GrayFox Blog

August 8, 2010

USA Headquarters Move to Reno

Please help us out by linking through to the various projects below to catch up on our latest developments…


Dear Friends, Shareholders and GrayFox Partners:

We have now completed the move of headquarters operations to Reno.  We have always wanted to live close to lake Tahoe and as GrayFox Partners has increased our China-side ties and the work we are doing with Genuine ® Support 247, Inc. , we decided that this was a great time to make the leap.

The new operation has been renamed Genuine ® GrayFox Partners, Inc. to reflect the strong  working ties we are building with the Genuine ® SolarGreenRE operation and its diversified parent, with a developing product line represented at Genuine Support 247 .

My two snowboarding sons, Max and Matt are jazzed over the fact that Dad is now living in the shadow of Mt. Rose — one of the premier ski destinations in the Western Rockies. Our location near the Reno/Tahoe International airport will make it easy for Authorized Resellers to come to Reno for a working vacation, in order to receive product training and update their certification authorizations. For those who know and appreciate the varied terrain and amenities of Lake Tahoe, you know that the area is a year-round destination for fun and relaxation!

As I type this update, we are processing many threads that will lead to the launch of one of the most dynamic Solar and WindPower Renewable Energy operations ( www.GenuineSolarGreen.com ) in North America. GrayFox Partners, many of them across the USA, will be the preferred distribution partners for these high-quality “Green products”, which come with a  written 30-Year Limited Warranty.

Momentum GrayFox  Network ( www.Momentum Network.com ) Web marketing tools and BrandWare SEOmovies will quickly become the cornerstone of our  national marketing campaign carried out on behalf of our partners and the growing sales team of GrayFox Consultants (www.GrayFoxConsultants.com ) . Collectively, we are now building North America’s largest dealer footprint for residential-focused Renewable Energy products from Genuine ® SolarGreenRE.

Separately, we will shortly be opening new offices in Minneapolis to house our Genuine ® RTMsoftware Engineering Partners, Inc. ( www.GenuineRTMsoftware.com ) subsidiary of Genuine Support 247, Inc.   This operation will be focused on developing high-performance interfaces for a variety of high-quality networkable hardware devices and to equip them with easy-to-use SmartPhone interfaces.

Genuine  ® RTMsoftware Engineering Partners, Inc. will be based in Minneapolis and will be adding 8 to 10 hardware and software engineering partners over the next year.  Many of these engineers have worked with us in the past and are proven developers with a long history on our radar.    The corresponding development projects will be funded through a Private Placement to be completed in connection with Emergent Financial of Bloomington, MN.  Those interested in learning more about our progress in this area are welcome to call us in Minneapolis at (612) 605-5244, in Reno at (775) 624-7622, OR, you can send us a Global eFax in Hong Kong: +011 (852) 3006-5400 .

Whether you are a customer, a shareholder or a GrayFox Partner, you are welcome to contact us for s full update on your new consolidated operations here in the USA.

M3, CEO  — Genuine ® GrayFox Partners, Inc. —

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September 12, 2009

The New China — on TRADE

To our Readership:

On July 17,2009, I landed in Hong Kong – on a mission. My plan was to learn about the New China and identify new sales opportunities for our GrayFox Partners. Since then, I have been immersed in opportunities to both learn and grow. I must say, I am very impressed with the New China.

After spending almost 20 years in the latter part of the last century dealing with Japanese manufacturers and Trading Companies, this new venture has still been a real eye opener for me. ” I LIKE ” — as I would say to my new Chinese partner here in Shenzhen ( GenuineCV, Shenzhen, Inc. ) .

Over the next few months, I will be adding more data to our blog now that I have a coherent (at least to me) plan for moving forward with this expanded operation. This message below kind of starts in the middle of the story, but we will circle back to fill in the gaps. I think this is the fastest way to bring our readership up to speed.

