30 September 2008

Pension Spiking

I've never heard of "pension spiking" either. It sounds like spiking the ball after a touchdown, and that's what it's like too. If you don't know about pension spiking, it will cost you a lot of money! Some pension spiking sounds like the "tax gross-up" that top executives, like at Lehman Brothers, get.

Brad Evans

African soccer journal available free

That's what they say.

Brad Evans

The Bailout Bill

The Bailout Bill failed to pass the House. To me, it looks like Representatives up for re-election will be unwilling to put themselves on record as voting for the Bailout Bill. They are worried they won't be re-elected. So, this bill will be tough to pass BEFORE elections.

Brad Evans

Tottenham for sale?

Billionaire from Asia wants to take over Tottenham. Owners ENIC might be willing to sell. Pini Zahavi brokering the deal. BAD NEWS for Tottenham fans.

Brad Evans

Newcastle "Untied" is about right.

Seven offers on table for Newcastle. I wonder what offers there are? I remember Chelsea sold for 1 GBP upon the day.

Brad Evans

Bad year for shirt sponsors...

Football clubs obviously want shirt sponsors to do well, so this is not good news. From eufootball.biz.

Brad Evans

Like I say, Hearts having financial trouble...

From eufootball.biz.

Brad Evans

28 September 2008

Farnsworth House floods

Mies van der Rohe's Farnsworth House floods.

Brad Evans

Sunderland has new owners

American Lone Star Funds owns 30%.

Brad Evans

Palin versus Biden

The debate between Sarah Palin and Joseph Biden will be interesting.

Brad Evans

Hedge Fund Redemptions

Stock market prices drop, hedge fund redemptions increase.

I thought the game was buy low, sell high.

Brad Evans

27 September 2008

Banks Gone Wild

Foreign banks buying.

Brad Evans

Abbiati of AC Milan: "I am a fascist"

It's not just Lazio...

Brad Evans

Personal Improvement

Keep up your energy.

Brad Evans

$5 Trillion Needed?

Ken Ohmae says bailout will cost $5 trillion. Marc Faber agrees.

Brad Evans

Nazi Book Burning

Brad Evans

Why the rush?

Why the rush? Supposedly the Fed was close to insolvent.

Brad Evans

Rich Karlgard Recommends Business Books

Rich Karlgard of Forbes recommends business books.

Brad Evans

Half of Banks Gone in 5 Years?

BofA executive says half of banks will be gone in 5 years.

Brad Evans

26 September 2008

Up to 5% of Shanghai infants may have kidney stones

Due to milk contaminated with melamine, up to 5% of children under age 3 may have kidney stones.

Brad Evans

24 September 2008

Berkshire's deal with Goldman Sachs

Info here.

Brad Evans

23 September 2008

Wage Delays at Hearts

Is Hearts going under?

Brad Evans

Another Shirt Sponsorship

Torino and Renault Trucks. 3 million euros for 3 years.

Brad Evans

It's an EMERGENCY... NOT!!

$700 Billion. We MUST pay it now. I don't think so.

Brad Evans

22 September 2008

Moral Hazard

From footnoted.org, Henry Waxman says: "The Administration’s plan completely eviscerates the concept of moral hazard. It would enrich the Wall Street executives whose reckless investments caused the financial crisis."

Brad Evans

Lehman-New York gets $2.5 billion in bonuses

Barclay Bank is buying part of Lehman Brothers. In order to keep "talent," Barclay's is paying bonuses this year to workers at Lehman-New York. They get $2.5 billion in bonuses.

Brad Evans

Withdrawals from Money Market Funds

From Option Armageddon, there are money withdrawals from money market funds. Almost 10% of $3 trillion in assets has been withdrawn last week.

Brad Evans

Arsenal doing well but having trouble selling property

From The Political Economy of Football:


Arsenal's board members have reinforced their position against a possible takeover bid from leading shareholder Allsher Usmanov by making US sports franchise owner Stan Kroenke a fellow director. Arsenal wants Mr Kroenke, who owns a 12.4 per cent stake, to sign up to the lockdown agreement drawn up last year by board members that stops any of them trading shares without each other's consent. The agreement was intended to counter the predatory instincts of Mr Usmanov, the Uzbekistan-born billoonaire and Russian citizen who, with business partner, Farhad Moshiri, owns slightly less than 25 per cent of the club. Arsenal's relations with Mr Kroenke, owner of the Colorado Rapids US Major League Soccer team, who is said to be sympathetic to the need for the agreement, have improved since he bought an initial 9.9 per cent stake - a move that drew a hostile reaction from Gunners chairman Peter Hill-Wood. Mr Kroenke has cemented commercial and marketing links between Arsenal and his US sports interests and completed the purchase of ITV's half-share in the club's broadband business.

