Thursday, September 29, 2016

Arnold Palmer

Arnold Palmer, the champion golfer whose full-bore style of play, thrilling tournament victories and magnetic personality inspired an American golf boom, attracted a following known as Arnie's Army and made him one of the most popular athletes in the world, died on Sunday, according to a spokesman for his business enterprises. Palmer was 87. The spokesman, Doc Giffin, said the cause of death was complications from heart problems. ... Palmer died Sunday evening at UPMC Shadyside Hospital in Pittsburgh.

Almost everyone has an Arnold Palmer story, I have three:

1964 Carling World Open golf tournament at Oakland Hills Country Club Birmingham, Michigan: my grandfather Walter Hannuam, for my birthday, took me to see my first golf tournament. On the first tee, Arnold Palmer, he hit his drive and all I remember is it going completely out of sight. I took some pictures with my Brownie camera; for the life of me, I could not find them for this piece.

1983 Rancho Park Golf Club Los Angeles, California: the Los Angeles Open was played at Rancho Park  that year since the PGA Championship was at Riviera Country Club. Arnold Palmer was playing; I followed him and Gary Player around the course. At the end of the day I was walking back to the parking lot, and there sitting on the trunk of his Cadillac, taking off his shoes, and having a beer with his caddie was Arnold Palmer. No one was around them, all by themselves, in their socks, drinking beer. Should I go over and ask for an autograph? As I got closer to Mr. Palmer, (true story) he called out, “Would you like a beer?” To be honest I remember very little after that, I froze, did not know what to do. I mumbled something like no thank you and continued on my way. No autograph, no picture, no beer, what an idiot I was! In looking back at my stupidity, I only think how great it was that he called out to me for a beer.

1993 Bob Hope Desert Classic, La Quinta Country Club La Quinta, California: my final time seeing Arnold Palmer. I was following his foursome with Bob Hope, President Ford, and Tip O’Neil. This is not so much an Arnold Palmer story but without him on the course this would of never of happened. When you watch live golf you want to find a good spot to watch the players, so I went a hole ahead of the Palmer, Ford, Hope, O’Neil foursome to get a good view of their tee shots. Mr. Palmer hit first from the back tees, as I was watching him get setup to hit his drive, here comes President Ford who stops right next to me to watch Arnie’s drive. President Ford placed his arm on my shoulder to rest and says to me, “Arnie can sure hit a nice ball.” Since this was ten years after my screw up in the parking lot at Rancho Park, I was not going to blow this one. I mentioned to President Ford he was correct and that I was from his home state of Michigan. His eyes widen when I said that, he said he was from Grand Rapids and asked where I was from (Birmingham). He then asked “Blue or Green.” Of course I said “GO BLUE.” He smiled, shook my hand and off he went.

Three sports memories that I will cherish forever, Arnold Palmer, rest in peace.

AMERICANS NOT QUITE READY TO LET GO OF THE WHEEL - Though 63 percent of Americans think self-driving cars would make roads safer, they're evenly split on whether they're ready to give up some control in exchange for that safety boost. That's the word from a new Kelley Blue Book survey of Americans' attitudes toward driverless cars. Researchers found that the "sweet spot" was so-called level-four autonomous vehicles, which do the driving so one can relax but also take the controls at any time. That's similar to the "autopilot" function in airplanes. But, so far, there's no automotive option like it on the consumer market. The survey found that nearly one in three Americans said they would "never" buy a fully autonomous vehicle without controls that can be operated by a human.

MUSK ON MARS - Elon Musk laid out a vision of travel to Mars that was heavy on both technology - the how of getting there - and on the dangers that await those first explorers just a decade from now. The first journey will be very dangerous, and the risk of fatality will be very high, Musk said during a highly anticipated presentation at the 67th International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico. 'Are you prepared to die? Then you are a candidate for going.'

Mars - population zero - offers a way for Earth's 7 billion-plus humans to ensure the future of the species against possible extinction events, the billionaire founder of Space Exploration Technologies Corp. said. He envisions spacecraft holding dozens of passengers voyaging to the Red Planet within a decade, if all goes well, at fares that would start at roughly $200,000 but drop in price over time. The presentation brought both rounds of applause from the audience, and questions. I have a couple of people I would like to buy a ticket for….

TWITTER FOR SALE? - Disney and Microsoft reportedly mulling bid for Twitter: The Walt Disney Company and Microsoft could be interested in purchasing Twitter, adding to the list of potential suitors and fueling speculation on Monday that the tech firm might be moving closer to a deal. Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the matter, reported that Disney is working with a financial adviser to consider a possible bid for the struggling San Francisco tech firm.

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to Bryant Gumbel (68) Huntington, N.Y.; Gwen Ifill (61) Washington D.C.; Steve Lesniak …famous wine expert.

THE RATINGS: HUGE - The first general election debate ... averaged 84 million viewers across 13 channels, according to data from Nielsen, making it the most watched presidential debate in modern history. Until last night, the most-watched debate in history was the 1980 debate between Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. That debate averaged just over 80 million viewers. With a few networks still to be counted by Nielsen, and the 80 million figure not including anyone who watched online, last night's debate will end up with more people watching than any prior presidential debate.

In 2012, the first debate between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama averaged 70 million viewers. In 2008, the first debate between John McCain and Obama averaged 53 million viewers. On cable news, Fox News led the way with more than 11 million viewers. NBC led the broadcast networks with more than 18 million people tuning in.

