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FRED
10-31-06, 07:41 PM
Not a Conspiracy–A System (http://www.businessjive.com/nss/darkside.html)
October 31, 2006 (businessjive.com)

AntiSpin: None.

Pervilis Spurius
10-31-06, 08:57 PM
EJ,

I've been perusing this site for a short while now, thinking there was much in common with your site and the anti-NSS/FTD movement. I've been studying this issue for about 3-4years, and have been trying to figure out how to bring this topic up here without seeming too far off the reservation with gleaming tinfoil hat (all due respect to bart, of course).

This issue is slowly gaining momentum and I'm confident will eventually break into the general stream of consiousness. And it plays so well into your ka-poom theory!

At any rate, I knew sooner or later, our paths would cross and am glad that you found this topic on your own. There is plenty more information at the www.thesanitycheck.com. Some of the content there can be a little too populist for my taste, but all in all they cover the issue very well.

As I mentioned, I've studied this issue for some time and am in the industry. I hope I can be a resource on these boards in further articulating the importance of this topic.

jk
10-31-06, 10:11 PM
just watched the presentation and came away convinced there is something there. i want to caution people, though, that genuinely junky companies often claim they are the target of illegal short-selling, witness overstock.com suing people with such claims. iirc enron issued such statements on the way down.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/business/steffy/3632720.html

Feb. 2, 2006, 9:30PM
Don't blame the vultures for devouring what's dead

By LOREN STEFFY
Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle
<!-- commented out ad <iframe width="1" height="1" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" frameborder=0 scrolling=no></iframe> <script></script> http://images.chron.com/images/ad-299x249.jpg
--> BLAME it on the "vultures." That was part of the defense outlined by attorneys for Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling during opening statements of their trial Tuesday.
The vultures in this case are short sellers. To hear defense attorney Mike Ramsey tell it, short sellers destroyed Enron for a quick profit.
<!-- adPro.mpl: (/) (elapsed 0.894 milli) (Tue Oct 31 21:09:51 2006) --> <!-- OAD AdSpace 300x250 - ALL AREAS --> <script>try{OAS_AD('Middle');}catch(e){}</script> <!-- /OAS AdSpace -->
The short sellers themselves, of course, see it differently.
"In the Enron drama, one of the few players who were wearing white hats were the short sellers," says Jim Chanos, president of New York-based Kynikos Associates. Chanos began selling Enron's stock short in November 2000 after he scoured its financials and grew suspicious of its low rate of return on capital.
So, who are these shadowy villains who lurk in the recesses of the market?
In simple terms, they're contrarians. They invest in a stock because they believe it will fall. They borrow shares and sell them at the current market price. They later buy new shares to replace the ones they borrowed, hoping the price has fallen in the interim. The difference between the borrowed price and the payback price is their profit.
They are, in other words, people who make money betting against the inherent optimism of business. As such, they are not well liked by executives and even many other investors. That makes them easy scapegoats for management failure.
It was another short seller, Richard Grubman of Highfields Capital Management, who drew the infamous expletive from Jeff Skilling during a conference call in April 2001. That call was replayed in court on Thursday afternoon.
Skilling attorney Daniel Petrocelli objected to prosecutors identifying Grubman as an investor.
Being a short seller means "you're not investing in Enron. It means you're investing against them."
Not exactly.
Both "longs" and shorts invest in companies. Longs invest with management, and shorts invest against management. But both have money at risk in the stock.

The other side

Successful short sellers do extensive research before placing their bets. Often, their best source is a company's own financial statements.
In other words, shorts can provide the other side of the story, the counter to the company's public relations machine.
During the Enron salad days of 2000, most Wall Street research was written to win investment banking business, not to enlighten investors. That gave executives like Lay and Skilling control over what the Street told investors.
"No one moved a muscle on Wall Street without checking with Jeff Skilling," Chanos says. "He had the analyst community cowed."
There is, of course, a sleazy element among short sellers, just as there is among PR people. But claims of shorts "driving down" stocks are overblown. Short selling is subject to stock manipulation laws just like any other investing activity.
These days, many short sellers work for hedge funds, the new darlings of Wall Street. The "hedge" refers to the fact that the funds go both long and short on stocks.

