Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Fifty Million

I need fifty million dollars. No I don’t need it personally, but an organization I care about does. Yes, many organizations need 50 million dollars and should receive it but I am going to be a bit selfish here.

This organization needs many academic buildings, but I will settle for just one. I personally have been associated and in contact with many organizations, but I have never been associated with one who truly cares so much about the customers they serve. Yes, like all organizations this one has many dysfunctions, politicians, and egocentrics, but like none I know of they strive to provide the best education and learning about life as humanly possible. From the landscapers to the President, from the cooks to the advisors, from the coaches to the faculty, they all CARE.

So Steve Ballmer, how about helping out, yes I was your high school classmate and yes you received a 1600 SAT score, I had a 1250, yes you played football, I played soccer, yes you were a track and field man (I never trusted track and field men), I played baseball, you went to Harvard and had Bill Gates as a roommate, I went to St. Lawrence and my roommate was Winslow LaDue – despite all those differences can you spare 50 million.

Remember when you beat me at Hearts in the student lounge, and you felt bad and said if you ever could repay me, let him know (that never happened but he might buy it). Well, forget about signing a new power forward for the Los Angeles Clippers; write a check for 50 million. By the way make it out to The University of La Verne.

COLLEGE CHRONICLES – DEVIL IN DEFAULT RATE DETAILS? The Education Department this past week announced that 13.7 percent of borrowers defaulted on their federal loans for fiscal year 2011 - a drop from last year's default numbers, and that 21 colleges, mostly small for-profit beauty schools, will be barred pending appeal from federal student aid. No major for-profit colleges received sanctions. As it prepared to publish this year's cohort default rates, the department said it will make adjustments for some schools at risk of losing eligibility for federal student aid because of a high default rate. If the school's default rate is due to borrowers whose federal loans were serviced by more than one server - and if the split servicing was responsible for the default - schools might be spared from heavy sanctions. The announcement didn't sit well with some skeptics, who took to Twitter to question why the same courtesy isn't extended to borrowers who default on their loans. From the personal account of Barmak Nassirian, an education policy analyst who is particularly critical of for-profit higher education: "A cynic might think that the disparity in treatment is due to the fact that schools have lawyers and high-powered lobbyists, and students don't!"

Hopkins Study: A study out of Johns Hopkins University makes the case for three-year college degrees. A four-year degree at a public, in-state school cost an average of $35,572 in 2013. A three-year degree would cost about $26,679, making for a 25 percent savings. That one-year adjustment "is the only higher education reform plan that would cut the cost of a college degree while ensuring our higher education system remains the best in the world," said Paul Weinstein, director of the university's graduate program in public management. "Students at public institutions would save on average almost $9,000 over the course of their studies while students at private schools could save as much as $30,000." The study: http://bit.ly/1DlGSAi.

POLITICS 101 - CARLY FIORINA MAY STILL RUN FOR THE WHITE HOUSE. The former Hewlett-Packard CEO - who now chairs the board of Good360.org, isn't ruling out a White House run, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

SNYDER EVER THE STUDENT: Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder was awarded an associate of arts degree on Monday from Kellogg Community College in Battle Creek, Mich., where he earned 25 credits as a Lakeview High School student in the 1970s. At the time, Snyder was pursuing the first of his three degrees from the University of Michigan. He earned 37 credits needed for the associate's degree through a reverse transfer agreement with the university. Snyder used the moment to laud the importance of community colleges - and to tout his own work helping high school students interested in earning college credit. For example, Snyder signed legislation in 2012 that expanded dual enrollment opportunities for Michigan students starting in the ninth grade.

JEB BUSH NEARS 2016 DECISION – Rink Rats hears from someone who spoke to Jeb Bush recently that the former Florida governor is likely to make his decision just after the midterms in November. This person said Bush spoke passionately on a range of issues like someone preparing for a national campaign. But this person also said that Bush's wife Columba, who abhors politics, remains a major impediment to a possible campaign.

Like everyone else RR talks to, this person would not lay odds on the likelihood of a Bush campaign, saying it was a very hard situation to read. This person also downplayed the possibility that Mitt Romney would ever run for president again, even if Bush decides against a run, leaving the "establishment lane" fairly wide open.

