Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Budget

Besides being the time of year for holiday celebrations and all that goes with the season, it is also budget time. Corporations are fine tuning their budgets for January 1,  not-for-profits are finalizing final numbers for review and approval leading up to July 1 and personal family budgets are stretched due to the holiday season and tax time fast approaching.

It has always been my belief that there are three budgets to this cycle: the operating budget, the capital budget, and the hope and pray budget.

Budgets help direct our spending, but by nature they constrain us. While that doesn’t sound very fun, these restrictions are for a good cause. By voluntarily limiting short-term spending, we can stay out of financial trouble and work toward achieving longer-term financial goals. Though it sounds contradictory, we achieve financial freedom by choosing to limit ourselves.

In theory, if we could predict all of our expenses then we could live on the bleeding edge (paycheck to paycheck, revenue stream to revenue stream) of our income and not have to worry. In practice, it ain’t happening — at least not long-term. ‘Life’ happens to us and our budgets.

If you’ll bear with me, let’s set a scene: Picture driving along a winding, coastal road. Nice, isn’t it? You should probably picture yourself in a convertible if you aren’t already. Better. Are you smelling that salty, sea air? Mmmmm. Now, think about that road. It is made up of asphalt, lane lines, maybe a rumble strip or Bott’s dots, a bike lane, a guardrail, and sits atop a hillside or cliff leading to that beautiful beach below.

You get to safely enjoy this wonderful scenery while travelling rapidly because someone at some point decided to put some paint on the ground, and for some reason you decided to follow said paint while you drive. Would it be more scenic if the guardrail wasn’t there partially blocking your view? Probably. Would the driving be more fun or exhilarating if the lane went all the way out to the edge of that cliff? Fun for some, scary for others.

You can probably see where I’m going with this. Let’s think of this scene metaphorically in budgeting terms:

The road or asphalt is life. Hopefully nice and smooth, but likely winding with ups and downs; potholes and debris, though infrequent, are to be expected from time to time.

The lane lines, dots/markers, and rumble strips are our budgets. They guide us along the road, keep us headed in the right direction, and help us avoid danger. Sometimes if we drift beyond the line, only a small correction is needed. Sometimes when you hit that rumble strip, things get loud and uncomfortable. The same goes for our budgets.

The guardrail is your emergency fund. It’s effective at keeping you from going down a cliff, but it’s painful. If you hit it, not only will your car be damaged, but so will the guardrail; both will be in need of repair. Same with our finances. If we need to tap into our emergency funds, it probably means we’ve hit a painful point of life. Once we free ourselves from relying on it, we might have some scrapes and bruises (dinged credit score, perhaps?), and our emergency fund will be low, if not depleted (dipped into that retirement account?), and in need of replenishment. Early in your career you may be young, poor, and driving an econo-box; it won’t take much of a guardrail to keep you from going over. As you progress in a career and get older, maybe you get married and have kids; your guardrail will need to be bigger and beefier to stop that minivan fully-laden with increased financial obligations.

What is the bike lane? I would suggest that this is a buffer you should create by self-imposing constraints on your spending and generally living below your means. It augments the typical emergency fund and is used more for unexpected expenses that pop up here and there and less for the “I just lost my job” emergencies. It may include ‘savings’ you have earmarked for other goals: vacations, car fund, medical funds, etc. If it is narrow or non-existent, you are rightfully going to be white-knuckling that steering wheel and focusing on avoiding the guardrail above all else — not very fun. The wider it is, the safer you are, the less you’ll stress, and the more you can enjoy the beautiful scenery of life. If you have to swerve to avoid a pothole or boulder here and there, you’ve got extra space — no biggie!

Some might wonder where to draw the line between bike lane funds and guardrail/emergency funds or how distinct that line should be. It is going to be different for everyone and their unique circumstances. Regardless, you won’t be able to build that buffer or widen your bike lane if you are spending every penny that comes in. Eventually, your lifestyle and budget need to blend to allow you to live on less than what you earn.

What’s so special about paint on the ground or reflective, plastic trapezoids? These simple, man-made items when appropriately placed and properly followed, allow us to safely do and see more. Similarly, we need to find man-made or artificial constraints for our budgets that will allow us the freedom to do more. Here are some I use to maintain or grow my financial “bike lane”:

24 vs. 26 – I get paid every two weeks, and that means 26 pay periods in a year, yet I budget as if I get paid twice a month. That means twice a year I get a little extra. Maybe that money helps me catch up if I’ve overspent, replenishes my emergency fund, pays for a vacation, or whatever. I specifically don’t budget for it, so I can use funds where needed when it comes.

Frugal Months – tighten those screws every once in awhile and get back to basics. It’s sort of like hitting the reset button mid-year, and hopefully it helps you save a few hundred here or there.

Hidden Savings – $200 from every paycheck goes to a separate savings account that isn’t part of my regular budget. Though I know it is there, I’ll go months without thinking about it. It is always nice when I remember it, log in, and see that I’ve got a little extra I haven’t been planning on. Some are against this method, but it works for me.

Beef Up Your Tax Refund – Claiming fewer tax exemptions will cause you to take home less each pay period, but it will result in you learning to live off less and getting a bigger tax refund.

Get rid of consultants – Over paid, over used, over rated, if you hire the right people, consultants are not needed. An expense for business that can be eliminated.

Alone each one might not result in huge savings, but altogether they result in a meaningful amount for your family or business.

Thanks for coming along for the ride.

COLLEGE CHRONICLES – When it rains it pours, Notre Dame’s bad 2016 continues. The NCAA ordered the University of Notre Dame to vacate all of its football wins from the 2012 and 2013 season after an investigation found a trainer had given players extra benefits and helped two players cheat.

Mr. Trump’s promise to deport millions of immigrants spurred a nationwide push last week to designate colleges as “sanctuary campuses” — zones where officials limit their cooperation with immigration authorities’ deportation efforts. Since then, a few colleges have so designated themselves, including Reed College and Oregon State, Portland State, and Wesleyan Universities. In a letter on Monday, Columbia University made similar promises without using the phrase “sanctuary campus,” and pledged to increase financial aid and support for undocumented students should a change in policy affect their ability to work in the United States.

