM or CISCO Systems are slim to impossible, especially if the SEC has anything to do with it!
Don’t feel alone, however; smaller companies are also being converted into cash through the machinations of the SEC’s familiars.
That is why your chances of living out a comfortable retirement, or having the luxuries you see enjoyed by others, or participating in the wealth reserved for the elite few; those "qualified" to invest in a Hedge Fund are null.
The SEC wants you exactly where you are; a working "John" who makes a day’s wages for two days’ work, worrying about whether your 401K will be enough, and whether the corporation you spent your life working for will go through down-sizing, or worse, "bankruptcy," and thus default on your retirement benefits.
It is ugly, but it is the reality faced by most Americans today.
Government carefully couches the text in terms both esoteric and bland, designed to firmly close the door on your real participation in the wealth produced by America. This happens in ways you never even imagined, all the while simulating a system they proclaim to be for your protection. But the only ones protected are the "Good Ole Boys." You scrape by with pennies, they make trillions. Hedge Funds are at present their favorite form of thievery.
Welcome to Plantation America, where ownership is more subtle but as sure as any experienced by a shackled slave in the Old South.
Here are a few terms you need to understand before we get started.
Hedge Fund. This is an investment pool where a limited number of elite investors, usually 100 or less, invest usually one million or more dollars each. Many Hedge Funds are so exclusive that their minimums are 100 million for each investor. Hedge Funds are often described as "a managed portfolio that targets a specific return goal regardless of market conditions." Translation: To do whatever is required to bring in the money. Those "strategies" include several sophisticated strategies such as: short selling, arbitrage, hedging, and leverage. These are few words that disguise the meaning of "steal it" with more taste.
Short selling. This is selling stock or another commodity whose value is expected to decline. It has two flavors — naked and covered. Naked means to sell what you do not really own. Covered means you own it and you sell it, repurchasing for less after its price has declined.. Remember this because it’s an important part of the rest of the story! I should point out that this is illegal in every other aspect of life, but was declared legal by those closely associated with the Fed, the securities industry, and U.S. Treasury, which makes perfect sense if you understand what they really do.
Arbitrage means trying to profit by exploiting price differences of otherwise identical or similar "financial instruments." You move around to find different values placed on these. Financial Instruments are things that are paper, but valuable, like mortgages, notes, bonds, and securities. They like this best when they can simultaneously buy and sell the same item, making money instantaneously through a spread. A simple analogy of arbitrage is… ever notice that when you buy a stock you always seem to pay the highest ask, and when you sell it you always get the lowest bid! You have just been arbitraged!
Hedging. This is like betting on both horses in a two-horse race. One horse is the favorite and you bet enough there to cover the whole amount of both bets if Dobbin wins. But you collect really big if the other horse comes in first. You risk nothing! Brokerage firms lend out your stock that you have in the street name, and do this all day long with your assets and don’t have to pay you a dime! To prevent this, simply take delivery of all your long-term stock investments. Otherwise know that the firm will use your stock to make them money. They will not tell you this or share the profit.
Leveraging is when you borrow money from someone else and use that money to buy something at a lower price than you can sell it for. You will already have it sold before it arrives. In other words, if you are a brokerage firm this means you borrow money from your clients, without their knowledge, to lend to a company issuing the stock who you are helping go public. The brokerage company sells you the stock for 50% less than it will be priced on the street at the IPO. Now you get commitments from clients who are agreeing to buy that same stock in the underwriting syndicate with a 5% markup over the IPO price or 55% more than you are paying. The price charged here is referred to as a premium, for whom you can see. From this is deducted the kick-backs, reimbursements of expenses, and that vacation to Hawaii on the private jet for the firm’s major executives.
If you have kept track of the profit the firm made, here’s how it works. They used your money (no firm capital at risk), they lent it to a private company they are taking public to buy stock at 50% or less of the market value, and they sell it to you for 5% more than the IPO that’s a 105% profit on your money for the firm, and all you get as Joe Paycheck investor is to own the stock that has now been fully diluted. This is the protection racket run by those friendly folks we call the SEC and its network of crony brokerage firms and political watchdogs.
They don’t pay you interest on the money most of the time; the subject is never mentioned. When the market turns south you wonder how you could lose so much money so quickly!
PIPES - Private Investment in Public Enterprise is also a type of Hedge Fund.