MORE ON JEB 2016 - CNBC column on concerns about Columba Bush not wanting her husband to run: "Others say the family concerns are overblown and that barring a late change of heart, Bush is almost certain to run. These people say Bush's father, former president George H.W. Bush, strongly urged his son to mount a campaign at a recent gathering at the family's compound in Kennebunkport, Maine. ... People close to the family say Jeb Bush does not want to see New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie dominate the moderate lane in 2016. Bush also does not believe Mitt Romney will mount another campaign and believes the nomination of someone like Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., would produce an electoral disaster for Republicans akin to the 1964 wipe out of GOP nominee Barry Goldwater.

FASHION WEEK - Paris Fashion Week is a clothing trade show held semi-annually in Paris, France with spring/summer and autumn/winter events held each year. Dates are determined by the French Fashion Federation, this week (Sept. 23 – Oct. 1) is the ready-to-wear Spring 2015 collection.  Currently, Fashion Week is held in the Carrousel du Louvre, as well as at various other venues throughout the city.

Paris Fashion Week is part of the Big 4 fashion weeks internationally, the others being London Fashion Week, Milan Fashion Week and New York Fashion Week. The schedule begins with New York, followed by London, and then Milan, and ends in Paris.

If Jean Paul Gaultier's "beauty pageant" was the most extravagant show at Paris Fashion Week, Karl Lagerfeld's protest is certainly the most relevant. Leave it to Chanel to turn the runway into a star-studded demonstration, complete with a faux Parisian boulevard, a quilted mega phone and of course, Cara Delevingne as the ringleader. Models held signs that said, "Make fashion not war," "He for she," (which is a nod to Emma Watson's now famous UN speech) and "History is her story." Lagerfeld has yet again proven that he is the master of the fashion show, this time blending two of our favorite things -- fashion and feminism. But let's not forget about the "protesters." Chanel is no stranger to featuring major models, but this army is more impressive than ever. Everyone from Fashion Week sweetheart Kendall Jenner to Georgia May Jagger to Gisele Bundchen (Mrs. Tom Brady, University of Michigan 2000) made appearances.

Now, we're not saying this is the most effective form of protest, but it is certainly the most stylish.

INVERSION AVERSION - U.S. companies have been busy this year acquiring overseas firms in deals that reduce their tax payments. But these so-called corporate inversions might soon face major hurdles. The U.S. Treasury Department has tightened tax rules the past week to deter U.S. companies from moving their legal headquarters to lower-tax countries—part of a White House effort to slow the recent wave of inversions. The Treasury rules,  have made it more difficult to complete these overseas mergers and will also make it harder for companies that invert to use cash piling up abroad—a big draw in recent deals. The new guidelines, which took effect immediately, could affect a number of pending mergers and acquisitions, including Medtronic's proposed acquisition of Irish medical-device maker Covidien and the merger of fruit grower Chiquita Brands International and Fyffes.

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to: Julie Andrews (79), Lorraine Bracco (60), President Jimmy Carter (90), Angie Dickinson (83), Glenn Hall (83), Steve Lesniak …famous wine Sommelier, Jacques Martin (62), Al Sharpton (60), Gwen Stefani (45)

THE SWAMI IN REVIEW – As we head into the Major League Baseball playoffs this week, lets’ review how The Swami picked the season way back in March –

2014 Major League Baseball Picks – American League: East – Baltimore Orioles, Central – Detroit Tigers, West – Anaheim Angels. Wild Card – Tampa Bay Rays, Kansas City Royals. A.L.C.S Detroit over Anaheim

National League: East – Atlanta Braves, Central – St. Louis Cardinals, West – Los Angeles Dodgers. Wild Card – Washington Nationals, Cincinnati Reds. N.L.C.S St. Louis over Washington.