TOP THREE – Favorite Los Angeles downtown restaurants:

            1). Bestia: 2121 E. 7th. Place (Italian)

            2). Officine Brera: 1331 E. 6th Street (Italian)

            3). 71Above: 633 W. 5th Street (American, seafood)

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to Barbara and Jenna Bush (55); Vin Scully (89) Woodland Hills, CA.; Shannon Sisk …famous teacher; Ben Stein (72) Malibu, CA.

PERRY MASON - California's legal system beset by scandal, conflict: The State Bar, an agency that licenses and oversees hundreds of thousands of California attorneys, has been wracked by financial irregularities and allegations that it has neglected to protect us from unethical or incompetent lawyers. State Auditor Elaine Howle has detailed its financial problems, legislative hearings have added to the drumbeat and Elizabeth Parker, who was brought aboard as executive director to clean up the mess, calls it 'an organization in turmoil.

BEWARE iPHONE USERS - How a grad student found spyware that could control anybody's iPhone from anywhere in the world: By nightfall, the two engineers were staring in disbelief. 'This can spy on audio, e-mail, text messages . . . everything. Someone spent a lot of time creating this.” Engineers thought it the most beautiful code they had ever seen. 'There's never been anything like this before," he said.'"

EXTRA CREDIT - China’s newest tool for social control is a credit rating for everything. Beijing wants to give every citizen a score based on behavior such as spending habits, turnstile violations and filial piety, which can blacklist citizens from loans, jobs, air travel. Hangzhou’s local government is piloting the “social credit” system the Communist Party has said it wants to roll out nationwide by 2020, a digital reboot of the methods of social control the regime uses to avert threats to its legitimacy. More than three dozen local governments across China are beginning to compile digital records of social and financial behavior to rate creditworthiness. The endeavor reinforces President Xi Jinping’s campaign to tighten his grip on the country and dictate morality at a time of economic uncertainty that threatens to undermine the party.

WHITE HOUSE NORTH – New York Times is calling Trump Tower "White House North" in a cool feature online. http://nyti.ms/2fH7Ydb

GIVE ME PATIENCE - I guess today is not the day I’ll stop feeling sick to my stomach: “In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.” Donald J. Trump, 45th President Elect United States of America

JACK ASS OF THE MONTH - Please! Will someone explain to me why, in today's culture after every disagreement involving the public arena of "major" events, people either have to engage in fisticuffs in a back alley, or maliciously destroy others' property or go into cardiac arrest or experience a brain malfunction requiring "counseling"?... Or experience all of the above simultaneously?

Has the human psyche gone completely haywire?

To put it another way: Are some members of the human species walking around with what I call too many "birds on their antenna"?

People whine about virtually everything these days if it doesn't fit in with their self-centered thought process.

Many in our country are still feuding and fighting over the results of the presidential election. From all indications, it will continue for months, even years.

And now comes the aftermath of "The Game" — Ohio State vs. Michigan.

But, I gotta tell you, sports fans, my Maize & Blue flag is at half-mast today. However, it's not for the reasons you think.

No. It's not because my favorite team lost to the Buckeyes, 30-27, in double overtime, in a thrilling college football game.

No. It's not because, like many diehard Go Blue! fans, I went berserk over the officiating.

No. It's not because the Ohio meteorologist rigged the weather in favor of Brutus Buckeye.

Here's the truth. Believe it or not, I am ashamed of and disappointed in the behavior of "the leader of the pack". His name is Jim Harbaugh, and as the football coach at the University of Michigan who earns $7 million a year, plus generous perks, he is expected to behave like a "Michigan Man". In other words, he should serve as a role model for his players as well as the rest of the student body and Wolverines fans everywhere, including this old U of M devotee from "Up North".

The coach was a planet away from being a role model after Saturday's game. He went into a "kill the ref" mode, spending his entire post-game press conference ranting and raving about how his team was robbed by the on-the-field officials.

He couldn't have cared less that it was a hard-fought game where players left everything on the field. Perish the thought he would praise his team for giving 100 percent in spite of the heartbreaking defeat.

No! His comments were aimed solely at the officiating crew.

Harbaugh himself was called for "unsportsmanlike conduct" during the heat of battle after he threw his headphones and script to the turf. His antics resulted in a 15-yard penalty. Ohio State scored a touchdown on the very next play.

My final analysis: His team played its heart out.

His final words: "I am bitter!"

My final advice: "Get over it, Coach!" Welcome to the Jack Ass of the Month Club.

NHL AT THE QUARTER POLE - For decades it has been observed that teams out of the playoffs on Thanksgiving Day usually begin golfing and fishing in early April, when their better peers prepare for the first round. Approaching an important juncture of the season, it is clear I might well have been wrong.

There certainly is no evidence of season-to-season improvement at the quarter pole. In fact, quite to the contrary. If not for Jimmy Howard’s marvelous play, in a few games in particular, the Detroit Red Wings might well be in the basement of the Eastern Conference, a few points below the Islanders. Right now, this is a below average offensive team and a below average defensive team.


1). Chicago Blackhawks (14-6-3)

2). Montreal Canadiens (16-4-2)

3). New York Rangers (15-7-1)

4). Pittsburgh Penguins (13-6-3)

5). St. Louis Blues (12-7-3)

NFL GAME OF THE WEEK – Thursday 12/1, 5:25 PM PT, NBC:  A good Thursday Night football game for a change, Dallas Cowboys (10-1) at Minnesota Vikings (6-5). Vikes are due for a big win in prime time, 28 – 24.   Season to date (10-2)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 12/13, 5:00 PM PT, Fox; A ho hum Big Ten Championship game, #6 Wisconsin Badgers (10-2) vs. #7 Penn State Nittany Lions (10-2). We like the Badgers 30 – 20.   Season to date (10-3)

SMALL COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 12/13, 12:00 PM ET, HGTV: The D-III Quarterfinals: #7 Mt. Union Purple Raiders (11-1) at #14 Alfred Saxons (13-0), the Saxon Warriors continue their spectacular season, 21 – 20.    Season to date (8-5)

COLLEGE HOCKEY PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 12/3, 7:30 PM ET, CBS: An inter-conference matchup at Madison Square Garden in New York, pregame cocktails at Trump Tower. #3 Boston College Eagles (11-4-1) vs. #9 North Dakota Fighting Hawks (7-5-3), Eagles win at The Garden, 5 – 3.  Season to date (3-5)


 (NFL, Dec, 4) Buffalo Bills (6-5) at Oakland Raiders (9-2), Bills are playing good ball, but the Raiders are destined. Raiders win 30 – 20.