The property slump has hit Arsenal's hopes of a windfall from the development of their old Highbury stadium, prompting the North London club to say that any profit from the sale of the flats would now be regarded as a 'bonus'. Arsenal had earlier this year confidently predicted that it would generate turnover of more than £350m from its development projects, which would have provided a surplus of up to £100m. However, Peter Hill-Wood has now admitted that the sale of 680 apartments 'may be affected' by the state of the property market. Arsenal's earlier confidence was built upon the sales of 95 per cent of the Highbury Square development and advanced negotiations for the sale of another development site. But the club is braced for a wave of cancellations from investors who put down deposits but are now unable or unwilling to raise a mortgage. Property sales are intended to repay the club's loans and reduce net debt of £318.1m. It has so far banked sales of £18.7m from the initial 65 completed units.

Brad Evans

More on Shirt Sponsors

From Political Economy of Football:


The turmoil at Manchester United's sponsors, AIG, has focused attention on football shirt sponsors. Football shirt sponsorship has enjoyed steady growth in recent years. According to sports marketing consultant Sports Markt, total revenues last year were £287.8m in the six large European leagues, up 10.6 per cent on the previous year and doubling their value in eight years. But, as with most aspects of life in the Premier League, there is a gulf between the top clubs and everyone else, and the economic downturn is leaving other clubs struggling to find a sponsor. Newly promoted West Brom have no shirt sponsor, while Aston Villa is following Barcelona, which carries Unicef on its shirts, by donating its shirt rights to Acorns, a children's hospice.

'Clearly with three teams without jersey sponsorship income, the overall revenue from jersey sponsorship of all Premier League teams will certainly drop this year in comparison to previous seasons,' Andrew Walsh of Sport Markt told the Financial Times. 'In relation to other European top leagues, the actual figure appears even lower, due to the strong currency abroad.' Shirt sponsorship represents about 20-25 per cent of a club's commercial revenues, but clubs are finding it harder to nail down sponsors for periods of two to three years. 'A lot of sponsors are using it as a dip-in.' Mr Barrand commented. 'Once they've got brand exposure, they come out.' Online gambling comapnies, a lucrative partner for several clubs, are quetsioning the wisdom of tie-ups after the government banned their names from appearing on children's replica kits. One thing is clear: as the economic climate worsens, so, too, does the outlook for football clubs' shirt sponsorship.

(I put key points in bold).

Brad Evans

Stonehenge 2300 BC

Dating Stonehenge (from Cronaca).

Brad Evans

478 carat diamond found

Workers in Lesotho found the world's 20th largest rough diamond (from Cronaca).

Brad Evans

21 September 2008

More on Arsenal's Annual Report

Peter Hill-Wood interview here. Financial results for year ended 31/5/08 here.

Brad Evans

20 September 2008

The Impact of Population Emotion

It is breath-taking, the effect of emotions, like panic, on a population.

Brad Evans

Sophia Loren's Birthday

Brad Evans

More Language Learning


Brad Evans

Learn a Language from iTunes Store

Learn a Language from iTunes Store. Trouble is, I think you have to have iTunes installed on your computer.

Brad Evans

18 September 2008

Newcastle ownership saga continues...

The horror.

Brad Evans

Funny Novels

What are your choices for the funniest novels ever? Goodreads' Listopia's choices.

Brad Evans

Financial Times and Goldman Sachs best business books

FT/Goldman Sachs best business books 2008. Soon, recommended business books from Lehman/Merrill Lynch.

Brad Evans

Everything I know about thallium poisoning I learned from Agatha Christie

Thallium poisoning, from the CDC.

Brad Evans

17 September 2008

Arsenal 2008

Arsenal 2008. Download the Annual Report here.

Brad Evans

Rangers annual report

Rangers report for 2008. Download the annual report here.

Brad Evans

A politician's plan to end the unemployment problem

A cattle prod.

Brad Evans

Rosary is Gang Symbol

Believe it or not, some schools say the rosary is a gang symbol. They don't allow students to wear rosary beads.