Not obvious target

One short I spoke to Wednesday afternoon, whose firm would not allow him to be quoted by name, helps manage about $4 billion in assets. "We are investors like anybody else," he says. "It is not our job to drive companies out of business. It is our job to allow our investors to take advantage of a market hedge by going short stocks."
So did short sellers take Enron down?
The one I talked to on Wednesday called the idea absurd. The ascent of Enron's stock was seen as a sure thing, both inside the company and on Wall Street.
That's not an attractive target for short selling, which is an extremely risky investing strategy under any circumstances. Enron was what the shorts call a "hydra." Its divergent businesses added to the risk of shorting it. If one piece of the company foundered, other segments could, in theory, keep the stock rising.
Few shorts were willing to bet that all the businesses were crumbling at the same time.
"The short interest was never a factor in Enron," Chanos says.

The right risk to take

The few who did take the risk, though, turned out to be right. More importantly, though, on Enron, the short sellers were right. Chanos and Grubman aren't on the witness list for the trial, so it's unclear if the prosecution will challenge Ramsey's claims. But they're ridiculous on their face. If short sellers can bring down an otherwise thriving $100 billion company, how does, say, General Motors stay in business?
That's the thing about vultures. They don't kill their prey. They circle what's already dying.

Pervilis Spurius
10-31-06, 11:37 PM
i want to caution people, though, that genuinely junky companies often claim they are the target of illegal short-selling, witness overstock.com suing people with such claims.


I don't own overstock.com stock, so don't really have a dog in that fight, but their suit does not claim NSS by hedge funds rather, they claim collusion between a short-selling hedge fund, a sham analyst firm(Camelback/Gradient) and certain journalists. Yes, Patrick Byrne is the CEO of Overstock and gave the presentation above about NSS. There is some FOIA data that shows however, a substantial number of failed shares in OSTK. I don't know, and am not aware of any knowledge on Byrne's part either, where those fails came from. My own hunch is that they came from the options market makers without necessarily any direct collusion between the short selling fund and the options MM.

qwerty
11-01-06, 01:14 AM
The last slide in the technical annexe did not mention one "Thing You Can Do"
and that's to ask your Broker-Dealer for physical delivery (to you) of your share certificates.

I guess that's a dangerous thing to suggest to the public. If there are a lot of FTDs out there then what would happen if everyone asked for a real share certificate? It would be a calamity.

But then, as Yossarian would say, if everyone might do it, I'd be mad not to do it myself.

Hmmmm..

Uncle Jack
11-01-06, 07:56 AM
<blockquote>The last slide in the technical annexe did not mention one "Thing You Can Do"
and that's to ask your Broker-Dealer for physical delivery (to you) of your share certificates.</blockquote>

Great idea, but "they" made it cost prohibitive for anyone to request physical delivery of shares by charging a fee to do so, and "they" started with the brokers by convincing them to tell their buyers how safe book-entry is, with insurance, no cost of storage, potentially lost, etc.

It's all good, until it isn't.

qwerty
11-01-06, 11:32 AM
Well, I'm going to find out what the fee is for taking delivery of those shares I intend to hold on to for a few years.

The way I see this theory, the banks have been running a kind of fractional reserve system for stock certificates. The SEC are trying to prevent a run on the bank.

I'm going to poke around and see if there are flaws in the arguments before I ask for stock certs, but ...

Pervilis Spurius
11-01-06, 12:30 PM
qwerty,

I have been waiting for almost four years for some articulate, erudite person to knock this thing out of the park with their counter-argument. The flaws in the argument only stem from the things we don't know and aren't allowed to know.

And yes, you hit it on the head with the fractional reserve analogy.

walenk
11-01-06, 01:20 PM
Am I missing something? The clear implication to me is that there has been so much illegitimate shorting that a gigantic short squeeze is possible which would take out ALL shorts. :eek:

Uncle Jack
11-01-06, 01:34 PM
I'm not saying taking actual delivery of your certificated shares IS cost prohibitive, usually something in the neighborhood of $25/per, but that the book-entry system is being sold as a way to save the coin, keep your shares safe, etc. I was a part of that machine for some years, so I'm familiar with the argument that mom-and-pop get to keep their shares in the system.

Pervilis Spurius
11-01-06, 01:45 PM
walenk,

on the contrary, a gigantic short squeeze is precisely what will not happen. The scope and scale of the FTD problem is likely to be so massive that the system would collapse.

In this sense, it is very similar to the problem the US has with all of the outstanding gov't debt (funded and unfunded). They can only hope to contain it by flooding the system with money, massively devaluing the dollar, sorry, bonar.

With the liabilities created by the FTD problem, banks can only hope to contain them by increasing the number of FTDs in the system to devalue the stock price.

Think of the implications this has for property rights.