The ratings put the debate in rare company. Of TV programs that drew an average of more than 80 million viewers, most were NFL Super Bowl broadcasts, with the others were the finales of M.A.S.H. and Cheers. Of course, the debate aired on a dozen TV networks and streamed online, whereas the Super Bowl and M.A.S.H. only aired on one channel each.

WALL STREET’S TOP CONCERN: 2016 — A new study by Investment Media Solutions of 2,760 investors and financial industry execs “found that the election was the top economic concern … above GDP growth, interest rates, geopolitics and corporate earnings. From the study of top concerns: 48 percent the outcome of the American election cycle; 34 percent weak GDP and economic growth in the U.S.; 23 percent terrorism and other geopolitical turmoil; 22 percent interest rates.”

SIREN -- ARIZONA REPUBLIC BREAKS TRADITION, ENDORSES CLINTON -- Endorsement: Hillary Clinton is the only choice to move America ahead: "Since The Arizona Republic began publication in 1890, we have never endorsed a Democrat over a Republican for president. Never. This reflects a deep philosophical appreciation for conservative ideals and Republican principles. This year is different. The 2016 Republican candidate is not conservative and he is not qualified.”

Days until the 2016 election: 40.
Days until the vice presidential debate: 5.

JACKASS OF THE MONTH - John Stumpf, the chief executive and chairman of Wells Fargo & Co will forfeit $41m in pay awards and some of his salary as the board launches an investigation into bank's aggressive sales tactics. The scandal, involving the creation of as many as 2m bogus accounts and credit cards for retail clients without their knowledge and in an effort to inflate sales numbers, hit targets and boost bonuses, has seen Wells hit with a record $185m fine and more than 5,000 staff lose their jobs.

It has also cost Mr Stumpf his advisory post at the Federal Reserve in San Francisco. As well as announcing the forfeiture of Mr Stumpf's pay awards and those of Carrie Tolstedt, the former head of the retail banking division, the Wells Fargo board announced it was launching an investigation into the affair, which had been uncovered by regulators. They are under pressure to show how it is dealing with executive accountability ahead of Mr Stumpf's upcoming appearance before the House Financial Services Committee on September 29.

Congratulations Mr. Stumpf you are Rink Rats Jackass of the Month.

Another College hockey season begins this weekend, The Swami of course has his preseason selections.


            1). North Dakota Fighting Hawks
            2). Quinnipiac Bobcats
            3). Boston University Terriers
            4). Denver Pioneers
            5). Boston College Eagles


            1). Quinnipiac Bobcats
            2). St. Lawrence Saints
            3). Harvard Crimson
            4). Yale Bulldogs
            5). Clarkson Golden Knights

NFL GAME OF THE WEEK – Sunday 10/2, 5:30 PM ET, NBC; Kansas City Chiefs (2-1) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-1). Two hopeful playoff contenders battle at Heinz Field, Steelers win 24 – 17. Season to date (2-1)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 10/1, 1:00 PM PT, ABC: #8 Wisconsin Badgers (4-0) vs. #4 Michigan Wolverines (4-0), five opening home games for Michigan – too much home cooking. Badgers win an upset 17 – 14. Season to date (4-0)

SMALL COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 10/1, 1:00 PM ET, HGTV: Middlebury College Panthers (1-0) vs. Colby College White Mules (1-0). The preppie game of the year, you will not be admitted in Waterville, Maine without a Polo on your shirt. White Mules rule 24 – 20.   Season to date (2-2)


(NFL, Oct. 2) Oakland Raiders (2-1) visit Baltimore Ravens (3-0). Shades of the old Raiders, they win in Baltimore, 30 – 27.

(NCAA-SCIAC, Oct. 1) SCIAC season begins; University of La Verne Leopards (0-2) at California Lutheran Kingsmen (0-2). La Verne has more balance, just don’t get hurt: Leos win in the Valley 34 – 28.

(NCAA BCS, Oct. 1) #3 Louisville Cardinals (4-0) vs. #5 Clemson Tigers (4-0), big ACC tilt, Clemson wins wild one; 45 – 42.

(Ryder Cup, Oct. 2) Can the USA win in Minnesota? Yes, USA 15 – Europe 13.

(MLB, Oct. 1) Los Angeles Dodgers (90-68) at San Francisco Giants (83-75), Vinnie’s last game, Giants last chance. Dodgers win 5 – 4.

Season to date (66-52)

MARKET WEEK - Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf, who floundered before Senate Banking, appears before House Financial Services at 10:00 a.m. ... University of La Verne Integrated Business Program prepares their Business Plans… Third estimate of Q3 GDP at 8:30 a.m. expected to be revised up to 1.3 percent from 1.1 percent.

DRIVING THE WEEK - There’s the debate and then there’s everything else. And everything else is not even close.  Tarullo speaks on stress-testing and capital at 11:45 a.m. at Yale … Treasury Secretary Jack Lew will be in Buenos Aires on Monday … House Financial Services subcommittee has a hearing Tuesday at 9:15 a.m. on the Financial Stability Board … Former AIG CEO Hank Greenberg is expected to testify Tuesday in his civil fraud trial … Fed Chair Janet Yellen testifies Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. before House Financial Services on supervision and regulation (and whatever else people want to ask her) … House Financial Services has a Wells Fargo hearing Thursday at 10:00 a.m. … Third estimate of Q3 GDP at 8:30 a.m. Thursday expected to be revised up to 1.3 percent from 1.1 percent.

Next week: What is on the iPod? Dear Rink Rats.

Until Next Time, Adios.

