Jim Rogers, Custom Suits, Wynn Las Vegas, Drug Wars, Jesse Ventura, Online Gambling and Steve Wynn Again
Jim Rogers, Custom Suits, Wynn Las Vegas, Drug Wars, Jesse Ventura, Online Gambling and Steve Wynn Again
Undisclosed Location, South America –
Jim Rogers says:
Q. Given that kind of outlook, where are you investing in China?
Jim Rogers. The only thing I’m buying in China is the RMB. I can’t just pick up the phone and buy millions of RMB as you know, but when I can buy more RMB, I do so legally. I’m not buying Chinese shares. I would like to buy Chinese shares when they collapse. I don’t know when the next collapse will come, but there’s always a collapse in every country, so I would buy more. My view toward China is different from any other investment. I buy these shares, and I plan to hold onto them for my grandchildren – my children, anyway. I hope they own them for their grandchildren, because I’m convinced that China will be the great country of the 21st century.
Jacket (Not) Required
As dining rooms fill with T-shirt- and Converse-clad social networkers, is dressing up the new way to stand out?
Over the past several years, the dress codes abided and enforced at those ceremonies of formality and occasion, at everywhere from fine-dining restaurants to evening soirées, have become mostly unspoken, unwritten or loosened like so many Hermès ties. And just as these rules—that for so many years were out of favor—disappear, a new generation of formality-loving dandies is choosing (not being told) to dress up.
Some say the casual-Friday-everyday mandate came from the top: the White House. When President Obama took office in 2009, he quickly declared the end of George W. Bush’s jacket-and-tie requirement for staffers and the policy of no jeans, sneakers, miniskirts, tank tops or flip-flops for visitors.
Now, from Manhattan to L.A., the majority of the iconic old-school restaurants that once mandated jackets and ties for men have replaced “required” with “requested.” At the iconic Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel—a second home to Hollywood’s elite since 1912—the once strictly enforced dress code is now “no tank-tops after 10 p.m.” “A few years ago, we had a ‘no-baseball-caps’ policy after 7 p.m.,” said a Polo Lounge manager, “but after Steven Spielberg was turned away for wearing one, we dropped the policy, like, the next day.” Other proper-attire outposts such as Houston’s Da Marco and Baltimore’s The Prime Rib have also recently replaced their jacket-and-tie requirements, with “business casual” encouraged. Some mainstays are simply opening their doors entirely to the sportswear-favoring public.
These establishments tip their fedoras to many of the old haunts that have now eased their rules—and to some that have not. At the 105-year-old New Orleans restaurant Galatoire’s, a weathered plaque on the edifice reads: “Proper Attire Required: Jackets after 5 p.m. and All Day Sunday; Long Pants for Lunch Tues.-Sun.” And that’s the way it will stay, according to John Georges, the principal owner of the French Creole cuisine stronghold. “New Orleans is a town of traditions, with deep respect for them,” he said. “We’re not going to change because of the needs of out-of-towners, or because of the dressing trends of the day,” Mr. Georges said. “If you stick to your principles it pays off—in whatever economy.” In other words, some things never go out of style. A point that will certainly hit home as a new generation of wing-tipped Taleses and Wolfes hit the town, showing everyone how it’s done, again.
It is no secret that I have mad love for Galatoire’s.
Vegas Strip Revenues Fall; Wynn Fully Valued?
Revenue on the Las Vegas strip declined for the fourth straight month in February, the Gaming Control Board reported on Friday. On a year-over-year basis, revenue fell 9.6% in the month, against a 33% gain the previous year. Because the comp was so difficult, analysts didn’t think the result was awful, but they considered some numbers troubling.
The biggest culprit? Analysts are blaming baccarat, which more than doubled (in terms of revenue) last year as Chinese New Year fell in mid-February. Baccarat revenues fell 31% on the strip this February, when the Chinese New Year fell early in the month, the gaming board said. Revenue from table games excluding baccarat actually rose 2.7%.
“Today’s numbers are disappointing,” wrote Hudson Securities analyst Robert LaFleur. “During 4Q10 earnings season we heard commentary that Chinese New Year was very strong. While, drop was basically flat and the comp was tough the strong growth in baccarat that had been sustaining the Strip through much of the downturn appears to be evaporating.”
Its no secret I like Melco Crown Entertainment MPEL.
The drug war hits Central America
Organised crime is moving south from Mexico into a bunch of small countries far too weak to deal with it
FOR most of the 20th century, the small countries of Central America were a backwater, a tropical playground for dictators and adventurers. In the 1970s and 1980s they turned briefly into a violent cockpit of the cold war as Marxist-inspired guerrillas battled US-backed tyrants. Places like El Salvador and Nicaragua generated daily headlines around the world and bitter partisan battles in Washington. When the cold war ended, peace and democracy prevailed and Central America slipped back into oblivion. But its underlying problems—which include poverty, torpid economies, weak states, youth gangs, corruption and natural disasters—never went away.