WordPress, U Tube, Facebook and many other self-publishing platforms are blocked from Internet access here in China, so I am a bit hampered in getting these materials posted according to my preferences. Please bear with us as we learn how to work through the additional layer of challenges — sometimes, our postings may be a bit less than pretty when posted from China.

M3, Chief Mentor, GrayFox Partners

_____________________________

excerpts from
http://www.GenuineCV.com.cn

Dear China Manufacturer:

We offer China manufacturers a much more lucrative alternative to low-margin OEM /ODM-based business.

Now you can hit the USA market with your own brand, but without the risks and high costs of setting up your own distribution, dedicated personnel and offices in the USA.

www.GenuineCV.com.cn
China “Sourcing Clients” – Manufactured Products

www.BrandWareSEO.com Custom Web Movies Explain Your Business
Cick To Learn More

www.ChinaUSAtrader.com
The Mothership

Save many Millions of RMB and prosper more in the long run. Grow your highly-visible brand in the USA & Global marketplace.

We already have the offices on the ground, and the value- added consultants, marketing professionals and the distribution expertise to build your brand’s “market reach” – quickly – as your dedicated Distribution Partner for both North America and Europe.

We can get you off to a Fast Start in and Fast Sales in the worlds largest consumer markets !!!

We can quickly provide the capabilities and
expertise to set up single-tier, Authorized Reseller
distribution in many of the world’s major markets.
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You, the China-side Manufacturer, take the inventory risk, but it is your inventory to move, sell or re-allocate as you see fit.

Coming Soon: Adding secure warehousing for fast distribution from Amsterdam and Hong Kong…

With current Genuine ® operations in Shenzhen, China / Stockholm, Sweden / Reno, Nevada / Minneapolis, Minnesota and Chicago-area Southern Wisconsin, we provide the capabilities and expertise to set up single-tier distribution quickly in both North America and Europe.

Together, we will identify, prospect and sell to Authorized Resellers directly – with Shipping, Spares, RMA’s, Support, Training and Billing all provided from our GENUINE ® facilities.

If you want to establish distribution from additional locations, we can also help.

You no longer need to settle for OEM-based super competitive pricing. You now can build the long-term value of Your Company Brand, and much Higher Margins in North America and Europe – all starting within just weeks!

_____________________________

Genuine ® China Value
Umbrella Brand / Co-branding Project

http://www.GenuineCV.cn
Source Globally / Resellers Support Locally …

Now Creating Worldwide Distribution Channels for
Genuine ® Co-branded Products

_____________________________

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Currently Shipping / Co-branding Projects:

http://www.RealTime-Manager.com
Database for 3G SmartPhones
(English only at this time, Chinese release TBD)

http://www.BrandWareSEO.com
The 3-Minute Lead Generator

_____________________________

Co-branding Projects In Planning Phase:

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http://www.Ad-Tables.com
Easily – Programmable / Communications & Messaging

Realtime Advertising-Power
to Sell More Now!

http://www.LEDJumboTrons.com
VeryLarge “VL” – Indoor & Outdoor HiRes Displays
Easily – Programmable / High Definition “HD” Brilliance

____________

http://www.CablesAndFibers.com
The Genuine ® ‘ Installer Network ‘

http://www.IndoorFiber.com
Attenuators to Z-clamps
And Everything In Between…

http://www.OutdoorFiber.com
We Ship The Big Stuff – FAST !!!

____________

http://www.ViewGates.com
Secured Access & Surveillance Systems

Track & Control Your Assets!

____________

http://www.DakotaBison.com
Premium Red Meat for Healthy / Long Life!

