Monday, May 6, 2013
The Double Life
I find myself these days living two lives: one life devoted to work, play, lets’ just say living. Another life devoted to social media (including this blog). For the sake of reality I try to keep both lives in sync with each other. I find this is an important part of my writing and communicating the views of the day. But, there have been times when my social media life (Blog, Twitter, Linked In, Facebook, You Tube, even email) becomes driven by the need to keep a distance from my “real world” of daily living.
Why, because you can fake it in the social media world. You can be someone you are not; there is no face to face conversation or acknowledgement. You can say what you want and get away with it, especially if you do not have many followers. This is wrong on many fronts. First of all I use some social media as a teaching platform, filtering information to students about economic issues of the day. Secondly, I truly respect my followers and readers and always want to represent my commentary, though sometimes a bit off the wall, in the best possible writing and mutual respect.
Yes, sometimes certain individuals or events get the better of me, but I try to keep a sound perspective on my view points. Have you read a Donald Trump tweet lately? If he truly is the same man in “real life” that he is on Twitter. Then this man has a problem. I blog, tweet, linked in, you tube, because I enjoy the writing and the exchange of thoughts, ideas and information. I do not blog, tweet, linked in, you tube, to kiss someone’s you know what, or make points with an associate, or hurt anyone.
This age of instant access media is exhausting.
JACK ASS OF THE MONTH – The horrible start of the Los Angeles (Anaheim) Angels has prompted us to review the Jack Ass case for Mr. Arte Moreno, the $1.16 Billion owner of the Angels. Mr. Moreno, who is quickly becoming the Donald Trump of baseball for constant over hyping of his $250 Million payroll team. The Angels are off to their worst start in franchise history (11 – 20), 9 games behind division leading Texas. Better yet they have raised ticket prices and concessions to league high prices. For these reasons Arte Moreno is our Jack Ass of the month.
2016 WATCH - NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo has book deal: "HarperCollins [said] Cuomo will write 'a full and frank account' about his private life and the 'profound moments' of his first term in office, including signing gay-marriage legislation. ... Cuomo ... was represented by ... Washington attorney Robert Barnett, whose clients include President Barack Obama and another possible 2016 candidate, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. The Cuomo book is scheduled for next year, when Clinton also has a book expected. ... Cuomo's deal may complicate plans for a biography on the governor signed up by HarperCollins last year. HarperCollins spokeswoman Tina Andreadis said ... that the book, by New York Post reporter and state editor Fredric [U.] Dicker, was still under contract. The Post and HarperCollins are part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. ... Cuomo will write about being the father to three girls, his role in establishing housing for the homeless and the legacy of his father, former Gov. Mario Cuomo. ... Cuomo ... lives with Food Network star Sandra Lee."
SIGN OF THE TIMES: TREASURY TO PAY DOWN DEBT - "The U.S. Treasury expects to pay down debt in the second quarter of 2013 as the budget deficit that has dominated national politics starts to shrink. The forecast of a quarter of net debt repayment for the first time since 2007 shows how tax increases, a cyclical recovery in tax revenues and a squeeze on spending are ratcheting down the ... deficit. ... Treasury said it expects to repay a net $35 billion in the second quarter, compared with a February estimate that it would have to borrow $103 billion. ... The second quarter is always the best for government cash flow because tax returns are due in April.”
"The Treasury expects to issue $223 billion of debt again in the third quarter. But the return to one quarter a year of debt repayment highlights how aggressively the U.S. has cut the deficit this year, despite concerns about growth and political wrangling over tax and spending decisions. ... Bond investors have been expecting better U.S. fiscal data. Expectations of a falling net supply of Treasuries helped the yield on 10-year Treasury notes to approach their lows for the year on Monday, briefly dropping below 1.65 percent."
APPLE TAPS THE BOND MARKET - Apple Inc. sold the largest corporate-bond deal in history last Tuesday, a $17 billion offering investors hungrily gobbled up. Goldman Sachs ... and Deutsche Bank sold the debt for Apple to investors in all corners of the credit markets, from buyers overseas to municipal-bond investors to portfolio managers who typically prefer ultra-safe government debt. ... Apple was able to borrow the money in six chunks at historically low costs, taking advantage of a sharp decline in Treasury interest rates. ...
