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Archive for May 14th, 2009

Ahem. GMAC.

Before Charlotte gets too far down the path of falling in love with GMAC — nevermind that our brilliant state and local “leaders” have already handed sacks of cash to the outfit — this little nugget from Chris Whalen. Whalen and his Institutional Risk Analytics shop, recall, were about three years ahead of the curve in calling the financial sector meltdown of last fall. What do they think of GMAC?

Remember, we figure that GMAC, the bank holding company whose FDIC-insured bank unit we rate an “F” as of Q1 2009, will need $10 billion per quarter in subsidies just to keep the doors open. The preliminary score for GMAC Bank calculated by The IRA Bank Monitor was 21.2, more than a full order of magnitude above the industry average Stress Index score of 5.7 for Q1 2009. And the erstwhile regulator of GMAC, the Fed, may be providing the subsidies to keep the BHC open!

You have been warned.

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Kentucky Newspaper Blinks on Pitino Story

Weird one going on regarding Louisville hoops coach Rick Pitino and woman accused of extorting him.

Certainly looks like that the Courier-Journal cropped a photo it had posted on its Web site rather than allow a sign mentioning “an abortion” to appear in the hands of a pro-Karen Sypher protester.

Like I said, weird.

Update: Guess I should mention I interviewed Pitino back when I was working for Investor’s Business Daily and Rick was the hottest thing going at UK. That’s one intense dude.

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MecklenBlog Closing In on One Post Per Year

Mecklenburg County’s official in-house blog has two days to get a new post up before the one year anniversary of the last post on the blog.

Wonder if the folks at News14 feel a bit silly for rushing out to do a story on the blog last spring.

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Beer Stamps: Ban Bud, Not Smoking

vvI see the problem here. Some people go to bars to smoke and drink Budweiser:

At the Locked and Loaded Grill in Garner, about 6 miles south of Raleigh, Tom Hogan and his buddies were enjoying Budweisers and a smoke when told of the ban.

“Beer and cigarettes -– they go hand in hand,” said Hogan.

Uh, only if your beer is so bad you don’t want to taste it, Tom. Maybe if I drank Bud lighting something on fire and sucking on it would sound like a good idea too.

Clearly a positive solution does not involve enforcing a ban on smoking. Instead, I propose the Microbrew Support and Expansion Act. Bud drinkers looking to break the cycle of smoke-Bud-smoke could apply for modest state grants of perhaps $10 a week with which they could purchase non-swill malted beverages. These Beer Stamps could be redeemed at all ABC licensed retailers, restaurants, and bars for brands produced in less than oil-tanker sized batches.

On the production-side, all microbreweries in the state would be exempt from income taxes for 10 years and full scholarships in the brewing arts would be available to any N.C. high school student pledging to serve in the microbrew industry for five years following graduation.

There you have it, Gov. Perdue. A positive, forward-looking progressive idea that makes that draconian ban the General Assembly just sent you look downright clumsy. Do the right thing and make North Carolina the leader in the battle against bad beer. Tell lawmakers to start over and fight the real enemy.

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