BERAL, INC.
Andrew Racz
Director of Research
300 East 54 Street, Suite 26C
New York, NY 10022
Phone: (212) 319-6949
Fax: (212) 753-1944
E-mail: mlikar@aol.com

Three Immigrants In Front Of The Court

September 24, 2008

The Court Of World Opinion

In 1971, after less than 10 years in the United States, I flew up to Anchorage to investigate future business prospects in Alaska.

Having been all over Africa in 1961, quite frankly Anchorage and Fairbanks looked no different to me than the famous city of Ladysmith in South Africa in Winston Churchill's memoirs.

However, there was a difference. Ladysmith, or Salisbury of Rhodesia, were affluent. The people of Anchorage were all enthusiastic about what was coming. There was the spirit of high expectancy and expectation of an immigrant when the shipped passed the Bahamas and the New World was about to appear.

It is hard to tell today but everyone you talked to at the Captain Cook Hotel literally foresaw and expected mineral production of $300 million by 1981, $1 billion in 1996, and $3.6 million in 2006.

A total of $22 billion. And whoever you talked to wanted and expected the $22 billion mineral production in aggregate.

You talked to bankers, you talked to ordinary shopkeepers and you could feel that the possibility of 65,000 exploration employment was around the corner.

It was not only on the front page of the Anchorage Daily News, but ordinary people thought about nothing other than Trans Alaska Pipeline.

When I crossed the street I started to believe that the two sides would be separated one day by the pipeline that connected Prudhoe Bay with the lower 48 states of the Union.

The first day I met Governor Wally Hickel, who was also a real estate tycoon. He flew me up close to Prudhoe Bay and offered me a dollar for each kangaroo I saw jumping around the oil patch. We flew twice the distance of Texas, and when he saw that I wrote with bullish energy on the energy crisis, he didn't charge me for my room at the Captain Cook Hotel.

In 1971 many people in the world talked about the energy crisis. Senator Gravel became a regular feature in our investment banking circles. He was like family, and New York brokers started to take vacations in Alaska.

I usually met Senator Stevens on the top floor of the Captain Cook Hotel. He was the serious kind. He always had papers, he always discussed business with whomever was around, he took many telephone calls, and I always saw him working at the hotel until midnight. He knew that I was friendly with Governor John B. Connelly, Secretary of the Treasury, and he frequently handed me memos dealing with the costs and the needs to build what was the lifeline of every Alaskan—the Trans Alaskan Pipeline.

By early 1973, when I delivered some of the memos of Senator Stevens to Connelly, I said and he fully agreed that the United States has two intelligent states—Texas and Alaska—and 48 stupid free-loaders. Connelly was an oil man.

In 1974 President Nixon created the pipeline. Eventually 2 million barrels of oil started to flow. The population of Alaska increased to 680,000.

The politicians including Senator Stevens have delivered. They created oil, they created a booming state, they delivered energy to the other states of the Union, and they established enough reserves that we could effectively fight what is called "the foreign oil stranglehold" on our country.

Senator Stevens who has been a senator for 40 years has been instrumental in getting a few billion dollars from Washington to Alaska.

This is not lobbying. Quite frankly if 10 other states besides Alaska, for $2 billion each, could create as much energy as Alaska, we would need no foreign oil.

But politics is worse than a gossip column. Sometimes it is Page 6. We expect a leading politician to transform a state, largest in land mass among 49 others, create a Dubai in our country, and build a state. There were 75 businesses in Alaska in 1971. There are 750 today. In the bare fields that reminded me of the Belgian Congo, where I was a journalist in 1961, Senator Stevens and his colleagues created a modern state. Everybody knew that the Belgian Congo had all the strategic reserves. The Alaskan politicians didn't dream about the strategic oil reserves—they delivered.

If Winston Churchill landed in Anchorage today and asked for America's strategic reserves, everybody would point at Prudhoe Bay.

And now let us turn to the subject which makes tears come to my eyes.

