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Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment Technology Investor. Auction Rate Securities. Auction Rate Preferreds.

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9:00 AM EST Friday, June 6, 2008: Today is French Open men's semifinals. Tomorrow is women's singles final. Sunday is men's singles final. All matches should be great.

Bernanke is playing a dangerous game, messing up my Lehman Brothers shorts and creating dissension in the ranks. Said Richmond Fed President Lacker yesterday:

The Fed may be distorting private markets, encouraging risky behavior, and the central bank's independence may be endangered because of lending programs created to combat the credit crisis.

Will this election matter to the markets? A Republican victory is good for the market. A Democratic win is bad. Wrong! In a review of 27 presidential elections, Goldman Sachs found there was basically no difference. Goldman called it "statistically insignificant." And "there is nothing to suggest that portfolio allocations should be driven by views on which party is likely to be emerge victorious. "

However, there will be tax changes. And this will be significant. Hint: Now is a good time to sell your business since capital gains are likely to rise substantially under a President Obama.

Absent a deal or a change, the capital gains rate will revert to 20% after 2010, from 15% today. The sunsetting of the dividend tax cut would revert to your marginal tax rate, or nearly 40% if the top tax brackets are left to expire as well. Goldman believes such a change may be opposed by many senior citizens many of whom rely on dividends for their retirement.

Goldman says that higher-dividend paying stocks did not perform better after the dividend tax was cut by Bush. So presumably they won't perform worse now.

Favorite solar stocks. Heh, I'm brilliant. I recommended selling First Solar (FSLR) short. I'm guessing many of you followed. I sold FSLR short a $315.70 and bought it back yesterday at $247.223. There were two reasons for buying in yesterday: First, the solar stocks were rising strongly. Second, the chart looked obvious. I drew the line to show "support."

Meantime, my favorite solar stocks are Yingli Green Energy (YGE), Suntech Power Holdings (STP), ReneSola (SOL), A-Power Energy (APWR) and Canadian Solar (CSIQ). All are solidly profitable. Buy yourself a portfolio of each. You won't be unhappy.

Favorite pick and shovel: I've known about Bucyrus (BUCY) for eons, but ignored because I was stupid.

Cramer pounded the table for BUCY last night, so watch for a leap this morning and a pullback later. Here's a good description of what BUCY does (courtesy the Wall Street Journal):

Bucyrus International, Inc. designs, manufactures mining equipment for the extraction of coal, copper, oil sands, iron ore and other minerals in mining centers throughout the world. In addition to the manufacture of original equipment, the Company also provides the aftermarket replacement parts and service for equipment. The Company operates in two business segments: surface mining and underground mining. The Company's manufacturing facilities include Australia, China, Germany, Poland and the United States, and service and sales centers include Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, England, India, Mexico, Peru, Russia, South Africa and the United States. The Company's surface mining equipment includes draglines, electric mining shovels and rotary blasthole drills. In May 2007, the Company completed the acquisition of DBT GmbH, a subsidiary of RAG Coal International AG.

Finally commercial real estate is edging to becoming reasonable: Prices are coming down. Yields are rising. But you need more money. Remember my rule about Cash is King? Now you see why. A year ago, you could -- if you were lucky -- get 90% financing. Now you're lucky to get 60%. That means you need more cash.

You won't borrow any longer on Wall Street, who would (in the old days) sell your mortgage to someone else. Now you'll get it from a local bank -- a much more conservative animal. And they'll want your personal guarantee. Choose carefully.

Why you need network backup also. Time Warner RoadRunner cable modem service in Manhattan has become increasingly unreliable. It breaks down regularly, with outages lasting hours. The best "backup" is Verizon FiOS -- if you can get it, which I can't, sadly. FiOS 's faster, cheaper and more reliable. Second best backup is Verizon's Broadband Access service, which now comes pre-installed on many laptops.

June 30 is the last day for Windows XP. I just bought my son a 2.4 GHz speed, 3 gig memory, 250 gig hard drive, 3 lb weight Lenovo Thinkpad X61 for under $1350. An amazing bargain.

Change of mind: I threw out xobni, the search engine add-on for Outlook. It was too complicated for my tiny brain. A reader turned me onto Lookeen, which has a cleaner interface and lets you also index other files, e.g. all your letters in My Documents. There's a key to indexing. If you wish to find President Bush, you need to search for "President Bush." Otherwise you'll find a lot of presidents and not too many President Bushes.

I don't make this up:
+ A Denmark radio station is running a contest for Miss Headscarf. A Danish newspaper published the cartoons that linked the Prophet Mohammed to terrorism and sparked riots across the Middle East.