Claremont, CA

September 28, 2016

CARTOON OF THE WEEK – Warp, The New Yorker

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Steve Jobs Philosophy 101

What you do is based on what you think…so borrow a few thoughts from Steve Jobs.

Good advice for students, managers, and your personal career:

1. "Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower."

Ideas without action aren't ideas. They're regrets. Every day, most people let hesitation and uncertainty stop them from acting on an idea. (Fear of the unknown and fear of failure are often what stop me, and they may be what stop you, too.)

Think about a few of the ideas you've had, whether for a new business, a new career, or even just a part-time job. In retrospect, how many of your ideas could have turned out well, especially if you had given it your absolute best? Would a decent percentage have turned out well? My guess is, probably so -- so start trusting your analysis, your judgment, and even your instincts a little more.

You certainly won't get it right all the time, but if you do nothing and allow your ideas to become regrets... you will always get it wrong.

2. "I'm convinced that about half of what separates successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance."

Everyone says they go the extra mile. Almost no one actually does. Most people who do go there think, " one else is here...why am I doing this?" And they leave, never to return. That's why the extra mile is such a lonely place. That's also why the extra mile is a place filled with opportunities.

Be early. Stay late. Make the extra phone call. Send the extra email. Do the extra research. Help a customer unload or unpack a shipment. Don't wait to be asked -- offer. Don't just tell employees what to do -- show them what to do, and work beside them.

Every time you do something, think of one extra thing you can do...especially if other people aren't doing that extra thing. Sure, it's hard. But that's what will make you different. And over time, that's what will make you successful.

3. "My model for business is The Beatles. They were four guys who kept each other's kind of negative tendencies in check. They balanced each other, and the total was greater than the sum of the parts. That's how I see business: Great things in business are never done by one person, they're done by a team of people."

Some of your employees drive you nuts. Some of your customers are obnoxious. Some of your friends are selfish, all-about-me jerks. Stop whining. You chose them. If the people around you make you unhappy, it's not their fault. It's your fault. They're in your professional or personal life because you drew them to you -- and you let them remain.

Think about the type of people you want to work with. Think about the types of customers you would enjoy serving. Think about the friends you want to have. Then change what you do so you can start attracting those people. Hardworking people want to work with hardworking people. Kind people like to associate with kind people.

Exceptional employees want to work for exceptional bosses. Be the best you can be, and work to surround yourself with people who are even better.

4. "My favorite things in life don't cost any money. It's really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time."

Deadlines and time frames establish parameters, but usually not in a good way. Most people given two weeks to complete a task will instinctively adjust their effort so it actually takes two weeks -- even if it shouldn't. So forget deadlines, at least as a way to manage your activity. Tasks should only take as long as they need to take. Do everything as quickly and effectively as you can. Then, use your "free" time to get other things done just as quickly and effectively.

Average people allow time to impose its will on them; exceptional people impose their will on their time.

5. "Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations."

Ask most people why they have been successful. Their answers will be filled with personal pronouns like "I" and "me." Only occasionally will you hear "we." Then ask them why they failed. Most will revert to childhood and instinctively distance themselves, like a kid who says, "My toy got broken..." instead of, "I broke my toy." They'll say the economy tanked. They'll say the market wasn't ready. They'll say their suppliers couldn't keep up.

They'll say it was someone or something else. And by distancing themselves, they don't learn from their failures.

Occasionally, something completely outside our control will cause us to fail. Most of the time, though, it's us. And that's okay. Every successful person has failed, numerous times. Most of them have failed a lot more often than we have. That's why they're successful now.

Embrace every failure. Own it, learn from it, and take full responsibility for making sure that next time, things will turn out differently.

6. "I didn't return to Apple to make a fortune. I've been very lucky in my life and already have one. When I was 25, my net worth was $100 million or so. I decided then that I wasn't going to let it ruin my life. There's no way you could ever spend it all, and I don't view wealth as something that validates my intelligence."

Money is important. Money does a lot of things. (One of the most important is to create choices.) But after a certain point, money doesn't make people happier. After about $75,000 a year, money doesn't buy more (or less) happiness. "Beyond $75,000...higher income is neither the road to experience happiness nor the road to relief of unhappiness or stress," says a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

And if you don't buy that, here's another take: "The materialistic drive and satisfaction with life are negatively related." (Or in non-research speak, "Chasing possessions tends to make you less happy.") Think of it as the bigger house syndrome. You want a bigger house. You need a bigger house. (Not really, but it sure feels like you do.) So you buy it. Life is good...until a couple months later, when your bigger house is now just your house.

New always becomes the new normal. That's because "things" only provide momentary bursts of happiness. To be happier, don't chase as many things. Chase experiences.

Someday you won't remember what you had...but you'll never forget what you did.

7. "Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it."

Don't know what you're passionate about? No problem. Pick something interesting. Pick something financially viable -- something people will pay you to do or provide.

Then work hard. Improve your skills, whether at managing, selling, creating, implementing...whatever expertise your business requires. The satisfaction and fulfillment of small victories will give you the motivation to keep working hard. Small victories will motivate you to further develop your skills.

The satisfaction of achieving one level of success will spur you on to gain the skills to reach the next level, and the next, and the next. And one day, you will wake up feeling incredibly fulfilled -- because you're doing great work, work you've grown to love.

MANAGEMENT 101 - The solution for Post-it Notes lost under the desk and phone alerts silenced in meetings may be at hand. People who have tried countless online calendars and list-making apps are making the Bullet Journal—a way of organizing and writing lists in a plain old notebook—a hit. Bullet Journal devotees call it something between a diary, a wish list and a to-do list. It isn’t fancy; it isn’t technological, but that is the point. The journal works on the principle that nothing, not an idea, a hope, an appointment or an accomplishment need be lost if you write it down. Under the system, events are represented by an “O” bullet and tasks are a dot. From there more layers of complexity are added. Bullet journalists say the technique helps them improve productivity, reduce stress and sleep better.

