Monday afternoon (random) notes

I have about three tax forms to complete for family, and I’m trying not to do it. So, here are some thoughts about issues running through my head this afternoon

Doug Kass of TheStreet.com wrote this morning about the market’s rally, and what could happen in the coming months. One thing caught my eye: “The world remains a political powder keg. Continuing my 1938-1939/2008-2009 parallel, I am concerned that Pakistan is the 1939 geopolitical risk-equivalent of Germany.”

It is something of importance. Parkistan has about 100 nuclear devices, missiles to deliver those devices and serious stability issues. In fact, intelligence experts are worried Pakistan could collapse. A problem in Pakistan would dwarf the problems in Afghanistan or Iraq, according to this story in the Sydney Morning Herald, “But Pakistan has 173 million people and 100 nuclear weapons, an army which is bigger than the American army, and the headquarters of al-Qaeda sitting in two-thirds of the country which the Government does not control,” Dr Kilcullen told the Herald.”

Jackie Sherrill and the NCAA
Why is it everyone hates Jackie Sherrill? Dr. Saturday called Sherrill a walking recruiting violation. However, that seems unfair to the former coach. While the NCAA alleged Mississippi State violated rules during his tenure, there were no charges against Sherrill, according to this Clarion Ledger story. Sherrill contends the NCAA conspired to force him out of coaching, and he is suing the organization.

Good for him.

Sherrill wants to know more about the persons interviewed by the NCAA. There are some interesting names on the list which totaled “151 people” and Included “three former college coaches – Phillip Fulmer, Tommy Tuberville and Jeff Bower; a person named ‘Confidential Source’ and an undisclosed witness named ‘Billy Bob Thornton’.”

Without the ability to face your accusers, the NCAA has unbridled power to harm a person’s economic circumstances. The use of sources like opposing coaches is fraught with danger, and the person being accused of wrongdoing should be able to know what is being said about him.

Peter King upset at NY Times
According to Peter King, “You cannot be serious about shuttering the Boston Globe, you New York Times people. That’s unjust and ridiculous and will be a black mark against anything you do journalistically in the long-term. How do you walk into the flagship journalistic institution in a six-state region and say, ‘Unless everyone in the building takes a monstrous pay cut, and a few of you walk away from your jobs forever, we’re closing the place?’’ What kind of management style is that?”

What kind of management is that? Good management.

When expenses outpace revenue, an adjustment must be made. Adjustments include downsizing the workforce, downsizing the payroll and a host of other remedies including closing a non-profitable business.

A newspaper isn’t a public service. A newspaper is a business. People who write for a living don’t understand that. Maybe that is why newspapers are in decline. Before the 1970’s, newspapers understood their business. Since the 1970’s, newspapers have operated in a fantasy land.

The NY Times has finally realized that there are too many people making too much money working in newspapers. The Times is trying to fix the problem at the Boston Globe—in any business, but especially print, controlling expenses is the key to profitability. If newspapers embrace this truth, then there is some hope of saving them. However, if newspapers embrace the nonsense from King, there will be no hope. Newspapers will go the way of destruction like Lehman Brothers or the lingering paralysis of General Motors.