Thursday, December 17, 2015

Looking For a Job

Besides being the holiday season this is also that time of year when students in their graduating year are looking for a job. With a soon to be B.A., B.S., M.B.A., PhD, or J.D. degrees students are finding out about the cold realities of the job market. I cannot tell you how many students have come up to this writer in the last few weeks asking for recommendations, networking options, or referrals.

What do I say to students looking for that career? Be yourself, be patient, it takes a lot longer than you want to find the right career. You need passion to levitate over the obstacles you will face. And what I tell everyone is, do not be afraid to wash windows, nothing wrong with starting off with a job that is not the perfect job. Get some experience, don’t look around and complain about the job, but do the best job possible and show your passion to move ahead.

If you decide to be your best and bring passion to everything you do, you will find more greatness within yourself and far more opportunity.

At the same time students are looking for work the economy is changing, this week the Federal Reserve for the first time since 2006 has increased their Federal Funds Rate (the interest rate at which depository institutions; banks and credit unions lend reserve balances to other depository institutions overnight, on an uncollateralized basis) from a range of 0% to 0.25% to a range of 0.25% to 0.5%.

The rate hike is a small one, but it will affect millions of Americans, including investors, home buyers and savers. Savers should eventually see a little more interest on their deposits at the bank, but big banks didn't make any increases Wednesday. Mortgage rates will gradually rise.

With this interest rate change, inflation may again be a word we hear more often, and the dollar should attract even more value. What does this mean to job seekers, good and bad. Higher wages to workers will become a likely alternative but this will also force firms to rethink hiring of new workers. The higher dollar will make U.S. products more expensive, also influencing hiring. Another recession on the horizon? Not likely but an economic slowdown a definite possibility.

New projections show officials expect their benchmark rate to creep up to 1.375 percent by the end of 2016, according to the median projection of 17 officials, to 2.375 percent by the end of 2017 and 3.25 percent in three years. That implies four quarter-percentage-point interest rate increases next year, four the next and three or four the following. ...

That is a slower pace than projected by officials in September and much slower compared to earlier series of Fed rate increases. In the 2004-06 period, for example, the Fed raised rates 17 times in succession, an approach Fed officials don't intend to repeat. In September seven Fed officials believed the fed funds rate could rise to 3 percent or higher by 2017; now just four do. Ms. Yellen said the benchmark rate 'remains accommodative.' which is Fed jargon for a level low enough to stimulate economic growth.

The U.S. Federal Reserve ended seven extraordinary years of near-zero interest rates, with its decision on Wednesday to raise short-term rates a quarter of a percentage point. It was one of the most closely watched events on Wall Street in years, but even as the Fed nudged rates upwards, Janet Yellen, the chairwoman, made clear in her news conference that the central bank was in no hurry to push rates quickly back towards normality. The increase leaves unaddressed two riddles vexing investors: the health of the global economy, and how markets will react as U.S. monetary policy diverges from that of other large economies? Global stocks surged this morning, while selling in bond and currency markets was relatively muted. The big question surrounding market turbulence is whether the fallout will be transitory or the start of a wider disruption. American businesses fretted that the interest-rate rise comes at a time when a strong dollar is already sapping demand for exports and low energy and commodity prices are weighing on growth in the industrial economy.

A PILE OF JUNK - Junk bonds are headed for their first annual loss since the credit crisis, reflecting concerns among investors that a six-year U.S. economic expansion and stock-market boom are on borrowed time. The declines are rattling even seasoned investors, underscoring the challenges facing these companies amid a prolonged slump in commodity prices. Global stocks, however, started the week with gains after Friday’s strong U.S. jobs. We also look at how the market will face more pressures as the Federal Reserve starts raising interest rates, something the Fed is now expected to do in less than two weeks.

GOLDEN YEARS - The US middle class is already being reshaped by its ageing population, and older citizens are set to play a swelling role in the economy as their weight in the middle and upper income brackets mounts. New data from the Pew Research Center show that households aged 65 and over have been the biggest economic gainers this century, as well as since the beginning of the 1970s. ... The group has seen the largest move up the income ladder of any major demographic over the period, with the share of people aged 65 and over in the upper-income brackets more than doubling since 1971 to 17 per cent.