EJ
11-01-06, 01:47 PM
I can assure readers that iTulip's record of accuracy in forecasting does not arise from analysis of publically available information alone. The timing of the March 2000 warning about the collapse of the stock market bubble was influenced by information only available, as far as I know, to iTulip. The June 2005 (http://www.alwayson-network.com/comments.php?id=10485_0_24_0_C) call of the top of the housing bubble, however, was concluded purely from a proprietary analysis of publically available information.

iTulip has been helped by dozens of anon contributors over the years, without whom the site would not have as much of interest to report: managing general partners of venture capital firms, partners in private equity firms, investment banking analysts and bankers, bond traders, equity fund managers, ex-central bankers (some US, some outside the US), government employees (including the SEC, by the way), CEOs of public and private companies, and so on. Sometimes we do not know their real names–and don't want to know them–but can always verify that they hold or held the position they claim, and that they are providing accurate information to the best of their knowledge. iTulip, Inc. cannot be legally compelled to reveal its sources (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2006/05/27/MNGTGJ3K7S1.DTL), and the company has access to resources sufficient to defend its right to source confidentiality.

This note is to thank Pervilis and others here for their perspectives, and to encourage those of you who are lurking out there who know something about this subject to participate in the discussion, either on this forum or contact us directly (http://www.itulip.com/forums/sendmessage.php). If you can provide evidence that the theory put forward in "The Dark Side of the Looking Glass" is fantasy, we want to hear from you. Just as helpful is information that further supports it, and answers some of the questions it leaves open.

As for the rest of our readers, I commend qwerty for taking the lead on testing part of the theory, looking to see what is required to take possession of stock certificates for company shares he owns and intends to keep for a while. I plan to do likewise. I trust the iTulip community can come up with other "tests" of the "The Dark Side of the Looking Glass" theory as well, and we can all compare notes here.

Pervilis Spurius
11-01-06, 02:28 PM
EJ,

Regarding the stock certificate issue, the fee certainly varies from broker to broker. It is hard to discuss the cert. issue without also talking about the push for dematerialization http://www.watersonline.com/public/showPage.html?page=129815

I am anectdotally aware of one brokerage firm that raised its fee for cert requests to $75 thereby cutting the number of requests by something like 80%. Brokers, of course, hate cert requests.

An alternate route is the Direct Registration System (DRS) whereby you send your certs to the transfer agent and they maintain your ownership interest directly on the company books. However, DRS is not that popular yet, and mostly only large caps use the system.

For example, I have some Procter & Gamble held directly (PG is its own transfer agent). They also allow me to DRIP the dividends.

walenk
11-01-06, 02:37 PM
I don't disagree that the powers that be will seize-up markets rather than allow "volatility". But if you are a legitimate short, as I am, it would mean your assets would be in limbo until the crooks are digested. And who knows what "value" your short will be allowed. Me no likee. :mad:

walenk
11-01-06, 02:40 PM
[QUOTE=Pervilis Spurius]walenk,



With the liabilities created by the FTD problem, banks can only hope to contain them by increasing the number of FTDs in the system to devalue the stock price.

Oh-oh. The inflation/deflation debate has morphed. :cool:

Pervilis Spurius
11-01-06, 02:41 PM
Agreed, but the same goes for the long positions too. How do you figure out who really owns what in "street name"?

Me no likee, long time:mad:

Pervilis Spurius
11-01-06, 04:01 PM
I'll take the liberty here to link some pertinent information I have handy to try to speed the process of becoming familiar with the FTD issue. I promise not to spam the board with countless links in the future.

The SEC's key points about REG SHO which Byrne cites in the presentation
http://www.sec.gov/spotlight/keyregshoissues.htm

NASAA (state regulators association) held a forum on NSS/FTD last year
http://www.nasaa.org/NASAA_Newsroom/Current_NASAA_Headlines/3923.cfm
you may still be able to get a transcipt at this site

George Bush Jr.'s former SEC Chairman, Harvey Pitt weighs in
http://www.forbes.com/columnists/2006/07/11/leadership-harve-pitt-cs_hp_0711coveringupnakedshorts.html

The SEC has asked for comments on how it could revise REG SHO which you can peruse here
http://www.sec.gov/cgi-bin/txt-srch-sec?text=%22s7-12-06%22&section=Entire+Website&sort=rank

Some notable comments are:
The Governor of Utah (full disclosure: Overstock.com's home state)
http://www.sec.gov/comments/s7-12-06/s71206-191.pdf

The Attorney General of Connecticut
http://www.sec.gov/comments/s7-12-06/s71206-9564.pdf

Robert Shapiro, Former Under Secretary of Commerce under Clinton
http://www.sec.gov/comments/s7-12-06/rjshapiro5967.pdf

AMaltsev
03-05-07, 11:27 PM
It's been awhile since the last message in this thread. Let's keep in mind the "Dark Side" story and meanwhile consider distribution of dividends to see if this can help us decide, what can and what cannot be true here.

