Monday, July 29, 2013

Summer Vacation

Summer vacation time, something new to Rink Rats this year, after 171 straight weeks of our blog we are taking a break, yes a summer vacation for Rink Rats. We will be away the next three weeks, Andrew Ross Sorkin, Suzanne Rico, and Marion Roach Smith will fill in for us while we are away. So, don’t leave us while we are away, enjoy our guest bloggers the next few weeks.

What is a summer vacation? The most profitable summer vacations are the work related conferences or retreats. You get to play, earn work brownie points, and get paid. Not a bad gig. To others a summer vacation is dealing with kids, airport check-ins, and handi wipes – another vacation is needed after all that. Summer vacations are visits to new and faraway places, and once you visit them you ask, “Why did I do this trip?” But to many, this writer included, summer vacations are chances to again spend time with family and enjoy the down time from work, politics, social media, work, morning television, and work.

So off we go, iPad off, Blackberry off, laptop off …where is my charger???

TOMORROW'S FRONT PAGE TODAY - Pope says gays must not be judged or marginalize: Pope Francis, in some of the most conciliatory words from any pontiff on gays, said they should not be judged or marginalized and should be integrated into society, but he reaffirmed Church teaching that homosexual acts are a sin. In a broad-ranging 80-minute conversation with journalists on the plane bringing him back from a week-long visit to Brazil, Francis also said the Roman Catholic Church's ban on women priests was definitive, although he would like them to have more leadership roles in administration and pastoral activities. He expressed pain over scandals at the Vatican bank during a remarkably forthright press conference, his first since being elected in March to replace Benedict XVI, who became the first pontiff to resign in 600 years. Francis said there were saints in the Holy See but also 'those who are not very saintly.' The airborne encounter with journalists ranged over issues as varied as the pope's insistence on low-key security to his desire to slip out of the shackles of the Vatican to go for walks.

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to: Tony Bennett (87), Tom Brady (36), Ken Burns (60), Marcel Dionne (62), Tim Gunn (60), Lisa Kudrow (50), President Obama (52), Patti Scialfa (60), Alessandro Suffredini …soccer, hockey he can do it all!

Speaking of birthdays, I recently had a revelation about birthdays. From age 22 to 69 birthdays are marginal at best. Only the young and old have real birthday celebrations. My personal birthday card count set a new low this year.

LARRY SUMMERS NEW FED CHAIRMAN? - Leading Democrats are struggling with the idea that ... Obama may actually nominate ... Summers ... If he does, he'd pass over ... Janet Yellen, who saw the warning signs of the 2008 financial collapse, for Summers, whose deregulatory advocacy as treasury secretary contributed to it. Summers' critics typically cite his role in the 1999 repeal of Glass-Steagall financial regulations and the 2000 deregulation of the derivatives market as key contributors to the financial collapse of 2008. But Janet Yellen (Federal Reserve Vice Chair) accurately read signs of bank trouble before the crash, when she served as president of the San Francisco Federal Reserve."

AUTO BLAST: FORD EARNINGS ROCK - The bulk of Ford Motor Co.'s second-quarter profits once again came from North America, but financial results in other regions have Ford executives the most excited. The Dearborn automaker beat analysts' expectations as profits rose to $1.23 billion during the second quarter ... Abroad, Ford nearly broke even, despite a tumultuous European market, high infrastructure costs in Asia and unfavorable exchange rates in South America. ...

Ford's Asia Pacific Africa region posted its highest quarterly profit ever, Europe's financial results were better than the second quarter last year and South America returned to profitability after a brief period in the red. ... Overall, Ford's $1.23 billion profit represented the 16th consecutive quarter in the black, up 18 percent compared to last year. The automaker earned 45 cents per share - compared to 30 cents last year - topping first-call analyst expectations of 37 cents per share.

GLOBAL ECONOMY - The emerging-market slowdown is not the beginning of a bust. But it is a turning-point for the world economy: China will be lucky if it manages to hit its official target of 7.5% growth in 2013, a far cry from the double-digit rates ... in the 2000s. Growth in India (around 5%), Brazil and Russia (around 2.5%) is barely half what it was at the height of the boom. Collectively, emerging markets may (just) match last year's pace of 5%. ... This marks the end of the dramatic first phase of the emerging-market era, which saw such economies jump from 38% of world output to 50% ... over the past decade. Over the next ten years emerging economies will still rise, but more gradually. ...

