Monday, July 14, 2014

Time for a Vacation

Happy Bastille Day!!  Nous célébrons aujourd'hui la liberté de la France.

You know it is time to head out of town when a co-worker who you know is full of fertilizer begins to sound intelligent.

A vacation is necessary when you realize that you look forward every day to “Orange County Housewives” and “The Young and the Restless” soap opera on your DVR.

Time for a getaway when your major daily event is to check out what the weather women are wearing on the local morning news.

A vacation is in order when you look into a mirror and your eyes look like two lumps of coal in a snow bank.

SUMMER SCHOOL 101 – I find teaching in the summer the best time of year: you get the better classrooms, class size is smaller, morning classes usually involve coffee and donuts, and the opportunity to teach students from many different backgrounds and experiences is the norm.

Summer is the time when finance is studied with high school seniors, Brazilian and Columbian visiting scholars, students who are paying their tuition bills on their own nickel and not financial aid, and students who are trying to advance their graduation date by a term.

With summer study I try to spice up the class: invite guest speakers, encourage presentation instead of just taking notes. A You Tube video may be the order of the day, perhaps a case review of a company in failure not just Apple Computer or Warren Buffett successes.

As for all of us, summer is a time to kick back and try to freshen up the routine.

COLLEGE CHRONICLES - As the average cost of higher education in America continues to rise, at least 50 American colleges and universities are now charging students more than $60,000 per year. Rink Rats found these numbers by examining the average cost of tuition, fees, room, and board that an incoming student would face over the 2014-15 academic year.

While these direct costs are a significant portion of the total cost of college, they alone do not reveal the true financial burden of higher education — students are also responsible for paying for textbooks, travel costs, and, of course, any social expenses. These "indirect costs" can often add up to an extra $2,000.

The most expensive school in the country for the upcoming school year is Harvey Mudd College, charging $64,527 — $48,694 in tuition and fees, and $15,833 for room and board.

Last year, only nine colleges charged more than $60,000. New York University — then the most expensive school — cost $61,977.

MANAGEMENT 101: RESTORE TRUST AT WORK WITH THESE 3 WORDS – “We are allies”. Three simple words: Yet when spoken by a manager to an employee, these may be three of the most powerful words possible.

Most of us spend the majority of our waking hours at work, on our way to and from work, or thinking about work. When we meet someone new, the first question Americans ask and are asked is typically, “So, what do you do?” When we describe someone else, we usually lead with their profession: “She’s a doctor.” Given how important work seems in our lives, it is tragic that most employment relationships are built on a lie.

Managers pretend that employees have a job for life. Employees pretend that they intend to work for their company for the rest of their careers. But deep down, both parties don’t believe their own words. You can’t build a trusting relationship on a foundation of dishonesty and self-deception.

Yet the “honest” approach of considering every job temporary, and every employee a “free agent” leads to a bleak, cynical world without trust or loyalty. The answer is for managers and employees to treat each other as allies: Independent and autonomous players who voluntarily come together to work towards mutually agreed upon goals.

Treating employees like allies allows managers and companies to build loyalty without lying. Successful alliances can be renewed and updated, allowing employees to construct a successful career filled with professional growth without ever changing employers. And employees who choose to leave can do so on amicable terms and with fond memories of what the members of the alliance achieved together. This open, accepting approach allows managers and employees to be honest with each other, providing a solid foundation for mutual trust, mutual investment, and mutual benefit. It creates a bigger pie for everyone rather than treating our work relationships as a zero-sum game.

Your journey as a manager will begin the next time you meet one-on-one with an employee and speak the three simple words that show that you’re committed to an open, honest approach: “We are allies”.  Thank you Reid Hoffman, Ben Casnocha and Chris Yeh; Harvard Business Review

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to: John Glenn (93), Angela Merkel (60), Patrick Pugliese …famous nephew, Linda Ronstadt (68), Carlos Santana (67), Ricky Skaggs (60).

THREE SCORE YEARS, THE COUNTDOWN – Time to support the medical industry: colonoscopy, dental checkup, heart check, diet check (really), and of course, state of mind check.

