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This board is very dead which I have found to be an excellent contrary indicator. LaBrache is also at a 52 week low. I am willing to share my views (I have not bought stock yet) and would be interested if anyone else is outthere looking too. I am particularly interested in negative opinions. For example, why has their business dropped off so sharply when the market is rising? Have their customers been enjoying buying privledges that could draw legal scruitiny? Any comments welcomed.

Ken
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I am convinced that the drop in revenue is due to customers afraid of getting involved. Maybe there is something sinister going on here. Clearly using a big floor trader for large transactions makes sense. They can handle the large orders and get the best prices. They also could be providing something more which is the concern and why the stock got clobbered.

A broker had some good advice on this. He noted that there isn't anything there in terms of book value. The company IS the traders on the floor. If they have been crossing over the line, the company will be worthless as that is exposed. If there was something tangible there, it might be worth the risk but it is a straight down deal if there is any skullduggery, an Enron.

My plan is to watch and wait. The prosecuters will absolutely drive this investigation to completion so things will either get far worse or better. There could be an opportunity down the road.

Ken
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Hi Ken-

I also watch LAB and fellow NYSE specialist Van Der Moolen.

Besides the obvious NYSE investigation and pending fines, the whole specialist regime is under attack. We shall see what happens.

Specialists do not make much revenue from commissions. LAB and VDM profit from providing liquidity to the market ... the high level of program trading and low level of intra-day volatility make for tough conditions.

VDM has great quarterly slide show presentations. I suggest you check out their website and see the Q2/03 presentation. It's a nice introduction to their business model.

ET

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