Ospreys, Our Economy and RIP Marilyn Schmidt – Wednesday’s Roundup

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Ospreys
There were 932 young ospreys in New Jersey in 2018, a record high, according to a report from the 2018 Osprey Project. We’re looking forward to seeing those magnificent birds come back in a few weeks.

Trains
Elsewhere in numbers, NJ Transit is going to tell us sometime this week the date the train will start running again. Does it feel like they’re messing with us at this point? I think it feels like they’re just messing with us.

Economies
Tom Byrne, whose father was the governor, has an op-ed in the Star-Ledger on the NJ economy (“Are we really that less attractive than most states? Yes.”) which has been growing at 1/3 the national rate, a “little known fact,” he points out.

Byrne, who now runs an asset management firm (“the art of planning; the science of investing”) used to chair the state investment council that paid out many hundreds of millions in fees and bonuses to the funds that manage public-worker pensions.

“There is always criticism of the fees we pay for managing $76 billion,” Byrne said in the 2017 annual report. “Hopefully we remain smart enough to celebrate, not complain,
when a manager delivers us double digit returns even after all fees are paid.”

I’m not in a union, but what if I invested in companies that “delivered” double-digit returns by firing people and cutting their compensation? Am I supposed to celebrate that?

She Saved Buzby’s
We heard this morning that Marilyn Schmidt died late last night. She bought the Chatsworth General Store and almost certainly saved it from ruin, as part of a long and interesting life. She was a hoot to hang out with. We’ll miss her.

Read Buzby’s Last Stand here.

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