SMALL BUSINESS CREDIT CRUNCH - Since 2005, banks have doubled their lending to large businesses. Yet lending to small businesses is lower than it was in 2005. Four explanations for this lost decade for small business lending: borrower creditworthiness, banking consolidation, new regulations, and market imperfections.

POLITICS 101 - 5 reasons Trump might fall in autumn: The story of the past three weeks is less about a Trump comeback than a Hillary Clinton fallback, and the same head-scratching dynamic that defined the Republican primaries - Trump's Teflon, his opponent (in this case Hillary) is Velcro - took root in August. And there are warning signs aplenty for a candidate whose trajectory has improved only by his capacity to drag his opponent down to his own level of septic-tank unpopularity. And Trump's early fall 'surge' could be quickly reversed as he descends ever deeper into the darkening swamp of national self-hatred this rotten, hope-free, soul-sucking 2016 campaign for president has turned out to be.

1. Everything has gone Trump's way - and he's still not ahead ... 2. The cable and TV networks are going to vet Trump like he might actually be president of the United States. This one is wishful thinking based on zero evidence. Move along. ... 3. Trump is getting cocky again. Trump's steely messaging team has done a great job duct-taping the boss's maw since taking over in mid-August. But Trump's mouth, like LeBron James, is a cosmic force that can merely be contained for limited periods, and never truly shut down - and Trump's recent success has rekindled the suppressed I-gotta-be-me impulse ...

4. Terrified Democrats are Clinton's secret weapon. This is the big one, the factor upon which the election truly hinges. Raw, small-mammal fear. Trump's success might be the only thing that gets many Democrats (or anti-Trump moderates outside the party) to hold their noses and vote Hillary. 5. Gary Johnson? Really? ... Clinton's Brooklyn brain trust is in a quandary on dealing with this: Attack him, and Clinton allies have compiled opposition files on the former New Mexico governor, and raise his low profile; let him roam the firmament snatching up progressives in his VW van and lose votes. Fortunately for Clinton's team, support for Johnson seems relatively soft (as opposed to the smaller, but more militant following attracted by Green Party candidate Jill Stein), and Clinton's team expects many to drift back to her cause, as third-party defectors often do in October and November.

Days until the 2016 election: 49.

Days until the first presidential debate: 6.

THE HISTORY OF HEADPHONES - With Apple removing the headphone jack from its iPhone 7, a look back at the listening device over the years:

Late 1800s—Telephone switchboard operators began using headphones with quarter-inch jacks as they answered and directed calls.

1891—French engineer Ernest Jules Pierre Mercadier received a U.S. patent for ear buds for use as telephone receivers.

1910—Electrical engineer Nathaniel Baldwin developed headphones in his kitchen, which the U.S. Navy bought for their superior sound quality. An early member of the Mormon fundamentalist movement, he provided financial backing to the church, but was excommunicated for refusing to accept the church’s then-new monogamy policies.

1957—Willard Meeker, an engineer at RCA, created earmuffs with active noise cancellation, proving that technology used in the aerospace industry could be practical for wider consumer use.

1958—Musician John Koss, of Koss Corp., developed commercial stereo headphones after listening to music on military-grade headphones. He also invented a phonograph that incorporated a speaker and headphone jacks.

1964— Sony Corp. released its hand-held EFM-117J radio, an early use of the smaller 3.5mm headphone-jack socket.

1979—Sony launched its first personal stereo Walkman, the “TPS-L2,” making headphones ubiquitous. The Walkman was the first widespread use of the 3.5mm headphone-jack socket.

1997—Dutch inventor Jaap Haartsen performed early research on Bluetooth Wireless Technology and filed an important patent. Bluetooth took its name from Harald Blatand, a king of Denmark in the 10th century.

1999—Telecom vendor Ericsson AB launched Bluetooth commercially, allowing data to be exchanged over short distances using radio waves.

2008—Sony unveiled the first digital noise-canceling headphone. Sony claimed the set, called MDR-NC500D, could block 99% of noise in the 160HZ range, approximately the range of a jet engine.

2014— Apple Inc. bought Beats Electronics LLC for $3 billion, founded by rap star Dr. Dre and music mogul Jimmy Iovine.

Sept. 7, 2016—Apple removes the headphone jack. Users will be able to plug headphones into the iPhone 7’s lightning port, or purchase a pair of wireless ear buds, called Apple AirPods, for $159.

BOEHNER'S NEW CIG GIG -- John Boehner just got a seat on the board of Reynolds America, the big-time cigarette company. Boehner likes smoking, but now he'll make twice his congressional salary to sit on the cigarette giant's board. HE CAN MAKE IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD OF $400,000 PER YEAR. He'll get a $60,000 retainer, $1,500 per committee and general board meeting. He's on three committees. If the board meets quarterly, and each committee meets once a year, that's another $10,500. But where he'll really make some cash is with stock. Boehner will get 8,000 shares of stock a year -- at the stock's current price, that's worth $378,720. At that valuation, Boehner would make $449,200 a year!

OUT AND ABOUT – Congrats to Courtney Vance (Country Day ’78) for his lead actor Emmy Award for the series “The People v. O.J. Simpson.”