(NCAA FBS, Dec. 3) #10 Oklahoma St. Cowboys (9-2) at #8 Oklahoma Sooners (9-2), the Big 12 title game, Kathy Vance’s Sooners win 40 – 35.

(NBA, Dec, 3) Atlanta Hawks (10-8) at Toronto Raptors (11-6), Raptors 105 – 95.

(NHL, Dec. 3) Montreal Canadiens (16-4-2) at Los Angeles Kings (12-9-1), Kings beginning to play better, win 4 – 2.

Season to date (109 - 92)

MARKET WEEK -  Wells Fargo (WFC) is facing more legal problems, with employees accusing Wells in a lawsuit of steering more than $3 billion into expensive funds run by the bank, which have underperformed.

AT&T (T) is unveiling today a new over-the-top streaming service called DirecTV Now, offering more than 100 live streaming television channels at $35 per month.

Embattled Samsung plans to disclose a strategy to boost shareholder value tomorrow. The moves comes as Elliott Management pressures the company to split and provide more in payouts.

Elon Musk's SpaceX is expected to soon give federal officials a preliminary report, pinpointing fueling procedures as the most likely cause of a September unmanned rocket explosion.

YunOS, developed by Alibaba (BABA), was on track to pull ahead of Apple's (AAPL) iOS, as China's second-largest smartphone operating system, making inroads against No. 1 Android, made by Alphabet's Google (GOOGL).

Walt Disney's (DIS) "Moana" topped the five-day Thanksgiving holiday weekend box office with $81.1 million in North American ticket sales. Falling to second was J.K. Rowling's "Fantastic Beasts."

The winning ticket for Saturday night's Powerball grand prize of nearly $421 million was sold in Lafayette, a city of about 5,000 residents, about 60 miles northeast of Nashville, Tennessee (damn).

STOCKS TO WATCH - Auto parts maker Delphi (DLPH) and Israel's Mobileye (MBLY) are putting an Intel (INTC) chip at the heart of their joint effort to produce self-driving vehicles by 2019.

TiVo (TIVO) signed a licensing deal with Netflix (NFLX), which calls for TiVo to continue integrating Netflix into its set-top boxes, and provides Netflix a license to TiVo's patent portfolio.

Allstate (ALL) announced a deal to buy third-party warranty provider SquareTrade from private investors that include private equity firm Bain Capital for about $1.4 billion. The insurer expects to close the deal in January.

Royal Dutch Shell (RDSA) is considering a sale of its oil fields in Iraq, as part of a $30 billion asset disposal program.

DRIVING THE WEEK - Congress is back in town with a CR to keep the government running the top priority. Our friends at Playbook say Congress is likely to kick the fiscal can into March and skip town for the holidays by the end of next week ... Still waiting on a Trump Treasury pick ... Second estimate of Q3 GDP on Tuesday excepted to be revised up to 3.0 percent from 2.9 percent ... Case-Shiller Home Prices home prices at 9:00 a.m. Tuesday expected to rise 0.4 percent ... Consumer confidence at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday expected to rise to 101.3 from 98.6 ... November jobs report on Friday at 8:30 a.m. expected to show a gain of 175K and no change to 4.9 percent jobless rate.

Next week: Words of the Month.

Until Next Time, Adios.

Claremont, CA

November 29, 2016



Monday, November 21, 2016

Turkey Trot

Thanksgiving week in America: Detroit Lions, Dallas Cowboys football on Thursday; Trump transition in full swing; Black Friday; and the usual Rink Rats news and views …..

HARD DRIVE – Snapchat prepares for IPO that could value app at $25bn: Messaging app Snapchat has filed confidentially with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for an initial public offering (IPO), sources familiar with the situation said on Tuesday. The filing puts the Venice, California-based company one step further towards its IPO, which sources say could come as soon as March and value it at $20bn to $25bn, making it one of the biggest technology offerings in recent years.

HAPPY DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN ON WALL STREET - Christmas has arrived early for Wall Street in the early days of the Donald Trump era. A populist candidate who railed against shady financial interests on the campaign trail is now putting together an administration that looks like an investment banker's dream.

Former Goldman Sachs banker Steven Mnuchin has been seen at Trump Tower amid rumors that he's the leading candidate for Treasury Secretary. Billionaire investor Wilbur Ross appears headed to the Commerce Department.

Steve Bannon, another Goldman alum, will work steps from the Oval Office. If Mnuchin drops out, as some rumors suggest he may, JPMorganChase CEO Jamie Dimon remains a possibility as Treasury Secretary, and will serve as an outside adviser if he doesn't get the job. It's a restoration of Wall Street power - and a potential flip in the way the industry is regulated - perhaps unparalleled in American history.

You would have to go back to the 1920s to see so much Wall street influence coming to Washington,' said Charles Geisst, a Wall Street historian at Manhattan College. 'It's the most dramatic turn-around one could imagine. That's the truly astonishing part.'

RESHAPING THE FED - Changes at the Fed, including the possible exit of Chair Janet Yellen and Vice Chair Stanley Fischer in a year, could wind up being the biggest boon to Wall Street if Trump can fill their slots with candidates less inclined to hold banks to high capital requirements and otherwise rein in their activities.

If you really want to reduce bank regulation you have to change the nature of the Fed so it really has the desire to start easing off and I think it will be pretty easy for Trump to do that. You have two board seats empty and there is a good chance he can push out Yellen and Fischer and that would give him four out of seven and five if [Daniel] Tarullo becomes isolated and resigns.

FIVE MYTHS ABOUT FLU SHOTS – (1). They can give you the flu. No, they can’t, because the vaccine is made with a “killed” virus. At worst—and this is rare—the body’s immune system reacts to the dead virus by producing mild aches or a low-grade fever.

(2). They don’t work. It’s true that the vaccine doesn’t protect against every strain of flu. But last year the shot reduced an individual’s risk of flu illness by 49 percent. If you do contract the flu after getting the shot, your symptoms will be less severe.

(3). You never get sick anyway. Everyone gets the flu at some point. Besides, you’re not alone in this: The vaccine lowers the odds you’ll pass the virus to a child, senior, or someone else who could be killed by it.

