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The Halfway Point Hoofy Awards


"I'm not dead yet!"


"Woah, we're halfway there

Woah-Oh, living on a prayer"

- Bon Jovi

Today's the official end of the first half of '05 and Hoofy could use a hug.

After riding high into the end of last year, the Bull staggered out of the 2005 gates and hasn't been able to recapture his stride since. Barring an exceptionally positive interpretation of Elmer's 2:15 rate hike, the Big Three indices are going to have some ground to make up to get back to the closing levels of '04.

Not to worry, my be-Hooved Bull friend, daddy's got just the halftime speech to put a lift in your horns and a spring in your stampede: The first Semi-Annual Hoofy Awards!

Snort in derision if you will, Hoofy, but I shouldn't need to remind you of the mauling inflicted on you by Boo in the after-glow of his eponymous award ceremony last year. These statuettes are like 12" of gold-plated viagra (don't worry, as far as you know it's just flax seed oil and it's not like you're going to go blind).

So don your tuxes and gowns and brace yourselves for the greatest reputational comeback (bovine category) since Ferdinand got stung by the bee!

The Joseph Stalin "What does a guy have to do to get some respect for being evil?" Award

Our first gold-plated Bull goes to the winner of the 2004 "Most likely to be a Catalyst for a Horrible 2005" Boo Bear award, Russian would-be totalitarian dictator, Vladamir Putin! Vlad becomes the first nominee ever to complete the first two legs of the Minyanville Grand Slam ( Boo Bear, Hoofy, Sammy and Snapper awards ).

In the last six months, Vlad has booked the trade on his ill-gotten Yukos "hostile takeover" by partnering with the Chinese, exposed Elliot Spitzer (we'll get to him) as a sissy by sending a CEO who probably wasn't even guilty to a labor camp for 9-years (with a wink, more charges are coming) and pulled away from democratic process in a uniquely Russian scorched earth manner.

All that and the best he can get from President Bush is "As I explained to him (Putin), here you're innocent until proven guilty, and it appeared to us - at least people in my administration - that it looked like he had been judged guilty prior to (having) a fair trial."

Not to worry, Vlad. The award title isn't rhetorical; we've inscribed the answer to your Evil PR problem on the base of your statue. By way of a hint, you can pick up your Hoofy in Warsaw.

The "2006 can't get here fast enough" Award:

After scoring billions in settlements from firms he accused of fraud, Elliott Spitzer lost his first actual trial brought in the name of "protecting investors' interests".

On the news of Spitzer's defeat, the betting line for the start date of the Grasso trial moved to January, 2007. Since Albany is looking like a bit more of a longshot than it did in December, rather than storing this trophy in Albany you can pick up your Hoofy from under John Reed's desk; we're sure you'll be there soon.

The "Taser is down 70% Year to Date" award for the stock most likely to drive shorts crazy all year before collapsing in January*

Step right up, Google (GOOG)! ("Fine, 'ride your Segway's right up' you preening little...")

We'll keep the trophy at your $85 IPO price. You can pick it up when you get there next year.

(* Award previously named for: General Motors (GM), 2004, Krispy Kreme (KKD) 2003, and "Everything with a 4-letter ticker", 1999)

The Jason Voorhees "How many times do we have to kill this guy?" award:

To the board of Morgan Stanley Dean Witter Discover (MWD), welcoming back John Mack with a big air-kiss after being forced to fire the guy they picked over Mack, Phil Purcell. Don't get too comfortable with the trophy, gang; you're going to have to include it in Mack's sure-to-be-huge re-signing bonus.

The "He could be 1,000 years old, I still don't want any part of being on the other side of his trade" Award

88 year old Kirk Kerkorian: Wake up, you're a winner!

I mean, not just jamming the shorts by announcing your position but making an offer for a block at $31 when you could almost certainly fill the whole position piece-meal in the 20's.

Kirk is up $200-odd-million on his trade, thus far. Baby, that's plenty of "explanation" on your motives for us! We'd be happy to watch Matlock 24/7 if it meant we could hang out with you.

The "We've heard from the C-Student. Do we have any suggestions from people who were B-Students or better?" Award

To those in Washington supporting a trade war with China. You can pick up your Hoofy in the yard of the White House, we just threw it over the fence.

[Hate mail welcome here]

The "Ok maybe it wasn't Soros, evil hedge fund cabals or a bubble" Award

Crude Oil, two days off an all-time high just above $60 and it seems that the authorities are pretty much out of explanations as to why.

We're burying this one in Alaska but it has to be drilled up.

The American Psycho "I'm not saying it's a book for everyone, just that I enjoyed the book and I'm only a little bit embarrassed about that fact" Award

To Jenna Jameson, the author of a best selling biography ( and featured in the current edition of Forbes HERE).

I'm keeping your trophy at Minyanville's SF Branch, Ms. Jameson. You're welcome to pick it up as soon as one of us talks my wife into the idea.

"For that matter, I have a really hard time believing that he would care who wins the Super Bowl, either" Award

To Richard Scrushy, for his emotional post-acquital speech.

We're holding a celebration party at the Neverland Ranch, Richard. Bring the kids!

The "He brings shame to us all" Mr. Clean Award

Dennis Kozlowski, in a narrow victory of up-and-comer Billy Meehan.

We'll send young Mbop to Sing Sing with your trophy, a box of Rogaine and some soap-on-a-roap, Koz!

The "I don't care if you buy my popcorn, I won't see War of the Worlds" Hoofy

Our final Hoofy goes to AMC Theatres, fighting the trend of plummeting drops in movie theatre revenues by offering refunds to those who don't enjoy a movie.

I've given your Hoofy to the drunk teenagers sitting behind me, talking on cell phones with their feet propped on my neck, AMC. You can try to get it from them but I've found that they don't much care for being approached by strangers.

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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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