Brad Evans

Manchester United and its shirt sponsor

A while ago, West Ham's shirt sponsor went under. Now, Man United's? Man U's shirt deal was GBP 16 million annually.

Brad Evans

Newcastle United-Shepard and Ashley disagree

Shepard and Ashley disagree over who's the worse football owner. It's hard to divide the iniquities.

Brad Evans

16 September 2008

Woman faces assault charge in dispute over dishes

Apparently the boyfriend refused to do the dishes.

Brad Evans

American International Pasta cooks books

Former executives at American International Pasta, the largest pasta maker in the US, falsified financial reports to show increased earnings in order to meet expectations.

Brad Evans

When Ted O'glove talks, listen

Ted O'glove, at footnoted.com on Lehman Brothers. He mentions the short seller David Einhorn.

Brad Evans

O.J. Simpson Trial

According to the prosecutor, O.J. hid valuable mementos with friends so that Fred Goldman couldn't find them. It is some of those mementos that O.J. thought were stolen.

Brad Evans

15 September 2008

Floyd Norris chronicles Lehman demise

Floyd Norris chronicles Lehman demise. Moral of the story? (1) It's always worse than you think. (2) Be careful when companies give rosy reports.

Brad Evans

Sub-prime woes spread

PIMCO, Vanguard, Franklin, and others hold large amounts of Lehman debt.

Brad Evans

Deaths in Stadium Riot in Democratic Republic of the Congo

Stadium riots kill 13, mostly children. People were crushed in a stampede that started after the 2 football teams began fighting with each other and police attempted to intervene. This occurred in the eastern area of the DRC that is engaged in sectarian violence.

Brad Evans

Valuations of MLS Teams

Forbes has issued valuations of MLS teams. LA Galaxy tops the list, with Toronto (!?) 2nd.

Brad Evans

West Ham shirt sponsor XL.com

West Ham shirt sponsor XL.com is going into administration. West Ham's 7.5 million pound shirt deal is gone and West Ham is looking for another sponsor.

Brad Evans

Mike Ashley to sell Newcastle United

Ashley to sell Newcastle United. I'd like to say to Newcastle fans that "you can't do worse," but my fear is that you can. Let's see who buys and for how much.

Brad Evans

AIG has sub-prime problems

Lehman is in bankruptcy; Merrill Lynch is acquired; and AIG needs $20 billion. All this due to the sub-prime mess.

Brad Evans

Taxpayers pay for sub-prime problems

Taxpayers pay for subprime fiasco. Financial companies, who pushed the mortgages, get the benefit, not individuals who bought the mortgage. I am not surprised.

Brad Evans

Tina Fey as Sarah Palin

Tina Fey as Sarah Palin.

Brad Evans

14 September 2008

Newcastle United Football Club-How low can it go?

Sir John Hall sounds like a great owner. Then, his son, Douglas Hall. That apple fell far from the tree. Next the execrable Freddy Shepard. Now the bibulous Mike Ashley. How bad will it get for Newcastle and its fans?

Bitter rivals Sunderland looks to be on the way up with Niall Quinn as owner and Roy Keane manager.

Brad Evans

Nintendo, Game Boy, Gunpei Yokoi

Sept 10th was the anniversary of Gunpei Yokoi's birth. He was the main designer of Game Boy. He was graduated with a university degree in electronics and then worked as a maintenance engineer for Nintendo. The company's president at the time, Hiroshi Yamauchi, found a toy Gunpei had made for amusement and promoted him to game designer. The rest is history.

Gunpei died in a freak accident. He and a fellow Nintendo executive were in a minor auto accident, pulled over to inspect the damage and were hit by another car.

Brad Evans

The MMS Chicks party on

Sex, drugs, and oil and gas royalties at the Federal Government's Minerals Management Service. What's the moral of the story? Power corrupts?

Brad Evans

13 September 2008

Trim Castle

Rambling Traveler recommends visiting Trim Castle, outside Dublin. Looks great, but where's the moat?

Brad Evans

Betting Odds on Winning the Presidency

I always thought betting was for serious things, like sports. Prof. Mankiw reports that betting odds now favors McCain to win.

Brad Evans

12 September 2008

David Friedman on judging politicians

I think Prof Friedman's opinion is a variation of "you get the government you deserve." But the question, how to evaluate political candidates, is a good question.