(4). It’s too late already. Not if flu viruses are still circulating, as they can be until summer.

(5). The nasal spray is equally effective. Not at all. The CDC reports that sprays were largely ineffective for three consecutive seasons.


IMPROPER PAYMENT RATES SOAR FOR PELL AND STUDENT LOANS: The Education Department estimates that in fiscal year 2016 it incorrectly calculated more than $2.2 billion in Pell grants — an error rate of 7.85 percent that is up considerably from last year’s 1.88 percent. Most of the improper payments for Pell grants — slightly more than $2 billion — were the result of overpayments, while nearly $200 million reflected underpayments, according to the department’s annual financial report released this week.
The federal direct student loan program improperly disbursed more than $3.8 billion, according to the department. That amounts to an error rate of 3.98 percent — an increase from 1.30 percent last year.
The vast majority of improper payments for both Pell and student loans were the result of a wide range of “administrative or process errors” made by colleges or the student loan servicers hired by the government, the department said. That includes not processing student account data properly, not appropriately tracking students’ academic progress, or not correctly calculating the return of federal student aid when a student drops out. The remaining problems, the department said, were related to students and families erroneously reporting income on the FAFSA and therefore receiving incorrect determinates of their eligibility for aid.
Campus Sanctuaries - Declaring campuses “sanctuaries” won’t necessarily do anything to help students, said Michael A. Olivas, an expert in immigration law who is the interim president of the University of Houston-Downtown, a Hispanic-serving institution. “It has no legal meaning and the admonitions are vague and impossible to implement, which will only frustrate people more,” Campuses haven’t been raided in the past and are unlikely to be now, Olivas wrote. “But just like I cannot tell you how to react to any rollbacks of the Affordable Care Act, I cannot tell people what this could do and what the alternatives are. I know it will not be good.”
In 16 years of being a university president, I’ve never seen the tensions higher,” F. King Alexander, the president of Louisiana State University, told Morning Education. “We have Muslim students worried. They came to me the end of the spring last year — they were worried about the rhetoric they were hearing. We’ve got Hispanic students worried, because of the deportation issue and their family members.” Undocumented students “add a lot to our campus,” said University of Texas at Austin President Gregory Fenves. “I’ve met with a number of students,” Fenves said. “They’re very motivated and dedicated students.”

NEWSPAPERS, IS THE END NEAR? - Print newspapers are dying faster than you think. That the print industry is in decline will surprise no one, but the latest advertising revenue figures “tell a scary story. Print ads declined 15 percent during the third quarter at Gannett, the country’s largest newspaper publisher and the owner of USA Today. Meanwhile, print revenues were down 17 percent at McClatchy (which owns The Miami Herald and The Sacramento Bee), 19 percent at The New York Times, and 21 percent at The Wall Street Journal; the last announced it will cut staff and eliminate sections to cope with the losses. Making matters worse: These ad revenues are dropping precipitously even as the overall economy is growing. Advertising has long been “a cyclical business,” and when newspaper revenues plunged during the recession, many in the industry imagined they would recover once the economy improved. That never happened. If newspapers are doing this badly during a recovery, “things will get much, much worse when the next recession hits.”

Where do newspapers go from here? Ironically, the future of print may be in its distant past. The earliest American newspapers relied on small numbers of subscribers who paid luxury prices for the product. Beginning in the 1830s, media innovators realized they could make more money selling cheap papers to bigger audiences, with the real profit coming from ads. Today, newspapers are once again refocusing on subscribers as a profit center. In 2000, circulation accounted for 26 percent of The New York Times’ revenue. Today, it’s 60 percent, “and growing.” Newspapers will need to experiment radically in order to survive the industry’s downturn, said Jennifer Saba in The New York Times. The trouble is, that’s unlikely to happen at a publicly traded media company. Investors really don’t have the patience to wait for struggling companies like Gannett and Tronc, which publishes the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times, to test new content models and delivery methods. But hope may lie in next-generation media moguls like Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who bought The Washington Post in 2013. “Many American newspapers would benefit from a steward willing to sacrifice short-term profit for a longer-term vision.”

What if almost the entire newspaper industry got it wrong? Over the past two decades, print papers have struggled mightily to reinvent themselves for the digital age. But a recent study shows that despite huge investments in “digital first” strategies, major newspapers have seen almost zero growth in online readership since 2007, with readers turning instead to news aggregators like Yahoo News and Google News. Digital ad revenue for newspapers increased from $3 billion to only $3.5 billion from 2010 to 2014. Surveys also show that most readers still prefer the print version of their daily newspaper to the web product. It sounds like heresy, but maybe newspapers should focus on what they’re good at—instead of fighting a digital war they can’t possibly win.

Last week I asked my classes with eighteen, nineteen, and twenty year old students how many read a daily newspaper? The answer: zero.

WEST COAST WATCH -- The Obamas are going bicoastal: The Obamas are moving into a nine-bedroom mansion in the Kalorama section of Washington - the posh neighborhood of diplomats and DC old money - while younger daughter Sasha finishes high school at Sidwell Friends. But they have apparently been buying real estate elsewhere, too. According to sources, the Obamas have purchased a house in Rancho Mirage, Calif., not far from Sunnylands, the former Annenberg estate, which presidents use as a getaway and which is thought of as the unofficial West Coast Camp David ... The Obamas are also said to have bought a holiday getaway in Obama's childhood home state of Hawaii.


Hacksaw Ridge - Mel Gibson’s new World War II drama is a picture alive with grim vitality.. Ten years after the actor-filmmaker was arrested for drunk driving and went on an anti-Semitic tirade that threw his career into a downward spiral, he’s returned to directing, dramatizing the true story of Desmond Doss, a World War II medic who singlehandedly rescued 75 other soldiers during the Battle of Okinawa. A convincing Andrew Garfield plays Doss, a Seventh Day Adventist who refused to carry a weapon for religious reasons but threw himself into the heat of horrific combat anyway. The movie is not for the faint of heart, very violent. But while Hacksaw Ridge lacks subtlety, it is brutally effective. Gibson’s masterful re-creation of Okinawa features “some of the most violent battle scenes ever committed to film, and from the movie’s midpoint on, it’s impossible to look away. Eventually, you can’t help noticing that you’re watching the most paradoxical of features: a movie venerating pacifism, made by a man pathologically beguiled by violence. On the Rink Rats scale of one to ten, with ten being the best; we give Hacksaw Ridge a 7.5. Great story but the violence is not for everyone.

