Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tuesday's Odds and Ends

CMPD FOP Petition - The wife of one CMPD Officer has created an online petition addressed to Charlotte City Council asking Council Members to support the FOP recommended pay changes.

"Step-raises for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police department have been frozen for years. This has posed a hardship to our officers, especially our most junior officers. This affects not only their pay, but also their 401(k)s, since retirement contributions by the city are based on a percentage of earnings. With the DNC coming up, we are asking more and more of our officers, but with increased responsibility should come increased pay.

We entrust CMPD with our safety, and it is important that we compensate them according to the scope of their efforts and risks taken. If we don't, someone else will, and we will lose dedicated, talented officers to other cities who are willing to value them in a way we have not.

If we can afford to bring the Knights to uptown, we can afford to fairly compensate our police department. Charlotte City Council, it is time to show your citizens that their safety is more important than entertainment."

Cedar's Take: CMPD Officers are paid on average 20% less than officers in more than a dozen cities the size of Charlotte. Take a few seconds this morning and sign the petition which is here, it is the least we can do to support the men and women on our streets.

Facebook's Facepalm  - Nothing says bad press like an IPO that heads south right out of the gate. Everyone knows "investment are not FDIC guaranteed and can lose value" but the vast majority of investment experts expect IPO's to hold up and not plummet like a rock. Turns out that the usual system of "peer review" was lost in the buildup to Facebook's 38.23 opening. More from the Wall Street Journal here.

But the emerging theme behind the Facebook Facepalm is a series of contorted numbers and assumptions and outright lies. Amazing considering the technology of the Internet and instant communication ability of investment bankers whose Achilles heel is still greed. Greed and the thought that each was getting an inside deal, lead thousands of otherwise smart investors to lose their minds and a couple of billion in the process.

WSJ Excerpt: "With the deal size expanded and some institutional investors scaling back orders, demand dropped to about 4.5 times the available shares, says one person familiar with the book.

Morgan Stanley, led by its chairman of global capital markets Daniel Simkowitz, said demand remained strong, according to people involved in the deal. Morgan Stanley told Facebook that the number of shares ordered by institutional investors had increased that week.

Individual investors often are shut out of hot IPOs because the shares usually are coveted by big, fee-generating clients of investment banks. But individual investors weren't excluded from Facebook.

On May 15, three days before the IPO, Knox Massey, a 49-year-old Atlanta investor, was in his office when he got an email from Bert Madden, his Morgan Stanley Smith Barney broker, asking if he wanted any Facebook shares.

Mr. Massey, who manages the Keith-Massey Family Investments for his family, says he hadn't requested any Facebook shares. He says he called Mr. Madden and told him he was surprised at the last-minute offer but was interested in buying. His broker, Mr. Massey says, told him he thought he could get 500 shares or more. "See what you can do," Mr. Massey recalls telling his broker."

The rest is history and Facebook goes down as one of the greatest IPO swindles ever.

Harris Teeter Beefs Up Security - It might not come as a surprise to those who live in Charlotte's "trouble spots" but out in the Stonecrest and Rea Road neighborhoods I'm not used to seeing uniformed officers on duty at banks much less grocery stores.

But ever since the armed robbery at the Harris Teeter at 11516 Providence Road last month and similar robberies in Cornelius, Union County and South Carolina the locally based Harris Teeter grocery store chain has hired off duty CMPD and MCSO Officers to stand watch over their locations.

Charlotte Harris Teeter Robbers
Harris Teeter is also offering $50,000 for information leading to the arrest of the suspects which may have ties to one or more gangs according to one CMPD Officer Cedar Posts spoke to.

The inside story is that the crooks aren't from Charlotte and the same two thugs will no doubt strike again. Harris Teeter has been targeted since late last year and no other grocery store chain has reported any smilier robbery or attempt.

Investigators say since Christmas Eve 2011, two masked men have held up seven different Harris Teeter stores in High Point, Winston Salem and Greensboro in addition to those in the Charlotte area.

Greensboro Harris Teeter Robbers
Harris Teeter has responded by shutting down some stores 24 hour operations in the Greensboro area reducing the hours with a 1AM close and reopening at 6AM.

Anyone with information can call 911 or CrimeStoppers, at 704-334-1600 but apparently the calls have been scarce dispite the large cash reward.

US Open Golf - Ron Green pays homage to all things golf including "Bird Man" here. Next up across the pond to "The Open" and then the PGA Championship in our own backyard at Kiawah's Ocean Course. Having played the resort island's sandy windswept course a dozen times and stood next to the greatest golf talent at the time on the tee at number 17 during the final day of the Ryder Cup back in 1991. I'm looking forward again serving as a course marshal and hanging out "inside and ropes" in August.

As for the "Bird Man" who goes by the name "JB" for "Jungle Bird" admits he had a few beers before jumping in front of Bob Costas and Webb Simpson during the trophy presentation.

JB says it was a premeditated mission to raise awareness about global deforestation ... explaining, "I want people thinking about saving trees."

Of course, security ripped him off the course and handed him over to the San Francisco PD but JB says the officers were laughing with him and making bird noises at the station. They eventually let him go because the USGA did not want to press charges.


Anonymous said...

Ron Green, please. The way that slob masturbates over Tiger Woods in every single stinking piece is nauseating.

Anonymous said...

I am amazed at the Facebook IPO story.

My own stock market activity is like making $5 side bets around a really big, high-stakes poker game. But still.

I read a lot of the ideas and thoughts of many market analysts. For months before the Facebook IPO the solid consensus in all I read was to stay away from it.

The fundamentals and the action of IPO stocks in the first few days and even first six months is always too dicey. It is a game for the big boys.

Everything I read said Facebook had an excellent chance of being one of the worst IPO offerings and is a business with not just bad fundamentals but almost no fundamentals and that retail investors should run, not walk, away.

Cannot believe all the investors, big and little, who willingly, anxiously, insistently, jumped into the fire.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for supporting our petition!

Anonymous said...

Have any CMPD officers actually seen the new pay raises that have been presented to city counsel? Please, someone correct me if I am wrong, but the brass (Lt. and above, white shirts) are getting a 3% pay raise and Sgts. and below (worker bees) are getting a 1.5% raise. Let me do the math. 3% of $100k is $3000. 1.5% of $50k is $750. If I am correct, officers should be outraged.

Anonymous said...

@ anon 10:18 - You misunderstood the pay scale submitted. 1.5% is just the merit raise. Jr. Officers will make 5% in step increase. Sr. Officers and brass will make a 2.5% step increase. So total is 6.5 for Jr grades and 4% for Sr grades.

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