Monday, June 4, 2012

Summer Reading

Time to post our summer reading list, as usual a very eclectic listing but should make for enjoyable reading:

1925, F. Scott Fitzgerald, “The Great Gatsby”

1926, Ernest Hemingway, “The Sun Also Rises”

1960, Harper Lee, “To Kill A Mockingbird”

1982, Robert Caro, “The Path to Power”

2006, James Green, “Death in the Haymarket”

2008, Alan Furst, “The Spies of Warsaw”

2009, Liaquat Ahamed, “Lords of Finance”

2010, Robert Wells, “New York State Government Politics in a Nutshell”

2010, Maria Bartiromo, “The Weekend That Changed Wall Street”

2011, Pete Hamill, “Tabloid City”

2012, Thomas Mallon, “Watergate”


“I would like to know your opinion on our economic recovery or lack of a recovery. Where should I put my money and should I be worried about the future?”

Bewildered in Claremont”

Dear Bewildered in Claremont:

“Let me give you a few current facts:

  • -          an Asian slowdown brought on by European woes
  • -          India’s economy sputtering to a nine-year low
  • -          a continued economic slowdown in China
  • -          weakness coming out of South Korea and Australia
  • -          a growing banking crisis in Spain
  • -          a deepening of Greece’s economic collapse
  • -          increased economic problems across Africa
  • -          the desperate plea of European bankers for a unified rescue fund
  • -          a U.S. jobs report landing with a thud this past Friday
  • -          renewed calls for QE3
  • -          federal, state and local government refusing to cut spending and taxes
  • -          Universities and Colleges continuing to escalate fees and student borrowing

Wrap all this up and it spells LOOK OUT. Stay liquid with your investments, do not borrow money long term, Mitt Romney can still win in November, and above all else suck up to your boss (don’t lose that job).”

Rink Rats

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to: Barbara Bush (87), Gina Gershon (50), Paul Giamatti (45), Angelina Jolie (37), Natalie Morales (40), Prince (54), Tom Scali …famous Jeep lover, Nancy Sinatra (72), Jerry Stiller (85), Dick Vitale (73).

AVERAGE CEO PAY HIGHER THAN BEFORE MELTDOWN -  "Profits at big U.S. companies broke records last year, and so did pay for CEOs. The head of a typical public company made $9.6 million in 2011 ... up 6 percent from the year before, according to an analysis by The Associated Press using data from Equilar, an executive pay research firm. The figure is the highest since the AP began tracking executive compensation in 2006. ... Companies trimmed cash bonuses but handed out more in stock awards. For shareholder activists who have long decried CEO pay as exorbitant, that was a victory of sorts.
--"10 highest-paid CEOs [in 2011] in AP survey : 1. David Simon, Simon Property Group, $137.2 million, up 458 percent [from 2010] ... 2. Leslie Moonves, CBS, $68.4 million, up 20 percent ... 3. David M. Zaslav, Discovery Communications, $52.4 million, up 23 percent ... 4. Sanjay K. Jha, Motorola Mobility, $47.2 million, up 262 percent ... 5. Philippe P. Dauman, Viacom, $43.1 million, down 49 percent ... 6. David M. Cote, Honeywell International, $35.7 million, up 135 percent ... 7. Robert A. Iger, Walt Disney, $31.4 million, up 12 percent ... 8. Clarence P. Cazalot Jr., Marathon Oil, $29.9 million, up 239 percent ... 9. John P. Daane, Altera, $29.6, million, up 278 percent ... 10. Alan Mulally, Ford Motor, $29.5 million, up 11 percent."
WALL STREET WEEK - U.S. stock investors welcome the month of June, though prospects for profits remain highly uncertain.  The final numbers for May were anything but bullish: the Dow suffered its biggest one-month drop since May of 2010, while the NASDAQ saw its biggest point drop since October of 2008. The U.S. economy in May generated its fewest new jobs in a year, and the unemployment rate ticked up, the strongest signs yet that the labor market and economy as a whole have cooled:  non-farm payroll growth of 69,000 and an unemployment rate of 8.2 percent. April had seen an unexpectedly low 115,000 nonfarm jobs created, though investors will be watching carefully for any revisions.