You see, dividends must somehow find a way to the owners of the shares. If some criminal BD issued 'phony shares' (FTDs), and these FTDs become evenly distributed within the system, who will pay dividends on them? There are, in my opinion, just two variants:
1) The 'criminal' BD who issued FTDs;
2) A 'fair' broker which has a client with the FTDs on his/her account.

Will the criminal BD pay the company's dividends? After all, it got a profit from short-selling of the FTDs, so it surely has the means to pay small portion of its profit. But it seems everyone will agree that no, it will not! The whole purpose of the BD's action was to get money, not to give it afterwards away, little by little.

Will the 'fair' broker pay dividends on FTDs to its clients? If yes, then it surely must ask the seller of these FTDs for reimbursement and after not getting the money sue the seller. If not, then the 'fair' broker itself will be sued by the client who didn't get his/her dividends. Have some of you heard of either of these two types of lawsuits?

There is also a possibility (maybe even the probability) that FTDs are issued by miscreant BDs only on the stocks of non-profitable companies which don't pay dividends to their shareholders. But there's also a catch: what if the company all of a sudden becomes profitable and decides to pay dividends? Were I the criminal BD, I'd definitely make sure the company will never become profitable (and this will be therefore the insider's game, thus one more crime).

So, look into the distribution of dividends. Logic says it might be quite safe to own a stock of a company that pays to its shareholders... assuming that the "Dark Side" story is true, of course.

EJ
03-06-07, 09:47 PM
It's been awhile since the last message in this thread. Let's keep in mind the "Dark Side" story and meanwhile consider distribution of dividends to see if this can help us decide, what can and what cannot be true here.

You see, dividends must somehow find a way to the owners of the shares. If some criminal BD issued 'phony shares' (FTDs), and these FTDs become evenly distributed within the system, who will pay dividends on them? There are, in my opinion, just two variants:
1) The 'criminal' BD who issued FTDs;
2) A 'fair' broker which has a client with the FTDs on his/her account.

Will the criminal BD pay the company's dividends? After all, it got a profit from short-selling of the FTDs, so it surely has the means to pay small portion of its profit. But it seems everyone will agree that no, it will not! The whole purpose of the BD's action was to get money, not to give it afterwards away, little by little.

Will the 'fair' broker pay dividends on FTDs to its clients? If yes, then it surely must ask the seller of these FTDs for reimbursement and after not getting the money sue the seller. If not, then the 'fair' broker itself will be sued by the client who didn't get his/her dividends. Have some of you heard of either of these two types of lawsuits?

There is also a possibility (maybe even the probability) that FTDs are issued by miscreant BDs only on the stocks of non-profitable companies which don't pay dividends to their shareholders. But there's also a catch: what if the company all of a sudden becomes profitable and decides to pay dividends? Were I the criminal BD, I'd definitely make sure the company will never become profitable (and this will be therefore the insider's game, thus one more crime).

So, look into the distribution of dividends. Logic says it might be quite safe to own a stock of a company that pays to its shareholders... assuming that the "Dark Side" story is true, of course.

I extend a personal welcome to our newest member from Russia. I hope you can help us better understand what is going on in Russia.

Current friends there offered us the following advice when we asked their opinion of Kommersant, as we were curious about the authenticity and credibility of a story Kommersant recently published.

Iran Braces for War (http://www.kommersant.com/p745646/Iran_nuclear_crisis/)
February 27, 2007 (Kommersant)

The US Stockpiles Bombs and Allies

Representatives of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, plus Germany, met in London yesterday to discuss means of resolving the Iranian nuclear crisis. Now that Iran has yet again refused to stop enriching uranium, the Group of Six discussed the possibility of introducing harsher international sanctions. If pressure on Tehran does not yield results, the Bush administration does not rule out the possibility of military strikes against Iran. Preparations for that eventuality are apparently already going ahead full throttle.