The booming emerging economies will no longer make up for weakness in rich countries. Without a stronger recovery in America or Japan, or a revival in the euro area, the world economy is unlikely to grow much faster than today's lackluster pace of 3%. Things will feel rather sluggish. It will also become increasingly clear how unusual the past decade was ... It was dominated by the scale of China's boom ... In [the] future, more balanced growth from a broader array of countries will cause smaller ripples around the world. After China and India, the ten next-biggest emerging economies, from Indonesia to Thailand, have a smaller combined population than China alone. Growth will be broader and less reliant on the BRICs (as Goldman Sachs dubbed Brazil, Russia, India and China).

EARNINGS SCORECARD: MIXED SO FAR - After the largest reporting week of the 2Q 2013 season, over 50 percent of the S&P 500 has now reported results. Three takeaways for this week: (1) Sales misses were more likely to be punished than previous quarters; (2) Guidance is negative but an improvement over the past year. No change to bottom-up consensus full-year estimates; and (3) Earnings and sales results are in line with the 10-year historical averages. Next week is the last major week of the 2Q season.


- (CFL, Aug. 2) Edmonton Eskimos 32 Hamilton Tiger Cats 24  
- (Whitney Handicap, Saratoga, Aug. 3) Todd Pletcher’s Cross Traffic to win
- (MLB, Aug. 4) Atlanta Braves 6 Philadelphia Phillies 4

Season to Date (15-9).

MARKET WEEK – The Dow and S&P 500 come off a week of very little movement, as investors await this week's meeting of Federal Reserve policymakers as well as Friday's July employment report. The Dow rose 15 points for the week, while the S&P 500 was virtually unchanged. With three trading days to go in July, the S&P 500 is on pace for its biggest monthly gain since October 2011.

DRIVING THE WEEK – President Obama is on the road again talking jobs and the economy on Tuesday at an Amazon fulfillment center in Chattanooga, Tenn. Obama goes to the Hill on Wednesday for a meeting with House and Senate Democrats on jobs and the economy and presumably the fiscal fights ahead when Congress comes back in September with a short clock before a possible shutdown at the end of the month ... Pending homes sales at 10 a.m. expected to dip 1.0 percent after May's big jump ...

Case-Shiller home prices at 9 a.m. Tuesday expected to rise 1.5 percent ... ADP private employment at 8:15 a.m. Wednesday expected to rise 180K ... First read on Q2 GDP at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday expected to come in at 1.0 percent ... No change likely in Fed announcement on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. ... July jobs report at 8:30 a.m. on Friday expected to show a gain of 185K with unemployment unchanged at 7.6 percent ... Senate Banking has a hearing at 10 a.m. on Tuesday on Dodd-Frank and monitoring systemic risk featuring SEC's Mary Jo White and CFTC's Gary Gensler ...

The pain for the White House should be short-lived as Friday's jobs number, more of a reflection of where the economy is now then where it was in the second quarter, should come in close to 200,000. ... This would play into the administration's argument going into the debt ceiling fight that it makes little sense to slash more spending now just when the fiscal drag on the economy is getting ready to lift somewhat, clearing the way for closer to 3 percent growth the rest of the year. But that's not likely to mean much to House Republicans.

QUOTE OF THE MONTH – “Life is the art of drawing without an eraser.” John W. Gardner

AUGUST POLL – Who will win the NFL Super Bowl this coming season (2014)?

·         - Denver Broncos
·         - New England Patriots
·         - Green Bay Packers
·        -  San Francisco 49ers
·        -  Detroit Lions
·       -   Other

Next week: Week 1 of our summer vacation, Andrew Ross Sorkin is our guest blogger next week.

Until Next August 26, Adios!

Claremont, CA

July 29, 2013

#IV-15, 172

Monday, July 22, 2013

Summer School

They have summer school for everything these days, not only traditional education but for: cooking, football, cheer-leading  sororities, fundraising, it can go on and on, any way for our fine educational institutions to generate a buck or two.