“Conducting Strategic Partner Search”
for China Distribution of DakotaBison Steaks…

____________

International Marketing Partners:

http://www.GrayFoxPartners.com
Recruit, Train & Support
Genuine ® Authorized Reseller Channel
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http://www.B2B-Xchange.com
Genuine ® Reseller Marketplace
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http://www.ChinaUSAtrader.com
The Mothership
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Live 24/7 Sales & Support

Genuine ®
China-side Operations, Shenzhen, China
+86 136-3280 8544
Xiaoli Ma, Chief Marketing Officer

Genuine ®
USA-side Operations, Minneapolis, MN
+01 (612) 605-5244

M3, Chief Operations Officer
Global eFax + 01 (612) 465-6777

April 5, 2009

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– Paid Lead Referral Program –

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http://www.designrac.com/demo/grayfox/trailer01/

The link above is our first BrandWare movieTrailer — a short movie about changing trends from traditional advertising to Web Marketing.

We are using this BrandWare movieTrailer to pre-market and start to line up Consultants who want to represent our products in their respective local markets.

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Recent Client Project:

http://www.designrac.com/demo/grayfox/GrouPinions

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Here is another BrandWare movieTrailer  sequence which is still a Work In Progress…

http://www.rentersru.com/carspin/

http://www.rentersru.com/car.html

http://www.rentersru.com/supercharged.html

wait ’til you see the finished product — pretty cool concept!

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BrandWare 3-D Widget Library ™ :

We are building a library of these flexible little attention grabbers as re-usable components which can assembled with user content.

http://www.rentersru.com/comtest.html

http://www.rentersru.com/plane01/

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BrandWare Animation Studios ™

  • Flash Animations
  • Audio Engineering
  • Voice Talent
  • Script Writing

Customized Productions

  • BrandWare SEOmovies /  3-Minute Lead Generators
  • BrandWare  eCameos /   animated customer testimonials
  • BrandWare 3-D movieTrailers /  60 second 3-D animation
  • BrandWare  SoundTags /   your audio trademark
  • BrandWare Signatures /  flash -unique value proposition

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Ultimately, we think this pre-marketing program will generate some paying SMB customers as we continue to build the production team and fine tune the production processes in the weeks ahead.

Thanks for forwarding this link to your Consultant contacts who may be interested in sending us Small and Medium-sized Business Referrals. Please ask them to mention your name when they contact us — so we know where the referral came from.

We take good care of our friends…

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M2, Chief Mentor
BrandWare Animation Studios

GrayFox Partners, LLC
(612) 605-5244

March 25, 2009

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Nail The Sale,  Seal The Deal

Compulsion For Closure…

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Many years ago, I read an interesting article that claimed to have identified the single common attribute which is found in all highly successful people. The article cited a number of criteria for the described study, all of which sounded quite reasonable, and then it rolled out the answer:

“Compulsion For Closure”

This point hit me where I live.

I have experienced a high degree of success in my business career over a thirty-five year period. As with most people, some periods have been better than others, but I have managed to consistently weather the occasional storms and, for the most part, managed to achieve my objectives – regardless of the obstacles which have raised up to thwart my efforts.

As I reflected upon this notion that claimed all highly successful people possess an absolute drive to complete their tasks and see them all the way through closure, I realized that this particular author might actually be correct!

Through a thorough examination of my own life experiences, I concluded that each of the successes I have sought, often has followed on the heels of a major setback or what might even have been considered a “near death experience” for the project or major program at that time.

As I see myself as “ever the peddler”, I realized that my business persona has always been entirely wrapped up in a relentless effort to “Nail The Sale” and to “Seal The Deal”.

Catch phrases you may say to yourself – of course they are, and good ones to boot.

Each of us, operating as entrepreneurs engaged in a never ending embrace with self-improvement, must find memorable ways to enhance our self-talk and focus on the behaviors which carry us to achieve our respective objectives day in and day out.

Remember to stay focused and be true to this notion of a Compulsion For Closure when the going gets tough…

It will stand you in hand every time.

M2,Chief Mentor
GrayFox Partners
BrandWare Animation Studios

(612) 605-5244


http://www.rentersru.com/comic.html

If you work with computers, this link is a hoot!
Please feel free forward this message to all of your friends… M2


Friends of GrayFox Partners and BrandWare Animation Studios:

We are working to release our first two promotional SEOmovies ™ The first will be all about the BrandWare System ™ and the second will be about GrayFox Partner Recruiting.