RINK RATS TMZ.COM – If the election were today, Obama would likely win 247 electoral votes to Romney's 206 (270 electoral votes needed to win the Presidency), according to an analysis of polls, ad spending and key developments in states, along with interviews with more than a dozen Republican and Democratic strategists both inside and outside of the two campaigns. Seven states, offering a combined 85 electoral votes, are viewed as too close to give either candidate a meaningful advantage: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio and Virginia.
SPORTS BLINK - NBC release: "NBCUniversal will provide 5,535 hours of coverage for the 2012 London Olympics across NBC, NBC Sports Network, MSNBC, CNBC, Bravo, Telemundo,, two specialty channels, and the first-ever 3D platform, an unprecedented level that surpasses the coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympics by nearly 2,000 hours. ... NBC will broadcast 272.5 hours of coverage, the most ever for an Olympic broadcast network, largely attributable to an increase in daytime coverage. ...
"NBCUniversal is presenting its 13th Olympic Games and seventh consecutive, both the most by any U.S. media company. ABC is second with 10 and four (twice), respectively. London will be NBCUniversal's seventh consecutive Summer Games, having presented each one since Seoul in 1988. ... The 5,535 hours more than double the total amount of coverage of every Summer Games combined prior to Beijing (2,562 hours from 1960 Rome on CBS to 2004 Athens on NBC). The 5,535 hours are the equivalent of 231 days of coverage. NBCUniversal will average 291 hours of coverage per day over London's 19 days (including two days of soccer competition prior to the Opening Ceremony). ...
"NBC will broadcast 272.5 hours of London Olympic coverage over 17 days , the most extensive coverage ever provided by an Olympic broadcast network, and nearly 50 hours more than the 225 hours for Beijing in 2008. ... Coverage will begin on most weekdays at 10 a.m. ET/PT, immediately following NBC News' TODAY, which is originating from London. On weekends, NBC's daytime coverage will begin as early as 5 a.m. ET/PT. ... MSNBC will carry 155.5 hours of a wide variety of long-form Olympic programming over 19 days. CNBC will serve as the home of Olympic boxing this summer, including the debut of women's boxing. The channel will televise 73 hours of boxing coverage over 16 days -- from elimination bouts to the men's and women's finals. Bravo will act as the home of Olympic tennis this summer ...
" will live stream every event and sport for the first time ever. ... Two apps - one focused on live streaming, one on short-form highlights, schedules, results, columns, and more - will be available for mobile and tablet users. The vast majority of content will only be available to authenticated cable, satellite or telco customers."
WIDE WORLD OF SPORTS – I recently attended a playoff game at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles. A few observations: are tattoos mandatory now at all professional sporting events? Also, must the “F” word be part of our vocabulary in every sentence, especially when children are present? It looks like a lot of rocks have been moved by sport fans to come out from for this event.

Where do these people come from? Now I know why I purchase cable packages of sport leagues, so I do not have to attend regularly a sporting event. The LA Kings playoff game resembled a bad afternoon at the DMV, also the knowledge of ice hockey in the arena resembled a Christian Right booth at a Rainbow rally, “empty”.

SIGN OF THE TIMES – Justin Combs, the 18-year old son of hip-hop mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs, will attend UCLA on a $54,000 football scholarship this fall. Sean Combs is worth an estimated $475 million and gave his son a $360,000 Maybach car for his 16th birthday. His son is a 5-foot-9-inch, 170-pound defensive back who graduated from New Rochelle Iona Prep in New York with a 3.75 GPA. Scholarship, really! Higher education at its’ finest.

BASEBALL POWER RANKINGS – We are now a quarter of the way through the Major League Baseball Season, here are Rink Rats top teams thus far –

1.      Los Angeles Dodgers (33-21) – Frank McCourt who?
2.      Texas Rangers (32-22) – Could this finally be their year?
3.      Tampa Bay Rays (31-23) – Best manager in baseball.
4.      Chicago White Sox (31-23) – If only Ken (The Hawk) Harrelson would retire.
5.      Washington Nationals (30-22) – Whooo?
6.      Baltimore Orioles (30-24) – Double Whooo??
7.      Cincinnati Reds (30-23) – Big Red mini machine.

30. Chicago Cubs (18-35) – Hapless.

Most Disappointing Team – Detroit Tigers (25-29) – Could Jim Leyland be on thin ice?

DRIVING THE WEEK - On the data front, markets are super hungry for anything positive following the dismal 69K May jobs number. Doesn't seem likely to happen this week, with little in the way of major numbers on tap. ISM non-manufacturing on Tuesday not likely to change from 53.5. Jobless claims not likely to move down much from 390K. So the biggest game in town is Bernanke's Joint Economic Committee testimony at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday. Just how downbeat will he sound? Enough to spark a QE3 stock market rally? Maybe! Maybe not! ... House OGR on Wednesday holds a hearing on "concerns about the integrity" of the BLS jobs report release in light of the recent lock-up changes. Some Republicans privately complain that BLS might somehow by goosing the jobs numbers which is A.) Ridiculous on its face given the crummy numbers and B.) Impossible given safeguards already in place and the professionalism of career BLS staff.

Senate Banking has a hearing Wednesday on Dodd-Frank implementation/JPMorgan trading loss with Treasury's Neal Wolin, the Fed's Dan Tarullo, CFPB's Richard Cordray, OCC's Tom Curry and FDIC's Martin Gruenberg ... House Financial Services has a hearing Wednesday on the Investment Advisor Oversight Act ... Obama is in NYC today for the usual triple-play fund-raiser routine, this time including the "Barack on Broadway" event at the New Amsterdam Theatre featuring Jon Bon Jovi and former President Bill Clinton, among many other bold faced names ... Former FBI director Louis Freeh today is to report on his investigation in the MF Global collapse.

Finally,  should you have local elections this week, VOTE. The most important elections are local.

Next week, Stanley Cup Finals LA style and summer gardening.

Until Next Monday, Adios.

Claremont, CA
June 4, 2012

#III-6, 111


  1. So I shouldn't have given notice at work??? Love trumps $, at least at this stage of my life. ;)

    1. You made the right decision, much success and love. Rink Rats.