Arrival – I am a sucker for science fiction, If big-screen sci-fi has been searching for a genre-defining moment, it has finally arrived. Succeeding where Interstellar fell short, this alien contact drama from the director of Sicario is as heartbreaking as it is thrilling and cerebral. Amy Adams plays an expert linguist who’s mourning her teenage daughter’s death when the government contacts her for help. A dozen spacecraft have landed across the planet, triggering a crisis. Together with a military scientist (Jeremy Renner), Adams’ academic must decipher the aliens’ language and communicate with them before China and Russia start an international war. The plot sounds familiar, but “Arrival instantly distances itself from most alien invasion movies. Indeed, there’s rarely a moment in the film that’s predictable. Instead of firefights, it builds toward big ideas, like the need for global communion and the power of language to change perception. The pacing is methodical, the story captivating, and the filmmaking beautiful. Arrival is the kind of science-fiction film we dream of. The film’s music, story, and images come together in a seamless whole, and that whole is big, somber, and grand. On the Rink Rats scale of one to ten, with ten being the best; we give Arrival a 8.0.

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to Traci Allen Attman; Tom Brock …famous respected mad scientist; Bo Derek (60) Santa Barbara, CA.; Megyn Kelly (46) Manhattan, NY.; Gordon Lightfoot (78) Cape Bretton Island, Nova Scotia; Meg Ryan (55) Del Mar, CA.; Sam Waterson (76) Darien, CT.

TOP THREE THANKSGIVING COCKTAILS - Thanksgiving isn’t all about the food! When you’re hosting a Thanksgiving party, don’t forget about the cocktails! Thanksgiving cocktails are a great way to complement your food and add some fun to your celebration. The best Thanksgiving cocktails match the flavor of your food and the autumn season. Rink Rats, after intense grueling testing, has pulled together the top Thanksgiving cocktail recipes for you to try at your get-together this year. Cheers!

Cranberry Cosmopolitan: A festive drink for the holiday season!


1½ ounces vodka, preferably ruby red vodka or citron vodka

½ ounce orange liqueur, such as Cointreau or Grand Marnier

¾ ounce fresh lime juice

1 ounce cranberry juice, red or white


Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Pour into a cocktail glass and garnish with cranberries.

Cider Smash: Try this Thanksgiving cocktail recipe as a variation on the classic apple cider!


2 ounces bourbon

½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice

4 ounces chilled sparkling apple cider

Thin red-apple slice


Pour the bourbon and lemon juice into a glass and mix. Top with chilled sparkling apple cider and garnish with an apple slice.

Falling Leaf Fizz: This pumpkin cocktail is perfect for your Thanksgiving festivities!


1 part Grey Goose La Poire Vodka

4 parts sparkling wine

Dash of simple syrup

1 heaping teaspoon pumpkin butter

Pinch of pumpkin pie spice

Dried apple chip for garnish


Put the vodka, syrup, pumpkin butter, and pie spice in the bottom of a glass and mix. Pour the sparkling wine over the mixture and garnish with the apple chip.

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE WHO GETS FIRED FIRST - The 20-game mark and the oft-used hallmark of American Thanksgiving are approaching like a world-destroying meteorite for many teams. The holiday is often used as a time to give your team a hard, honest look in the mirror. With that looming on the horizon, some coaches might start to find themselves on a very hot seat.

Willie Desjardins, Vancouver Canucks: The Vancouver coach is the obvious pick to top the list. He’s been given 7/2 odds of getting the can. The Canucks have struggled mightily in the early going and as is often the case, the general manager bears a lot of responsibility. Yet, it’s the coach who serves as the canary in the coal mine on the path to a first-overall pick.

Jack Capuano, New York Islanders: Coach Capuano is in a similar situation. The search for scoring and a wing for John Tavares weren’t helped by off seasons moves. But Capuano is likely to bear the brunt of ownership’s disappointment if things don’t change.

Peter Laviolette, Nashville Predators: It’s shocking considering how highly regarded the Predators were entering the season. With how great the team was last season, it’s hard to see how Laviolette gets axed. But if the team doesn’t turn around, someone may have to pay the price of high expectations.

HOCKEY NIGHT IN IRELAND - After a weekend sweep of Yale and Brown at Appleton Arena, the No. 20 St. Lawrence men's hockey team hit the road on Sunday morning with a final destination of Belfast, Northern Ireland to compete in the second annual Friendship Four tournament. Other teams in the tournament this year include ECAC Hockey rival No. 4 Quinnipiac and Hockey East foes Vermont and the University of Massachusetts (UMass).

The squads will square off at The SSE Arena, home of the Belfast Giants, a professional team that competes within the Elite Ice Hockey League. The arena also hosted the inaugural Friendship Four Tournament in 2015, a four-game set that featured the ECAC's Brown University and Colgate University and Hockey East's UMass Lowell River Hawks and Northeastern Huskies.

The team's will play a traditional tournament format, with the Saints facing Quinnipiac in a neutral site conference game on Friday evening and UMass and UVM also playing a conference game in the opening game Friday afternoon. The winners of both contests will compete for the Belpot Trophy on Saturday, Nov. 26 at 7:30 p.m. (2:30 p.m. Eastern).
NFL GAME OF THE WEEK – Thursday 11/24, 12:30 PM PT, Fox: Minnesota Vikings (6-4) at Detroit Lions (6-4). The Norris Division lead is on the line at Ford Field, Lions win the Turkey 24 – 21.   Season to date (9-2)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 11/26, 12:00 PM PT, ABC; #3 University of Michigan Wolverines (10-1) at #2 Ohio State Buckeyes (10-1), a ticket to the Big Ten Championship game is on the line, Michigan wins the battle of the defenses 20 – 17.   Season to date (10-2)

SMALL COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 11/26, 12:00 PM ET, HGTV: The D-III Playoffs Round 2; Linfield Wildcats (9-1) at #1 Mary Hardin-Baylor Crusaders (11-0), the Wildcats lost 66-27 earlier in the season to the Crusaders, can you say deja vu, 50 – 24.    Season to date (7-5)

COLLEGE HOCKEY PICK OF THE WEEK – Friday 11/25, 2:30 PM ET, NESN: The Friendship Four tournament in Belfast, Ireland. #20 St. Lawrence University Saints (8-4-2) vs. #4 Quinnipiac Bobcats (9-3-1). Saints take a four game win streak into Guinness Land, Saints win 5 – 4. Season to date (3-4)


 (CFL Grey Cup, Nov. 26, Western Final) Calgary Stampeders (16-2-1) vs. Ottawa Redblacks (10-9-1), Calgary wins their eighth Grey Cup, 45 – 25.

