1 Jan

State Treasurer Issues Statement on Need for Congress to Act Now

first_imgState Treasurer Issues Statement on Need for Congress to Act Now I understand that Vermonters are angry about the financial mess we are currently facing and not sure who to trust about what the appropriate government response should be. There is plenty of blame to be shared for the dilemma we are in. That can come later. Right now we need a bipartisan agreement in Congress to pass a comprehensive bill that will help to stabilize the financial markets sooner rather than later. While it makes good sense to craft the proposal in a way that has the best chance of benefiting American citizens, hopefully phased in and as an investment, not just a bailout, I’m concerned the longer it takes to do so, the more serious the recession we face. Holding out for a perfect bill is risky business. The gyrations in the stock markets are not what worry me most. It is the less visible, for now, inability of mainstream companies, non-profits, and municipalities to borrow working capital at realistic rates, if at all, to carry on basic activities. Short-term interest rates for working capital have more than quadrupled in the last few weeks. The municipal bond market is, for all intents, not operating. These challenges are certainly going to affect jobs, housing, student loans, and more. We are likely to find that the distance between Wall Street and Main Street is shorter than many think. In just the past few days, Massachusetts has been unable to secure the full amount of short-term borrowing needed for local school aid, even at high interest rates. States are shelving bond issues that are intended to finance infrastructure projects. Businesses are accessing lines of credit not intended for routine operating funds. Pension funds cannot escape significant losses when global markets are sinking; those losses will mean higher tax-supported contributions. State revenues are certain to suffer further, with the resulting burden being transferred to Vermont citizens. Nobody should be under the impression that any proposal passed by Congress will turn the serious economic situation around immediately. However, I believe a timely response to stabilize the credit markets by improving access to capital is a critical step on the road to economic recovery.– Jeb Spaulding, Vermont State Treasurer -end-last_img read more

26 Aug

Mets love Robinson Cano’s head even more than his bat and glove

first_imgThe other fruits of that trade worked out well, as Edwin Diaz pitched a perfect ninth for his first Mets save. Cano also drove in an insurance run in the eighth after Scherzer had exited earlier in the inning — essentially untouchable all day except for Cano’s home run.Maybe if Cano had given the Mets some good middle relief, he could have helped his new team more. But, again, New York couldn’t have asked for more. Asked what Callaway liked most from his new anchor at second, he said, “Can I say all of the above?’’But, he added, using the key word that might define Cano’s 2019 season in Queens, “The awareness on the double play was outstanding.’’ MORE: Watch ‘ChangeUp,’ a new MLB live whip-around show on DAZN“I’m not surprised. My first dinner with Robby this offseason, the first of several, I saw it right away,’’ manager Mickey Callaway said of Cano’s huge day with his bat, arm and head in Thursday’s Opening Day win over the Nationals.“He’s an impactful baseball guy that brings knowledge and brings a winning attitude to everything he does, and our players are unbelievable and they’re gonna want to be helped at all times, and Robby’s in there helping them, and he makes us a much, much better team.’’The Mets definitely looked like that kind of team, and a little closer to the kind of team Cano played for last time he wore “New York” on his chest. Cano arrived in the seven-player Jay Bruce trade over the winter after five years in Seattle, where he had signed after his stellar nine years with the Yankees. He’s now 36, his contract had become an albatross, he served an 80-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs last season, the Mariners are in full rebuild mode, and the Mets wanted him and his veteran smarts and production in their still relatively-young clubhouse. (Cano was one of three 30-plus position players starting the opener, but the next oldest, fellow newcomer Wilson Ramos, is 31, and the other five starters were 26 or younger.)That clubhouse was in awe of how Cano followed the first two Mets batters Thursday, both struck out by Scherzer, with a home run crushed the other way, giving Jacob deGrom all the cushion he needed. Yet what really bailed deGrom and the Mets out and got everyone buzzing was the second-to-home throw that froze Victor Robles at third, leaving him caught in a rundown for the third out when everyone in the ballpark expected Cano to simply turn and try to complete a standard double-play.Cano was pretty much the only person in either clubhouse to play down what he did. He did admit, though, “I like to pay attention to the little details. … I knew he wasn’t expecting me to throw over to the plate. I think that’s the only chance we had.”FAGAN: Hype around Phillies is about more than just Bryce HarperThat move by Cano is what got Callaway talking about what he can bring beyond a reliable bat and glove. They need more than that from him, Callaway said.“It shows the rest of the team not only how to play the game but what winning is all about,’’ he said. “It’s doing things that you wouldn’t normally do … not just the standard routine plays — that matters a lot, you have to do the small things right — but you have to have baseball awareness and make other teams pay when they make a mistake, and Cano did that.’’deGrom called it “court awareness.”“Just knowing what was happening in that situation,” he said, “knowing it was going to be close at first, and seeing the runner (at third) take off, and being able to make that play, was very impressive.’’ WASHINGTON — When you hit a home run off Max Scherzer in your first plate appearance with the team that acquired you in one of baseball’s biggest offseason trades, and it’s not even what your teammates gushed about most, you’ve had one hell of a debut.Robinson Cano managed to be more than anyone could ask for, at that stage of his career and under those circumstances — as well as exactly what the Mets expected when they got him.last_img read more

14 Aug

NBA trade rumors: Magic expressing interest in Spurs’ DeMar DeRozan

first_imgWill DeMar DeRozan finish out the season in San Antonio?The Spurs shooting guard could be moved ahead of the 2020 trade deadline, according to The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor, who reports that executives around the league would not be surprised if the Spurs make a DeRozan deal. Despite the fact that he has performed ably since arriving in Texas from Canada, DeRozan might not be in town for that much longer. He could even be traded ahead of the deadline. DeRozan can become a free agent in 2020 by declining his $27.7 million player option; he was far apart from the team on extension talks before the season, according to The Athletic’s Sam Amick. The Spurs could always deal him sooner rather than let him walk for nothing.TRADE RUMORS: Heat might be stuck with Dion WaitersIn terms of possible suitors, the Magic are searching for “scoring help” and interested in trading for DeRozan, per O’Connor. While it seems odd at first glance, a Magic-Spurs deal could be beneficial for both sides.Despite having a top-five defensive rating (101.1), Orlando finds itself in the bottom three of the Eastern Conference standings because of an absolutely disgusting offense. The Magic own the second-worst offensive rating in the league (99.8), only slightly ahead of the Knicks (99.3), and the worst effective field goal (46.8) and true shooting (50.6) percentages in the NBA.DeRozan has his limitations, but he is capable of getting buckets. He is averaging 19.4 points per game while shooting 49.3 percent from the field through 10 games with the Spurs. He is the definition of a guy who raises a team’s floor without boosting its ceiling — and that might be good enough for a Magic team hoping to return to the playoffs. As for the Spurs, they have a bit of a logjam in the backcourt. Coach Gregg Popovich is tasked with dividing minutes among veterans like DeRozan, Patty Mills and Marco Belinelli as well as rising guards like Dejounte Murray, Bryn Forbes, Derrick White and Lonnie Walker. Trading DeRozan would give those younger players more opportunities to shine and allow San Antonio to fill out a frontcourt lacking depth.The big issue here: What are the Magic willing to give up? As O’Connor notes, DeRozan could enter free agency next summer if he declines his player option. That means Orlando would be giving up assets for potentially half a season of DeRozan. A talented forward like Aaron Gordon or Jonathan Isaac should be off-limits, but that might be the only type of player the Spurs find interesting.The Spurs haven’t placed DeRozan firmly on the trade block just yet. Still, it’s worth monitoring the guard rotation in San Antonio as the season progresses.last_img read more