Brad Evans

Noctilucent Clouds

Noctilucent Clouds form highest in the atmosphere. They are best seen at night. They are rare. New on me.

Brad Evans

Energy Independence?

An opinion piece on energy independence. A related question is: if a nation could achieve energy independence, is it a good idea economically to pursue that policy?

Brad Evans

More on the efficient market theory...

The government and the GSEs.

Brad Evans

11 September 2008

If this is an efficient market, I'd hate to see an inefficient market.

Apportioning the blame in the United Airlines stock drop.

Brad Evans

Man Crashes into Bear

In Michigan, we watch out for deer on the road. In Montana, watch out for bear.

Brad Evans

10 September 2008

The latest on Colonel Saunders's secret recipe

Eleven secret herbs and spices.

Brad Evans

QPR and Briatore

Flavio Briatore seems to be saying the right things as an owner of a football club. I wish him luck. Even if QPR is known only as the club with models as fans, I hope he's successful.

Brad Evans

Surprise! Liverpool's New Stadium is Postponed

Anfield it is. I bet Liverpool fans are not surprised at all.

Brad Evans

Bunratty Castle, Ireland

Rambling Traveler recommends visiting Bunratty Castle, which is near Shannon Airport. It looks great to me.

Brad Evans

09 September 2008

Salvia, Sally D, Magic Mint

Salvia, apparently derived from the Salvia plant, produces hallucinations and is becoming a drug of abuse.

Brad Evans

Medical treatment for obesity soon?

Reports say that a medical treatment for obesity, based on the hormone ghrelin, will be available within five years. If true, this could eliminate gastric surgeries for obesity. One wonders at price comparisons between gastric surgery and a new medicine.

Brad Evans

Lessons from Long-Term Capital?

Roger Lowenstein compares Bear Stearns to Long Term Capital.

Brad Evans

Push the Envelope

Let's all push the envelope.

Brad Evans

Wells Notice for Mannatech

Mannatech (MTEX) received a Wells Notice. A Wells Notice comes from the SEC and indicates that the SEC may bring civil action against a company. For Mannatech, there are questions about its change of auditor, whether the change was reported in a timely fashion, and whether there was more to the story than Mannatech told.

The name of the game is to figure out, ahead of time, which companies will get Wells notices and other bad signs.

Brad Evans

08 September 2008

Umbrella Today?

Umbrella Today? looks like a great site.

Brad Evans

Transfer spending in the Bundesliga

Now that the transfer window has shut, here's the spending in the Bundesliga.

Brad Evans

Luka Modric

The Croatian Luka Modric looks like a great player to me. He's now at Tottenham. Here's he wears Croatia's colors. That uniform has been compared to a tablecloth. And be careful singing their national anthem.

Brad Evans

Wellesley throws out Leger

From "The Cranky Professor," this article about Wellesley throwing out a Fernand Leger painting. This is a picture of the one they threw out.

Brad Evans

Taoism as a way of life

Michael Miles on Taoism as a way of life.

Brad Evans

Goldfinger's Hedge Fund

Goldfinger, the man who quit his job because $70 million annual income was not enough, is starting a hedge fund.

Brad Evans

Ronald Reagan

This is from the History News Network (by Robert Brent Toplin):

"Ronald Reagan promised to take government off the backs of enterprising Americans. He told voters that government was not the solution to the nation’s problems; it was the problem. “The nine most terrifying words in the English language,” said Reagan, are, “ ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’ ” His speeches contained numerous warnings about the chilling effects of bureaucratic regulation. Government leaders think, he said, “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.""

The article goes on to say that Reagan carried the free market idea too far.

Brad Evans

07 September 2008

Grand Museum of Egypt

The Grand Museum of Egypt is moving along. The article doesn't mention when it will be finished.

Brad Evans

05 September 2008

Duck stamp carries phone sex number

All waterfowl hunters must carry a registration card bearing a stamp, commonly called the Duck stamp. There's a misprint on the stamp, creating an incorrect phone number, which is actually the phone number of a phone sex service. It would cost the Federal government too much to reprint the stamp.

Brad Evans

03 September 2008

Greg Mankiw is Facebook friendly

Prof. Mankiw is friendly. I'm in.