(NCAA FBS, Nov. 25) #6 Washington Huskies (10-1) at #22 Washington State Cougars (8-3), a battle for a chance at the Pac 12 title game, Huskies win 32 – 22.

(NHL, Nov. 26) Chicago Blackhawks (13-4-2) at Los Angeles Kings (10-9-1), big game at Staples, Kings in a wild one 6 – 5.

Season to date (105 - 89)

MARKET WEEK - The U.S. dollar steamed to a level not seen since 2003 and yields on the 10-year Treasury note reached a high for the year Thursday, as Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen confirmed investors’ view that the U.S. economy is strong enough to withstand an interest-rate rise soon. Ms. Yellen told lawmakers in testimony Thursday that the Fed could move “relatively soon,” after the government released a grab bag of economic data all pointing to a stronger economy: an improving housing market, rising consumer prices and a more robust labor market. The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment insurance fell last week to its lowest level since 1973, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Ms. Yellen’s comments bolstered expectations that the Fed will lift its benchmark federal-funds rate at its next meeting on Dec. 13-14.

DOLLAR’S GOOD WEEK - The dollar extended its powerful rally, spurring central banks in developing countries to take steps to stabilize their own currencies and threatening to create headwinds for the long-running U.S. expansion.

The U.S. currency moved closer to parity with the euro after rising for the 10th straight day, the dollar’s longest winning streak against the euro since the European currency’s inception in 1999. The dollar also moved higher against the yen, which fell to its weakest levels against the U.S. currency since May 30.

The gains are even greater against many emerging-market currencies, prompting central banks in a number of countries to intervene to slow the slide. The Mexican peso has fallen 11% against the dollar to record lows since the election, while the Brazilian real has tumbled 6.3%.

The currency’s gains make foreign goods and travel cheaper for U.S. consumers and could give a boost to exports from Japan and Europe. But they also are reigniting fears that the dollar’s strength could slow U.S. corporate profit growth and intensify capital flight from the developing world, which would complicate the prospects for economic growth.

DRIVING THE WEEK - Treasury announcement could come in the next couple days ... Treasury Secretary Jack Lew on Monday will conduct a bilateral meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang. ... Existing Home Sales at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday expected to dip to 5.34M from 5.57M ... New Home Sales Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. expected to rise to 590K from 575K ... Univ. of Michigan Consumer Sentiment at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday expected to rise to 91.6 from 87.2 ... FOMC Minutes at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday ... Justice Department challenge to the proposed $48 billion merger of health care companies Anthem and Cigna begins in court on Monday ... ECP President Mario Draghi answer questions Monday at the European Parliament.

Next week: Words of the Month and Jack Ass of the Month, plus the NHL at the quarter.

Until Next Time, Adios.

Claremont, CA

November 21, 2016


CARTOON OF THE WEEK – Tribune Company’s, Dana Summers

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Back to the Future

The elections are over, time to move on to more important things like sports and finance.

BREAKING NEWS – Chicago Cubs are being forced to give up their World Series title.

Cleveland Indians fans have rioted across the country in protest of the 2016 World Series. Despite knowing the rules of the game prior to playing, they were unhappy they lost and demanded the outcome to be changed. They could be heard chanting #NotOurWorldSeriesChampion  all across America.

Even though the Cubs won four games and the Indians only won three, since both teams scored twenty-seven runs throughout all seven games, they are being declared co-world champions.

When questioned, Commissioner Manfred stated, “We felt as though it was the right thing to do for the nation. What kind of example would Major League Baseball be setting if we expected the adults who play this game, and their fans, to gracefully accept defeat? Instead of creating a bigger divide between the Cubs and Indians, MLB is confident that the Cubs will gladly share their victory with the Indians.”

CALEXIT - "Calexit" refers to the secession of California from the United States, after which it would become an independent country. The word is a portmanteau meaning "California exit," which is based on similar coinages such as Grexit and Brexit. The term has come to the fore in the wake of Donald Trump's victory in the 2016 U.S. presidential election – Hillary Clinton won the state of California with 61% of the vote – though it is not the state's first independence movement.

Calexit is being spearheaded by Yes California, which describes itself as "the nonviolent campaign to establish the country of California using any and all legal and constitutional means to do so." The campaign plans to place an initiative on the 2018 ballot which, if passed, would call for an independence referendum the following year.

HISTORY 101 - Present-day California formed part of the Mexican province of Alta California until the outbreak of the Mexican-American War in May 1846. The next month, 30 American settlers seized a Mexican garrison in Sonoma and declared an independent republic. An updated form of their flag, emblazoned "California Republic," is currently the flag of the state. The republic never performed any administrative functions as a government and lasted less than a month before U.S. Navy Lieutenant Joseph Revere landed at Sonoma and raised a Union flag.

Present-day arguments for California sovereignty center on the state's large population and economic power. At $2.46 trillion, California's gross domestic product (GDP) was larger than France's ($2.42 trillion) in 2015. Using World Bank figures, California would be the world's sixth largest economy, if it were an independent country. The state was home to 39.1 million people in July 2015, according to the Census Bureau, slightly more than Uganda; as an independent country, it would be the world's 36th most populous. Cultural issues, while more muted, have featured in independence rhetoric, particular as they relate to environmental issues.

The U.S. Constitution does not directly address the issue of secession; Article IV limits itself to the accession of new states and the division or fusion of existing states. The beginning of the document contains the phrase, "in Order to form a more perfect Union," which is often interpreted to mean a "more perfect Union" than the "perpetual Union" described in the Articles of Confederation.

There are two major precedents for territorial secession in U.S. history, beginning with the American colonies themselves declaring independence from Britain. The Declaration of Independence frames its arguments in terms of universal rights, rather than British law. In practice, the colonies won their independence through war.