Meanwhile, according to Kommersant sources close to the White House, the Bush administration is divided between two possible approaches. While Secretary of State Rice continues to insist on diplomacy, Vice-President Cheney believes that diplomatic attempts to convince Iran are futile and that the matter will end in a military showdown that needs to be planned for immediately.

According to Kommersant's sources, Mr. Bush's hand is being guided by the Pentagon, which has requested at least seven to nine months to prepare for military strikes. The development of the plan of attack against Iran's nuclear facilities has reportedly been entrusted to deputy defense secretary Gordon England, who will work closely with US intelligence services and several countries in the Middle East. Assistant secretary of state Nicholas Burns has been charged with attempting to forge an American-European diplomatic alliance that will convince Russia and China to vote in the Security Council in favor of harsh sanctions against Iran. Mr. Burns will also need to secure the consent of the EU for a possible military strike against Iran and to receive a guarantee of technical support, such as fuelling stops and flyover rights for American bombers, from America's allies in the Middle East, which include Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Turkey.

Reuters Photos (http://www.kommersant.com/gallery.asp?id=745646&pics_id=52236)
Our friends said of Kommersant:

"It has been one of the best, if not the best, Russian newspapers since the very dawn of capitalism in Russia. Although it's now owned by a pro-Putin group, it has, astonishingly, not changed its tone nor gave up professional journalism. One reason is that the newspaper's main audience are educated business people. It's a Russian version of The Economist, but in a newspaper format."

In a related matter, we were forwarded the following yesterday:

Some media suspect foul play in military correspondent's fatal plunge (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17467200/)
March 5, 2007 (MSNBC)

MOSCOW - A military correspondent for Russia’s top business daily has died after falling out of a window, and some media alleged Monday that he might have been killed for his critical reporting.

Ivan Safronov, the military affairs writer for Kommersant, died Friday after falling from a fifth-story window in the stairwell of his apartment building in Moscow, officials said. His body was found by neighbors shortly after the fall.

With prosecutors investigating the death, Kommersant and some other media suggested foul play.
Our friend advised us: "Yes, the guy was a retired military, very honest in his writing about KGB/FSB and the military and hence falling out of a window - supposedly trying to wash it. The good news is that, I think Kremlin is running out of plutonium."

Any thoughts you have are appreciated. In any case, welcome.

-EJ

AMaltsev
03-07-07, 07:42 AM
I extend a personal welcome to our newest member from Russia. I hope you can help us better understand what is going on in Russia.

Thanks, EJ. I'll be glad to help... if you won't try to make me disclose the coordinates of our ICBMs, of course! :-)
And, by the way, I'm not an FSB agent, nor do I have an access to the classified info. One might say, I'm just an average Russian.


Our friends said of Kommersant:

Yes, Kommersant is a serious daily newspaper. I'm sure it may happen that its senior editor won't allow to publish some 'sensitive' article, but if the article does appear, it means the factual base is surely reliable. Kommersant also has many sources in various places and spheres. It's definitely not yellow press. So, on that I must agree with your friend.



Our friend advised us: "Yes, the guy was a retired military, very honest in his writing about KGB/FSB and the military and hence falling out of a window - supposedly trying to wash it. The good news is that, I think Kremlin is running out of plutonium."
Being a Russian I can't agree with your friend it's good news that "Kremlin is running our of plutonium." I prefer we could have plenty of it, because it seems it's the only means of protecting ourselves from USA agression.

(For those who may wonder what USA aggression against Russia I'm talking about, I advise to read a recent article by F.W. Engdahl: http://www.financialsense.com/editorials/engdahl/2007/0218.html).

Alas, I haven't heard of Ivan Safronov prior to his death, so I don't have my own opinion on his articles.

No one says the reporter tried to wash the window (here your friend is joking, ha-ha), but there are rumours he might be pushed to suicide by poisoning. At least Kommersant itself tells the guy's behaviour that day was somewhat unusul and inadequate (I didn't find a translation of this... Russian version is here: http://www.kommersant.ru/doc.html?docId=748362).

That's it, more or less.

P.S. Sorry that my thoughts on "The Dark Side" were not interesting... are they completely off? EJ, aren't there any news on this story?

jk
03-07-07, 08:32 AM
here's the most readable machine translated version of the death that i was able to come up with:

http://babelfish.altavista.com/babelfish/tr

btw, i assume the "joke" was meant to be "running out of polonium." there's no way the russians are going to run out of plutonium, anyway.

Pervilis Spurius
03-07-07, 08:56 AM
AMaltsev, RE: dividend payments. I'm not aware of anyone not receiving dividend payments that are due whether they hold shares, FTDs, IOUs, Entitlements, etc.