The third will be used by our GrayFox Consultants to market within their local sales territories and develop their respective “local client base”.

M2, Chief Mentor, GrayFox Partners,
BrandWare Animation Studios
(612) 605-5244

>>> grayfoxpartners@yahoo.com

P.S. If you would like to be on our BrandWare Animation Studios’ mailing list (we won’t overdo it!) — just drop me a brief note via eMail. M2

March 8, 2009

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CD:

I am thinking inexpensive Black T’s with White text only.
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(front, left breast)
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GrayFox Consultants™
More Leads for Le$$

Expand Your Market Reach with BrandWare SEOmovies

 

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(back)

BrandWare SEOmovies (.com)

The One Who Dies

With The

“Biggest Database”

Wins!


“I want one yesterday”, he says.  (We will figure out sizes and qty as we poll the team)

When we have our open house for Mpls, I think they will go like hotcakes…   I will bet we can pull in over 100 of the old crew. —- Will need a bigger sound system and a Bunch more chairs!

If you want one,  you can give us a call with your size.

M2

(612) 605-5244

March 3, 2009

BrandWare SEOmovies / 3-Minute Lead Generation Videos

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Do you want to learn about Web Marketing?

(movies for  ‘organic placement’ —  Search Engine Optimization’…)

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BrandWare SEOmovies

Viral, Portable, Searchable /  3-Minute Lead Generators


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All but the largest brands will opt for online advertising as their primary means of developing leads and new customers.

As the recession continues to teraform the current advertising landscape, the effectiveness of online advertising is going stand alone as the survivor for the majority of businesses.

Drive your Brand Awareness, build loyalty in your customer base!

GrayFox Partners – the exclusive global distributor for the tools of  BrandWare Animation Studios:

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The BrandWare System

(Patent Pending)

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  • BrandWare  SEOmovies ™ * / 3-minute movies communicating your most effective messaging
  • BrandWare  3-D  movieTrailers ™ / 20 second movie promotions
  • BrandWare  eCameos ™ / Your customer testimonials – animated stills with audio voice over
  • BrandWare  Embedded 3-D Animations ™ /  illustrations of key messages with 3-D animations embedded in eCameo or SEOmovie video segments.
  • BrandWare  SoundTags ™ / You company’s audio trademark – about 2 seconds – w/RingTone option
  • BrandWare  LogoMotion ™ / Your logo animated – backed with the long version of SoundTag
  • BrandWare  Signature ™ / Signature Value Proposition – descriptive words w/audio voice over…
  • BrandWare  Backgrounder ™ / Expanded Signature document – long version, no audio


* SEOmovies = Search Engine Optimization movies
– accelerating organic (non-paid) search engine placement by using highly engineered blog and news link broadcasting on multiple platforms simultaneously.

GrayFox Consultants use SEOmovies to help small and medium-sized businesses cost-effectively deliver an economical and effective message that makes it easy for your customers to understand What You Do and Why They Need It!


We are truly transforming how companies communicate…

And, since your message is presented in a way that people like to learn, more people will hear your message than ever before.  Therefore, you will be reaching people who ordinarily would not take the time to learn about you in the first place.

And, you will be reaching more people with an effective message based on a solutions-selling model…

You can use your SEOmovie in 21 different ways:  ECONOMICAL – POWERFUL – VERSATILE!

* broad eMails campaigns * marketing response to inquiries * customer visits * CDs * tradeshow theaters * introduction eMails * kiosk monitors *  1-on-1 demos * follow-up eMails * distributor support * sales agent training * investor relations * get your message out to hundreds of prospects within minutes * your distribution channel representatives eMail your SEOmovie to their customers and the orders come in – it’s that easy! * unlike other advertising programs that will be used just once, your SEOmovie will be used for years *  much, much more…

Attach a link to your SEOmovie on every eMail and find that people eMail the link to others!