Brace yourself, this one will be a shock. Ever notice how certain things always have innocuous names that disguise what is really going on? This is just one of those things, PIPES, a type of hedge fund where millionaires or billionaires use the exclusive unregulated domain of private equity investment funds to manipulate the markets of thousands of small companies. Now, I will go slow, because I want to make this very clear and easy to understand. You remember Joe Paycheck. He has been wondering how he will retire on his present savings rate, so he begins looking for an investment he could buy that will present a better-than-average return on investment.
His friend John Doe tells him he was reading an article that recommended looking at small cap, micro-cap or penny stocks as potential opportunities. These are stocks just like the NYSE stocks but the share prices are much lower per share, and the SEC regulates these companies just like the big ones.
Joe never really knew much about the stock market and so had always played it safe with mutual funds,. Those, however didn’t make much. When he asked about buying stock he was told he needed to buy a round lot (100 shares), or he would pay a premium. One-hundred shares made the cost too high. With companies like IBM selling at $58 per share (or $5,800) or, say, Microsoft at $24 per share (or $2,400) that represented more money than Joe had at the time, and he had always heard it was best to diversify by owning at least a half a dozen companies or so to spread the risk around in case one company went south. It was impossible to do this when he had to buy 100 shares of each.
But Joe is worried about that retirement and so he decided to look around. After a few weeks of looking, Joe decides he will start watching the subscription services like PR Newswire, Business Wire, and Reuters. One day he reads a press release about a small startup company that has gotten a patent on the next big thing, and, low and behold, they just received $100 million dollars in equity funding from a venture capital fund that struck a private equity deal with the company and its principals. But they are only going to take a draw against it right now of $100,000. And can you believe it, those guys at the venture firm are even willing to take stock in return for the money they loaned! This has got to be a winner! More importantly, they are willing to wait on registering the stock they are getting until the company does its next stock offering! Joe assumes that these venture guys must have done their homework or they would never have agreed to loan $100,000,000 dollars to a small startup company.
Going back a bit, a few weeks earlier, Joe had received a gift from his mom and dad for $11,000 and he had gone to DATEK and opened a self-directed investment account in anticipation of doing something.
So with all this new found courage Joe logs onto DATEK and places an order for 100,000 shares of this stock in Big Thing Enterprises trading at .011 cents per share or $1,100 total. Wow that’s just over a penny a share! A penny is nothing! I will own 100,000 shares of the Next Big Thing! I’m rich... and, low and behold, the next day the stock is trading at 3 cents and Joe has tripled his money.
So he decides he has to have more of this before it gets away from him and everybody else finds out about the next big thing! He decides he will buy another 100,000 shares at .03 and spends another $3,000 of his parents’ gift.
The next day he gets home from work and checks the market, and the damn thing is 8 cents per share. He has nearly a 400% total investment return and there are still three trading days left in the week.
So he says, well I am way "in the money,"so he decides what the hell, he takes the entire remaining $6,900 in his account and buys 90,000 more shares at 8 cents a share, and for the next few weeks the company issues even more press releases and the stock goes as high as 18 cents a share on low volume but rather thin trading (more buyers than sellers). Then the company announces that they have spent all the money on research and development and needs to take another advance against the equity line of credit for another $100,000. The venture firm says okay and another big spurt in the stock occurs with heavier volume (more sellers than buyers). All the company had to give up for the $200,000 it borrowed was 30 million shares of stock (or .007 cents a share) and they still have 40 million shares in treasury and the principals have the rest (20 million). The company had a float of 10 million shares before this all started. That makes a 100,000 million share capitalization.
Then, all of a sudden, news stops coming out, and the company freezes its borrowing from the venture firm, and things go very quiet. The stock continues to fall in price all the way down to3 cents a share. Then it hits 2 cents a share and them 1 cent a share the next week. Joe decides he’s just going to hold onto his stock and wait for it to come back. Then the company decides it isn’t going to borrow any more of the $99,800,000 left on its equity line of credit with the venture firm, because the cost of capital is just too high and the they would have to give up the company and still never have borrowed all the money on the equity line. Joe and the company have both received the same news, the light bulb has gone on.
Through manipulation of the rules, Chris Cox and his predecessors have made it possible for the most potentially lucrative investments to be driven, like cattle through holding pens, into the slaughter yards we learned about above called, "Hedge Funds."