Brad Evans

Norwich City for sale

I thought Norwich City had been for sale, with Walt Disney among those interested. Here's the latest report from The Political Economy of Football: "NORWICH CITY UP FOR SALE – 3/9/08 Norwich City has effectively been put up for sale by majority shareholders Delia Smith and her husband Michael Wynn Jones. Their twelve year relationship with the Canaries looked set to come to an end after fellow directors Andrew and Sharon Turner resigned from the board, leaving City with a £1.5m black hole to fill this year. The Turners, who own financial services business Central Trust, which deals in sub-prime mortgages and is valued at £275m, will not be able to immediately recover £2.5m of interest-free loans to the club, which are on long-term repayment schedules. But they will now not be making good their promise to put in another £1.5m this year. It leaves the East Anglian club with a worrying cash shortfall, which could lead to backroom redundancies and a bid to cut the current £10m wage bill for playing staff. Club chairman Roger Munby said there had been no boardroom bust-up and the Turners' reasons for leaving were private. He emphasised that there was 'absolutely no danger' of the club going into administration. The club said that talks were taking place with two prospective investors, but refused to disclose who they were. Delia and her husband are looking for investors of all sizes, including outright ownership. All eyes will now turn to Peter Cullum, the 57-year old executive chairman of the Towergate Partnership and one of the 40 richest men in the country. The former Norwich City youth player and lifelong Canaries fan offered in the summer to spend £20m on players in return for ownership of the club. The offer was rejected. The board argued that the real cost of buying the club and investing £20m in players would be £56m, a figure that Mr Cullum did not accept. Behind-the-scenes diplomacy by new City sponsors Aviva saw the two sides reopen discussions a few days after the initial offer, but the talks ended almost as soon as they had begun with no agreement. John Tilson, chairman of Norwich City Independent Supporters Association, commented, 'There are fans who are pro Delia, those who think her shelf-life is up and those who think she should have gone a long time ago, but the fans have to stick together in this.'"

Brad Evans

01 September 2008

Manchester City Sold to Abu Dhabi Group?

Rumor: Thaksin Shinawatra has sold Manchester City to the Abu Dhabi Group, pending due diligence. Rumor: Berbatov to Manchester City for $60 million.

Brad Evans

Borussia Dortmund deal

Jan Koller there to the left. He and his fellow Czech Republic teammate Tomas Rosicky were also together on the Borussia Dortmund. I think Jens Lehmann was also there, so Arsenal may have a connection.

Borussia Dortmund is trying to right their financial ship, which, a couple of years ago, nearly sank. They have a sponsorship deal with Explorer Fernreisen, which from the website looks like a travel company.

Borussia Dortmund's financial website is here.

Brad Evans

Liverpool worried about their finances

Liverpool is worried about their balance sheet and income statement. Arsenal built Emirates stadium; they now struggle under a debt burden but have increased their match-day revenues. Similarly, Manchester United redid Old Trafford and they struggle under the consequent debt burden but have increased revenues. Liverpool Football Club wants to build a new stadium as well, but financing is proving difficult. It's not clear from the article whether Liverpool's owners are having financial problems, whether financing is more difficult in today's economic climate, or whatever is the cause.

Also, Liverpool's current owners are not popular with the fans and there is worry that the owners will damage the long-term future of the club because of their profit motive (I would say that an owner's profit motive should be beneficial to the club's future). Some of the fans have established a club, shareliverpoolfc, wherein one can purchase a share of Liverpool (about $10000/share).

Here is the website of the Football Industry Group at the University of Liverpool. They have an MBA program available.

Brad Evans

Neil Lennon assaulted after Celtic-Glasgow Rangers derby

Neil Lennon was a midfielder for Celtic, in Glasgow. He's now a first-team coach for the club. After a recent derby (football match between two teams located in the same city, or at least close geographically) with Glasgow Rangers, he was assaulted, knocked unconscious and taken to hospital. At hospital, he got stitches and was released. With his red or ginger hair, he is easy to recognize and presumably was attacked because he was Celtic. Not only are Celtic and Glasgow Rangers rivals, they differ in the religion of their typical fan. Celtic is generally Catholic, Glasgow Rangers Protestant. Also, not to be forgotten is that Neil Lennon, once captain for Northern Ireland, received death threats because he came out publicly for a United Ireland team. Lennon quit his international career soon after the threats.

These type of incidents are not uncommon in the football world. Players are verbally abused because of their skin color and religion. It will be interesting to see what the response of the Irn-Bru Scottish Football League will be to this incident.

Brad Evans