Recently I attended a summer school for bloggers on the internet, a MOOC (Massive Online Open Course) if you will. Here it is:

Section I: How to Make Time to Blog – creating a blog / life balance

Arianne Foulks of Aeolidia
Blair Stocker of Wise Craft
Andie Powers of Assemble
Megan Reardon of Not Martha

Finding the time to manage your growing blog and have a balanced life can be quite a challenge for most bloggers. Between blog post scheduling, guest bloggers, photograph editing, and seeing your loved ones, it can all become very overwhelming very fast.

During our first panel discussion, we’ll have some real talk with some of our area’s most experienced bloggers and web professionals. We’ll talk about the available tools to help you manage your blog and also find out their answers to the eternal question, “How do you do it all?” Come prepared to ask your own questions about managing your own blog/life balance for our Q&A session.

I am sure some colleagues were also taking this section with aliases. Because they kept using the words: “engaged”, “seamless”, and “data-driven” in the discussions.

Section II: The Myths and Realities of Monetizing Your Blog

Marie LeBaron of Make and Takes
Melanie Biehle of Inward Facing Girl
Moorea Seal of Moorea-Seal

We’ve all heard the promises: “Make money with your blog!”, “Buy our system for guaranteed blogging success!”, “Convert your followers into GOLD!”

The truth is, most of the things we hear on the internet about making money with your blog are just plain not-true for many creative bloggers. So what does it really take to make money with your blog? During this panel discussion, we’ll ask some of our favorite bloggers about their experiences with selling advertising space, affiliate programs, promoting products for profit, and the truth behind some of the more prevalent myths floating around the internet about monetizing your blog. Be sure to bring a list of questions about making money with your own blog for the Q&A session with our panelists!

One thing I quickly found out, I know more about blogging than the Panelists. Also, you certainly do not have to be intelligent to write a blog – yours truly is a fine example.

Bottom line; if someone tells you they are an expert in blogging, do not believe them. Also, MOOCs are extremely overrated.

My next summer school course begins next week: ”How to convince someone you are an expert”.  I am eagerly awaiting to see who the panelists will be for this one.

ROBERT JOSEPH DOLE was born 90 years ago today in Russell, Kan . He earned two Purple Hearts,  then became a Kansas House member, Russell County attorney, U.S. House member, senator, Senate majority leader, Senate's longest serving Republican leader, RNC chairman, presidential nominee, champion of the Americans with Disabilities Act. President Clinton, awarding Leader Dole the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in the East Room in 1997: "one of our nation's most distinguished World War II veterans, who has spent the last 50 years of his life building America ... During a fierce fight in Italy's Po Valley, Second Lieutenant Bob Dole was going to the aid of a fallen comrade when a shell struck him down. He would bear the burden of that terrible injury from that day forward. His recuperation was long and uncertain. Yet Senator Dole turned adversity to advantage, and pain to public service."

FROM MO'TOWN TO NO'TOWN - Detroit on Thursday became the largest American city to file for bankruptcy, a historic move sure to ignite complex battles in coming months with creditors, pensioners and unions who stand to lose significantly as the state tries to rescue a city whose failure Gov. Rick Snyder said was 60 years in the making. The basic reason Detroit needs to do this is pretty simple. In 1950 there were 1.85 million people in Detroit. In 1970, it was 1.5 million. In 1990, it was a million flat. By 2010, it was down to 710,000.

Experts said the filing will initiate a new round of battles in federal court, potentially setting national precedents on matters ranging from whether bondholders get repaid when cities run out of money to whether public pensions, previously thought to be sacrosanct under the Michigan Constitution, are protected in municipal bankruptcies.

Not everyone agrees how much Detroit owes, but Kevyn D. Orr, the emergency manager, has said the debt is likely to be $18 billion and perhaps as much as $20 billion. For Detroit, the filing came as a painful reminder of a city's rise and fall. ... Detroit expanded at a stunning rate in the first half of the 20th century with the arrival of the automobile industry, and then shrank away in recent decades at a similarly remarkable pace. A city of 1.8 million in 1950, it is now home to 700,000 people, as well as to tens of thousands of abandoned buildings, vacant lots and unlit streets. From here, there is no road map for Detroit's recovery, not least of all because municipal bankruptcies are rare.

