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Hiding Bear

B4 The Bell Humpday August 4

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:D Welcome to B4 The Bell! :D

 

Looks like some concerted selling overnight, which probably caught almost all bulls and most bears by surprise - present company excluded of course! :D

 

The 3:00 AM NY time bounce didn't work this time:

 

globex.png

nasdaq.png

 

OPEC did manage to increase production a little in July, but not like they promised.

Matt Simmons says there is a down side to this:

 

The Saudis may be overly optimistic in their estimate of how much they can quickly produce and may be near full output, according to Matt Simmons, chief executive of the energy investment bank Simmons & Co. in Houston.

 

The Saudis may be pumping too fast and damaging their fields, Simmons said in an interview. ``I would recommend they ease back on output so they can guarantee a steady stream in the future.''

 

Oil markets are also sensitive to the hurricane season in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico.

 

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/markets/energy.html

post-20-1091618423_thumb.jpg

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Guest yobob1

Look you city slickers know nothing about what makes a great outdoor experience.

 

A combination of some of the following elements is required:

 

A major mechanical breakdown in your rig due to a previous botched "temporary" repair when it broke down the last time you were 50 miles from the nearest phone. Or as a substitute being stuck in knee deep mud only to discover your tow rope is being used at home to hold up the leaning shed and your winch has seized up because of the last time you got stuck but forgot to fix.

 

Severe sunburn or frostbite due to leaving the proper attire back at camp. 1,000 mosquito bites after you discover that you brought Easy Off oven cleaner instead of Off bug repellant. An acceptable substitute is a rattlesnake bite on your butt that no one will suck the poison out of. Pitching your tent on top of the rattlesnake is the best way to accomplish this.

 

Tossing a pole overboard is ok, but only if it was your only pole. A decent substitute is having your open tackle box perched on the back of the boat and having your fishing buddy "accidentally" knock it off with the net as he is netting a record fish on the end of your line. Of course the outcome of the netting must be the accidental loss of the fish. It only looks like your buddy is swatting at the fish with the net. Really he's trying to help. Honest. Jealousy can be such an ugly thing.

 

Losing the boat off the trailer on the highway is ok, but for proper misery one should really manage to launch the boat and tow vehicle both. Of course this is only appropriate if you forgot to install the drain plug on the boat. An acceptable subsitute during hunting season is putting a 7mm round through your engine block while shooting at a squirrel which is the only live thing you've seen in three days. Of course you must miss the squirrel for full value.

 

These are some of the things that make a trip memorable. Still can't figure why my guide service hasn't taken off.

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Buck Stuck

 

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Goldang yobob.....

 

Sounds like real fun 'cept shootin squirrel with a cannon or elephant gun.

:unsure:

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Look you city slickers know nothing about what makes a great outdoor experience.

For us city slickers, the great outdoors is what you have to go through to get from one building to another. Being a Dallas suburbanite, my SUV minimizes the above discomfort.

 

Every now and then, I drive by a great natural wonder, like a dead armadillo in various stages of fire ant digestion, lying in a creek bed. And I say to myself, "I need a digital picture to put on my computer and send to my animal rights sister in Seattle". She sends me great pictures of mountains and streams from out there, but I'm sure they're scanned poscards. No way would she get out of HER house to see any of that shit.

 

Pulled out my Eagle Scout sash the other day, I don't think they've got an Urban Survival merit badge, do they?

 

Pitty.

 

B)

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Ahh nothing like tales of the great outdoors.

 

Every Tuesday I go visit my #1 client in the South Bronx. There the wildlife is of the two legged variety. And the trails are paved. Just like in the mountains one will occassionally encounter an obstacle , but there it is more likely to be a burned and stripped VW Jetta rather than a boulder or fallen tree.

 

The waters seem to be a bit thicker than in wilderness areas, but currents are easier to guage because there are large tires bobbing about like bouys to help guide you.

 

The apartment building share a striking resemblance to the ancient cliffside cave dwellings out in Taos NM. Open holes in the faces of the buildings give us a glimpse into the lifestyle of the former occupants. And discarded pottery, tools, and furniture litter the area.