Expand your Warm Market – through the contacts of your stakeholders.

Please think about what would happen TO YOUR SALES if a greater number of people truly understood and heard the value of what you do and what you offer!

If you run a business, or are involved with sales and marketing, you owe it to your stakeholders to learn more about SEOmovies and the BrandWare System.

Ask about SEOmovies… You, your family— and your employees,  will all be glad you did!

Please Call our National Coordinator for a consultant near you :

Vance Woolwine, GrayFox Consultants, (612) 605-5244

16526  W. 78th St. / Unit 362    *   Eden Prairie, MN    55346

 

February 10, 2009

You Can Not “Cut” Your Way to Prosperity!

February 2009 —

Heck of a time to be expanding operations!

Within a couple of weeks, we will be moving equipment into our new Digital Video production studio and the adjacent Sound studio for the expanding operations of our BrandWare Animation Studios ™ .

While it may sound like a strange time to be taking risks on new facilities, it is precisely the Recession (or depression – with a small “d”) and the fact that all Small and Medium-sized Businesses (SMBs) are hurting right now that is driving us to make these moves.

  • All of us are now faced with doing more with less.
  • All of us are now going to have to remake the way in which we attract new customers.
  • All of us are aware of the potential to sell over the Web, but few companies know how to really execute in the blazingly-fast markets of “globalized demand”  for locally produced goods and services.

For all of the advances in computing power, software applications, ubiquitous broadband Internet availability – why is it that the vast majority of SMBs are still operating with spreadsheets and yellow pads – instead of state-of-the-art  Customer Relationship Management systems that can be accessed from the SmartPhone in your pocket?

Well, at GrayFox Consultants, we think it is a matter of time — ( your time allocation) — and education!

We are going to handle the education part first, with significantly increased production capabilities for producing top quality SEOmovies ™  at very competitive price points.

Then, there is that matter of your time…

We offer two options, we provide the tools, training and support so that you can have your own people driving the process of Internet marketing to extend your reach; OR, we can provide these services to you on a subscription-service basis.

Over the next few weeks, please keep an eye on this GrayFox Blog and you will be amazed at what you can afford, not to mention how much difference these services can make to your top line REVENUE numbers!

We want to be your Internet marketing partners.     —  Let us show you how…

Please Call our National Coordinator for a consultant near you :

Vance Woolwine, (612) 605-5244

16526  W. 78th St. / Unit 362    *   Eden Prairie, MN    55346

February 9, 2009

Community Banks to Fail or Merge in ’09

Feb 6, 2009 12:51 AM

Friends of GrayFox Partners:

The long range radar continues to function and it looks like the “backside storm winds” I was concerned about in November of 2008 will start to arrive in by summer ’09.

We currently continue to experience an economy where banks are not lending to business — here is why.

Currently, the commercial real estate defaults have doubled in the last quarter. Between now and the end of 2010, it is expected that commercial real estate values will continue to plummet as we see the default rate for many Community Banks (where many of these small and medium-sized projects are financed) continue to skyrocket – some estimates are that default rates on commercial real estate projects will triple again in the next 12 to 18 months.

If this happens, 30% of all Community banks will post marked down assets which will equal up to 300% of their current Capital. This is why the Money Center Banks are still not lending. They want to use that TARP Money to go on a bargain-priced acquisitions binge to fill out their geographic footprints by snapping up depositors and the locations of these Community banks. The may end up buying the small banks for little more than the deflated value of their own real estate if the predictions about Capital losses are anywhere close to correct!

All of this does not bode well for interest rates or the availability of working capital in the next 18 months. Those businesses with decent cash flow and balance sheets will tighten their belts and continue to operate, but this protracted environment will continue to scrape off the marginal players from the field of competition.

The only way many businesses will survive will be to remake themselves.

And — they will have to become better marketers – doing more with less.

>>>
We are working on our own team to produce 3-Minute SEOmovies
from BrandWare Animation Studios.