The difference is whether one receives a "Qualified" dividend or a "Non-qualified" dividend. Generally speaking, the descriptor "qualified" refers to IRS tax treatment of that dividend. These dividends qualify for the current 15% income tax.

A "non-qualified" dividend is not subject to that special IRS tax treatment and is therefore subject to ordinary income taxes.

Non-qualified dividends can come about in a variety of ways:

1. The dividends declared by the company do not meet the IRS rules for "qualified" dividends, i.e. REIT dividends.

2. Your shares have been lent out of your account in which case the short seller must pay the dividend. This dividend is a Non-qualified dividend and should be listed on your account statement as a "Payment in Lieu" of dividend or PIL.

3. You have purchased shares which have Failed to Deliver in which case the market maker / BD must pay you a PIL.


There is a fascinating piece of audio by Arne Alsin, the portfolio manager of the Turnaround Fund, given at a conference in LA sponsored by Patrick Byrne. Alsin talks about these very issues.

http://www.stpadvisors.com/Audio/STP2006Oct/Clip_7.mp3

It takes about 10 seconds from the start of the file before Alsin starts speaking, so the link is good.

So, no, your comments are not uninteresting!

AMaltsev
03-07-07, 09:10 AM
btw, i assume the "joke" was meant to be "running out of polonium."
Ups... I thought, the joke was on "washing the window". I admit, much funnier one is on polonium! :-)

EJ
03-07-07, 09:45 AM
Thanks, EJ. I'll be glad to help... if you won't try to make me disclose the coordinates of our ICBMs, of course! :-)
And, by the way, I'm not an FSB agent, nor do I have an access to the classified info. One might say, I'm just an average Russian.

The quality of your writing, and the fact that I read somewhere that you have a PhD, do not give the impression of an "average Russian," or an average anyone, for that matter. Your self-description is accepted as honorable modesty, even if not entirely accurate.


P.S. Sorry that my thoughts on "The Dark Side" were not interesting... are they completely off? EJ, aren't there any news on this story?

Your comments on "The Dark Side" are interesting, indeed. It's just that here at iTulip we expect that all the major macro events that effect our markets will, for the foreseeable future, be driven by geopolitics versus economics or finance per se. Most interesting to us is how the U.S. is perceived by the "average Russian," as well as views of the Middle East and Asia; Russia will play a very important role in the new geopolitical environment that is now forming.

For example, the images in the these Reuters Photos (http://www.kommersant.com/gallery.asp?id=745646&pics_id=52236) published by Kommersant are not shown in U.S. web sites or newspapers. And I doubt most iTulip readers know that the "average Russian" views the U.S. as militarily aggressive toward Russia.

Your comments on these issues are especially appreciated. Of course, you may prefer to comment on other issues, such as "The Dark Side," which is also appreciated and your choice.

I suppose my #1 question is where do you think the "average Russian" sees U.S.-Russian relations going?

metalman
03-08-07, 01:13 AM
The quality of your writing, and the fact that I read somewhere that you have a PhD, do not give the impression of an "average Russian," or an average anyone, for that matter. Your self-description is accepted as honorable modesty, even if not entirely accurate.



Your comments on "The Dark Side" are interesting, indeed. It's just that here at iTulip we expect that all the major macro events that effect our markets will, for the foreseeable future, be driven by geopolitics versus economics or finance per se. Most interesting to us is how the U.S. is perceived by the "average Russian," as well as views of the Middle East and Asia; Russia will play a very important role in the new geopolitical environment that is now forming.

For example, the images in the these Reuters Photos (http://www.kommersant.com/gallery.asp?id=745646&pics_id=52236) published by Kommersant are not shown in U.S. web sites or newspapers. And I doubt most iTulip readers know that the "average Russian" views the U.S. as militarily aggressive toward Russia.

Your comments on these issues are especially appreciated. Of course, you may prefer to comment on other issues, such as "The Dark Side," which is also appreciated and your choice.

I suppose my #1 question is where do you think the "average Russian" sees U.S.-Russian relations going?

what i want to know is... iran is bargaining along with russia for what from the usa and its european allies?

AMaltsev
03-08-07, 04:55 AM
I suppose my #1 question is where do you think the "average Russian" sees U.S.-Russian relations going?

I'm afraid there is no way for the relations to improve in the near- or middle-term.