BIG IDEA: STOCKS STILL CHEAP? - Based on estimated Q2 operating earnings, the S&P 500 P/E is around 16, which implies an earnings yield of just over 6 percent; the earnings yield is the inverse of the P/E. That is down from over 8 percent at the peak in late 2011 but still above the 5.5 percent average from 1988 to 2008. The implication: There is still some room from a valuation perspective for equities to rise more than profits.

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to: Kate Beckinsale (40), Bob Dole (90), Bill Bradley (70), Peggy Fleming (65), Don Imus (73), Mick Jagger (70), Helen Mirren (68), Michael Richards (64), Sally Struthers (65).

THE NEXT BUSH - George P. Bush starts small amid high expectations, Bush, 37, says he's more than just a famous surname. Both his grandfather and uncle were presidents; his father, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, may run for the White House in 2016. George P. Bush is running for state land commissioner, a post unfamiliar to most Texans, because he says it best suits his skills, not because it could launch him to bigger things in the largest Republican-leaning state. 'It's a legacy that I embrace and that I'm not going to run away from ... But certainly, in this campaign, I have to identify myself and talk about my own track record.' .. Bush said he considers himself an asset to the party's Hispanic outreach efforts. ... Bush has raised $3.3 million since November even though no Democratic candidate has emerged for land commissioner. A Democrat hasn't won any of Texas' 29 statewide offices since 1994, the nation's longest streak of single-party dominance.

JULY IN THE GARDEN - The heat gives both plants and people a bit of a break, but there are still plenty of basic maintenance tasks to do. As the weather gets warmer, schedule your gardening for early morning and late afternoon when the air is cooler and the sun not so intense.

Deadhead your flowers.
Deadheading 101 -- Keep deadheading. For the most flowers and tidiest garden, deadhead daily. Some gardeners take a few minutes each morning, making it part of their daily routine.

Discipline Watering
Keep up with watering chores. While you're at it, give your trees, shrubs, and perennials an occasional hosing down from top to bottom to wash off dust and pests.
Keep new plantings well-watered.

When annuals or perennials get leggy or scraggly, consider cutting them back by one-third or more. With some plants, this not only makes them look neater, but it also often encourages a fresh flush of growth and/or bloom.

Fertilize any acid-loving plants and any that may be showing an iron deficiency; for example, young leaves may appear yellow-green with dark green leaves. Acid-loving plants include azaleas, gardenias blueberries, and camellias.
Fertilizing Plants -- Fertilize containers. Constant watering flushes out nutrients. Fertilize tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants for best growth, especially in upcoming cooler months.

Harvesting Vegetables -- Keep up with the harvest from your vegetable garden. Be sure to pick small and often. Tiny filet green beans, for example, need picking daily. And be sure to remove rotting or diseased produce from the garden. They act as disease magnets.

Mow regularly, your best defense against weeds!
If you have a garden journal, keep up with it. Most garden journals drop off as the season progresses, but it's a useful tool 12 months of the year.
Plant late-summer flowering annuals and perennials, as well as heat-loving tropical and sub-tropical plants.

MLB POWER RATINGS – At the All Star Break here are our top five baseball clubs:
(1). St. Louis Cardinals    (2). Boston Red Sox    (3). Oakland Athletics    (4). Pittsburgh Pirates   (5). Detroit Tigers

Top five teams in trouble:
(1). Houston Astros   (2). Miami Marlins    (3) Milwaukee Brewers   (4). Chicago White Sox   (5). San Diego Padres

THE SWAMI’S WEEK TOP PICKS – (MLB) July 27; Detroit Tigers 5 Philadelphia Phillies 3; (PGA) July 28; Luke Donald to win the Canadian Open. Season to Date (14-8).

WELCOME TO THE WORLD – Jackson Christopher Krich, born July 18 to Allison and Chris Krich. Mom and son are doing well, Dad is another story. J

MARKET WEEK – The Dow and the S&P 500 are coming off four straight weeks of gains, despite a mixed Friday, and the S&P 500 is currently on pact for its best monthly gain since October of 2011. Quarterly earnings are likely to be the key influence on the markets, with the busiest part of earnings season occurring this week and next.

