Nightmare basketball scenario brewing for 2009

A nightmare scenario is brewing for next basketball season. The Richard Hendrix turning pro talk is heating up behind the scenes, and Ronald Steele might not be ready for next season. But wasn’t that a guarantee before—that Mark Gottfried would win big next year thanks to having one of the best point guards in the nation back? Apparently not. “And Ronald Steele — there’s an if there — is he going to be healthy?” Gottfried said. “But if things can come together, I think it can be very exciting,” according to al.com.

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HBO producing series on Alabama
HBO is developing a series on the integration of college football with a major look at Alabama, the Montgomery Advertiser’s media columnist reported.

Joe Lavine is producing the as-of-yet untitled program that looks at the integration of college football in the South.

“I am particularly interested in the story from an Alabama perspective for obvious reasons,” Lavine said. “I plan to cover a handful of subjects, including (Paul) “Bear” Bryant, the Civil Rights movement and its effect, black college football (HBCUs) in its heyday, and the USC-Alabama gameplayed in Birmingham in 1970.”

Brokers & panic

The Bear Stearns crisis last week had me thinking about the Panic of 1907 and the possible collapse of the NY brokerage firm Moore & Schley. It was a fear over this brokerage insolvency that spurred J.P. Morgan to help U.S. Steel purchase the Tennessee Coal & Iron Company—a major iron and steel producer with locations in Birmingham. The brokerage used shares of T.C.&I. as collateral for many loans, but with the stock market decline, the shares weren’t worth the value of the loans. If the brokerage failed then other institutions and Wall Street banks with loans to the brokerage would have failed too.

No doubt U.S. Steel played a massive role in the development of this state. It employed hundreds of thousands of residents, and remains one of the major landowners in the state.

However if it weren’t for the Panic of 1907, the company probably wouldn’t have purchased T.C.&I. over anti-trust fears. How different would Birmingham and Alabama have been? And if U.S. Steel had not purchased T.C.&I., then the entire financial sector could have collapsed.

Here’s a quote from the NY Times from 1908:

if this trade had not been made at that time, what would have been the result? Both these trust companies would have failed, other very large financial institutions would have been dragged down with them. These failures would have caused such widespread disaster that no human being could have calculated the loss and damage that would have followed.