"Investors were also excited to add a new name to their debt portfolios - it was Apple's first bond offer in almost 20 years. There was $52 billion worth of orders for the deal, making it one of the most hotly desired bond deals Wall Street has ever seen. ... The technology company was able to borrow at rates nearly as low as the highest-rated triple-A firms in the world. It borrowed $5.5 billion for 10 years at an annual yield of 2.415 percent. It also issued three-year debt at 0.511 percent, five-year debt at 1.076 percent and 30-year debt at 3.883 percent. ... Apple has a huge cash stockpile, but much of its money is overseas. Raising cash in the bond market helps Apple avoid the big tax bill that would hit if the company brought its cash back to the U.S., executives said last week."
APPLE AVOIDS BIG TAX BILL - "Apple will avoid a potential tax bill of up to $9 billion by using the proceeds from its $17 billion blockbuster bond issue to pay shareholders rather than bringing back cash from abroad. The technology group would have paid as much as 35 percent in tax to bring that amount of cash back into the U.S. ... Apple, which has $100 billion worth of offshore cash, compared with just $45 billion in the U.S., last month announced it would partly fund a record-breaking $55 billion share buyback program by using money raised in the corporate bond market. The company will also save around $100 million a year from using the debt rather than straight cash. Although the company's $17 billion borrowing from the corporate bond market this week will cost it around $310 million a year in interest payments, it will regain about a third of that due to tax deductions."
PRESIDENT OBAMA'S CHECKLIST FOR THE FUTURE - in his commencement address Sunday afternoon at The Ohio State University, in Columbus: "We will need ... political will, to harness the ingenuity of your generation ... To repair the middle class; to give more families a fair shake ... To educate more children at a younger age; to reform our high schools for a new time ... To build better roads and airports and faster Internet; to advance the kind of basic research and technology that has always kept America ahead of everyone else ... To confront the threat of climate change before it's too late ... To protect more of our kids from the horrors of gun violence."
MARKET WEEK – The Dow and the S&P 500 are both coming off record closes, after a session that saw the Dow break 15,000 for the first time while the S&P 500 was making its first foray over 1,600. The Nasdaq Composite is coming off its highest close since November 7, 2000, but still sits 33 percent below its record close from March, 2000.
BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to: Bono (53), Candice Bergen (67), George Clooney (52), Missy Franklin (18), Willie Mays (82), Peggy Redman …a famous ULV institution, Mort Sahl (86), Sula Vanderplank …famous traveler and researcher.
COMMENCEMENT 2013 – The 2013 college and university commencement season week number two, here are this weeks’ notable speakers – May 10; University of Colorado – Julie Andrews, actress. May 11; Howard University – Bill Clinton, 42nd POTUS: University of South Carolina – Darius Rucker, singer. May 12; Marietta College – Carl Bernstein, writer: Duke University – Melinda Gates, philanthropist: Syracuse University – Nicolas Kristof, NY Times writer: Ripon College – Nate Silvers, NY Times pollster.
THE SWAMI’S TOP PICKS: NHL Playoffs, First Round – Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, Vancouver Canucks, Los Angeles Kings, Pittsburgh Penguins, Montreal Canadians, Washington Capitals, Boston Bruins. Season to date (0-0)
DRIVING THE WEEK – Congress is back and the Senate is expected to pass the online tax legislation today sending it to the House where its future remains uncertain but passage seems possible. ... President Barack Obama begins a "Middle Class Jobs and Opportunity" tour on Thursday with a visit to Austin and Manor, Texas (more below). ... JOLTS report at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday expected to continue to show high openings (but not enough qualified candidates to fill them, which just happens to be something Obama will talk about in Texas). ... Consumer credit at 3 p.m. Tuesday expected to grow by $16 billion. ... Initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. Thursday expected to rise slightly to 334K from last week's 5-year low of 324K. ... Treasury budget Friday at 2:00 p.m. expected to show surplus for the April tax deadline month of $106.5 billion, up from $59.1 billion last year. ... Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke on Friday speaks at the Chicago Fed annual conference.
Next week: the continuing saga of student debt and Dear Rink Rats.
Until Next Monday, Adios!
May 6, 2013