September 2010 Update

Spent some time in Lubbock recently.  This points out the fact that necessity is the mother of all invention – when you need to make a living you will dream up very inventive ways of bringing service to the world. We say Guns Up to this very inventive Red Raider.
Check this out.

Most of you reading this probably didn’t know (we didn’t either) Sonny Bentley. Sonny was a retired S & L guy from Abilene Texas. We read about his recent passing in the Bankers Digest and a few things struck us as interesting. He must have been a great guy and lived life to the fullest. He was 88 when he died on a cruise ship in Alaska. Now we can only think of two other things that might be worth doing that would be equal to or better than dying on a cruise ship at 88…but we digress. Back to Sonny…they said he could tell great stories and was a domino master.

Recognize this CHAMPION? It’s Earl Campbell. He stood in the parking lot for pictures and autographs prior to a recent Texans game. He can barely walk without help. As painful as it seemed; we overheard him ask his assistant before he drove off in the golf cart…“did everybody get what they wanted”.  Now that is a winner!

This message is very powerful:
“Did I help everyone get what they wanted in my business today?”

Driving my 16 year to school lately and we were having a political discussion, after we came to many great conclusions that there are many, many things that should change, he asked a great question.  So you’re definitely going to vote, right, Dad?  Now are you ready?  Find out.

It’s easy to be pessimistic if you watch all the talking heads on the business channels today. But according to Dr. Ted C. Jones, senior vice president and chief economist for Stewart Title Company, the Austin area is a job growing machine. The population of the area is expected to grow approximately 273,000 people every five years, doubling our current population of approximately 1.7 million by 2035. Austin has gained 9,900 net jobs this year alone.

Remember our BP call a couple of months ago? We are not stock pickers by any means, but since our newsletter came out the stock is up from a low three days later of $27 and is now at $38.  We would not have mentioned this if the stock went down.  Good lesson in how emotions are just as important as fundamentals, and really shocking to us how an administration can bully entire industries.

Recently, a client of ours, Bridget Thomas, was in the news.  We are really proud of how she has grown her company.  Great story here on how she plays a part in helping Austin.


Had lunch with a Commercial Bank attorney here in Austin recently and his feedback regarding bank workout issues was revealing. He pointed out that banks have more “pre-workout” activity today than they did two years ago.  Seems as though “pretend and extend” is coming due.  Are these assets already marked down?  Given the Big concentration in commercial real estate lending in Texas, this is not a surprise, and explains the continued “tight” disposition the market is telling us is still present.

Here is a blog post that tells one How to Speak Banker, we know how important a good banking relationship is to your company.  Here are a few things you can focus on to make that a reality.

We believe this is a low point for banks stocks. For those of you who think the world is coming to an end, please disregard, but the Fed’s recent statements to keep rates low will allow banks to earn and steadily improve credit quality.  The banks really aren’t lending now, but will eventually and we think the upcoming midterm elections can be a catalyst for increased confidence. Not much is really new – go study the early 90s – it is a very familiar story today.  The difference this time is Basel III and the increased capital requirements.  Will be interesting to see how this plays out.


If you are a policy wonk, here is a great piece on the principles of an economic recovery.  High-points have to do with incentives, which we talk about often. Great points on the correlation between work hours and taxes.

Recently watched Oliver Stone’s original Wall Street in preparation for the new story, still a classic cautionary tale.  We are pulling for Michael Douglas to come through his cancer and we can’t wait to see the new Wall Street 2, where he says, “Greed is good and now it seems it is legal…”  Love that.  WATCH THE TRAILER.  But we think he mis-spoke, it is now “Weed” that is legal since he got out of jail.

A big thank you to all of you who contributed to our efforts at Wonders and Worries.  We sent out one email and got over $5,100 in donations so far, what a great group, thank you very much.  If you did not get a chance please visit the site and see what it does for kids whose parents have been stricken with a serious terminal illness.
Please consider this worthy cause if you have not.

We know Marketing can sometimes be a “blackbox” nobody wants to touch and be responsible for in your company.  If you need to visit with someone who can help you formulate your strategy and get it implemented, we would call Rick L’Amie at
he is putting on a workshop that you can attend for free.
Check it out

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