OUT AND ABOUT PART DEUX – This foursome made their golfing presence known at the University of La Verne 2016 Golf Tournament on Monday at the “Pride of the Foothills” Glendora Country Club: right to left – Allison Krich (Kansas), Chris Krich (California), Joe Zanetta (New York), and Reggie Dunlop (Michigan). Joe Zanetta, Cornell University '75, '78, donned sunglasses to avoid the Press, who were seeking his comments on the Donald Trump Presidential election campaign and his involvement with “Log Cabin Republicans.”

COLLEGE CHRONICLES - University of California debt soars to $17 billion; regents consider new borrowing policy: Financial reports show UC paid more than $558 million in interest alone in the 2014-15 year - roughly $2,200 per student. That figure does not include the $104 million UC reported it paid in interest on medical center-related borrowing, which is covered by the centers' revenues.

Mayor Eric Garcetti promises free community-college tuition as Jill Biden helps launch L.A. initiative: Speaking in a theater packed with cheering students, Mayor Eric Garcetti reiterated his promise last Wednesday to make one year of community college free for eligible high school graduates, beginning next year.

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to Tommy Lasorda (89) Fullerton, CA..; Ava Suffredini …famous niece; Julius Walecki …famous Beach Volleyball player; Matthew Witt …..famous Public Manager.

GIVE HIM THE DEUCE – The S.F. Giants (79-71) have played themselves out of a post season playoff spot. Yes, they are tied (as of today) with the New York Metropolitans for the final wild card spot. But, their horrible play for the last two and one-half months indicates to me they are done.

NFL GAME OF THE WEEK – Sunday 9/25, 1:25 PM ET, CBS; Pittsburgh Steelers (2-0) at Philadelphia Eagles (2-0); is Carson Wentz, the rookie QB from North Dakota State, for real. I think so, Philly wins 24 - 20. Season to date (1-1)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 9/24, 1:00 PM PT, ABC: #7 Stanford Cardinal (2-0) visits UCLA Bruins (2-1); The Cardinal is off to another Pac 12 title, Stanford 32 - 17 . Season to date (3-0)

SMALL COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 9/24, 2:00 PM ET, HGTV: #4 St. Thomas Tommies (3-0) at #8 St. John’s Johnnies (3-0); a big MIAC conference game on the turf, Johnnies 35 Tommies 32 .   Season to date (2-1)


(NFL, Sept. 25) Deetroit Lions (1-1) visit Green Bay Packers (1-1), a big win for The Pack, in this Norris Division battle; 35 – 20.

(NCAA-DIII, Sept. 24) St. Lawrence University saints (3-0) visit RPI Engineers (2-1); an important Liberty League conference match-up; Saints continue their winning ways, 17 – 14.

(NCAA BCS, Sept. 24) #2 #11 Wisconsin Badgers (3-0) vs. #8 Michigan State University Spartans (2-0). A big one in East Lansing, Sparty again is toooo tough, 38 – 28.

(World Cup of Hockey2016, Sept. 20) USA (0-1) vs. Canada (1-0), a USA loss sends them packing, adios, Oh Canada 5 – 3.

(MLB, Sept. 24) New York Yankees (77-72) vs. Toronto Blue Jays (82-68); Jays fighting for their playoff lives, sorry “Cat” Morrison, Yanks win 5 – 4.

Season to date (61-49)

MARKET WEEK - Financial markets have tightened, even as Federal Reserve officials continue their debate about whether to increase interest rates. Stock and bond prices have slumped and the dollar has strengthened. The Dow dropped 3.63 points to 18120.17 yesterday. Tighter markets in many ways have the same impact as rising interest rates, making it more difficult for consumers and companies to borrow. The rising cost of borrowing dollars for brief periods is hitting financial institutions and other companies around the globe, further limiting the already slim prospects that the Fed will tighten monetary policy at its meeting ending tomorrow. It has become a familiar pattern in recent years. U.S. markets tighten financial conditions just enough to dissuade central bankers from lifting interest rates. While some Fed officials have advocated lifting interest rates sooner rather than later, an increase now would be a major surprise to investors.

McDonald's (MCD) could face an order to pay nearly $500 million in back taxes to Luxembourg. Meanwhile, Indonesia plans to pursue Alphabet's (GOOGL) Google for five years of back taxes.

Wells Fargo (WFC) chief John Stumpf is set to appear at a Senate Banking Committee today (Tuesday) over the bank's sales practices. Look for Senator Elizabeth Warren to go after John Stumpf, he deserves it. Meanwhile, Mylan (MYL) chief Heather Bresch goes before a House panel on Wednesday over the EpiPen price hikes.

Two Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones reportedly have caught fire in China in what, if confirmed, would be the first such incidents in the world's largest smartphone market. Grappling with the massive global smartphone recall estimated to cost more than $1 billion, Samsung is moving swiftly to sell stakes in other technology companies to raise cash.

DRIVING THE WEEK - President Obama is back in NYC for three days including his final UN General Assembly address as president … House Speaker Paul Ryan speaks to the Economic Club of New York over lunch on Monday … FOMC makes its announcement Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. with no hike expected and a couple of possible dissents. Yellen presser at 2:30 p.m.. She’ll probably be asked about Trump’s criticisms but don’t expect her to take the bait... Senate Banking has a hearing on the Wells Fargo scandal at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday featuring CEO John Stumpf … National Association of Federal Credit Unions holds its 2016 Congressional Caucus Monday through Wednesday … Senate Banking has a hearing at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday on cash payments to Iran.

Next week: Jack Ass of the Month and College hockey preseason picks.  What is on the iPod?