That still leaves people in that age group more likely to be lower income than the other demographics tracked by Pew. Separate projections by the McKinsey Global Institute to be released early next year show the ageing population's dramatic impact on future US spending patterns. Americans aged 60 and over are forecast to drive half of all US spending growth between 2015 and 2030. Spending by people aged 60-74 will rise by 3.2 per cent a year in real terms over that period, while consumption by people aged 75 and older will increase 5.1 per cent - well above the 2.4 per cent growth rate predicted for the population as a whole.

CHEMICAL MERGER - Dow Chemical Co. and DuPont Co. announced last week that they have agreed to merge, fusing two of the U.S.’s oldest companies into a chemical giant currently worth about $130 billion.

The deal would reshape the chemical and agricultural industries and comes as sinking commodity prices and a strengthening U.S. dollar have pressured revenue at both Dow and DuPont. The combination was pitched as a way to help the companies find synergies before breaking up into three businesses down the road. Under the deal’s terms, shareholders of Dow Chemical will get 1 share in the new company called DowDuPont for each Dow share, while DuPont shareholders will get 1.282 shares for each DuPont share. The deal’s structure will give Dow and DuPont shareholders equal stakes in the combined company, excluding the impact of preferred shares.

TIME PERSON OF THE YEAR - Angela Merkel, "Chancellor of the Free World" - Short list: 2) Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of ISIS ... 3) Donald Trump ... 4) Black Lives Matter Activists ... 5) Iran President Hassan Rouhani ... 6) Uber CEO Travis Kalanick ... 7) Caitlyn Jenner.

NEW REPORT FROM CALIFORNIA BUDGET & POLICY CENTER -- Millions of Californians continue to struggle to meet their basic needs, even after several years of steady job gains. ...Nearly 1 in 6 Californians (16.4 percent) lived in poverty in 2014, the most recent year for which data are available, down slightly from a high of 17.0 percent in 2012, but still a full 4.0 percentage points higher than in 2007... Poverty remained widespread even though the state's unemployment rate declined from a high of 12.2 percent in 2010 to 7.5 percent in 2014.

MEDIA -- NPR talk-show legend Diane Rehm will retire from broadcasting next year, Rehm, the host of one of public radio's longest-running and most popular news discussion programs, will retire next year, ending nearly 40 years on the air. A retirement date has not been firmly established, but Rehm, who is 79, says she will end her eponymous program, produced by Washington public station WAMU-FM (88.5), after the presidential election in November. ... 'The Diane Rehm Show' ... is carried on 197 stations and attracts an audience of about 2.5 million weekly.

WILLARD SCOTT to retire – (I thought he was dead): Scott, who has been with the "Today" show for 35 years, first as its weather anchor and most recently for its daily Smuckers-sponsored birthday segment on viewers 100 years old or older, will have his last day on the show next week, on Dec. 15. He began his career with NBC in 1950, as a member of its page program.

GLOBAL WARMING INITIATIVE - Final draft of climate deal unveiled ... tough temperature target.  Le Bourget, France: It calls for keeping global warming 'well below' 2 degrees Celsius [3.6 F], and includes the long-term goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees [Celsius, 2.7 F is] a victory for vulnerable developing countries, which had pushed for a reference to a more ambitious target.

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to: Bob Barker (92) Beverly Hills, CA; Ben Barnanke (62) Bethesda, MD; Tim Conway (82) Beverly Hills, CA; Dame Judi Dench (81) London, England; Pope Francis (79) The Vatican; Buck Henry (85) Woodland Hills, CA; Chris Matthews (70) Washington, D.C.; George Shultz (95) Palo Alto, CA; Dionne Warwick (75) Santa Barbara, CA.