 

As nice as it all is however I try to limit my time there. :lol:

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Notes from dinner with ME investors:

 

In attendance were eight seasoned individual investors from Egypt, Jordan and Kuwait. They were all entrepreneurs who had accumulated wealth in their individual countries in fields including; food processing, construction, furniture mfg and trucking. Average net worth is approx $3-4m which in their respective companies would make them quite wealthy, but none were idiot sons. They all seek to diversify investments for themselves and extended family and most importantly to preserve and grow capital.

 

Iraq war

In general they all thought the Iraq war, specifically the removal of Hussein, was a net positive. They are concerned about US long-term intentions in Iraq. They want the Iraqis to self govern and the US to exit from Iraqi affairs. However, their greatest concern would be the immediate withdrawal of the US military.

 

The reasoning: The things going on in Iraq were also going on in their own countries. People being rounded up and disappearing, govt confiscating wealth without cause or explanation, and routine torture and imprisonment for political opposition. Since Hussein has been toppled their respective govts have turned full circle, at least temporarily. Secondly, there is a great deal of trade and job mobility in the region especially for the educated classes. Most had experience with Saddam?s Iraq or have direct relatives with first hand experience.

 

Terrorism & Bin Laden

Here they provided a blistering critic of the US & Europe. Basically their point is that there have been a few high profile attacks in the west and everyone is in a panic and demanding action. They have been dealing with terrorists for 30yrs and it is a daily event. On a daily basis restaurants are attacked, commuter buses and trains destroyed and people are kidnapped and executed but none of this is reported in the mainstream news. They find this an outrage and want more help from the west. More importantly anything that rids them of terrorism or religious fanaticism of any kind is a positive.

 

As for Bin Laden there is no love for this man at any social or economic level. Primarily for economic reasons. After 911, the tourism trade collapsed. Tourism is one of the primary economic drivers for the whole region and it promptly destroyed the rest of the economy. Secondly, many in the lower economic classes would go to SA, Kuwait or one of the other large oil exporting countries to work and in turn support the rest of their families back home. Fears of terrorist attacks have caused these countries to deport these workers compounding the dire economic conditions. His vision of the Middle East is not appealing to his future subjects.

 

Finally the hatred of the US, Europe (to a lesser extent) and Israel is largely a govt sponsored attempt to divert attention away from conditions at home to the threat of a common enemy. By in large the people of the region just want some peace so they can prosper. This also cuts across social and economic levels as those on the bottom (still reasonably educated (British school system and free education)) have suffered the most. All currently do business with Israel, US & Europe and hope more trade will open up. I was surprised to learn of the large Christian and Jewish populations in these countries (10% in Egypt, 5-6% in the other countries). Outside of religious fanaticism they get along well. Religious leaders or the govt generally stages large protests against these minorities or the west in general. No one will openly renounce these events but few actually support their message.

 

US prestige & POTUS

In general they love the US image. When we initially met in the Waldorf lobby some of their families were present. In general the teenagers were indistinguishable from any US teenager. They wear the exact same clothes, talk the same, listen to the same music and watch the same movies. They seem far more sophisticated, were very current on news and foreign affairs and all spoke several languages. Their parents likewise would fit in any US suburb.

 

The US media is considered boring and useless. ?Where are the details and facts?? Nevertheless they feel that it is better than the govt sponsored news shows in their countries,

 

As for POTUS he is generally perceived positively. No one was particularly negative, no one was particularly positive.

 

They think the US military is invincible and are awe struck.

 

Precious Metals/Currency/Investments

They hold the bulk of their wealth in gold and consider it the ultimate currency. Children are given small allowances of gold each year such that by the time they marry they have enough wealth to buy a home and furnishings. Stock speculation is reserved for a small portion of their wealth and it is considered very risky. There is no interest in US bonds as local interest rates are 12%+/ year. They consider the local stock markets to be complete scams run by the local elite. US dollar is still considered king. Local currencies are sinking so fast that absent a complete collapse in the US $ they are still ahead. Official exchange rates and actual rates are so far off that they are nonsensical. The Euro is still considered second rate but is gaining popularity.