Until Next Time, Adios.

Claremont, CA

September 20, 2016



Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The List Is Growing

One of the common themes of this Blog, sometimes subtle and sometimes not is “They Don’t Get It.”

From sports fans who continue to finance professional and collegiate teams with over the top players and coaches, idiot, spoiled owners and management. To public and private educators who fail to see the financial aid bubble is coming as they continue to follow a flawed business plan. To ego-driven managers who are overpaid, over hyped, and overdressed.

Now I would like to add another name to this distinguished list: The Fifth Estate.

I read newspapers, watch the network news, CSPAN, I even now and then watch Fox News (don’t tell anyone). Though sometimes it takes plenty of courage I read columnists like David Allen (thought I would mention him to give local news a plug), Patt Morrison, Bill Plaschke, Maureen Dowd, Thomas Friedman, Ann Coulter, David Brooks and though he scares the hell out of me, Charles Krauthammer.

Despite all these viewpoints both conservative and liberal I believe the media is missing something big in the coverage of this U.S. Presidential election. This isn't a race just about characters, or even character. It's about white people outside urban centers who feel like strangers in their own land; about Hispanics and African-Americans facing attacks reminiscent of the '60s; about how all of us are wrestling with the advantages and pitfalls of perpetual social media connection in our politics; about the susceptibility of our short-attention-span minds to the outrageous; and about the scary fusion of reality and fiction at a time when our world is more interconnected and combustible than ever, and in need of new paradigms. Instead, we get character sketches of two untrustworthy and unlikable candidates.

The list is growing of those who “Don’t Get It.” Stay tuned.

WHAT ARE YOU SMOKING? - One day after saying he thinks Vladimir Putin is a stronger leader than Barack Obama, Donald Trump gave an interview to RT, the state-run Russian television network, in which he told the interviewer -- none other than Larry King -- that it was "pretty unlikely" that Russia was behind recent cyber intrusions aimed at disrupting U.S. election systems. Trump said he didn't know who hacked the DNC's computers. Speaker Paul Ryan -- who endorsed Trump's candidacy -- was, again, pretty unambiguous in his blatant disagreement with his nominee. Ryan said Putin is "an aggressor who does not share our interests," and added that Russia has been "conducting state-sponsored cyber attacks" on the United States' "political system" -- referring to the DNC hack. Many national security experts in and out of government have said Russia is to blame.

THE FUTURE??? - Hillary's First 100 Days": "Hillary Clinton took the oath of office as the 45th president of the United States on Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, after defeating the thousandaire Donald J. Trump in the previous November's election. Since F.D.R., the first 100 days have come to be seen as the defining moment of each presidency and are used to measure each new president's accomplishments. Below are the highlights of President Clinton's first 100 days as recorded near the end of her second term, in 2024, by her official biographer, and recovered from a deleted email in 2025.

"Day 1: Inauguration of President Hillary Clinton and Vice President Tim Kaine. Five minutes later, the G.O.P.-led House of Representatives begins impeachment proceedings. Bernie Sanders assures supporters that there is still a way he can win. Day 2: Revealed that Hillary charged the United States $500,000 for her Inaugural Address and refuses to release the transcript. A nation wonders whether Huma Weiner is really single now or if she and Anthony Weiner are just taking a break."

Days until the 2016 election: 56.

Days until the first presidential debate: 13.

APOLLO, THIS IS HOUSTON, DO YOU COPY? - University of Phoenix change in ownership: There's no firm deadline for the Education Department to weigh in on whether a group of investors, which includes some with deep ties to the Obama administration, are effectively allowed to buy the University of Phoenix's parent company. But the company, Apollo Education Group, has previously said in SEC filings that it expects to get the necessary regulatory approvals to complete the sale by the end of this calendar year.

BACK TO SCHOOL??? - A federal crackdown on for-profit colleges is cutting off a lifeline to the once-high-flying industry as the second major school operator in recent years closed last Tuesday, potentially leaving taxpayers on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars in student loans. ITT Technical Institute, among the nation’s largest for-profit college chains by revenue, abruptly closed more than 130 campuses, forcing more than 40,000 students at campuses in 38 states to begin looking for another school after the government banned it from enrolling new students receiving federal aid. ITT got 80% of its cash revenue in 2015 from Title IV federal aid, including Pell Grants and student loans. Meanwhile, a lawsuit seeking class-action status was filed Tuesday on behalf of the 8,000 employees laid off by the closure of ITT’s campuses.

Note: The financial aid bubble is coming…..

COLLEGE CHRONICLES - The president of Franklin & Marshall College, who has drawn attention by more than tripling the percentage of Pell grant-eligible students at the small Pennsylvania liberal arts school, says he's open to Hillary Clinton's free tuition proposal. "Private schools will benefit a lot if public schools are better," said Daniel Porterfield. As Clinton's plan stands now, families making up to $125,000 would be eligible for free tuition at public colleges and universities. That has many private college presidents worried about potentially losing students, and some have strongly opposed the proposal.

The nation should be investing "much more" in Pell grants, Porterfield said. But Porterfield said he would be "very supportive" of any ideas to strengthen federal and state support for higher education. He said it's "troubling" to him that a lot of public universities, after being hit by state budget cuts, became too dependent on "revenue-focused financial aid and out-of-state recruitment" to bring in tuition dollars - leading, he said, to fewer in-state options for low-income students. In Porterfield's five years at Franklin & Marshall, the school has shifted to offering only need-based aid, meaning they're targeting more students who otherwise couldn't afford to go to a private college. His college also has a summer program for promising high school seniors, and works with groups like the Posse Foundation to aggressively recruit "talent" in cities like Miami and New York.