I am an immigrant. I lost my parents even before the war ended. I was 6½ when I was told by a relative that I would never see my father again. I immigrated to England and I went to Cambridge. I immigrated to America and I succeeded.

Alaska, as far as a state is concerned, is an immigrant.

Senator Stevens—also his life, adding pieces, adding legislation, adding accomplishments over 40 years—immigrated from an obscure position to a Republican senator whose life was not only full of accomplishment, but he himself immigrated through the long airline flights on every weekend to a place where he has become an 84-year-old immigrant. An immigrant is a person whose life changes but whose life changes with accomplishments.

The State of Alaska of course is the American immigrant's dream matched only perhaps by building the Union Pacific to connect East with the West.

On behalf of the Senator I would like to close with my early immigrant days. I came to America on January 16, 1964. I had $700 in my pocket and a $95 weekly job in Wall Street. I lived at the YMCA and I ate at Chock Full of Nuts. After a week I delivered cake between 7:00 and 9:00 for $7 a day.

I got free breakfasts. I dated a girl whose parents gave me a dinner jacket. I had a friend who went back to England and gave me a 1957 Plymouth. Finally, near my apartment, I applied to buy a television set. The owner of the shop told me that my credit was no good.

I went back a few days later and at that time he cross-examined me. I told him that my father died in Auschwitz. He tore up my credit application and told me to take a television, a radio and anything I wanted. I don't even want your name. You pay me when you can afford it.

And slowly I realized that if an immigrant works hard, that if an immigrant does his best for himself and others, people will help him. Let's face it—immigrants need help and the help is quite often totally unselfish.

By 1965 I made enough money to start supporting my step-parents for 15 years in Hungary, and on April 3, 1966 I got married in the Plaza Hotel. I paid for the wedding as my future mother-in-law and father-in-law could not afford the Plaza Hotel. They were very happy. They themselves were immigrants.

And here comes a chapter of immigration about which little has been written. An immigrant undoubtedly—if successful—enjoys an interesting life. However, immigration is a process which flies towards the sky but does not build up the solidity that people with a more mundane life enjoy.

When you fly you create bridges but does not direct a solid foundation.

Alaska in 35 years not only built pipelines but cities, shops, new homes, luxuries. Today, with $150 per barrel oil, every citizen builds a new home and plans to have a speedboat. Three million barrels of oil a day, at $200 a barrel, and some Alaskans will misspell their names for Dubai.

After all who cares? The state could become the new Middle East in the Northwest. North by Northwest!

And the politician who labored for 40 years to bring a castle to every Alaskan will also fly, even at the age of 84, in the ecstasy of achievement.

Most people in Washington, whose hometown did not enjoy the fortunes of Alaska, want to apply the measuring stick of ordinary people who built and now live in a state of well deserved ecstasy.

And me…well, after all I am a multiple immigrant. I immigrated to America where people were happy when Doris Day was still a star.

And then I immigrated to Alaska. One day Governor Hickel flew me up to Prudhoe Bay. And when I looked down to the southeast I frankly couldn't find where Hungary was, and it only exists in my memories.

Disclaimer

Information contained herein is based on data obtained from recognized statistical services, issuers reports or communications or other sources believed to be reliable. However, such information has not been verified by us and we do not make any representation to its accuracy or completeness. Any statement non-factual in nature constitutes only current opinions which are subject to change. BERAL INC. or their officers, directors, analysts or employees may have positions in the securities or commodities referred to herein, and may as principal or agent buy and sell such securities or commodities. An employee, analyst, officer or a director of BERAL INC. may serve as a director for companies mentioned in this report. Neither the information nor any comment expressed shall constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any securities or commodities mentioned herein. There may be instances when fundamental, technical and competitive opinions may not be in concert. This firm may from time to time perform investment banking or other services for or which investment banking or other businesses from any company mentioned in this report.

 

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Andrew Racz. 300 East 54 Street, Suite 26C, New York, NY 10022
Phone: (212) 319-6949 Fax: (212) 753-1944. E-mail: mlikar@aol.com

Copyright © 2011 Andrew Racz. All Rights Reserved.

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