+ Zimbabwe has told all aid groups to halt their efforts, depriving more than two million people of food. Unemployment in Zimbabwe now exceeds 80%. The country is in shambles. Violence is rampant as the 28-year government of Robert Mugabe seeks to extend its power in the presidential runoff election this month.

Nut case Robert Zugabe, 84.

+ Turkmenistan has begun allowing private citizens to connect to the Internet via dialup.The country's only Internet provider, Turkmentelekom, said Thursday that it has been connecting up to 20 homes daily since the start of the week, mainly in the capital Ashgabat. It said it has a waiting list of 2,000 people.

+ Russian millionaire Valery Kogan wants to build a 54,000 square-foot home in Greenwich, CT with 26 toilets. Some residents think that's too many for one house. The Chinese have their own solution for the Olympics:

The French Tennis Open continues.
Watch it in high definition (HD). The quality is mind-blowing. The best HD seems to be from DirecTV and shown on my Samsung DLP big screen TV. HD is the only way to watch sports. The Tennis Channel is 455 on Time Warner Manhattan and 217 on DirecTV. ESPN is 209 on DirecTV and 29 and 729 (HD) on Time Warner. Your channels will be different.

As you watch the tennis, You'll notice: 1. How deep they hit the ball. 2. How much they move the ball around, from side to side. 3. How often they run around their backhands. 4. How consistent the better players are. They simply make fewer mistakes.

French Open Tennis TV Schedule
All times listed are Eastern Standard Time (L) = Live (T) = Taped.
Don't trust this schedule completely. Tennis programming changes on a whim.
Friday, June 6
5:00 am - 10:00 am
Semifinals (Women)
Tennis Channel (T)
Friday, June 6
10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Semifinals (Men)
Friday, June 6
12:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Friday, June 6
4:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Semifinals (Men)
Tennis Channel (T)
Friday, June 6
11:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Semifinals (Men)
Tennis Channel (T)
Saturday, June 7
9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Final (Women)
Sunday, June 8
9:00 am - 2:00 pm
Final (Men)

A great glass of champagne.
A chicken farmer went to a local bar, sat next to a woman, and ordered a glass of champagne.

The woman perks up and says, "How about that? I just ordered a glass of champagne, too!"

"What a coincidence," he said, "This is a special day for me, I'm celebrating."

"This is a special day for me, too, and I'm also celebrating," says the woman.

"What a coincidence," says the man.

As they clinked glasses he asked, "What are you celebrating?"

"My husband and I have been trying to have a child, and today my gynecologist told me I'm pregnant!"

"What a coincidence," says the man. "I'm a chicken farmer. For months all my hens were infertile, but today they're finally laying fertilized eggs."

"That's great!" says the woman, "How did you manage that?"

"I switched cocks," he replied.

She smiled and said, "What a coincidence!"

Dreams of mid-east peace.
Mahmoud Ahmedinijad, Iran's latest President, called George W. Bush on the phone late one night. "I've had a remarkable dream, Mr. Bush", he said, "and it's something you should know about."

"Well Mr. Ahmedinijad, what was your dream all about?", queried the President.

"I dreamed that the USA had gone through an enlightening reformation", he said, "and in front of every house was a huge banner."

"That's intriguing, Mr. Mindinajar. Tell me, what did it say on these banners?", asked Bush.

"They all said the same thing: Allah is God, Allah is great", stated Mahmoud, as if he could taste victory.

"It's quite odd that you should call me about a dream, as I had one the other night as well", said Bush.

"And what was your dream about, Mr. Bush?

"I dreamed that Iran had gone through a reformation as well, and on every house was a flagpole."

"So, what was on the flags?", asked the Iranian.

"I have no idea", said Bush, "I can't read Hebrew."

This column is about my personal search for the perfect investment. I don't give investment advice. For that you have to be registered with regulatory authorities, which I am not. I am a reporter and an investor. I make my daily column -- Monday through Friday -- freely available for three reasons: Writing is good for sorting things out in my brain. Second, the column is research for a book I'm writing called "In Search of the Perfect Investment." Third, I encourage my readers to send me their ideas, concerns and experiences. That way we can all learn together. My email address is . You can't click on my email address. You have to re-type it . This protects me from software scanning the Internet for email addresses to spam. I have no role in choosing the Google ads on this site. Thus I cannot endorse, though some look interesting. If you click on a link, Google may send me money. Please note I'm not suggesting you do. That money, if there is any, may help pay Michael's business school tuition. Read more about Google AdSense, click here and here.

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