2014 World Series Champs – St. Louis Cardinals over Detroit Tigers

Not bad picks in the American League, we still like The Cardinals to win it all.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 10/4, 3:30 PM ET, CBS: #3 Alabama Crimson Tide (4-0) visit #11 University of Mississippi Rebels (4-0). SEC at its’ very best, conference schedule is brutal, Bama wins 35 – 28.  Season to date (4-1)

SMALL COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 10/4, 4:00 PM ET, HGTV: #6 Linfield Wildcats (2-0) visit #16 Pacific Lutheran Lutes (2-0). What is a Lute? A huge early Northwest Conference game at Sparks Stadium (see below) in Tacoma, Washington. We like The Lutes to pull the upset, 24 – 20.  Season to date (2-2)

NFL PICK OF THE WEEK – Sunday 10/5, 4:05 PM ET, Fox: Arizona Cardinals (3-0) at Denver Broncos (2-1). Are the Cardinals for real? We will now find out, NOT – Denver 32 Arizona 17.  Season to date (2-2)


(NCAA, Oct. 4) Nebraska Cornhuskers (5-0) 35 at Michigan State Spartans (3-1) 42

(NCAA, Oct. 4) Occidental Tigers (1-1) 32 at University of La Verne Leopards (1-1) 45

(MLB, Oct. 5) Baltimore Orioles (96-66) 4 at Detroit Tigers (90-72) 6

(NFL, Oct. 5) Buffalo Bills (2-2) 17 at Detroit Lions (3-1) 28

Season to date (52 - 44)

MARKET WEEK - Gross Withdrawal: The bond king has been deposed. But what of his former kingdom? Following the unexpected departure Friday of Pacific Investment Management Co. co-founder Bill Gross, we find that Pimco suffered roughly $10 billion of withdrawals—a sign of how quickly Mr. Gross's move is reshaping the bond-investing landscape. Meanwhile, a complicated trading strategy known as "dividend arbitrage" generated more than $1 billion a year in revenue for large banks by helping hedge funds and other clients reduce taxes. The banks and funds say it's legal, but the maneuver has drawn criticism from U.S. authorities. Speaking of taxes, we note that European Union regulators are to say Tuesday why they believe that tax deals granted to Apple and Fiat violated EU law. And with regard to the market, E.S. Browning says that we can expect more volatility because stocks are—in Wall Street lingo—"priced for perfection," which means the prices are so high that gains depend on a very favorable investing environment, with strong corporate profits, low interest rates, low inflation and continued global growth.

JACK ASS OF THE MONTH – Our Jack Ass this month is professional golfer, Ryder Cup team member, Phil Mickelson. For throwing team captain Tom Watson under the bus as the reason for the team’s total humiliation at the hands of the European team this past weekend 16 ½ to 11 ½. Phil, you stunk, deal with it. From Tiger Woods womanizing and steroid drug use, to Bubba Watson’s lack of class – it is time United States professional golfers step up to the plate and take responsibility for poor play and above all else poor class.

DRIVING THE WEEK - Vice President Biden on Monday will award job training grants to community colleges in every state ... President Obama Monday evening hosts Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India for a private dinner at the White House ... Personal income and spending on Monday morning at 8:30 a.m. expected to rise 0.3 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively ... Pending home sales at 10:00 a.m. expected to slip 0.5 percent ... Case-Shiller home prices at 9:00 a.m. Tuesday expected to dip 0.1 percent ... Consumer confidence at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday expected to dip to 92.2 from 92.4 ... ADP private employment at 8:15 a.m. expected to rise 202K ... ISM manufacturing at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday expected to dip to 58.5 from 59.0 ... September BLS jobs report Friday at 8:30 a.m. expected to show a gain of 213K with unemployment at 6.1 percent and hourly earnings rising 0.2 percent ... Hank Greenberg's suit against the federal government over the AIG bailout begins on Monday in DC. The circus trial is expected to include testimony from bailout-era bigs including Ben Bernanke and Tim Geithner along with some Wall Street executives.

Next week: Fall in the garden and NHL preseason picks.

Until Next Monday, Adios.

Claremont, CA

September 30, 2014
#V-24, 233

CARTOON OF THE WEEK – Kanin, The New Yorker


  1. LINFIELD will lose some time to PLU again. The full moon will have an eclipse in the southern hemisphere too.
    Not this Saturday in Puyallup, however.

    1. There is a full moon in Puyallup tonight, but it's planted squarely on the face of those who predicted PLU would beat the Cats.

    2. We appreciate the comment, thank you.