"Rigor helps first-generation kids," Porterfield said. At Franklin & Marshall, the growing portion of the student body who rely on Pell grants have been at least as successful as their peers who come from wealthier, college-going families. The 2016 four-year graduation rate at Franklin & Marshall was 83 percent for Pell students, compared to 79 percent overall, he said. "I think one of the greatest excuses that you hear coming out of some quarters is that we would like to have first-generation college goers or lower-income college goers, but their needs are too great, and we don't want to harm them," Porterfield said. "And that is a myth, I think.

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to Bob Baun (80) Don Mills, Ontario; Heidi Bravo …famous educator, Arnold Palmer (87) Latrobe, PA.; Dan Pugliese …famous hockey Dad.

iPHONE 7 UNDERWHELMS - WSJ's Geoffrey A. Fowler: "In your palm, Apple's iPhone 7 looks like the long-lost twin of the two-year-old iPhone 6. At a demo after Wednesday's launch event, I put the 6 and 7 side by side and played Spot the New Guy. The most discernible difference was the location of the camera. Oh, that and Apple took away something many of us use every day: the headphone jack.

"Apple's latest flagship phone delivers practical improvements ... These were long overdue. But Apple is only catching up to the competition, not flying past it. ... The iPhone 7 shows Apple is either struggling to keep up with its own pace - or trying to reset our expectations. This doesn't necessarily spell doom for Apple. There are many good reasons customers remain loyal to it"

Forget about the headphone jack for a second. Sure, it's pretty ... But you'll get used to it. The absence of a jack is far from the worst shortcoming in Apple's latest product launch. Instead, it's a symptom of a deeper issue with the new iPhones, part of a problem that afflicts much of the company's product lineup: Apple's aesthetics have grown stale.

"Apple has squandered its once-commanding lead in hardware and software design. Though the new iPhones include several new features, including water resistance and upgraded cameras, they look pretty much the same as the old ones. The new Apple Watch does too. And as competitors have borrowed and even begun to surpass Apple's best designs, what was iconic about the company's phones, computers, tablets and other products has come to seem generic"

Apple last Wednesday announced improvements to the iPhone that stopped short of a major overhaul, hoping that the upgrades will revive sagging sales of its flagship product. The new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus deliver practical improvements that were long overdue, writes our Personal Technology columnist Geoffrey A. Fowler. But Apple is only catching up to the competition, not flying past it. Yet this doesn’t necessarily spell doom for company. The new phones offer longer battery life, more storage and brighter screens than their predecessors, but eliminate the traditional headphone jack. The lack of a must-have feature breaks an Apple tradition of major design changes every other year and poses a crucial question: Will users find enough value in the improved features to upgrade from older models?

BANKERS - WELLS HIT WITH $185M ON MASSIVE FRAUD - Wells Fargo & Co. was slapped with a $185 million fine ... for 'widespread illegal' sales practices that included opening as many as two million deposit and credit-card accounts without customers' knowledge ... Employees at the bank, which has 40 million retail customers, in some instances issued debit cards without customers' knowledge and assigned personal identification numbers without telling them ...

They also transferred funds from authorized customer accounts to temporarily fund ones without customer permission ... sometimes resulting in fees for insufficient funds. ... Wells Fargo neither admitted nor denied the allegations but agreed to pay the fine and submit to a consent order to settle civil claims ... In detailing the widespread nature of the bank's alleged missteps, CFPB said Wells Fargo, has 'terminated roughly 5,300 employees for engaging in improper sales practices.

The executive who oversaw [Wells Fargo's] group of rogue employees, Carrie Tolstedt, conveniently announced plans to retire over the summer and, according to Fortune, is being paid $124.6 million on the way out. (One analyst has called for a clawback of that exit package.) Clearly there is a disconnect between whatever Wells Fargo was telling the public and what was actually going on at Wells Fargo - and that's putting it politely.

LOW INTEREST - Federal Reserve officials, lacking a strong consensus for action a week before their next policy meeting, are leaning toward waiting until late in the year before raising short-term interest rates. It’s a close call. But with inflation holding below the Fed’s 2% target and the unemployment rate little changed in recent months, senior officials feel little sense of urgency about moving and an inclination toward delay. Despite its hesitance, the Fed faces some external pressure to move: J.P. Morgan Chase Chairman and CEO James Dimon said yesterday that he favors increasing interest rates and that the Fed should act “sooner rather than later.” For others, who note that the jobless rate hasn’t moved much this year, the watchword is patience. Meanwhile, the Fed’s decision has become the subject of intense market speculation in recent days.

TOP THREE – Top three sport talk shows:

            1). Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, Sirius XM: 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. ET

            2). The Herd with Colin Cowherd, Fox Sports: 12:00 – 3:00 p.m. ET

            3). Hockey Central, Sportsnet590: 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. ET

FAREWELL TO VIN SCULLY – I have had the pleasure of listening to some wonderful broadcasters: Ernie Harwell with the Detroit Tigers, Phil Rizzuto and Bill White with the New York Yankees, Bob Murphy and Lindsey Nelson with the New York Metropolitans, and of course Vin Scully with the Dodgers.

Vin Scully, who now enters his final month on the job, began broadcasting for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1950 as an apprentice to Red Barber. Three years later, he was the team’s lead broadcaster. By 1958, when the team moved to Los Angeles to play in the Coliseum, he was so vital to fans – many of whom had difficulty following the game in a stadium far too massive for it – that they packed transistor radios so they could listen to Vin in the stands. By 1976, fans elected him the “most memorable personality” in Dodgers history. That was 40 years ago.

