Thursday, March 25, 2010

OT: Just Another Reason Not to Trust the Banks

I haven't written about off-topic items like business news lately mainly due to a high level of disgust that, I fear, will explode into an incoherent rant. Well, I must say that I can't take it anymore. from Bloomberg.

JPMorgan Chase & Co., Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and UBS AG were among more than a dozen Wall Street firms involved in a conspiracy to pay below-market interest rates to U.S. state and local governments on investment…

A government list of previously unidentified “co- conspirators” contains more than two dozen bankers at firms also including Bank of America Corp., Bear Stearns Cos., Societe Generale, two of General Electric Co.’s financial businesses and Salomon Smith Barney, the former unit of Citigroup Inc., according to documents filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan on March 24. The papers were filed by attorneys for a former employee of CDR Financial Products Inc., an advisory firm indicted in October. The attorneys, as part of their legal filing, identified the roster as being provided by the government. The document is labeled “list of co-conspirators.”

None of the firms or individuals named on the list has been charged with wrongdoing. The court records mark the first time these companies have been identified as co-conspirators. They provide the broadest look yet at alleged collusion in the $2.8 trillion municipal securities market that the government says delivered profits to Wall Street at taxpayers’ expense.

Punishment is due.

Hat Tip: Naked Capitalism:

Boras vs. Shapiro

Like yin and yang. No two people working in the same industry, performing the same job, could be more different. Here is a great article by Murray Chass about that other super agent, Ron Shapiro.
If Mauer were a Boras client, he would not have signed that contract. But then, he wouldn’t have chosen Boras as his agent.
It's a great read.

Hat Tip: Baseball Musings:

The Shock Heard Around Dodgerland

The collective gasp you heard this morning was like the sound Scooby-Doo makes when confused by an even more bewildered Shaggy.

What's that you say? Vicente Padilla is the Dodgers Opening Night starter. Really? Huh!

This is some premature April Fools joke, right?

Well, apparently it's not. Per a tweet by Ken Gurnick, Torre will be naming Padilla as our starter against Pittsburgh. In the whole scheme of things, it really doesn't mean much. After all, everyone will get their innings as the season progresses. On the other hand, shouldn't this spot be reserved as an award or a stepping stone for a progressing or young star?

Yes and no.

The first Dodger game of the season is away in Pittsburgh, so, it's not as vital as compared to our first home game. Furthermore, from what has been shared already on other blogs, this alignment will mean that Clayton Kershaw will be our starting pitcher at our first home game at Chavez Ravine against the Diamondbacks. So, don't worry your little heads. On top of that, Padilla pitched really well for us last season so I don't find it too out of whack.

Frankly, all this supposed news is all useless minutia. All I care about right now is getting through the rest of Spring unscathed and hearing those immortal words, "Play Ball."

eBay Auction: The 2 Man Drill

What is this?

I don't know if Roseboro and Jim Lefebvre are just fooling around, but I can't see how this can be an effective drill.

The caption below the pic says,
"Calisthenics in the Los Angeles Dodgers camp finds building up exercises that are different."
No kidding.
(click photo to enlarge)
eBay Auction Link:

Card of the Week: NL Champions

After a long hiatus I am back with the Card of the Week.

With the season about ready to begin it's important to be focused on some important benchmarks.
  • We want to see some continued growth from our young stars,
  • We want to beat the Giants, and
  • We want a championship.
Obviously, a World Series crown is the ultimate goal, but getting there is a large part of the battle. So, in keeping that in mind, this weeks Card of the Week is the 1978 Topps card that celebrates the Dodgers 1977 NL Championship by featuring Davey Lopes. Of special note is that the Dodgers beat the Phillies in 4 straight games to go to the World Series that year. Something I want to forget is that the Dodgers would eventually lose to the Yankees in 6 games- due, in large part, to Reggie Jackson's unbelievable 3 homer game.