Your government never gets tired to tell other countries to behave - or else! It crashes country after country (under fake pretexts); your military spreads all over the world like a deadly virus; your 'defense' budget is ridiculously, unproportionally huge and ever-growing; you made the whole world to accept worthless green paper as a means of exchange, thus you get a lot of something for absolutely nothing. You export abroad just wrong and evil things like inflation, debt, bombs, hatred... alas, most of good stuff you ceased to export long ago.

IMHO, it's hard to make people your friends by bombing or threatening them. And I believe none of you iTulip readers dare to insist the USA never bombs and never threatens anyone.

To me it seems you can never hope to improve relations with most of other nations until you address these very problems and try to solve them. "Stop correcting others, improve yourself", I'd like to suggest to your officials. But they are too busy pocketing profits from bank interest, from military industry, from new business projects in conquered nations, from distribution of budget money, from corruption and machinations, they don't hear my words and don't care nevertheless. They don't listen to Americans, why shall I expect them to ever listen to me?

USA is tough in international matters, it pays no attention to the interests of other nations. You either kneel before USA or live miserably ever after. So, if Russia don't kneel, America will never stop looking at it through a gun-sight. Putin clearly expressed in Munich that we don't kneel - I urge everyone to read his speech to verify my words. Therefore, the pressure on us Russians will just grow and grow with no end in sight.
Thus, you've found one more pretext for building up military industry. Long live Cold War II! :-(

bart
03-08-07, 11:32 AM
...
And I believe none of you iTulip readers dare to insist the USA never bombs and never threatens anyone.
...


I can't speak for anyone else but it's not unusual for me to fax or write Congress and others, and also speak about it with others.

EJ
03-08-07, 11:39 AM
I'm afraid there is no way for the relations to improve in the near- or middle-term.

Your government never gets tired to tell other countries to behave - or else! It crashes country after country (under fake pretexts); your military spreads all over the world like a deadly virus; your 'defense' budget is ridiculously, unproportionally huge and ever-growing; you made the whole world to accept worthless green paper as a means of exchange, thus you get a lot of something for absolutely nothing. You export abroad just wrong and evil things like inflation, debt, bombs, hatred... alas, most of good stuff you ceased to export long ago.

IMHO, it's hard to make people your friends by bombing or threatening them. And I believe none of you iTulip readers dare to insist the USA never bombs and never threatens anyone.

To me it seems you can never hope to improve relations with most of other nations until you address these very problems and try to solve them. "Stop correcting others, improve yourself", I'd like to suggest to your officials. But they are too busy pocketing profits from bank interest, from military industry, from new business projects in conquered nations, from distribution of budget money, from corruption and machinations, they don't hear my words and don't care nevertheless. They don't listen to Americans, why shall I expect them to ever listen to me?

USA is tough in international matters, it pays no attention to the interests of other nations. You either kneel before USA or live miserably ever after. So, if Russia don't kneel, America will never stop looking at it through a gun-sight. Putin clearly expressed in Munich that we don't kneel - I urge everyone to read his speech to verify my words. Therefore, the pressure on us Russians will just grow and grow with no end in sight.
Thus, you've found one more pretext for building up military industry. Long live Cold War II! :-(

You're not surprising anyone here at iTulip with your comments. I suppose if we polled our members we'd find a significant majority hoping for a recession before 2008 in order to motivate the U.S. electorate to vote in new management, because only significant economic events get U.S. voters out in large numbers to vote for change. Whether in the process they vote for candidates who are more visionary with respect to domestic economic and social policy and more constructive with respect to foreign policy depends on whether we experience a major recession (I believe we will) and how strongly these issues are tied to economics and, thus, make it onto the platform of a few key candidates. Unfortunately, representatives of both major political parties need financial support from finance, insurance, real estate, and weapons interests in order to get elected. The most amusing quotation I've read to express the frustration many feel about this predicament comes from Claire Wolfe: “America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards.”

Thanks for your comments.

Pervilis Spurius
03-08-07, 12:09 PM
Bart, if I understand my russo-english correctly, I think he means that iTulip readers would not deny that the USA bombs and threatens other countries or that the USA is a global bully.

bart
03-08-07, 12:30 PM
Bart, if I understand my russo-english correctly, I think he means that iTulip readers would not deny that the USA bombs and threatens other countries or that the USA is a global bully.

Thanks PS, you're likely correct. I wasn't certain of the meaning myself and wanted to express an opinion.