Over the decades, the sports-media landscape changed dramatically, and Scully’s once-beloved profession was whittled down to those Johns and Daves and Toms and Joes we like yelling at so much—but he never lost his touch.

The key to Scully’s success is his calm, intimate vibe. While many broadcasters call games as if they’re trying to talk anonymous hordes out of looking at their iPads, Scully is having a conversation with you – and only you. “I've always felt that I was talking to one person," he said in 2007. "But I've never envisioned who that one person is."

To listen to Scully is to be drawn in by a storyteller—and a fellow traveler. Scully has seen nearly 10,000 baseball games but he never sounds like a jaundiced expert. He’s excited to find out what happens just like you. It’s a baseball game. Let’s watch it together.

In 1950, you listened to Vin Scully because you wanted to know if the Dodgers were winning and he was the only way for you to find out. Now, in an age of push notifications and Twitter alerts, it’s difficult not to find out the score. And we have an absurd number of ways to follow along. We can watch the game on our TVs, our iPads, our phones, our video game consoles or even our wristwatches. We can listen to national audio feeds. We can turn off broadcasters altogether and just listen to the crowd. But still we choose Vin.

Ask any baseball fan. When they’re flipping around looking for a default game, just "which game should I turn on right now?" the determining factor is always, always, “Are the Dodgers at home?" Because if they are, Scully's calling the game, and that's the one you choose. Sure, the score of that Diamondbacks-Rockies game might be a little closer. But you’re going to turn down the chance to listen to Vin? In his last season, no less? The Dodgers are in first place, but even if they were on a 100-loss pace, they would be must-watch all season. That’s because of Vin.

Though he’s been around forever, he’s not some nostalgia play. He doesn’t complain that They Just Don’t Play Like They Used To or invoke the Good Ole Days, perhaps because he realizes they’re not behind us.

What unites the newer fans to the past is that they adore Vin Scully. The man in the booth – doing the job we now love to denigrate – is more beloved than the players he describes on the field.

His voice has served as the soundtrack of baseball even as that game, and the way we interact with it, has evolved. We’ll choose him right down to the very end. And then we’ll get back to booing the other guys. Thank you Mr. Scully, enjoy your retirement, you will be missed.

NFL GAME OF THE WEEK – Sunday 9/18, 1:00 PM ET, CBS; Cincinnati Bengals (1-0) at Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0). Too much Big Ben, Steelers win 28 – 17. Season to date (0-1)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 9/17, 7:30 PM ET, NBC: #12 Michigan State University Spartans (2-0) at #18 University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish (1-1). The Spartans are tough on the road, The Domers are in trouble; State 40 – 30. Season to date (2-0)

SMALL COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 9/17, 7:00 PM ET, HGTV: #3 Linfield Wildcats (1-0) visit #5 Mary Hardin-Baylor Crusaders (2-0): Northwest meets the Southwest, how good are the Wildcats, pretty good, Linfield wins 24 – 20.   Season to date (2-0)


(NFL, Sept. 18) Kansas City Chiefs (1-0) at Houston Texans (1-0); The Swami is off to a slow start this season, time to get back on track, KC wins 28 – 14.

(NCAA-DIII, Sept. 17) #24 St. John Fisher Cardinals (2-0) vs. #16 Cortland State Dragons (2-0); huge Empire 8 Conference match, we like Cortland 24 – 21.

(NCAA BCS, Sept. 17) #2 Florida State Criminals (2-0) at #10 Louisville Cardinals (2-0), Lamar Jackson is for real, Cardinals win 42 – 32.

(World Cup of Hockey2016, Sept. 17) USA vs. Europe, the World Cup begins, best hockey you will see this year: USA starts fast 4 – 2 over Europe.

(MLB, Sept. 17) New York Yankees (76-67) at Boston Red Sox (81-62), both teams fighting for playoff seeds, Sox win 5 – 4.

Season to date (57 -45)

MARKET WEEK - Summer vacation is over for markets. Investors who had bet heavily on calm seas ahead were jolted on Friday as prices of stocks, bonds, oil and gold all slid amid mounting concerns over the willingness and ability of central banks to prop up markets. The CBOE Volatility Index, which tracks investors’ expectations for volatility in stocks and had bounced near multiyear lows during July and August, jumped 40%. The turbulence has reignited fears that the Federal Reserve is moving further into a rate-raising phase that could leave stocks, emerging markets and commodities vulnerable to a deeper pullback. Whether the retreat is a blip or something bigger could hinge on what the Fed does over the next two weeks. Three Fed speakers are scheduled to speak Monday, after which the central bank enters a self-imposed blackout period before its Sept. 20-21 meeting.

DRIVING THE WEEK - Senate Foreign Relations on Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. holds a hearing on Brexit ... Senate Banking has a hearing Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. on the National Flood Insurance Program ... Retail sales Thursday at 8:30 a.m. expected to dip 0.1 percent headline and rise 0.2 percent ex-autos ... Industrial production at 9:15 a.m. expected to drop 0.2 percent ... Consumer Prices at 8:30 a.m. Friday expected to rise 0.1 percent headline and 0.2 percent core ... Univ. of Michigan Sentiment at 10:00 a.m. Friday expected to rise to 91.0 from 89.8.

Next week: The best cider and words of the month.

Until Next Time, Adios.

Claremont, CA

September 13, 2016


CARTOON OF THE WEEK – Schwartz, The New Yorker