Monday, March 11, 2013
Boomers on Board
Roughly 1.8 million nonprofit board seats need to be filled each year, but competition among retirees is only growing: ego, influence, boredom, desire to serve are the culprits.
You have just retired from the peak of your profession or so you think, and are casting about for your next act. One day an online ad attracts your attention:
HELP WANTED – Make the world a better place! Our nonprofit organization is seeking a director to fill a board vacancy. Requirements: Must attend four meetings a year. Qualifications: Impressive Job Title, contacts among the wealthy. Compensation: Zero, but maybe one or two retreats per year. Instead, you donate $100,000, plus raise another $1 million from your friends.
Interested? An increasing number of baby boomers who have left their careers and are looking for something meaningful to do; for those with a comfortable nest egg, serving on a nonprofit board (or several) seems like a natural choice to leverage a passion or skill and give back to the community.
Trouble is, lots of baby boomers have the same idea. Foundations and charities are being bombarded with requests to sign on. A Bank of America survey found that 89 percent of high-net-worth individuals volunteered with nonprofits in 2011, up 10 percent from 2009. More than 60 percent served boards of nonprofits.
To get on a board, some are hiring headhunters. But once finding the right fit can make the hassles worthwhile. Now if only I had $100,000…..
KEY MOMENT IN THE RECOVERY - The major U.S. averages are coming off their second biggest weekly gains of 2013 as the new trading week opens, with the Dow coming off yet another all-time closing high and the S&P 500 now within about 14 points of eclipsing its own record close. The Dow has more than doubled since its nadir in March 2009 and is already up 8.8 percent for 2013.
In contrast to the heady days of 2007, the record largely went uncelebrated on the floor of the [NYSE]. ... Since the financial crisis, the Federal Reserve's aggressive efforts to prop up the economy and financial markets have kept stocks moving higher in the face of a troubled global economy. ... At the same time, corporate earnings have proved resilient despite the sluggish economy. In recent months, the battered housing market also has begun to recover. The result is that investors are warming to stocks after years of skepticism."
DON'T POP THE CHAMPAGNE YET - "The market's rise from the depths of the 2008-09 financial crisis, when the Dow bottomed out around 6,500, does not necessarily reflect the experience of average Americans.
Some of the rebound can be attributed to the Federal Reserve's relentless campaign of buying less risky assets and driving investors into equity markets, the so-called sugar high effect. Corporate revenues are soaring in part because companies drove down costs and strictly limited hiring, helping explain why unemployment remains stuck near 8 percent. And many of the big blue-chip companies that make up major stock market indices draw a growing amount of their profits from outside the U.S., meaning positive developments in Europe and Asia often outweigh any negative headlines out of Washington. ... Beyond the Fed's intervention and a decoupling of U.S. stocks from the U.S. economy, there are other reasons to remain skeptical of the current run-up in stock prices. And if markets do retreat from their current highs, as some think they will, the White House warnings will seem less alarmist."
U.S. COMPANIES PILE UP CASH OFFSHORE - "U.S. companies are making record profits. And more of the money is staying offshore, and lightly taxed. A Wall Street Journal analysis of 60 big U.S. companies found that, together, they parked a total of $166 billion offshore last year. That shielded more than 40 percent of their annual profits from U.S. taxes, though it left the money off-limits for paying dividends, buying back shares or making investments in the U.S. The 60 companies were chosen for the analysis because each of them had held at least $5 billion offshore in 2011. ... The law generally allows companies to not record or pay taxes on profits earned by overseas subsidiaries if the money isn't brought back to the U.S. ... Untaxed foreign earnings are part of a contentious debate over U.S. fiscal policy and tax code. The current system attracts criticism from many points of view. Business groups want the U.S. to tax profit based on where it is generated, as many countries do, rather than globally, as the U.S. does now."
LEVIN LEAVIN' - Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) said he would not run for reelection next year, giving Dems another tough seat to defend. Levin was a zealous investigator of Wall Street banks and tax avoiders as chairman of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. From Levin's announcement: "Years of bipartisan work by the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations that I chair have shed light on tax avoidance schemes that are a major drain on our treasury. The huge loss of corporate tax receipts caused by the shift of U.S. corporate tax revenue to offshore tax havens is but one example of the egregious tax loopholes that we must end. Thirty of our most profitable companies paid no taxes over a recent three-year period, although they had over $150 billion in profits. Tax avoidance schemes that have no economic justification or purpose other than to avoid paying taxes may be legal, but they should not be."
TECHWATCH - "Analysis: Google's star rises as Apple fades, Google has retaken the role of superstar of the tech sector with a stunning stock rally as rival Apple flounders. Google has hit fresh all-time highs in recent weeks, and closed Friday at $831.52, capping a nearly tenfold rise from its public offering price in 2004 of $85. The stock is up about 17 percent so far in 2013. Part of the explanation comes from the rise of its Android mobile operating system, at the expense of Apple. Android is free but gives Google the opportunity to deliver more services and ads to users. ... Apple, which traded as high as $700 last year, has slumped more than 35 percent and ended Friday at $431.67. ... Google now appears poised to beat Apple to the symbolic level of a $1,000 share price ... Google is under scrutiny on privacy and monopoly grounds in Europe, and China is also concerned about Android's dominance."
BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to: Frank Borman (85), Michael Caine (80), Billy Crystal (65), Dana Delany (57), Lesley-Anne Down (59), Barbara Feldon (80), Ruth Bader Ginsburg (80), James Taylor (65), Myrlie Evers-Williams (80).
SPORTS BLINK - "FOX announces FOX Sports 1 network" - Release : "Set to debut on Saturday, Aug. 17, just as FOX Sports kicks off its 20th anniversary year, FS1 is available in over 90 million homes ... At the outset, FS1 boasts nearly 5,000 hours of live event, news and original programming annually. ... A robust schedule of live events forms the backbone of FOX Sports 1's programming from Day 1, with college basketball, college football, NASCAR, soccer and [Ultimate Fighting Championship] ... The schedule on Aug. 17 features live events ... including a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race from Michigan and 'UFC on FS1 1' in prime time. In 2014, [Fox Sports Media Group]'s new rights agreement with MLB takes effect, bringing regular and postseason games to FS1. ... When FOX Sports launched in 1994, late Sunday afternoon NFL on FOX games ranked as the 26th highest-rated program on television. Today, FOX's national doubleheader games rank No. 1 for three years running. ...
"FOX Sports 1 Programming Highlights ... RUSH HOUR, hosted by Regis Philbin, ... live weekdays (5-6 p.m. ET). Originating in New York City, Regis leads ... a panel of sports professionals, celebrity guests and die-hard fans ... Following RUSH HOUR live every day is FOX FOOTBALL DAILY (6-7 p.m. ET), an extension of FOX NFL SUNDAY, the most-watched NFL pregame show for 19 straight years. FOX FOOTBALL DAILY, hosted by NFL on FOX personalities, including Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long, Jay Glazer, Gus Johnson, Erin Andrews and Mike Pereira, provides a daily dose ... from pro and collegiate football worlds. Both ... expected to premiere at launch in August."
COLLEGE HOCKEY PICK OF THE WEEK – Friday March 15, 7:35 PM CT, SciFi; WCHA begins their playoffs with The Black & Gold Michigan Tech Huskies (12-18-4) visiting the University of North Dakota we wish we could call them the Fighting Sioux (19-10-7). On paper it looks like a mismatch, but the Huskies have being playing pretty fair of late and will be a tough opponent in Grand Forks. Nevertheless, North Dakota 5 Huskies 2. (Season to date (8-3)
THE SWAMI’S TOP PICKS: ice – (WCHA) North Dakota 5 Michigan Tech 2, (NHL) Pittsburgh 5 NY Rangers 3, college baseball – (SCIAC) Pomona College 7 Ithaca College 3, hoops - (Big Ten) Michigan 57 Indiana 55. Season to date (61-31)
STAR WARS FAN ALERT - George Lucas has hired screenwriter Michael Arndt, who won an Oscar for 'Little Miss Sunshine,' to begin work on the script for 'Episode VII.' ... Lucas started talking to members of the original Star Wars cast, such as Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford, about appearing in the films. In June 2012, he called [ABC CEO Bob] Iger. ... Asked whether members of the original 'Star Wars' cast will appear in 'Episode VII,' ... Lucas says, "We had already signed Mark and Carrie and Harrison -- or we were pretty much in final stages of negotiation. So I called them to say, "Look, this is what's going on."' He pauses. 'Maybe I'm not supposed to say that. I think they want to announce that with some big whoop-de-do, but we were negotiating with them. ... I won't say whether the negotiations were successful or not.
DRIVING THE WEEK – Rep. Paul Ryan scheduled to release his budget blueprint Tuesday (at which point Senate Democrats will declare it dead on arrival) ... President Barack Obama is to meet with both the Democrat and GOP caucuses in the House and Senate to discuss the possibility of a grand bargain as well as gun safety, immigration and other issues on his agenda. Most followers remain skeptical that Republicans will accede to the kind of revenues Obama wants or that Dems will swallow significant entitlement changes needed to get to a big budget deal. But hope springs eternal ... Senate takes up the House-passed CR on Tuesday and will likely debate it the rest of the week ... Senate Budget Committee expected to mark up and vote out its budget resolution by Thursday (imagine that!) with a bill to the floor next week ...
House OGR has a hearing Wednesday at 10 a.m. on transparency in government and Thursday at 10 a.m. on sequestration oversight ... The Fed on Thursday is scheduled to release the results of its Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review and announce a decision on dividend and buyback requests from banks ... On Friday, Senate PSI holds its hearing on the "London Whale" trade. JPMorgan has not announced which of its executives will testify, but M.M. would be hugely surprised if CEO Jamie Dimon does not appear ... House Financial Services has a hearing on Wednesday at 10 a.m. on mortgage insurance and on Thursday at 10 a.m. on "too big to fail" and results of the GAO study of FSOC and the Office of Financial Research ...
Senate Banking has a hearing on Tuesday at 10 a.m. to consider the nominations of Mary Jo White to head the SEC and Richard Cordray to head the CFPB. White is likely to face some tough questions regarding her private-sector work defending financial industry clients but should ultimately be confirmed. Republicans remain likely to block Cordray, not over his record at CFPB (he is widely admired, even among banking executives), but over what critics describe as the unaccountable nature of the CFPB's structure.
Next week; movie, book reviews and Dear Rink Rats.
Until Next Monday, Adios!
March 11, 2013