 

Mortgage investing makes no sense to them, as a house is not something that is financed in their countries. Generally it passed from generation to generation. The concept of refinancing a mortgage also makes no sense, ?why would I forgive a loan and accept a lower rate?? needless to say nobody had any interest in MBS. In general they have little knowledge of FNM, FRE, CFC, etc.

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Guest yobob1

The current administration must go. These people are dangerous and represent the greatest threat to the American people. Vote early, vote often.

 

Furthermore, according to the Washington Post, "Several officials also said that much of the information compiled by terrorist operatives about the buildings in Washington, New York and Newark was obtained through the Internet or other 'open sources' available to the general public, including some floor plans." The data was three years old, gathered on the Internet, and delivered to the American people in tones of doom, as if the hammer were about to fall at any moment.

 

As reported on the Bloomberg newswire, Laura Bush and the daughters Barbara and Jenna Bush held a photo-op at the Citigroup Center in New York City on Monday, the first day of Ridge's new Orange alert. This was one of the target buildings, according to Ridge. George W. Bush sent his entire family to the very place that was supposedly about to be blown to smithereens?

I don't think so. ..........

 

The kicker appears in the next paragraph: "A third source, an official who works under ISI's director, Lieutenant General Ehsan ul-Haq, informed TNR that the Pakistanis 'have been told at every level that apprehension or killing of HVTs (High Value Targets) before [the] election is [an] absolute must.' What's more, this source claims that Bush administration officials have told their Pakistani counterparts they have a date in mind for announcing this achievement: 'The last ten days of July deadline has been given repeatedly by visitors to Islamabad and during [ul-Haq's] meetings in Washington.'... But according to this ISI official, a White House aide told ul-Haq last spring that 'it would be best if the arrest or killing of [any] HVT were announced on twenty-six, twenty-seven, or twenty-eight July'--the first three days of the Democratic National Convention in Boston."

 

On the Thursday of the Democratic convention in Boston, the day John Kerry was to accept the nomination and deliver the central speech of the week, Pakistan announced the capture of Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, a Tanzanian Al Qaeda operative wanted in connection with the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Pakistan, it seems, got the message from Tenet, Powell, Rocca, Black and the Bush administration itself.

 

They delivered the terrorist exactly on cue. .........

 

What's next?

 

I can see it now. A flash will come across the wires some morning soon: The Homeland Security Department has released an Orange Alert notification, based on credible and up-to-date evidence, that a bug in millions of computer systems could cause major disruptions at the turn of the millennium.

 

They are thinking of calling it 'The Millennium Terrabug.' Keep your eyes peeled.

Fabricating Terror

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Crude prices hit $44.28 a barrel; anal cysts warn economic slowdown will result if price hits $50.

 

http://money.cnn.com/2004/08/04/markets/oi...dex.htm?cnn=yes

 

So we can still rally until oil hits 50 ?

 

:o

"A sustained rise over $50 probably would take oil prices into the range where they would have a noticeable impact on (economic) activity," said Barclays Capital in a report.

 

When oil was much lower at the beginning of the year, anal cysts siad a sustained rise over $38 or $40 would cause a recession. Now that we've averaged $40 or so for a month or two now, the goal posts have been moved to $50.

 

No one wants to be first to say the R word (recession).

 

 

PS Some funny stories of natural adventures today! :P

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Thanks much Roq! Although the 'sample' group was small and specialized, i think it does give a feel for what people think there.

 

The threat of terrorism in the US is real, but the reactions are somewhat distorted.

Terrorists might attack important buildings with truck bombs - T Ridge just realized this? The Prudential Building is the largest in Newark, NJ. Does it take a genius to realize it is a big target? And the NYSE - was already hit by a series of domestic bombings through its long history. I remember even when I was working on Wall Street there were more than one or two bombings, blasts, and unexplained fires.

 

The problem is the amount of attention and money given to small events and lack of attention to big problems.

 

In regards to Pakistan, they captured important terrorists before the convention and announced the capture after the convention. I don't think that can be explained away too easily.

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