CHINA/U.S. RELATIONS HIT NEW LOW - As Chinese and Vietnamese ships ram each other in the contested waters, and Chinese and Japanese fighter jets play games of chicken in Asia's disputed skies, the risk of military escalation is growing. Even more significantly, the standoff is generating bad blood between Washington and Beijing and could torpedo cooperation on important global issues, including the Middle East, climate change and nuclear proliferation. Secretary of State John F. Kerry and .. Lew visit Beijing on Wednesday and Thursday for the sixth annual Strategic and Economic Dialogue.

And while Washington has been focused more on Iraq and Syria, Ukraine and Russia, some say the U.S.-China relationship is facing its stiffest test since President Richard M. Nixon traveled to Mao Zedong's China in 1972. 'U.S.-China relations are worse than they have been since the normalization of relations, and East Asia today is less stable than at any time since the end of the Cold War,' said Robert Ross, a political science professor at Boston College.

MLB POWER RANKINGS – Through the All-Star break, Rink Rats has selected the top five major league baseball teams:

(1). Oakland Athletics   (2). Detroit Tigers   (3). Washington Nationals
(4). Los Angeles Angels   (5). Los Angeles Dodgers

Bottom Five:

(30). Texas Rangers   (29). Arizona Diamnondbacks   (28). Houston Astros
(27). Chicago Cubs   (26). Minnesota Twins

WORLD CUP WATCH – How World Cup cash is paid to teams, players: The winner between Germany and Argentina in the final will get $35 million in prize money paid to its national federation ... The runner up gets $25 million (up from $24 million in 2010), while the third- and fourth-place teams get $22 million and $20 million ... FIFA lets national federations choose how to reward the 23 players on their squads. The German federation last year promised all 23 players a 300,000-euro ($408,000) bonus for winning a fourth World Cup title. That is the equivalent of a few weeks' basic wage for the German players who are employed by wealthy European clubs like Arsenal, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid.


Major League All-Star Game: American League 7 National League 4.

2014 Season to date (39-36)


Boondoggle \BOON-dog-uhl, -daw-guhl\
1. to do work of little or no practical value merely to keep or look busy.
2. to deceive or attempt to deceive: to boondoggle investors into a low-interest scheme.
“The summer time is when the administrators head to their various boondoggles.”

va, verb No way!
Va is the third person of the verb ir, to go, for instance:
“Mañana creo que va a llover.”
I think it’s going to rain tomorrow.

MARKET WEEK - In Merger Monday news: Shire (SHPG) is ready to recommend AbbVie’s (ABBV) higher takeover bid worth $53 billion; Kodiak Oil & Gas (KOG) will be bought by Whiting Petroleum (WLL) for $3.8 billion: and URS (URS) will be acquired by rival engineering firm AECOM (ACM) for about $4 billion.

DRIVING THE WEEK - Congress this week will attempt to avoid the "highway cliff" by advancing bills in the House and Senate to keep the trust fund solvent past the end of the August and possibly until next May ... President Obama and the White House will put pressure on Republicans with reports today from the CEA and NEC and how much infrastructure spending could boost the economy. ... Obama has infrastructure-related events planned for Tuesday in Virginia and Thursday in Delaware ... House Rules is scheduled to meet at 5:00 p.m. Monday to formulate a rule for H.R.5021, the "Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014" to avoid the cliff ... Citigroup today is expected to announce a $7 billion MBS settlement ... Citi also announces second quarter earnings this morning leading off a week of big bank earnings ... JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs report Tuesday and Bank of America on Wednesday.

Retail sales at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday expected to rise 0.6%, 0.5% ex-autos ... Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen testifies at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday before Senate Banking and is likely to expand on her views on the recent uptick in inflation and what it means for Fed policy ... Yellen continues her testimony Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. before House Financial Services ... Producer prices at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday expected to rise 0.2% headline and core ... University of Michigan consumer sentiment at 9:55 a.m. Friday expected to rise to 83.0 from 82.5 ... Index of leading indicators at 10:00 a.m. Friday expected to rise 0.5% ... CNBC's "Delivering Alpha" conference takes place Wednesday in NYC.

Next week: The lost of art of cleaning the garage.

Until Next Monday, Adeus.

Claremont, CA

July 14, 2014

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