DRIVING THE WEEK – Obama speaks Wednesday at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill. followed by remarks at University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, Mo. He is also scheduled to speak this week in Jacksonville, Fla. ... House Financial Services has hearing on the PATH Act on Tuesday at 10 a.m. ... Senate Banking subcommittee has a hearing at 10 a.m. on Tuesday on bank holding companies and whether banks should "control power plants, warehouses and oil refineries" ... Senate Banking subcommittee has a hearing Tuesday at 3 p.m. on GSE reform ...

Senate Banking has a hearing Wednesday at 10 a.m. on the Johnson/Crapo GSE reform bill ... Existing homes sales Monday at 10 a.m. expected to rise slightly to 5.27 million ... New homes sales at 10 a.m. Wednesday expected to rise to 485K from 476K ... Univ. of Michigan consumer sentiment at 9:55 a.m. Friday expected to rise slightly to 84.1 ... Former Goldman Sachs trader Fabrice "Fabulous Fab" Tourre expected to testify this week in the SEC lawsuit against him over soured mortgage bonds ... Friday is the deadline for Senators to submit proposals to Senate Finance to keep any tax breaks in a tax reform bill.

Next week: Jack Ass of the Month and summer vacation.

Until Next Monday, Adios!

Claremont, CA

July 22, 2013

#IV-14, 171

Monday, July 15, 2013

My Best Day

As I wake,
and open my eyes to the morning glory.
My feelings are awake.
That today will be the best day of my life.

I take a seat,
and think of what to do today,
for I think of it.
That today will be the best day of my life.

I run towards them,
and they give me eyes full of surprises.
So I tell them…
That today will be the best day of my life.

As their baskets drop,
and as they stand hands a kimbo,
they-expecting a ray of hope-
That today will be the best day of my life.

We step on wet dew,
and we pluck the plumb plams,
for I already KNEW.
That today will be the best day of my life.

Oluko George (1986 / Nairobi, Kenya)

ANOTHER SAD 150th ANNIVERSARY - The New York City draft riots (July 13–16, 1863; known at the time as Draft Week) were violent disturbances in New York City that were the culmination of working-class discontent with new laws passed by Congress that year to draft men to fight in the ongoing American Civil War. The riots were the largest civil insurrection in American history at the time. 10 percent of the inhabitants of New York City were arrested during these riots.

President Abraham Lincoln diverted several regiments of militia and volunteer troops from following up after the Battle of Gettysburg to control the city. The rioters were overwhelmingly working-class men, primarily ethnic Irish, resenting particularly that wealthier men, who could afford to pay a $300 commutation fee to hire a substitute, were spared the draft.

Initially intended to express anger at the draft, the protests turned into an ugly race riot, with the white rioters, chiefly Irish immigrants, attacking blacks wherever they could be found. At least 100 black people were estimated to have been killed. The conditions in the city were such that Major General John E. Wool, commander of the Department of the East, stated on July 16, "Martial law ought to be proclaimed, but I have not a sufficient force to enforce it." The military did not reach the city until after the first day of rioting, when mobs had already ransacked or destroyed numerous public buildings, two Protestant churches, the homes of various abolitionists or sympathizers, many black homes, and the Colored Orphan Asylum at 44th Street and Fifth Avenue, which was burned to the ground.

The most reliable estimates indicate that at least 2,000 people were injured. Herbert Asbury, the author of the 1928 book Gangs of New York, upon which the 2002 film was based, puts the figure much higher, at 2,000 killed and 8,000 wounded, but this figure is not widely accepted and is considered myth. Total property damage was about $1–5 million ($15 – $75 million in 2011, adjusted for inflation). The city treasury later indemnified one-quarter of the amount. The historian Samuel Eliot Morison wrote that the riots were "equivalent to a Confederate victory".

CHINA ECONOMY SLOWING – China’s second-quarter GDP rose 7.5% compared with a year earlier, the second straight quarterly slowdown for the world’s #2 economy.

TOP APPLE APPS – Most downloaded Apple store applications of all time: 1). Facebook, 2). Pandora, 3). Instagram, 4). You Tube.