Imagine for a moment you are an eager, intelligent, hardworking young American who has come up with a Great Idea. You patent that idea at not inconsiderable cost to yourself. You even do market analysis that proves that this idea is gold plated. Eyes shining with belief in the American dream you start looking around for capital. You are surprised to find that none of your local banks will back you. Doing an Initial Public Offering costs more than you can afford and still bring your product to market. What good would that do, you’d be forced to do business like all other small public companies and sacrifice the company to the vultures because you can’t sell to small investors; the brokerage forms won’t back you because they have all been scared off by the ugly, nasty SEC after the 9/11 debacle. You are puzzled and surprised.
The banks and others you contact, for instance the Small Business Administration, your local bank, say they can’t deal with you and that you need sophisticated financing and point you to places like the Venture Capital Vultures and hedge funds. There, you learn that to get the capital to take your invention into the market you will need to "cut an inside deal" that they tell you is this standard practice. That, at least, is true. But "the deal" makes it possible for the Vulture Capitalist to end up owning your business.
At first you will probably be excited. The deal means you can get all you need to secure your success — $20,000,000 is no problem. But then you learn that you never GET all that money at one time. You have to get it in smaller increments that always leave you underfunded and returning for more – and on increasingly bad terms. Because the Vultures now have reduced price stock available to them, they can "short" the stock, because the company is actually giving them shares for cash, which they get as part of the loan the company signed, meaning they can sell it (even if it is restricted or unregistered) thus making the stock sooner or later worthless. And so it goes.
This is one of the reasons so many companies fail. It seems like this would be bad for the Vultures, but surprise, the SEC and the wealthy owners in those Hedge Funds can even write off their profits as ‘losses.’ Most of them pay no taxes of any kind. And when they ultimately end up with the company, the loss carry-forwards allow them to reap all those profits and reduce their taxable income by applying the loss carry-forwards.
Like I said, these things can make really big money. They make even more money if you have a powerful friend who muscles people around like the SEC, leaving them few other options. This is how the wealthy turn ‘the market’ into their own personal playground and sock billions away in the piggy bank.
Christopher Cox, the 28th head of the Securities and Exchange Commission, knows that most Americans trust the governmentt and believe that their rules are constructed to protect them, the small investors.
Cox knows exactly what is happening. That is why he is were he is.
He was appointed by that paragon of free markets, George W. Bush, on June 2, 2005, and unanimously confirmed by the Senate on July 29, 2005. (Most Congressmen are millionaires, not when they arrived in D.C., but soon afterwards, and so have a use for Hedge Funds.) He was sworn in on Aug. 3, 2005. If you go to their website you will find that the focus under Cox is on, "the needs of individual investors."
For "individual investor," think over $1,000.000.
You can keep your measly little savings in the ol’ mustard jar.
As we noticed with George W., his "core constituency" is not the little old Republican lady living on her Social Security who worked, believed, and voted for him. The "Core" folks are those who can afford to become Pioneers ($250,000) or Rangers ($100,000).
However, that does not mean you need to feel left out. George and Chris have plans for you, plans that include having you continue into slavery.
We have an alternative plan that we think you will prefer.
While Bush and his friend Chris call this, "investment," what it actually should be called is racketeering, and it’s being carried out as a conspiracy to defraud the public at large. That makes it a felony, a multi-count felony. So our plan is to sort of clean up the marketplace so that honest people can return America to a very different model for business.
We have begun writing a bill and are now looking for a sponsor to carry it through Congress. You are probably thinking, "Yea, right! Those crooks?" But right now Bush is teetering with everyone; more than 50% of Americans now favor impeachment, so this is the perfect time to get legislation passed. The bill includes the removal of Chris, demands true business transparency, and new rules for stock trading, hedge funds, PIPES, and opening up real investments that could earn the blessing of Mother Theresa instead of the envy of Al Capone.
See, we knew you would like it. Soon, you, an American who can’t afford to join a Hedge Fund will be free from the plantation of GREED, having ridden the Underground Railroad to a very different America. Welcome home.
You have always been puzzled about Hedge Funds; you wonder how it always is that you lose money while insiders seem to get richer every day. You wonder but continue to invest. You aren't crazy. They are out to get you.