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Indulge me to write about some of my feelings on the passing of the joyous Ernie Banks. The greatness of Ernie as a baseball player has been mentioned in other diaries. I want to write about his profound yet subtle impact on a generation of little white boys growing up in Chicagoland when Ernie was one of the greatest players in baseball.

I was born in 1951. My earliest memories stretch back to about the time my parents built a home in Joliet, IL in 1956. It was a typical post war suburb in that there were two, four or six kids or more in each house. In the age of redlining they were all white kids. (As a six or eight year old this was discrimination that I had no clue about or understanding of.)  By the time we moved away in 1961, there were five boy occupying one bedroom in our house - middle class prosperity in those days.

I've come to believe Jackie Robinson was one of the most important Americans of the 20th Century. His breaking the color barrier in Major League Baseball was profound. He did it with courage, humility and Hall of Fame athletic ability. Once he smashed through that barrier, it crumbled away in a few year’s time. Great players like Ernie Banks, Hank Aaron and Willie Mays quickly made it to the majors.  

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Because gas and oil prices are cheap enough in the USA, right?

From the Wall St. Journal -

The Obama administration cleared the way for the first exports of unrefined American oil in nearly four decades, allowing energy companies to start chipping away at the longtime ban on selling U.S. oil abroad.

In separate rulings that haven't been announced, the Commerce Department gave Pioneer Natural Resources Co. and Enterprise Products Partners LP permission to ship a type of ultralight oil known as condensate to foreign buyers. The buyers could turn the oil into gasoline, jet fuel and diesel.

The shipments could begin as soon as August....

Kind of action you would expect from a Republican Administration. Oh, and it looks like it's oil produced through fracking.

Link below the fold

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Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 10:02 AM PDT

He's gone to The Field of Dreams

by deepsouthdoug

Tony Gwynn, one of the greatest hitters in the history of baseball, has died at 54.

Tony Gwynn, who banged out 3,141 hits during a Hall of Fame career spanning 20 seasons with the San Diego Padres, has died of cancer at age 54, it was announced Monday.

The lefty-swinging Gwynn, nicknamed Mr. Padre, had a career .338 batting average, won eight National League batting titles and played in the franchise's only two World Series.

http://espn.go.com/...

More below the fold

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Mon May 26, 2014 at 01:58 PM PDT

Apple crop failure at our farm

by deepsouthdoug

No bees showed up to pollinate our apple blossoms this past week. We moved back to the family farm in south central Minnesota six years ago and my wife has planted a small apple orchard. It's 24 trees, so it's for personal use not commercial.

We've also planted red and black raspberries and strawberries. These fruits have been part of this family farm for more than a century. There's always been fruit and flower diversity on the farm to attract the bees, but the bees are not around this spring, which is the first time this has happened. For fifty years this farm had a small commercial strawberry operation and in the country the bees would always find the fruit blossoms. That's just the way nature works.

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Bruce Springsteen's 'Greetings from Asbury Park' was release 40 years today. By the standards of the record industry it was a flop.  It sold about 25,000 copies in the first year.

Apparently on its release date the Partridge Family outsold The Boss (this would have been years before he was know as The Boss) in a local record store in his hometown.

That 'flop' was followed by the release of another 'flop' album (in terms of record industry metrics) in September. That was 'The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle'.

 

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The tumult and live energy of a New Year's Eve deserves some great live rock performances to keep your party going.  Youtube's got a bunch of them.  Here are some of my favorites.  

First - Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band blasting out Rosalita way, way back in 1975. Bruce had just released 'Born to Run' and he was touring to prove he was the greatest rock and roll performer with the greatest rock and roll band.

Springsteen in 75 looked like he was grunge before grunge and the rest of the band was dressed in disco garb before most people knew what disco was.  I was very, very lucky to see Bruce on this tour when he played at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis in Sept.  

This E Street Band can be no more with the loss of Clarence two years ago.  If you're a Springsteen fan glammer has posted some the best live videos on youtube.  


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Isaac is first going to take much of the hoopla of the Republican Convention away.  Networks, other than Fox, will devote time to covering the hurricane and not the Repubs.

Then there is the increasing probability of a powerful hurricane smashing into the Northern Gulf Coast as a Cat 2 or 3 storm. Hitting in the same area as Katrina.  

How'd that work for the Republican President W?

This will be an Obama Presidential moment. As land fall nears I'd bet the president will give a prime time speech on Tuesday night on what his administration is doing to prepare for the storm.

What are the Repubs going to do sputter about Obama raining on their convention!

Human tragedy will be covered by the media, and they will shrink the coverage of the Republicans.

Then the President will ask for aid for the stricken areas and Eric the Evil Cantor will blubber on about having to cut social programs someplace else to provided help to those in need.

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Fri Aug 10, 2012 at 09:56 PM PDT

Paul Ryan for Veep?

by deepsouthdoug

The biggest hanging curve ball since...............

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Especially one with less than 10,000 views.

Poll

Greatest Rock Performance on youtube?

37%12 votes
62%20 votes

| 32 votes | Vote | Results

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Secret members at that!  The source of this is the Wall Street Journal.  According to the Journal we have new members of the TBTF Club because of language inserted into the Dodd-Frank Bill by Senator Chris Dodd.

These new secret TBTF members are not even banks.  They could be called Commodity Exchanges - like the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. It's about what to do when derivatives - the $1.2 quadrillion derivatives market - blows up the next time.  

From the Journal article:

We’re told that the clearinghouses of Chicago’s CME Group and Atlanta-based Intercontinental Exchange were voted systemic this week, and rumor has it that the council may even designate London-based LCH.Clearnet as critical to the U.S. financial system.
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At least the stock price is in after hours.  One of those black swans just showed up.  Looks like they had some bad derivative trades that went wrong and now they might be out - oh $800 million or so.  Market Watch is calling it a $2 billion trading loss.

Update:

ZeroHedge is looking under rocks and projects a loss of:

Although it is not over yet: if credit spreads soar, assuming at $200 million DV01, and a 100 bps move, JPM could suffer a $20 billion loss when all is said and done. But hey: at least "net" is not "gross" and we know, just know, that the SEC will get involved and make sure something like this never happens again.
It will probably take some time to nail what the losses might actually be.

Did I say they might be out, well you might be out fellow taxpayers!

Zero Hedge is having fun with this:

   JPMORGAN SAYS CIO UNIT HAS SIGNIFICANT MARK-TO-MARKET LOSSES - "Fortress balance sheet" at least until Bruno Iskil gets done with it.
    JPMORGAN SAYS LOSSES ARE IN SYNTHETIC CREDIT PORTFOLIO - but, but, net is NEVER, EVER Gross.
    JPM WOULD NEED $971M ADDED COLLATERAL IF RATINGS CUT ONE-NOTCH
    JPM WOULD NEED $1.7B ADDED COLLATERAL IF RATINGS CUT 2 NOTCHES - how about three notches?
    JPMORGAN: MAY HOLD SOME SYNTHETIC CREDIT POSITIONS LONG TERM - "Level 3 CDS FTW"
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The tumult and live energy of a New Year's Eve deserves some great live rock performances to keep your party going.  Youtube's got a bunch of them.  Here are some of my favorites.  

First - Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band blasting out Rosalita way, way back in 1975. Bruce had just released 'Born to Run' and he was touring to prove he was the greatest rock and roll performer with the greatest rock and roll band.

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