Monday, September 1, 2014
HAPPY LABOR DAY (and end of summer) to you and yours, and welcome to September!
Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.
Through the years the nation gave increasing emphasis to Labor Day. The first governmental recognition came through municipal ordinances passed during 1885 and 1886. From these, a movement developed to secure state legislation. The first state bill was introduced into the New York legislature, but the first to become law was passed by Oregon on February 21, 1887. During the year four more states — Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York — created the Labor Day holiday by legislative enactment. By the end of the decade Connecticut, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania had followed suit. By 1894, 23 other states had adopted the holiday in honor of workers, and on June 28 of that year, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories.
The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883.
In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a "workingmen's holiday" on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country.
Also this year marks the 70th anniversary of a Labor Day tradition: The Franklin, Michigan Round-up. A wonderful way to end the summer with parades, games, food, and the best cider in the Mid-West at the Franklin Cider Mill.
American Labor Leaders:
Cesar Chavez (1927-1993): cofounder and President of the United Farm Workers, 1962-1993
John L. Lewis (1880-1969); President United Mine Workers, 1920-1960
George Meany (1894-1980); President AFL-CIO, 1955-1979
Asa Philip Randolph (1889-1979); founder and President of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, the first black labor union
Walter Ruether (1907-1970); President United Auto Workers, 1946-1970
GADGETWATCH -- Apple Said to Prepare New 12.9-Inch IPad for Early 2015, Apple Inc.'s suppliers are preparing to manufacture the company's largest-ever iPad, with production scheduled to commence by the first quarter of next year ... The new iPad will have a screen measuring 12.9 inches diagonally ... Apple currently produces iPads with 9.7-inch and 7.9-inch displays. ... Sales of the tablets, which are Apple's second-biggest product by revenue after the iPhone, have declined for two straight quarters amid a lack of new models and as consumers have instead gravitated to smartphones with bigger screens.
COLLEGE CHRONICLES - The 10 largest private donations to higher-education institutions in the past year. The philanthropists built their wealth in such endeavors as investing, financial services, real-estate development, energy production, and cattle ranching.
Institution Donor Donor background Size of gift Nature of gift Year announced
1. Yale U. Charles B. Johnson retired chairman of Franklin Resources, parent of the asset-management company Franklin Templeton, and a principal owner of the San Francisco Giants $250,000,000 not disclosed* 2013
2. Kansas State U. Foundation, Oklahoma State U. Foundation, and U. of Oklahoma Foundation Dolese Bros. Co. concrete company $210,000,000 stock, divided evenly among three recipients 2013
3. U. of Michigan at Ann Arbor Stephen M. Ross real-estate developer and majority owner of the Miami Dolphins $200,000,000 not disclosed† 2013
4. Harvard U. Kenneth Griffin founder of the hedge fund Citadel $150,000,000 not disclosed* 2014
5. Rhodes Trust (charity that supports Rhodes scholars' opportunity to study at the U. of Oxford) John H. and Marcy McCall MacBain founder of Trader Classified Media (Mr. MacBain) $120,000,000 not disclosed* 2013
6. Thomas Jefferson U. Sidney Kimmel Foundation foundation established by the founder of Jones Apparel Group Inc. $110,000,000 not disclosed* 2014
7. The Broad Institute (joint venture of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard U.) Eli and Edythe L. Broad founder of KB Home, a home-building company, and SunAmerica Inc., a retirement-savings company (Mr. Broad) $100,000,000 not disclosed* 2013
8. Cornell U. Weill Medical College Sanford I. and Joan Weill and the Weill Family Foundation retired chairman of the financial-services company Citigroup (Mr. Weill) $100,000,000 not disclosed† 2013
9. Dartmouth College anonymous donor n/a $100,000,000 not disclosed* 2014
10. Georgetown U. Frank H. McCourt Jr. real-estate developer and former owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers $100,000,000 not disclosed* 2013
STICKER SHOCK - Fresh increases in grocery prices expected this fall are set to bring some unsavory surprises to shoppers. Rising food costs will lead to trade-offs even in upper-income households. Experts say that many more families will start to feel the sting of higher food bills in the coming weeks, as several economic events push the price of staples to new heights. Meanwhile, we examine the way many grocery stores are handling the situation. Some stores, for example, are trying to explain market forces to shoppers, hoping it will help ease the pain of higher prices. Online grocer Fresh Direct has made its "value packs" of meat smaller, reducing the thickness of cuts, while Whole Foods has promoted recipes for cheaper cuts such as skirt and flatiron steak.