If you want to know more about this project, please feel free to call.

Thank you in advance for your continued participation.

… In the mean time, keep your powder dry and the rice cooker full.


M2, Chief Mentor

GrayFox Consultants

(612) 605-5244

16526 W 78th St. / Unit 362    *   Eden Prairie, MN    55346

Eye of The Storm / Winds to Build on the Backside!

Friends of GrayFox Partners:

(Nov 24, 2008  3:00 PM)

I wish you each a safe and “uneventful” holiday season.

I have been working on our own survival plan here. As we continue to keep an eye on developments, I thought that this piece is a worthy follow up to the events of September and October.

The elections are out of the way and the “New Normal” economic foundation is forming up for 2009.  I have a number of data points and anecdotal developments that lead me the position I am communicating here. Without wasting time, here is the meat of the issue:

interesting breaking news… (worth 10 minutes of your time!)
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Billionaire Real Estate Investor, Tom Barrack’s Economic Outlook

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http://www.cnbc.com/id/15840232?video=937772691&play=1

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President (elect) Obama has announced his Cabinet appointees and his new economic advisory team. The stock market has responded favorably on Friday and Monday.  They also have announced more definition on how they plan to bail out banks going forward — and made another major investment in CitBank. $25 Billion last month, $20 Billion this month – wow!  Citi stock has been under attack and dropped by 90% since the crisis began (60% last week alone!).  I think that the new model being used for Citi will give the markets more confidence and avoid a much more dramatic selloff  of Banks as the “banking onion” continues to be unwrapped one layer at a time.

The terms of this Citi deal are tighter and more favorable for Citi, than previous transactions and it probably sets a new benchmark for working capital that has not been so well defined since Warren Buffet started negotiating debt with equity kickers.

In other words, we may be close to the bottom now — I think we will stay at the bottom for quite a while, but I don’t think it will get a lot worse — unless you are in Real Estate.

The news highlight that has stuck in my mind is an interview with one of the largest real estate investors here in the US, Tom Barrack . The interviewer on CNBC asked him about Equity — if he is buying equities here at the bottom. He smiled and said:

  • “I can not even spell Equity”
  • “Debt is the new equity, Debt is the Entry Point to Owning Equity.”
  • “Real Estate is not for investing, it is for Trading.”

Just like “the age of 50 is the new 40”, due to medical science, in the New Normal economy, here are a few of the benchmark remarks from Tom Barrack (or watch the link at the top of this message):

  • The “New Great” is merely Good !
  • The “New Win” is merely Survival !
  • My expected annual return is 30 to 40%..!
  • I am only buying debt and distressed debt, with Equity Kickers..!

These are very, very profound statements.  I think that Tom Barrack may be right.  Previously, (and because I am an optimist) I have been thinking that people with real money would soon be stepping back into the stock market.

My view has now evolved to make me think that Private Equity (where the wealth of the World really lies) is going to become “lenders  instead of  investorsin the New Normal economic environment.

The Government bailouts have set a new standard — money will be from lenders, who get their money back and earn equity bonuses; — OR, the debt defaults, the lender takes over the company (or the real estate project) for a fraction of what they could have received previously as merely an equity investor. They then flip it for a substantial profit to stronger hands.

In this scenario, Commercial Real Estate (in some markets) has already revalued downward 20% to 40%, and with a new surge in defaults that could drive it another 50% downward as commercial real estate gets caught up in a wave of write downs (some reWrites ) of commercial real estate debt held by local and regional community banks.

(A lot of these smaller banks will end up in new hands over the next 3 years and this process will generate endless capital calls on their small business clients…, not to mention higher interest spreads and outrageously priced bank debt!)

Bottom line — Fortunes are being stripped away and wealth is going through a redistribution to “new hands” equivalent to the long term regenerative effect of the “100 Year” forest fire.

It will likely take about 3-5 years for this entire process to have created a new baseline capable of spawning another generation of innovation and growth.