Now violence is escalating once more in Central America, for a new reason. Two decades ago the United States Coast Guard shut down the Caribbean cocaine route, so the trade shifted to Mexico. Mexico has started to fight back; and its continuing offensive against the drugs mafias has pushed them down into Central America.
Whatever the weaknesses of the Mexican state, it is a Leviathan compared with the likes of Guatemala or Honduras. Large areas of Guatemala—including some of its prisons—are out of the government’s control; and, despite the efforts of its president, the government is infiltrated by the mafia. The countries of Central America’s northern triangle (Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador) are now among the most violent places on earth, deadlier even than most conventional war zones (see article). So weak are their judicial systems that in Guatemala, for example, only one murder in 20 is punished.
Good interview with Jesse Ventura:
And News Just in:
U.S. Government Moves To Shut Down World’s Biggest Online Poker Companies
Federal prosecutors today unsealed a sweeping indictment against Isai Scheinberg and Raymond Bitar, founders of the world’s biggest online poker companies, and moved to try to shut down their businesses.
The indictment filed by Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney in Manhattan, charges Scheinberg, the founder of PokerStars, and Bitar, the founder of Full Tilt Poker, as well as nine other individuals, accusing them of operating illegal gambling businesses. Federal prosecutors also filed a civil lawsuit seeking $3 billion in civil money laundering penalties, alleging the online poker companies disguised money they received from U.S. poker players as payments to online merchants selling jewelry and golf balls.
The U.S. Attorney in Manhattan moved to try to shut down the online poker business in America by seizing five Internet domain names, including pokerstars.com and fulltiltpoker.com, used by the three main companies facilitating online poker games in the U.S. In addition, a federal judge issued a restraining order against 76 bank accounts in 14 countries utilized by those online poker firms.
From what I understand, if you had a bankroll on any of those sites, your bankroll is cooked.
This is really going to piss a lot of people off.
America – really cracking down on sh*t.
Get your exit strategies ready boys.
Looks like even Steve Wynn got wacked:
Billionaire Steve Wynn Makes Big Online Poker Bet With PokerStars
In a dramatic move that will forever change the online poker landscape, billionaire Steve Wynn has announced he is joining up with PokerStars, the world’s biggest online gaming company, to establish a strategic relationship that aims to regulate online poker in the U.S.
“We are convinced that the lack of regulation of Internet gaming within the US must change,” said Wynn, chief executive of Las Vegas casino company Wynn Resorts, in a statement. “We must recognize that this activity is occurring and that law enforcement does not have the tools to stop it.”
How Casino Mogul Steve Wynn Went All In On Online Poker and PokerStars
Nearly two years ago billionaire Las Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn met Isai Scheinberg, the founder of PokerStars, the world’s biggest online gaming firm, for the first time. Scheinberg generally avoids traveling to the U.S., but the meeting took place on Wynn’s boat while it was anchored in the Mediterranean Sea. Over a three-hour lunch, Scheinberg tried to convince Wynn that the two of them should work together to regulate online poker in the U.S. with an eye toward setting up a joint venture.
It was a tough sell. Wynn had for years opposed online gaming. He was not a big user of technology. When Wynn needed information from the Internet he would just ask his secretary to find it. He also thought it would be tough to regulate online poker. “If the Internet people got in trouble it would bring the wrath of the government down on us in the live gaming community out here in Las Vegas,” Wynn recalls thinking prior to the meeting. “I didn’t see the business opportunity, I just saw problems.”
During their lunch Wynn found Scheinberg to be quiet and reserved, carefully precise with his language and paying close attention to detail. Still, Wynn didn’t take the meeting too seriously. He did, however, take up Scheinberg’s offer to learn more in the ensuing months about how PokerStars conducted business. Wynn says what he learned shocked him, especially the company’s ability to identify any abnormal activity on its web site and stop it. “I only had misconceptions, I had no idea on a number of issues,” says Wynn. “They are highly regulated [in Europe] and I found out they had 1,300 employees and the average salary is $110,000 because they are so intellectual in the design of the programs. One of my concerns was about young people playing. It turns out they have more control about young people playing than we do.”
The Rest is Up to You…
Michael Porfirio Mason
AKA The Peoples Champ
AKA GFK, Jr.
AKA The Sly, Slick and the Wicked
AKA The Voodoo Child
The Guide to Getting More out of Life
Elliot Spizer and Matt Taibbi “Justice Department Has No Appetite To Take ANY Cases Against Wall Street Executives”