No, this is not the same image I posted here. This screenshot is from yesterday. Just like the first time I received a notification such as this from WordPress in April, 2019 when Bill James tweeted the main link to Disaffected Musings, yesterday’s “booming” activity resulted from Bill’s graciously tweeting the link to Good Old Days. Many thanks, Bill.
Just like the first Bill James tweet resulted in a “record” for blog views in a day, so did yesterday’s. The new “record” is about a third higher than the old one.
Did you know that Time (magazine) selected Bill to its Time 100 list as one of the most influential people in the world in 2006? His work in applying data to baseball was one of the major drivers in the explosion of analytics in the world.
Bill’s work was my biggest inspiration in my 20+ year career in major league baseball. He helped me whenever he could, which is the mark of a true friend. Below is a picture of my favorite book of his, one that despite my not following the sport for almost a decade is probably still the book I have read most often.
The improvised book cover was made by the father of an ex-girlfriend. As you can see, that book has been used a lot.
On this day in 2008, the (second) Bush administration announced an emergency bailout of General Motors and Chrysler. The plan was supposed to distribute $13.4 billion by January, 2009 to the companies from the fund that Congress authorized to rescue the financial industry. By the time all was said and done, the federal government nationalized the two companies de facto.
Of course, both companies wound up declaring bankruptcy, anyway. Chrysler filed in April of 2009 and GM did so in June, 2009.
By the end of July, they emerged from bankruptcy reorganization. General Motors became two separate companies and spun off General Motors Acceptance Corporation (GMAC, GM’s financing “arm”) into Allied Financial. Chrysler became a brand owned mostly by Fiat. The Treasury Department began selling off its ownership of GM in 2010. Chrysler paid off the last of its loans by 2011.
The pros and cons of such a move by the federal government were widely and forcefully debated in government and elsewhere. When making their plea for help in 2008, the Big Three warned the government that the collapse of Chrysler and GM would result in the loss of one million American jobs. (Ford didn’t ask for help, per se, as it had already instituted large cuts in expenses. However, it asked to be included so it wouldn’t suffer by competing with companies who already had government subsidies.)
It is often said that if a person borrows $40,000 from a bank that the bank owns them, but if they borrow $40 million they own the bank. The topic of “Too Big To Fail” and the issues surrounding concentration of market power, particularly in an industry with large initial costs, are way beyond the scope of a blog post.
In yesterday’s Son Of Not So Frugal Friday, I probably should have shown the following car instead of, or in addition to, the 812 Superfast:
No, this is not a Ferrari California. It is the California’s “replacement,” the Portofino. (Picture from Car Scoops.)
Why the Portofino and not the California? Well…I guess I can rationalize the choice by citing the increase in engine output, the increase in stiffness in the chassis and the decrease in weight of the Portofino compared to its predecessor. Once again, despite being part of my “Pulling The Pin” collection, the Portofino is not a seven- or eight-figure car. The base MSRP is about $220,000. Yes, the Portofino was part of Ultimate Garage 2.0. Speaking of which, do you think next May/June would be too soon for Ultimate Garage 3.0? That would be two years (!) since 2.0.
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