BOND SALES NEAR RECORD — U.S. corporate-bond issuance is hurtling toward a record for the third consecutive year, as companies take advantage of a surprising interest-rate decline to stock up on cash. Companies around the globe have sold about $999.4 billion of bonds in the U.S. this year, including a $4.5 billion sale Thursday from Bank of America … That is up more than 4% from a year ago and puts them on pace to cross the $1 trillion issuance mark at the fastest clip on record, according to data provider Dealogic, which has figures dating back to 1995.
“Investors and analysts say companies are raising funds partly with an eye to investing in fresh projects as the U.S. economy gains pace, a move that can further help along economic growth. Acquisitions have nearly doubled in the U.S. from last year to a recent $1.1 trillion, and U.S. bond sales earmarked for capital spending — purchases or upgrades of long-lived assets such as plant and equipment — have risen 90% from a year earlier to $40 billion, Dealogic said.”
GDP EXPANSION - Corporate profits surged last quarter while the U.S. economy posted robust growth, putting the economic expansion back on steady footing headed into its sixth year.
BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to: Terry Bradshaw (66), Carly Fiorina (60), Jessica Naccache ….famous financial consultant, Bob Newhart (85), Lily Tomlin (75).
The football season is now in full throttle, and Rink Rats will be making their picks each week for the balance of the season. Remember, bet with your head, not over it.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 9/6, 6:30 PM ET, Fox: #8 Michigan State Spartans (1-0) visit #3 Oregon Ducks (1-0) in a huge early season matchup. We like The Spartans to pull the upset to the Duck Dynasty, State 32 Ducks 28. Season to date (1-0)
SMALL COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 9/6, 2:00 PM ET, HGTV: Union Dutchmen (0-0) visit #23 Ithaca College Bombers (0-0). The Dutchmen might be defending NCAA D-I hockey champs, but they will be no match to The Bombers at Butterfield Stadium, Ithaca 28 Union 14. Season to date (0-0)
Rink Rats NFL Preseason Picks –
East – Philly North – Green Bay South – New Orleans
West – Seattle Wild Cards – San Francisco and Detroit
Conference Champion – Green Bay Packers
East – New England North – Pittsburgh South – Indianapolis
West – Denver Wild Cards – San Diego and Cincinnati
Conference Champion – New England Patriots
Super Bowl Champion – New England Patriots
NFL PICK OF THE WEEK – Thursday 9/4, 8:30 PM, NBC: Defending Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks (0-0) host The Swami’s pick to win this years’ Super Bowl, the Green Bay Packers (0-0). The Pack is off and running; 17 Seattle 14. Season to date (0-0)
THE SWAMI’S WEEK TOP PICKS –
(NCAA, Sept. 6) Michigan Wolverines (1-0) 24 at #17 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (1-0) 21
(NCAA, Sept. 6) #11 Stanford Cardinal (1-0) 28 host #15 USC Trojans (1-0) 21
(MLB, Sept. 6) New York Yankees (70-65) 3 host Kansas City Royals (74-61) 2
(NFL, Sept, 7) San Francisco 49ers (0-0) 21 at Dallas Cowboys (0-0) 14
Season to date (42 - 37)
Next week: The Roosevelts, words of the month, and Dear Rink Rats.
Until Next Monday, Adios.
September 1, 2014