AMaltsev
03-08-07, 03:37 PM
Pervilis Spurius, thanks for the info and especially for the link.
One might probably say, "If Americans would know how The Brokerage System works, they would revolt before tomorrow morning"... :-)
"The Dark Side" story did impress me so much. It's not that I personally care about your biggest brokers, no - I got no accounts in USA and have neither means nor intention to open one there. I was just wondering... if something like this can happen in a 'democratic' country like USA, what could be at play here in 'Wild East'?
AFAIK, in Russia it's impossible to get FTDs on one's account, because payment and delivery of shares occurs simultaneously. However, this alone doesn't prevent many of our brokers from getting into their clients' accounts to 'borrow' some stocks. I personally dislike an idea of such treatment of the shares I own... and therefore I opened my account with a broker so conservative that it:

doesn't allow margin (credit) operations;
doesn't allow short selling;
is legally unable to deal with my shares unless I make an explicit order (cannot 'borrow' them);
is legally unable to deal with the money on this account (and thus pays no interest);
doesn't provide an access to the account via Internet or a phone (theoretically it can, in practice it does not);
has fairly high tariffs and isn't really interested in developing its broker services.You'll probably laugh out loud on the conservatism of these guys... and especially on their poor affinity to modern means of communications. But before you do please remember recent sell-off when DJ plunged few hundreds within couple of minutes... and later you learned the computers of NYSE were 'lagging'. Maybe the machines were slow indeed on that particular day, or maybe the computers of NYSE are also just a part of The System... how the hell can you be sure? If next time you place an order via Internet, and something goes wrong - how could you prove you did make an order?

Well... maybe a little bit of conservatism is exactly what is needed these days? ;-)

P.S. It seems the story on 'The Dark Side of The System' has enormous potential. Once the brokers' illegal activity ceases, a huge number of shorts will be closed - and S&P500 will double in no time (Hint: all 'average Americans' will be happy!) Maybe it'd be wise to attract to this story attention of some loud guy like Mogambo? To initiate revolution before tomorrow morning? Good luck anyway!

grapejelly
03-08-07, 05:06 PM
I wonder what this means in terms of FTDs and ETFs. Especially GLD and SLV...interesting that shares could be not just "paper gold" but "paper paper gold" :D

Tet
03-08-07, 10:32 PM
IMHO, it's hard to make people your friends by bombing or threatening them. And I believe none of you iTulip readers dare to insist the USA never bombs and never threatens anyone.(

Well said, I do try to steal more from them then they can from me each and everyday. I believe that is truly the only thing crooks really understand. ;)

Hope you find this of interest.
http://www.warandpeace.ru/en/exclusive/view/8087/
A Look at the Big Picture, Cracks in the D0llar Hegemon (http://www.warandpeace.ru/en/exclusive/view/8087/)
Article translated into Russian on the Russian part of the site.

World is changing, not much the serfs can do here one way or the other, the BRIC nations plus South Africa and South Korea seem to have the situation well in hand. Never lose hope, but understand that the punishment of those living in this debtors prison won't bring the world to a better place, one the rest of the world is working very hard to create. Best of luck with it.

Tet
03-08-07, 10:49 PM
The good news is that, I think Kremlin is running out of plutonium."


Any thoughts you have are appreciated. In any case, welcome.

-EJ
Meanwhile in the land of the free and the home of the brave, large sums of money are appoved to fund a new hydrogen bomb, no mention that any improved yield on a new hydrogen bomb is throwing money away.

Putin talks about taking his countries plutonium and doubling Russia's nuclear power generating capacity. Latest launches from Russia's ballistic submarines have been satellite launches and Russia expects to launch quite a few more satellites this way. Looks like Russia isn't going to take part in the latest cold war that Wall Street is pushing either. Interesting times.

algerwetmore
09-26-08, 01:20 PM
I inquired about stock certificates for my investments in a self-directed IRA, and was told by the broker, if I took delivery, I would incur a tax liability. Does anyone know if this is a true statement?

sadsack
09-26-08, 02:20 PM
I inquired about stock certificates for my investments in a self-directed IRA, and was told by the broker, if I took delivery, I would incur a tax liability. Does anyone know if this is a true statement?

Your broker is correct - taking physical possession of stock certificates yourself is treated as a taxable withdrawl that may also incur a 10% penalty. It is the same as if you partially or completely liquidated your IRA custodial account.

If I recall correctly, you would have to find another custodian or custodial entity who is willing to request the certs on your behalf and then hold these certs for you.

There was a thread back several months ago that discussed how - the lowdown was that the logistics were non-trivial.