A Blog devoted to all things SWC, the greatest college athletic conference. Updated weekly with the SWC Game of the Week during football season. Other relevant SWC News will appear from time to time as well.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Tap Water

So, Mrs Bubba and I have always drank tap water. It's fine water, and when we lived in NYC, the NYC water is some of the best tap water. I used to say, "We're civil engineers, our job is to provide clean safe water, of course we are going to drink the tap water.

Now according to this article in the NY Times, we are part of the cognoscenti. Some interesting tidbits from the article that we have sometimes touted to our friends who mocked us.

The public water supply is much more stringently regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency than bottled water is by the Food and Drug Administration. The E.P.A. requires multiple daily tests for bacteria, for example, with the results available to the public; the F.D.A. requires weekly testing, which does not have to be reported to the agency, to the states or to the public.
But I think they do it for other reasons than we did.

“Serving our local water in reusable carafes makes more sense for the environment than manufacturing thousands of single-use glass bottles for someone to use once and throw away,” Incanto explains at its Web site.

But it is always about the bottom line, right?

For almost everyone else the idea is still in the talking stage, in part because there’s a big profit in bottled water, even though some of it comes out of a tap before it goes into the bottle. Restaurants buy it for $1 or $2 and sell it for as much as $8, or even more, giving it the highest markup of any item on the menu. Most restaurants making their own sparkling water are not charging for it.

Geoffrey Zakarian, the chef and an owner of Country in Manhattan, described the ban as “a worthy thing to do.” But he added, “You have to make a profit.”

What I think is funny is how so many people have been "conditioned" to think that tap water is not save to drink. When Mrs. Bubba and I were in Rome they have water fountains all over the city that just spout water. (This is true all over Italy, at least where we went.) Well, we would fill up our water bottles and drink at these water fountains. When we were at the Forum another American came up to us and said, "Is that water safe to drink?" We just said yes and drank it in front of her. I mean, these people invented piped in water. The US is not a 3rd world country, the water is safe.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

For my Hedge Fund Friends...

From the NY Times...

Last year, the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index jumped 14 percent, while the average hedge fund returned less than 13 percent, after investment fees, according to Hedge Fund Research in Chicago.

A little education on hedge funds for those not in the know, correct me if I'm wrong. They are different than mutal funds in that they can borrow capital to invest and are not as regulated as mutal funds. They also charge very large fees, typically 2% of what you invest plus 20% of your profit. Also, it takes alot of capital to buy into a hedge fund, these are for rich people. They can charge high fees because they can deliver high returns. Read the article and see how much some of the managers make, enough to run the National Park system. The rich get richer. Even better when you think about the US cutting capital gain taxes, so you can make this money tax free, and the option is not open to most of us.