TOP FIVE $ COLLEGES – The Business Insider recently published the most expensive colleges in America for 2012-2013, these costs include tuition, room and board, and required fees. Ouch!
  1).   New York University $61,977
 2).  Harvey Mudd College $61,760  
  3).   Bard College $61,446
  4).   Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) $60,779
  5).   Sarah Lawrence College $60,656

Notables: Dartmouth College $60,201, The Trojans $59,615, Scripps $59,570, Oberlin $59,474, Pitzer College $59,416, St. Lawrence University $55,835, and University of La Verne $45,010.
The most expensive Law School in the country for 2012-2013 was, yes Mr. Zanetta, Cornell University $53,150 and yes that is tuition only.

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to: Phoebe Cates (50), Brandi Chastain (45), Nelson Mandela (95), Patrick Pugliese …soon to be a St. Francis Knight, Barry Sanders (45), Garry Trudeau (65).

BRING BACK GLASS-STEAGALL - Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) added her star power to a three-year old effort by Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Maria Cantwell (D-Mass.) to bring back the Depression-era law separating investment from consumer banking. The measure is not likely to go far in the Senate but it adds another front on which the industry must fight. Financial firms are already battling legislative efforts to force more capital (Brown-Vitter) and regulatory efforts to toughen capital requirements (FDIC leverage ratio) and limit risk-taking (Volcker rule). Bankers quickly circulated past comments from Warren in which she said Glass-Steagall would not have prevented the financial crisis or stopped more recent losses like the JPMorgan London whale trades.

On a conference call, Warren acknowledged that her bill alone would not replace other efforts to end so-called "too big to fail" banks: "The point of [the] Glass-Steagall [bill] is not to say it's instead of Brown-Vitter," she said. "There are multiple tools in the tool box. ... We think capital standards need to be even higher for the banks. But that's not enough. This is another way to reduce risk in the system." On the notion that her bill is going nowhere fast, Warren said: "Senator McCain says he is fired up and ready to fight and I certainly am as well."

WALL STREET PUSH BACK - From a top industry official: "The most notorious names of the financial crisis - Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, Countrywide, Washington Mutual, IndyMac and AIG - were NOT financial holding companies. Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch were free-standing broker/dealers; Countrywide, WaMu and IndyMac were thrifts; and AIG is an insurance company. ... Large financial holding companies became the instruments of stabilization and recovery by absorbing other failing institutions. Bank of America absorbed Countrywide and Merrill Lynch; JPMorganChase absorbed Bear Stearns and WaMu; Wells Fargo absorbed Wachovia."

TOP FIVE BUSINESS FRIENDLY STATES – The week for Top Five reports, CNBC’s best states to do business in:
1).   South Dakota
2).   Texas
3).   North Dakota
4).   Nebraska 
5).   Utah

Now how many of you would really want to live in these states???

FUTURE CARS – In the near future look for these features coming to automobiles:

Collision warning with automatic braking: radar and camera systems that warn you, with beeping sounds, of a possible front-end crash.
Advanced cameras: cameras are showing up on more cars ahead of a government requirement to install backup cameras, which is expected by 2015.
Lane centering: a camera can follow the road and gently nudge a car — using the brakes — to stay in the center of a lane. These systems — dubbed Lane Keep Assist — are available on most Mercedes-Benz vehicles as well as the Ford Fusion, Ford Explorer, Toyota Prius, Lexus GS and Lincoln MKZ.
Adaptive headlights: Audi, Mercedes, Acura, Mazda and others have so-called adaptive headlights that swivel in the direction the car is going to help drivers see around corners as they turn. And many cars now have high-beam lights that sense oncoming traffic and dim automatically.
Stop-start: by 2025, new cars and trucks sold in the U.S. will have to average 54.5 miles per gallon of gasoline, up from the current 30.8 mpg. One feature will almost be a must-have: A “stop-start” device that shuts off the engine at a stop light and automatically turns it on when the driver releases the brake.

U.S. AUTOMAKERS SURGE – America’s oldest car company Ford Motor Company and its youngest, Tesla Motors, Inc., both reached 100-week highs this past week, the latest in a long list of signs all pointing to the same thing: the U.S. auto industry is hot.

