Archive for November, 2011

Europe’s IMF End-Run

November 30, 2011

Wall Street Journal, Saturday-Sunday, 11/26-7/11


Europe’s IMF End-Run

The “self-appointed committee” to save the euro has proposed that the European Central Bank lend to the International monetary Fund, “so that the Fund in turn can lend even greater amounts to troubled euro-zone economies.  The problem is that European Union law forbids the ECB from “directly financing governments.”

The end-run in the title is an American football term for a strategy of running around the lineup.  In the above case, funding of European governments in distress can perhaps be done by an IMF end-run of EU law.  End-run is an avoidance tactic.

Silver Lake Takes On The Big Fish

November 30, 2011

Wall Street Journal, November 18, 2011

Silver Lake Takes On The Big Fish, by Anupreeta Das

“Silver Lake Partners isn’t among the best-known investors in the privae-equity business.  But the firm could move a step closer if it pulls off a takeover–and turnaround–of Yahoo Inc.”

The “big fish” is Yahoo and Silver Lake is fishing.  

Is Obama Always Playing The Long Ball?

November 28, 2011

Wall Street Journal, Saturday/Sunday, November 26-27


“The talk this week was of who was most damaged politically by the failure of the super committee.  The first, admittedly earnest answer is: the country.  We have a projected deficit of $44 trillion.  A group of Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill were charged with coming up with $1.2 trillion cuts.  Just 1.2 our of 44.  Not that hard and they couldn’t do it.

The second party most damaged by the failure was President Obama, that grand strategic thinker who’s always playing long ball.  It is a time of unprecedented and continuing economic crisis,…  He didn’t put his public prestige behind a good outcome… At the end of the day, he didn’t want to spend his political capital.”

A long ball is either a triple or home run in baseball, not a single;   it’s hitting for the fences in the park.


November 28, 2011

Wall Street Journal, Monday, November 21, 2011

SPORTS: The Count

“Much like the way Justin Verlander dominated hitters this past season, the Detroit Tigers ace was the clear standout in American League Cy Young Award voting.  Verlander became the 22nd pitcher to win the award unanimously, and is considered one of the favorites to take home the AL MVP (American League Most Valuable Player) award Monday.  But recent history suggests it’s unlikely he’ll win a second trophy.”

There are three idioms here: the title or the count:  the count in baseball is in balls or strikes:  4 balls and the hitter walks to first base; 3 strikes and he is out.  ace (a card games’ term for the highest card) and pitch from  baseball or cricket.  In this article, Verlander is waiting for the count or the opinion of the voters.  Verlander pitches aces and he is an ace, because he is the best.  To pitch a ball is to throw a ball, but the term is used in many metaphorical ways.  Hollywood writers pitch an idea for a movie script.  Business people pitch business ideas.

For more information for the ways baseball terms and gambling and card game terms are used as idioms or metaphorically please see http://www.sports  I put the idioms in italic for easier reference.

Does Online E-Commerce Sales Tax Level the Playing Field?

November 18, 2011

THE JOURNAL REPORT, The Wall Street Journal, Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Should states require online retailers to collect sales tax?

“Yes, says Michael Mazerov, because it levels the playing field.”

“No, says Steve DelBianco, because it’s too much of a burden on small firms.”

For information about the sports idioms, to level or leveling the playing field, please see

Carlyle Group Raising the Bar

November 13, 2011

The Wall Street Journal, Wednesday, November 9, 2011



Carlyle Cuts Fees to Sell New Funds, by Graig Karmin and Gregor Zuckerman

“Carlyle Group, the large private-equity firm that is preparing for a public share listing, has had to cut fees and offer other unusual incentives to lure investors to a new $2.3 billion real estate fund.

Carlyle has offered large investors annual management fees of as little as 0,75% of assets, half the 1.5% industry standard.  Carlyle also has raised the bar that must be cleared before the firm can share in the fund’s profits, known in the industry as a hurdle rate or preferred return.”

The sports idioms in this article are from track and field.  When the bars are raised for high jumps or hurdles it makes it more difficult for runners and jumpers.  In the case of Carlyle, the group has higher hurdles and bars to “jump” over to get new investors.


November 9, 2011

The New York Times, Business Day, B1, Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Catching a Wave, and Measuring It, by Quenting Hardy

Sunnyvale, California

“James Gosling wants to network the world’s oceans.”

Mr. Gosling, who designed Java, the computer language, is now working on  a “Wave Glider”, a solo robotic with sensors about the size of a surfboard.  The robotic “measure(s) everything from weather to oil slicks, sharply reducing many of the costs of ocean-related businesses.”   LIquid Robotics, whose product is the “Wave Glider”, wants to network thosands of the gliders.

Sunnyvale is near Silicon Valley and good beaches.  Surfers want to catch good waves in Santa Cruz and nearby beaches.  Perhaps Mr. Gosling is a surfer as well as an inventor.  He has developed a robotic surfboard with computers to travel the ocean recording data which is then transferred to onshore computers to analyze.


November 9, 2011

THE NEW YORK TIMES, Monday, November 7, 2011

Accolades Roll In for a Doubter of Accolades

Andy Rooney was a commentator on CBS’ newsmagazine “60 minutes” who died earlier in November.  His humorous comments at the end of each broadcast poked fun at everyone and everything.  It was “almost always the most-watched part of the show,” according to Mr. Kroft, a colleague on “60 Minutes.”

Jeff Fager, the executive producer of the show said, acknowledging that age had taked a bit off his performance, “Even when he had lost something off his fastball, there was nobody else like him.”

A pitcher’s fastball is difficult to hit by a batter.  Andy Rooney slowed up as he aged.


November 9, 2011

Sports illustrated, November 7, 2011


“The popular proposals to spin off college football as a quasi minor league might help clean up the sport.  But they can’t make an end run around Title IX.”

The players, who might not be full-time students, would receive salaries.  The problem foreseen is Title IX,  a U.S. law mandating equal treatment for women.  There are also other objections about  business expenses including a big one, players’ salaries.

An end run in American football, used as an idiom here, is defined in the site  Look under “football” in the definition list.

An End Run Around Title IX ?

November 9, 2011

Football Inc.?

November 7, 2011 Sports Illustrated, G.D.

There is an idea that University level American football players should be salaried/paid for playing football, and yet not have to be full-time students.  “The biggest hurdle is Title IX,”  the U.S. law that states there has to be equality between women’s and men’s sports.  It would be difficult for universities to do an “end run” around this proposal.