I hope your bunker is comfortable and that you have an exercise area to keep your body active and some good reading to stretch your mind, while the economic metamorphosis continues.

We are continuing to work on our own recovery plan and I have renewed hope that for us (because we started early), 2009 will represent a return to strong growth for Sellphonix.  First, we must put a few more key elements in place.  Don’t count us out, just slowed a bit in a very strong and challenging headwind.

happy holidays…

M2, Chief Mentor
(612) 605-5244

16526 W 78th St. / Unit 362     *     Eden Prairie, MN    55346

CNBC and Timely Observations on Economy

Filed under: M2: GrayFox on The Economy — grayfoxpartners @ 01:22
Tags: , ,
from January 2008 on Lahde Capitalhttp://hedgefinger.blogspot.com/2008/01/how-one-hedge-racked-up-1000.html
John Authers, Financial Times: October 16 on Hedge Funds, This is an Outstanding Summary!http://www.ft.com/cms/bfba2c48-5588-11dc-b971-0000779fd2ac.html

>>> this video has been moved to archives, but the current ones are worth watching if you want to keep up with current Global perspectives.

Friends of GrayFox Partners:

(10-17-2008 2:57 PM)

The Chinese have a word for Crisis — it his two meanings.  One definition means Danger, the other means Opportunity!

Hedge Funds are not all made equal:

Two Links on Lahde Capital, a hedge fund in California – about 10 months apart. Last year, this hedge fund made almost 900% on invested capital. Now, Lahde is out of the Hedge Fund business! Sounds to me like the 7-year long Party Ended with a Crescendo last year…

Lahde’s Farewell Letter is Quite the Read! — worth a 5-minute break if you want the story behind the story on the financial crisis.

Lahde’s Summary: Why is ‘mary jane’ illegal?
Wow… quite the exit missive! You have to wonder if he was sober when he keyboarded this one… 😉


From the Scorched Earth Files:

Andrew Lahde, manager of a small California hedge fund, Lahde Capital, burst into the spotlight last year after his one-year-old fund returned 866 percent betting against the subprime collapse.

Last month, he did the unthinkable — he shut things down, claiming dealing with his bank counter-parties had become too risky. Today, Lahde passed along his “goodbye” letter, a rollicking missive on everything from greed to economic philosophy. Enjoy:

Today I write not to gloat. Given the pain that nearly everyone is experiencing, that would be entirely inappropriate. Nor am I writing to make further predictions, as most of my forecasts in previous letters have unfolded or are in the process of unfolding. Instead, I am writing to say goodbye.

Recently, on the front page of Section C of the Wall Street Journal, a hedge fund manager who was also closing up shop (a $300 million fund), was quoted as saying, “What I have learned about the hedge fund business is that I hate it.” I could not agree more with that statement. I was in this game for the money. The low hanging fruit, i.e. idiots whose parents paid for prep school, Yale, and then the Harvard MBA, was there for the taking. These people who were (often) truly not worthy of the education they received (or supposedly received) rose to the top of companies such as AIG, Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers and all levels of our government. All of this behavior supporting the Aristocracy, only ended up making it easier for me to find people stupid enough to take the other side of my trades. God bless America.

There are far too many people for me to sincerely thank for my success. However, I do not want to sound like a Hollywood actor accepting an award. The money was reward enough. Furthermore, the endless list those deserving thanks know who they are.


I will no longer manage money for other people or institutions. I have enough of my own wealth to manage. Some people, who think they have arrived at a reasonable estimate of my net worth, might be surprised that I would call it quits with such a small war chest. That is fine; I am content with my rewards. Moreover, I will let others try to amass nine, ten or eleven figure net worths. Meanwhile, their lives suck. Appointments back to back, booked solid for the next three months, they look forward to their two week vacation in January during which they will likely be glued to their Blackberries or other such devices. What is the point? They will all be forgotten in fifty years anyway. Steve Balmer, Steven Cohen, and Larry Ellison will all be forgotten. I do not understand the legacy thing. Nearly everyone will be forgotten. Give up on leaving your mark. Throw the Blackberry away and enjoy life.