Ford, founded 110 years ago, closed Friday at $17.11 per share on pace for its best year since 2007. Good news for our friends at Colley Ford, Glendora, California.

Ten-year old Tesla, which makes $69,900 electric sedans, is joining the Nasdaq-100 Index three years after its market debut. General Motors Company, which emerged from bankruptcy four years ago, rejoined the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index last month.

FOREIGN POLICY 101 - The rejection by Egyptians of their Islamist government marks a turning point ... for the entire Middle East. ... Islamism, or any ideology for that matter, is no replacement for competent and responsible leadership. ... the second Egyptian revolution is a bellwether for moderates in the region who should now seek to regain the initiative. The Arab Spring has given voice to Arab peoples eager for dignity, for change, and for inclusion. But this call for tolerance risks being drowned out by an increase in violence, an unwelcome rise in sectarianism, the uncertain role of Islamist political groups, the growth in foreign meddling by regional aggressors, and a deepening economic crisis. ...

If we've learned anything from Egypt and from the transitions in the region, it is that promulgating ideology is no replacement for creating opportunity. We need an urgent and concerted effort to provide education, create jobs, and build aspiration. Young people need to have a sense of purpose, but rampant unemployment and poverty in the region undercuts this message and provides fuel for radicalization. Extremist groups prey on these vulnerabilities. Our response should focus on promoting responsive and inclusive governance, investing in education and healthcare, and creating the conditions for people to be able to build better lives for themselves. These are the pillars for success for moderates in the region. But while building these pillars takes time, Egypt needs our help now. Foreign assistance is a start, but a functioning government that provides needed services for its citizens and fosters economic growth is critical for long-term stability."

SPORTS BLINK: This past week at the White House, President Obama presented a 2012 National Humanities Medal to "Frank Deford [who has written for Sports Illustrated since 1962] for transforming how we think about sports. A dedicated writer and storyteller, Mr. Deford has offered a consistent, compelling voice in print and on radio, reaching beyond scores and statistics to reveal the humanity woven into the games we love."

THE SWAMI’S WEEK TOP PICKS – MLB All Star game: National League 6 American League 3. British Open Golf: Phil Mickelson -10 under par to win. Season to Date (14-7).

MARKET WEEK – As Wall Street hits July's halfway point, the Dow and S&P 500 are on pace for their largest monthly gains since January, while the Nasdaq Composite could chalk up its best month since January 2012. That follows the second best weekly gains of 2013 for stocks last week. 

The remainder of the month is likely to depend on ongoing Fed comment about the future of quantitative easing as well as earnings season. Fed chairman Ben Bernanke is scheduled to give his semi-annual testimony before Congress Wednesday and Thursday, while the pace of corporate earnings picks up rapidly over the next few weeks.

DRIVING THE WEEK – Republican and Democratic Senators meet this morning to try and avert a crisis in which Majority Leader Harry Reid invokes the "nuclear" option by effectively changing filibuster rules to require just a simple majority to move executive branch nominees. Reid has set votes for Tuesday on several Obama nominees opposed by Republicans including CFPB's Richard Cordray ... Senate Banking has a hearing at 10 a.m. on Tuesday to consider multiple nominations including Rep. Mel Watt (D-N.C.) to head the FHFA and Jason Furman to chair the CEA ... Senate Banking has a hearing Wednesday at 10 a.m. on the consumer debt industry ...

Lots more bank earnings this week including Citigroup today, Goldman Sachs on Tuesday, Bank of America on Wednesday and Morgan Stanley on Thursday ... Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke offers his semi-annual testimony on monetary policy before House Financial Services on Wednesday at 10 a.m. and Senate Banking on Thursday at 10 a.m.. He will be further pressed on the central bank's timing for slowing down QE.

Next week: Summer School and July in the garden.

Until Next Monday, Adios!

Claremont, CA

July 15, 2013

#IV-13, 170

Monday, July 8, 2013

Their Future

In the past month I had the pleasure of teaching and getting to know 58 local high school seniors to be. These students participated in a local University summer business camp. This three week camp had local students participate in a college prep program concentrating on business plans and models. The goal of the program is to attract first generation college students to attend college. The key is to get them interested in college.

