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   Strategies & Market TrendsThe Epic American Credit and Bond Bubble Laboratory

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To: kailuabruddah who wrote (28224)3/24/2005 4:01:18 PM
From: microhoogle!
   of 110189
'Socially Responsible' Fund Cuts Starbucks

Wed Mar 23, 9:54 PM ET

By ELIZABETH M. GILLESPIE, Associated Press Writer

SEATTLE - A mutual fund company that invests only in businesses it deems socially responsible has dropped Starbucks Corp., citing the coffee giant's launch of a java liqueur with whiskey maker Jim Beam.

Pax World Funds, a Portsmouth, N.H.-based fund family, steers clear of companies involved in defense or weapons, tobacco, liquor or gambling. It sold 375,000 shares of Starbucks worth an estimated $23.4 million, about 1.6 percent of its Pax World Balanced Fund portfolio, the fund said in a statement released Wednesday.

"While we continue to admire and respect many aspects of Starbucks' business and corporate citizenship activities, the company essentially forced our hand in this matter," said Anita Green, Pax World Funds' vice president of social research.

In a written response to the fund's announcement, Starbucks said it was disappointed but understood Pax World Fund's strict policy on not investing in companies that make money from the manufacture of liquor.

"Starbucks is committed to responsible marketing, and proud of our history of corporate responsibility," the statement said. "Prior to the introduction of this product, Starbucks worked diligently to research and understand its potential impact."

Pax World Funds said it sent Starbucks CEO Orin Smith a letter in mid-February urging the company to end its deal with Jim Beam, which was announced last year.

"We have divested ourselves of these shares reluctantly and only after trying to get the company to reconsider its course of action," Green said. "Investors in Pax World Funds expect us to do what we say we will do about avoiding companies that produce liquor."

Starbucks Coffee Liqueur is sold in restaurants, bars and stores licensed to sell liquor. It is not sold in any of the coffee chain's stores.

In the statement it released Wednesday, Starbucks noted it is sponsoring a national program aimed at educating parents and children about the dangers of underage drinking.

Jim Beam Brands Co. and the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States did not return calls for comment Wednesday.

Founded in 1971, the Pax World Funds family includes holdings in companies that sell goods and services which fund managers feel improve the quality of health care, technology, housing, food, education, pollution control, utilities and leisure activities. The funds have about $1.6 billion in assets under management.

Shares of Starbucks fell 22 cents, or 0.4 percent, Wednesday, to close at $51.44 on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

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To: Elroy Jetson who wrote (29331)3/24/2005 4:10:05 PM
From: croesus1111
   of 110189
Hard for me to tell what's what was there and what's left. I've only done a process safety management review at a single refinery, so I'm far from a refinery expert. My expertise is in process safety/industrial hygiene, which I've done at hundreds of companies.

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To: croesus1111 who wrote (29333)3/24/2005 5:05:37 PM
From: Elroy Jetson
   of 110189
The Texas regulator is now talking about a historical pattern of explosions and fires in this location in the BP plant. (you could say that about most refineries) They may eventually claim BP did not design a safe clearance between process units - which would have led to the death of the maintenance workers.

I'm a finance and econ guy, rather than a chemical engineer, but I've had ChemEs give me tours of most of Chevron's domestic refineries when I worked there 1978-83. Unfortunately my first six months with Chevron were spent working in the Richmond Refinery and chemical facilities - getting to know the engineers, equipment and their problems, in what I felt was the oil industry's version of hazing - "you're in the oil business now". When you're just out of school and have visions of a posh office and company jets, running around in casual clothes with a hard hat and safety glasses comes as an unpleasant surprise.

Then I got to handle regulatory affairs for the west coast refineries and pipeline operations from San Francisco. So every time the overly-optimistic ChemEs ran Isomax too long I was the one who paid the fines and handled the requests from regulators. Happily for me, the refinery manager got the choice job of dealing with the press. You begin to see the explosions are monotonously predictable.

Chevron's Isomax containment walls are designed to easily withstand the explosive failure of nearby equipment, and I'd bet BP's isomizer was as well - you have to. No refinery designer wants the entire refinery blowing up in one big chain reaction when a single process unit fails.

We both know the contract maintenance workers are far from the brightest people on the planet, but when the isomizer containment fails you don't need a source of ignition. Gasoline at 1,000 degrees tends to handle that on its own.

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From: russwinter3/24/2005 5:17:48 PM
   of 110189
FCBs were half assed this week, picked up 3.747, but very heavy into agencies (3.422). Fed only monetized $10 billion, bringing the total for the last fourteen weeks to minus 67 billion. Not a single coupon pass since 12/8. For those wondering why the USD has more legs and gold is struggling, a number to consider. Uncle Ernie has been confined to the closet.

The YOY peak in FCB purchases was 5/6/2004 at + 300,482, and at about the low in interest rates.