So this is it. With all due respect, I am dropping out. Please do not expect any type of reply to emails or voicemails within normal time frames or at all. Andy Springer and his company will be handling the dissolution of the fund. And don’t worry about my employees, they were always employed by Mr. Springer’s company and only one (who has been well-rewarded) will lose his job.

I have no interest in any deals in which anyone would like me to participate. I truly do not have a strong opinion about any market right now, other than to say that things will continue to get worse for some time, probably years. I am content sitting on the sidelines and waiting. After all, sitting and waiting is how we made money from the subprime debacle. I now have time to repair my health, which was destroyed by the stress I layered onto myself over the past two years, as well as my entire life — where I had to compete for spaces in universities and graduate schools, jobs and assets under management — with those who had all the advantages (rich parents) that I did not. May meritocracy be part of a new form of government, which needs to be established.

On the issue of the U.S. Government, I would like to make a modest proposal. First, I point out the obvious flaws, whereby legislation was repeatedly brought forth to Congress over the past eight years, which would have reigned in the predatory lending practices of now mostly defunct institutions. These institutions regularly filled the coffers of both parties in return for voting down all of this legislation designed to protect the common citizen. This is an outrage, yet no one seems to know or care about it. Since Thomas Jefferson and Adam Smith passed, I would argue that there has been a dearth of worthy philosophers in this country, at least ones focused on improving government.

Capitalism worked for two hundred years, but times change, and systems become corrupt. George Soros, a man of staggering wealth, has stated that he would like to be remembered as a philosopher. My suggestion is that this great man start and sponsor a forum for great minds to come together to create a new system of government that truly represents the common man’s interest, while at the same time creating rewards great enough to attract the best and brightest minds to serve in government roles without having to rely on corruption to further their interests or lifestyles. This forum could be similar to the one used to create the operating system, Linux, which competes with Microsoft’s near monopoly. I believe there is an answer, but for now the system is clearly broken.

* From Portfolio: Who Got Screwed in the Wall St. Bailout?

Lastly, while I still have an audience, I would like to bring attention to an alternative food and energy source. You won’t see it included in BP’s, “Feel good. We are working on sustainable solutions,” television commercials, nor is it mentioned in ADM’s similar commercials. But hemp has been used for at least 5,000 years for cloth and food, as well as just about everything that is produced from petroleum products. Hemp is not marijuana and vice versa. Hemp is the male plant and it grows like a weed, hence the slang term. The original American flag was made of hemp fiber and our Constitution was printed on paper made of hemp. It was used as recently as World War II by the U.S. Government, and then promptly made illegal after the war was won. At a time when rhetoric is flying about becoming more self-sufficient in terms of energy, why is it illegal to grow this plant in this country?

Ah, the female. The evil female plant — marijuana. It gets you high, it makes you laugh, it does not produce a hangover. Unlike alcohol, it does not result in bar fights or wife beating. So, why is this innocuous plant illegal? Is it a gateway drug? No, that would be alcohol, which is so heavily advertised in this country. My only conclusion as to why it is illegal, is that Corporate America, which owns Congress, would rather sell you Paxil, Zoloft, Xanax and other additive drugs, than allow you to grow a plant in your home without some of the profits going into their coffers. This policy is ludicrous. It has surely contributed to our dependency on foreign energy sources. Our policies have other countries literally laughing at our stupidity, most notably Canada, as well as several European nations (both Eastern and Western). You would not know this by paying attention to U.S. media sources though, as they tend not to elaborate on who is laughing at the United States this week. Please people, let’s stop the rhetoric and start thinking about how we can truly become self-sufficient.

With that I say good-bye and good luck.

All the best,

Andrew Lahde

February 8, 2009

Filed under: GrayFox Consultants' Comments — grayfoxpartners @ 07:53

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