GREAT READS - We asked some individuals to name their favorite books of 2015 - Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin: "The Conservative Heart" by Arthur C. Brooks ... "Dreamland" by Sam Quinones ... "Dare to Serve," by Cheryl Bachelder ... Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.): "The Great War of Our Time" by former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell ... "The Billion Dollar Spy" by David E. Hoffman ... former Indiana gov. Mitch Daniels: "The End of Doom" by Ronald Bailey ... "Superintelligence" by Nick Bostrom ... "The Wright Brothers" by David McCullough ... NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio: "The Global War on Morris" by Rep. Steve Israel ... David Gregory: "1944" by Jay Winik ... "The Road to Character" by David Brooks ... Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.): "Showdown" by Wil Haygood ... "The Crimean War" by Orlando Figes ... "Silence" by Shusaku Endo ...

... Charles Koch: "The Upright Thinkers" by Leonard Mlodinow ... "Permissionless Innovation" by Adam Thierer ... "The Tyranny of Experts" by William Easterly ... Theodore B. Olson: "H Is for Hawk" by Helen Macdonald ... "Speak Now: Marriage Equality on Trial" by Kenji Yoshino and "Then Comes Marriage" by Roberta Kaplan ... Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio): "The Wright Brothers" by David McCullough ... Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.): "Jack Kemp: The Bleeding-Heart Conservative Who Changed America" by Morton Kondracke and Fred Barnes ... Jim Webb: "Washington: The Indispensable Man" by Thomas Flexner ... "A Moveable Feast" by Ernest Hemingway.

HOT VIDEOS – “House of Cards'” ran a realistic-looking political ad during the Republican presidential debate

NFL PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 12/19, 8:25 PM ET NFL;  New York Jets (8-5) at Dallas Cowboys (4-9), Saturday football is back, Jets are playoff bound 27 – 17. Season to date (7-7)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 12/19, 3:30 PMET ABC; The New Mexico Bowl: Arizona Wildcats (6-6) vs. New Mexico Lobos (7-5), the beginning of 42 Bowl Games during the holiday season, we like New Mexico 35 – 31.  Season to date (10-5)

SMALL COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICK OF THE WEEK – Friday 12/18, 7:00 PM ET ESPNU; The Stagg Bowl from Salem, VA: #1Mount Union Purple Raiders (14-0) vs. #4 St. Thomas Tommies (14-0), The Purple Raiders have been #1 all year, they will end up that way, 32 – 24.   Season to date (13-2)

COLLEGE HOCKEY GAME OF THE WEEK – Saturday 12/19, 7:00 PM CT HGTV; Arizona State Scum Devils (5-10) vs. #6 Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks (12-3-1), new DI program ASU plays with one of the big boys, Mavericks prevail 6 - 1  Season to date (1-3).


 (NFL, Dec. 20) Denver Broncos (10-3) at Pittsburgh Steelers (8-5), The Broncos are fading, Steelers win 24 – 17.

(NHL, Dec. 19) Montreal Canadians (20-9-3) vs. Dallas Stars (23-6-2), two of hockey’s best at midseason, Dallas continues the Habs losing streak 4 – 3.

Season to date (103-66)


Scuttlebutt - \SKUHT-l-buht\
1. Informal. rumor or gossip.
2. Nautical. a. an open cask of drinking water. b. a drinking fountain for use by the crew of a vessel.
Quote: “The scuttlebutt on the new position is hire someone internal.”

Acabar, verb - to finish doing something; to have just done something
Acabar in the meanings shown above is followed by de and the infinitive. The tense of acabar indicates which meaning is intended.
To talk about finishing doing something, you use acabar in the appropriate tense, followed by de and the infinitive.
Quote: “Ayer acabĂ© de pintar la pared.”
“I finished painting the wall yesterday.”

Leegoal Plaid Dusting Microfiber Cleaning Slippers, $6.29 at Amazon

Clicker 2-in-1 TV Remote and Bottle Opener, $24.99 at Amazon

Universal Pillow Remote, $19.99 at Amazon

Next week: Holiday Notes and Holiday Movies.

Until Next Monday, Adios.

Claremont, CA

December 17, 2015


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