The second is the secession of the Southern states in 1861, which sparked the Civil War. The Confederacy was defeated on the battlefield, rather than the courts, although subsequent legal issues created by the attempt at independence led the courts to express an opinion on the legality of secession. In Texas v. White, a dispute over a bond sale by the Confederate States, the Supreme Court ruled in 1869 that Texas' secession had not been legal. According to the majoirty opinion, entry into the Union formed "an indissoluble relation"; it was "final," "perpetual," and left "no place for reconsideration or revocation, except through revolution or through consent of the States."

In other words, the Supreme Court appears to recognize the legitimacy of independence through armed struggle, although that hardly matters; the outcome of the war is the deciding factor regardless of a court's opinion.

Nor does it matter for Yes California, which is avowedly nonviolent. The "consent of the States" provides an opening, however, according to Marinelli. In a blog post from March 2016, he interprets the Supreme Court's opinion to mean that California can propose a constitutional amendment allowing it to secede. If that is approved by two-thirds of both houses of Congress, and 38 states ratify it, California can become independent. Alternatively, two-thirds of the delegates of a constitutional convention could approve the amendment, which would then have to be ratified by 38 states.

Whether that interpretation passes legal muster is uncertain. In any case, it is a long shot to get two-thirds of the House and Senate – not to mention legislatures from two-thirds of the states – to agree on anything, particularly the secession of its largest state, economically speaking.

Days until the Trump Inauguration: 66

Days until the 2017 election: 357.

Days until the 2018 election: 721.

OUT AND ABOUT – This past week Rink Rats heard from one of the Legends of St. Lawrence University Hockey, Jim Shatford.

Shad writes he has made the annual trip to Florida from the Canadian Maritimes.

“I’m in Florida for the winter…..not about to get ‘Trumped’ while here! Just a visitor, trying to enjoy the weather and chase a few golf balls now and then. No war here yet, nor insurgencies, or threats to my beer fridge!”

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to Prince Charles (68) London, England; Sally Field (70) Santa Barbara, CA.; Al Michaels (72) Bel Air, CA.; Condoleezza Rice (62) Palo Alto, CA.; Maria Shriver (61) Bel Air, CA.; Neil Young (71) Edmonton, Alberta.

STOCKS TO WATCH - Novartis (NVS) is considering the sale of its Alcon eye-care products division. The drugmaker's chairman told a Swiss weekly newspaper the division has not done as well as the company had expected.

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) saw mixed results for an experimental drug designed to treat rheumatoid arthritis, when compared to Abbvie's (ABBV) best-selling Humira treatment.

Toyota (TM) agreed to settle a case involving truck rust for up to $3.4 billion. The agreement involves various Tacoma, Tundra, and Sequoia models that were alleged to have poor rust protection.

The ex-CFO of Autonomy was indicted for allegedly making fraudulent claims ahead of Hewlett-Packard's $11 billion purchase in 2011. HP eventually took an $8.8 billion write down, and successor firm Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE) sold off parts of the Autonomy business earlier this year.

Marvel's "Doctor Strange" led the North American box office for the second weekend with $43 million in ticket sales. Alien thriller "Arrival" scored the top debut with a better-than-expected $24 million.

WHERE TO LIVE – Many students come to me during a school year and ask: “Where is the best to find a job and live?” Well, tough question, I suggest many cities, but one has to be Boston, Massachusetts.

Lauren Liebhaber (St. Lawrence ’12) writes a good review of Boston:

“Boston is a city of dualism, often feeling like a small town with all the perks of city life. The city houses a diverse culinary scene, an appreciation for and access to the arts and proximity to world-class educational institutions, employers and health care. It is historic, but ever evolving. It is on the cutting edge of medicine and technology, but traditional in its love of pastimes like summer nights spent cheering on hometown heroes at Fenway Park. It is a city of sports enthusiasts, art eclectics and ambitious entrepreneurs coexisting with a sense of camaraderie.”

“Often referred to as the "Cradle of Liberty," Boston is the site of some of the most significant social, cultural and political moments in U.S. history. Living in the city can feel like acting out the pages of a history book, while simultaneously experiencing the perks of a modern city. Boston's tenacious spirit was born out of an act of revolution and since its inception, the pursuance of innovation and progress has been in its DNA.”

“From the Old North Church to the Institute of Contemporary Art and everything in between, Boston is steeped in culture and rich in pride. For new families, recent college graduates, retirees or seasoned professionals, Boston is a place that can foster your next stage of life, whatever that may be.”

POTUS WEEK AHEAD - On Monday, the President will depart Washington, DC en route Athens, Greece. ... On Tuesday, the President will arrive in Athens, where he will see President Pavlopoulos and meet with Prime Minister Tsipras. Later, the President will hold a press conference with Prime Minister Tsipras. Afterward, the President will attend a state dinner with President Pavlopoulos. ... On Wednesday, the President will take a tour of the Acropolis. Later, the President will deliver remarks at the Stavros Niarchos Cultural Center. Afterward, the President will depart Athens, Greece en route Berlin, Germany ... On Thursday, the President will meet and then hold a press conference with Chancellor Merkel. Later, the President will attend a dinner with Chancellor Merkel. ...

On Friday, the President will meet with Chancellor Merkel, President Hollande of France, President Rajoy of Spain, Prime Minister Renzi of Italy, and Prime Minister May of the United Kingdom. Later, the President departs Berlin en route Lima, Peru ... On Saturday, the President will attend the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders' Summit, where he will hold a bilateral meeting with President Kuczynski. Later, the President will hold a Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative town hall. Afterward, the President will attend a gala dinner. ... On Sunday, the President will attend meetings at APEC and then hold a press conference. Later, the President will depart Lima en route Washington, DC.

COLLEGE CHRONICLES - The number of international students enrolled in U.S. colleges and universities exceeded one million for the first time during 2015-16 academic year, a 7% increase from the previous year and nearly double the level of 10 years ago.

But some U.S. schools are concerned about their ability to continue to dominate the global marketplace. They cite the election of Donald Trump, who ran on a platform of tightening U.S. borders, combined with China’s growing effort to attract international students, flat U.S. government education spending and a spate of racist attacks on college campuses since the election.

“I think there will be a short-term chilling effect on international students coming here not unlike there was after 9/11,” said Jason Lane, chairman of the Department of Education Policy and Leadership at the University at Albany-SUNY. “International students will be concerned about what the political environment means for them.”