Now it's dropped to + 212,502, still high, but steady heroin withdrawal. FCB simply aren't as frenzied, for whatever reason.

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To: russwinter who wrote (29321)3/24/2005 5:18:39 PM
From: ild
   of 110189
From today's CI:

As you can see, never in the last 25 years has the year over year rate of change in PPI intermediate materials prices relative to the like measure of CPI been as high as we have experienced over the last few months. Again, this suggests that perhaps one of two things is driving this relationship. Either the CPI is wildly understated at the moment, which is a very good possibility, or the pressure on corporate profit margins broadly vis-à-vis input costs is becoming significantly meaningful, which is also a very good possibility. So which is it? Quite sheepishly, it’s probably a little bit of both. But in terms of forward Fed actions, it probably really doesn’t matter which explanation is correct. Either way, it sure appears that the Fed will need to address this dichotomy. And they appear to be publicly telling us that they will. Again, the ramifications for the credit cycle versus business cycle question loom large as we move forward.

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To: ild who wrote (29336)3/24/2005 5:32:33 PM
From: ild
   of 110189
Todays Northern Trust commentary and charts

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To: ild who wrote (29337)3/24/2005 7:07:41 PM
From: orkrious
   of 110189
tidbit from richard russell tonight

McClellan Oscillator was up 80 to minus 256. The Summation Index dropped under 1000 today. The worst declines have come with the Summation Index under 1000.

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To: ild who wrote (29337)3/24/2005 7:21:58 PM
From: ild
   of 110189
Equity funds report net cash inflows totaling $1.706 billion in the week ended 3/23/05 with Growth & Income funds reporting the largest inflows ($450 Mil) since 1/21/04 and Equity Income funds reporting the largest inflows in 11 weeks ($430 Mil), and more funds reporting inflows to that sector (136) than any week since 4/22/1998;
Financial/Banking funds and Energy funds report the largest inflows of any sector ($411 Mil and $401 Mil, respectively), because of large ETF inflows:
$456 Mil to Select Sector SPDRs Financial (47% fund assets);
$357 Mil to Select Sector SPDRs Energy (17% fund assets);
Small Cap Growth/Value funds report net cash outflows of -$728 million, largely because of outflows totaling: -$568 Million from iShares Russell 2000 Index fund;
Non-domestic Equity funds report inflows totaling $591 million as International Equity funds report inflows of $343 million;
Asia Pacific (Ex-Japan) funds report the largest net cash outflows (-$49 Mil) since 5/19/04 because of:
-$35 Mil from iShares MSCI Hong Kong Index fund;
-$19 Mil from iShares MSCI South Korea Index fund;
Emerging Markets Equity funds report the largest net cash outflows (-$265 Mil) since 5/19/04;
Latin America funds report net outflows of -$45 million because of:
-$20 Mil from iShares S&P Latin America 40 Index fund;
-$15 Mil from iShares MSCI Brazil Index fund;
-$7 Mil from iShares MSCI Mexico Index fund;
Taxable Bond funds report net cash outflows of -$411 million as High Yield Corporate Bond funds report net outflows of -$1.5 billion, the largest from that sector since 5/12/04;
Government Bond funds investing in Treasuries report net inflows of $925 million because of:
$1.0 Bil to iShares Lehman 1-3 Yr Treasury Bond fund;
$91 Mil to iShares Lehman 7-10 Yr Treasury Bond fund;
$73 Mil to iShares Lehman TIPS Bond fund;
as the iShares Lehman 20+ Yr Treasury Bond fund reports net cash outflows of -$273 million;
Money Market funds report net inflows of $7.005 billion although Tax-exempt MM funds report net outflows of -$556 million;
Municipal Bond funds report net cash inflows of $42 million, due in large part to inflows to High Yield Municipal Bond funds totaling $73 million.

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To: orkrious who wrote (29338)3/24/2005 8:16:55 PM
From: russwinter
   of 110189
Note on copper: The LME and Comex combined inventories hit an all time low on 1/26 of 85,734 Mt, then suddenly built up to 97,506 on 2/22. There have since been reports that China cut back it's imports in Feb. However, without much fanfare we are once again setting new inventory lows of 85,668 as today. So despite what I believe is a major economic slowdown getting underway, copper stocks are still in extreme tight supply, and I don't think big price spikes can be ruled out.

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To: microhoogle! who wrote (29332)3/24/2005 8:32:37 PM
From: benwood
   of 110189
I can't help but think that a co-marketing Jim Beam and Starbucks is simply a bad, bad idea. Idiots!! Kids, enjoy your hot chocolate while Daddy gets his hard liquor, yum!!! How about a REAL egg nog latte next winter?

Of course, many people don't realize Starbucks already appeared in liquor form before -- Red Hook used to (or still does) have a specialty brew called Espresso Stout. I tried it once -- interesting, but I'd rather keep my java and brews separate, thanks.

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