With all the bandwagoners latching on to this program in the last year it must be a success. I love it when local politicians and administrators support a program once it is successful. But I remember when we would ask for support, be it financial or administrative, they never heard of the program and do not have the time.

We do not see students as they are today, but as the people that they can become. We want students to see possibilities, to overcome adversity and to become the best versions of themselves. This is the overall theme of the REACH program.

At the root of the many discussions on education reform is the nearly universal concern about the outcome: Will students emerge from high school ready for college or careers? From my experience it is not about money or fancy computer labs. It is about the people who support them who truly care about their future. Not some $150,000 a year bureaucrat who is waiting for their pension to kick in. But the people in our local schools and colleges who truly care. Give them a chance and the best will come.

Just ask the over 500 students who have participated in the REACH program to date. People, who care, do make a difference.

OBAMACARE EMPLOYER MANDATE DELAYED - The Obama administration is postponing the federal health care law's insurance mandate for employers next year, in a major concession to the business community and lawmakers who have become increasingly vocal about the law's potential to damage a slowly recovering economy. The announcement doesn't affect the main coverage tools in the law - the individual mandate and the new subsidized insurance markets. But it could boost the cost of the law if more people end up seeking subsidies instead of getting covered on the job.

The delay ... is at least partial proof of what Republicans have been predicting for months: that the health law is way too complex to be ready to go live in 2014. And that's a message that may well resonate all through next year - including the 2014 midterm elections. ... Speaker John Boehner's press secretary Brendan Buck tweeted simply: 'Obamacare. Such a train wreck.' 'Absolutely thrilled by #ObamaCare delay,' Republican operative Brad Dayspring tweeted. 'Will help #GOP candidates across the board in 2014. Debate will be a repeat of 2010.'

EARTHQUAKE IN PRIMETIME - SEE YOU IN KELLY'S COURT - Fox News daytime host Megyn Kelly is moving to primetime, the network announced today. Kelly, who hosts 'America Live' from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., will join a new primetime lineup upon her return from maternity leave, according to the press release. Fox News has also signed long-term deals with hosts Bret Baier, Shepard Smith, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity and Greta Van Susteren and will announce a new schedule at a later date.

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to: Chris Cooper (61), Bill Cosby (76), Tom Hanks (57), Toby Keith (52), Christine McVie (70), Sela Ward (57).

MAP: America is a nation of wineries

TOP PAID CEO’s - Highest paid CEO’s in 2012: 1. Oracle’s Larry Ellison $96.1M, 2. Activision’s Bobby Kotick $64.9M, 3. CBS’ Les Moonves $60.2M

SECRET MENU ORDER - In-N-Out secret menu order: Monkey Style (animal style fries in a burger. Great for a depressed state of mind.


1 pound corkscrew pasta
1 pound asparagus
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup freshly chopped dill leaves
1 cup frozen peas, defrosted
7 ounces crumbled feta cheese

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain and rinse. Set aside.

In another large pot of boiling salted water, add the asparagus and blanch until bright green and slightly tender, about 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon or a spider and shock in icy cold water. Remove from the water and dry well.
Trim the ends of the asparagus and cut into bite-size pieces on the bias.
Whisk together the mustard, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Combine the reserved asparagus and pasta in a large serving bowl. Add the tomatoes, dill, peas, feta, and the mustard dressing. Toss with tongs to coat the salad well. Taste and add additional salt and pepper, if needed.

Total Time: 30 minutes – Prep 10 minutes, Cook 20 minutes
4 to 6 servings

THE SWAMI’S WEEK TOP PICKS – (MLB) LA Dodgers 4 Arizona D’backs 3 (7/8). Season to Date (13-7).

MARKET WEEK - U.S. stocks are coming off two consecutive weeks of gains, the first time that's occurred since mid-May. The major averages have already gained more in July than they lost in June, the first losing month of 2013.

DRIVING THE WEEK – Corporate earnings season begins this week, a good checkpoint on the economic recovery. California Governor Jerry Brown is expected to announce his reelection bid for a second term.

Next week: At my best and July in the garden.

Until Next Monday, Adios!

Claremont, CA

July 8, 2013

#IV-12, 169