China continues to send the largest number of students to the U.S. at 328,547, up 8.1% over the 2014-15 academic year, while India is second, at 165,918, up 25% from the prior year, according to the Institute of International Education, which released its “Open Doors” report on Monday.

The U.S. is by far the largest destination for international students, but investment in higher education by China is reshaping the global marketplace. A decade ago, China attracted very few students from abroad; last year there were 397,635, according to the Chinese government. That is up 36% from 2011.

In 2015, 60% of students studying in China came from other Asian nations. South Koreans alone sent 66,672 last year. The number of South Koreans studying in the U.S. declined last year by 4% to 61,007.

By 2020, China is projected to attract more international students than the U.K., which is second to the U.S. in the field, according to several analysts. The U.K.’s decision to leave the European Union could hurt its prospects of attracting foreign students, they said.

Last year in the U.S., international students spent about $30.5 billion, according to the IIE. U.S. colleges and universities have become increasingly dependent on that revenue.

A demographic dip in U.S. college-aged students comes as state funding for public universities remains well below levels from before the 2007-09 recession. Public schools often charge international students two to three times what domestic students pay.

The uncertainty accompanying Mr. Trump’s election comes as the market for students grows more competitive. Canada recently liberalized immigration rules for international students to encourage them to stay. China is offering significant scholarships to entice students to study there as it spends billions of dollars to improve its schools.

Allan Goodman, president of the IIE, believes the lack of school capacity in China and India combined with concern about the quality of degrees given in those countries will keep the U.S. well-fitted with international students.

“I don’t think they can educate these students at home. They’re going to need what American has for generations,” he said. In higher education, “people still trust ‘Made in the USA.’”

CONGRESS COMES BACK - into session on Monday for the first time since Donald Trump's election as president. Democrats -- especially in the House -- are at their lowest political point in a very long time. Democrats won just six seats in the House on Election Day. They've been in the minority for eight years and haven't ever gotten close to cutting into the massive Republican majority that John Boehner built, and Paul Ryan has maintained.

Both parties hold their leadership elections this week. Ryan is expected to win another term as speaker. And Nancy Pelosi has no challenger. Reminder: She has been the Democratic leader since Barack Obama was in the state house. While there is private grumbling in some circles (moderates, junior members), there will be no move to challenge her. Her vice grip on the caucus was on display earlier this week when Democratic women lawmakers signed a letter calling on Pelosi to stay on.

GOOD READ - Leonard Cohen: A Final Interview": David Remnick for "The New Yorker Radio Hour": http://bit.ly/2fL0fPq

NFL GAME OF THE WEEK – Sunday 11/20, 1:30 PM PT, CBS: Philadelphia Eagles (5-4) at Seattle Seahawks (6-2-1). Seattle, along with Dallas, are now the class of the NFC. Eagles are fighting for their playoff lives, Seahawks win 21 – 20.   Season to date (8-2)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 11/19, 7:30 PM PT, ESPN; #15 University of Southern California Trojans (7-3) at UCLA Bruins (4-6). The annual battle for Los Angeles, USC now one of the best teams in the west, USC wins 38 – 30.   Season to date (9-2)

SMALL COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 11/19, 12:00 PM ET, HGTV: The D-III Playoffs begin; Bridgewater State Bears (8-2), MASCAC Champions at #14 Alfred Saxons (10-0), E8 Conference Champions. The Saxon Warriors prevail in Round One, 31 – 17.    Season to date (6-5)

COLLEGE HOCKEY PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 11/19, 4:00 PM CT, HGTV: We follow a D-I Women’s Hockey game this week - #1 Wisconsin Badgers (11-0-1) at #3 Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs (7-2-3), women’s hockey at its best. Badgers win 3 – 2. Season to date (2-4)


 (NFL, Nov. 20) Tennessee Titans (5-5) at Indianapolis Colts (4-5), get the No-Doz out for this one, Colts win 24 – 17.

(CFL, Nov. 20, Western Final) British Columbia Lions (13-6) at Calgary Stampeders (15-2-1), Calgary continues their march to the Grey Cup, 34 – 20.

(NCAA FBS, Nov. 19) #2 Ohio State Buckeyes (9-1) at Michigan State Spartans (3-7), despite their record a big game in East Lansing, Buckeyes win big 40 – 20.

(NHL, Nov. 19) Edmonton Oilers (9-6-1) at Dallas Stars (6-6-4), big game in Dallas, are the Oilers for real? Not this time, Stars win 6 – 3.

Season to date (98 - 88)

MARKET WEEK - The Dow has surged into the year-to-date lead after its recent rally, now up 8.2 percent for 2016; nearly 5.7 percent of that advance came last week alone. For the year, the S&P 500 is up 5.9 percent, while Nasdaq is higher by 4.6 percent.

Bond yields continued to power higher, touching December 2015 highs, as traders bet that Donald Trump's policies would boost inflation. Meanwhile, The dollar surged to an 11-month high against a basket of major currencies.

A two-day Trump thumping wiped out more than $1 trillion across global bond markets worldwide, the worst rout in nearly 1-and-a-half years, which may mark the long-awaited end to a more than 30-year-old bull run.

Gold prices, under pressure again this morning, have fallen 8.5 percent since Election Day, amid investor optimism that Trump's policies could boost the economy, and thus riskier assets.

DRIVING THE WEEK - All eyes on Trump's transition with more names set to roll out by the day ... President Obama holds a news conference at 3:15 p.m. before leaving for Athens, Greece ... Treasury Secretary Jack Lew Monday morning will conduct a bilateral meeting with Irish Minister for Finance Michael Noonan before departing for Athens to join Obama ... Retail sales at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday expected to rise 0.6 percent, 0.5 percent ex-autos ... Industrial production at 9:15 a.m. Wednesday expected to rise 0.2 percent ... Consumer prices at 8:30 a.m. Thursday expected to rise 0.4 percent headline and 0.2 percent core ... Index of leading indicators at 10:00 a.m. Friday expected to rise 0.2 percent. ... Brookings on Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. hosts its "21st Annual Wall Street Comes to Washington Roundtable.

Next week: Fall movies to watch and college athletics.

Until Next Time, Adios.

Claremont, CA

November 15, 2016


CARTOON OF THE WEEK – The New Yorker, Sipress