Detail, east Portland photo, courtesy Miles Hochstein / Portland Ground.



For old times' sake
The bojack bumper sticker -- only $1.50!

To order, click here.







Excellent tunes -- free! And on your browser right now. Just click on Radio Bojack!






E-mail us here.

About

This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 6, 2006 1:29 PM. The previous post in this blog was No Corinthian leather, either. The next post in this blog is Now hear the Word. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Archives

Links

Law and Taxation
How Appealing
TaxProf Blog
Mauled Again
Tax Appellate Blog
A Taxing Matter
TaxVox
Tax.com
Josh Marquis
Native America, Discovered and Conquered
The Yin Blog
Ernie the Attorney
Conglomerate
Above the Law
The Volokh Conspiracy
Going Concern
Bag and Baggage
Wealth Strategies Journal
Jim Hamilton's World of Securities Regulation
myCorporateResource.com
World of Work
The Faculty Lounge
Lowering the Bar
OrCon Law

Hap'nin' Guys
Tony Pierce
Parkway Rest Stop
Utterly Boring.com
Along the Gradyent
Dwight Jaynes
Bob Borden
Dingleberry Gazette
The Red Electric
Iced Borscht
Jeremy Blachman
Dean's Rhetorical Flourish
Straight White Guy
HinesSight
Onfocus
Jalpuna
Beerdrinker.org
As Time Goes By
Dave Wagner
Jeff Selis
Alas, a Blog
Scott Hendison
Sansego
The View Through the Windshield
Appliance Blog
The Bleat

Hap'nin' Gals
My Whim is Law
Lelo in Nopo
Attorney at Large
Linda Kruschke
The Non-Consumer Advocate
10 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place
A Pig of Success
Attorney at Large
Margaret and Helen
Kimberlee Jaynes
Cornelia Seigneur
Mireio
And Sew It Goes
Mile 73
Rainy Day Thoughts
That Black Girl
Posie Gets Cozy
{AE}
Cat Eyes
Rhi in Pink
Althouse
GirlHacker
Ragwaters, Bitters, and Blue Ruin
Frytopia
Rose City Journal
Type Like the Wind

Portland and Oregon
Isaac Laquedem
StumptownBlogger
Rantings of a [Censored] Bus Driver
Jeff Mapes
Vintage Portland
The Portlander
South Waterfront
Amanda Fritz
O City Hall Reporters
Guilty Carnivore
Old Town by Larry Norton
The Alaunt
Bend Blogs
Lost Oregon
Cafe Unknown
Tin Zeroes
David's Oregon Picayune
Mark Nelsen's Weather Blog
Travel Oregon Blog
Portland Daily Photo
Portland Building Ads
Portland Food and Drink.com
Dave Knows Portland
Idaho's Portugal
Alameda Old House History
MLK in Motion
LoveSalem

Retired from Blogging
Various Observations...
The Daily E-Mail
Saving James
Portland Freelancer
Furious Nads (b!X)
Izzle Pfaff
The Grich
Kevin Allman
AboutItAll - Oregon
Lost in the Details
Worldwide Pablo
Tales from the Stump
Whitman Boys
Misterblue
Two Pennies
This Stony Planet
1221 SW 4th
Twisty
I am a Fish
Here Today
What If...?
Superinky Fixations
Pinktalk
Mellow-Drama
The Rural Bus Route
Another Blogger
Mikeyman's Computer Treehouse
Rosenblog
Portland Housing Blog

Wonderfully Wacky
Dave Barry
Borowitz Report
Blort
Stuff White People Like
Worst of the Web

Valuable Time-Wasters
My Gallery of Jacks
Litterbox, On the Prowl
Litterbox, Bag of Bones
Litterbox, Scratch
Maukie
Ride That Donkey
Singin' Horses
Rally Monkey
Simon Swears
Strong Bad's E-mail

Oregon News
KGW-TV
The Oregonian
Portland Tribune
KOIN
Willamette Week
KATU
The Sentinel
Southeast Examiner
Northwest Examiner
Sellwood Bee
Mid-County Memo
Vancouver Voice
Eugene Register-Guard
OPB
Topix.net - Portland
Salem Statesman-Journal
Oregon Capitol News
Portland Business Journal
Daily Journal of Commerce
Oregon Business
KPTV
Portland Info Net
McMinnville News Register
Lake Oswego Review
The Daily Astorian
Bend Bulletin
Corvallis Gazette-Times
Roseburg News-Review
Medford Mail-Tribune
Ashland Daily Tidings
Newport News-Times
Albany Democrat-Herald
The Eugene Weekly
Portland IndyMedia
The Columbian

Music-Related
The Beatles
Bruce Springsteen
Seal
Sting
Joni Mitchell
Ella Fitzgerald
Steve Earle
Joe Ely
Stevie Wonder
Lou Rawls

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Another cooked report

And you thought the fake-y appraisal of the Portland Police Headquarters block was bad. There's an amazing story by Nigel Jaquiss in today's Willy about some highly irregular goings-on at Portland General Electric. Apparently Standard & Poor's let PGE "redline" a few drafts of what was supposedly an independent S&P report on the company's financial condition. The report was then submitted to the Oregon utility commissioners in a bid to let PGE jack up its electricity rates.

It's a pretty explosive revelation, and a story that should be picked up by the national media. S&P looks as bad as PGE on this one. As one reader here put it this morning, articles like this are "why we keep Nigel around."

Comments (20)

Meanwhile, the Oregonian is working on an explosive story about a deputy assistant to the state undersecretary for education who did not itemize a $5 gin and tonic he was comped on a flight from Pocatello to Bozeman. Developing...

Two words. Arthur Anderson.

Capitalism at its finest.

"Capitalism at its finest."

You're right, Allan. This is a perfect example of why Portland city government should take over PGE.

Then we could all sleep easily knowing that Erik & Co. are at the helm.

"Capitalism at its finest."

Hardly -- remember that PGE is a monopoly imposed upon its market by regulation and statute. The only genuine difference between such an operation and a state- or municipality-directed monopoly is that a handful of people outside of Orygun pocket loads of cash with each billing cycle, and apparently lie about their financial status to enable rate increases.

knowing that Erik & Co. are at the helm.

Hey, give Opie his due. That free wi-fi is going to start some serious cancellations of cable and DSL internet service by Portland customers of Comcast and Qwest. I'm sure he and his buddy Marshall are doing a little superior dance -- finally, they won one.

Let's not be premature, Opie may yet snatch defeat from victory with the Metro-Fi deal.

So far, his track record with things electronic is dismal.

Or, to shorten the sentence to its essence; So far, his track record is dismal.

That free wi-fi is going to start some serious cancellations of cable and DSL internet service by Portland customers of Comcast and Qwest.

That's for sure. As soon as the umbrella reaches my house, I'll hop onto the free network and see what download speeds are. If they beat my current provider, adios.

All this talk of wi-fi, and look what pops up on my RSS feed:

Report: Municipal Wi-Fi not just another utility

"A new report warns that cities considering municipal Wi-Fi shouldn’t fool themselves into believing that the experience will be as routine as running water, gas and electricity systems. ..."

"A new report warns that cities considering municipal Wi-Fi shouldn’t fool themselves into believing that the experience will be as routine as running water, gas and electricity systems. ..."

and we all know how routine those are...

...especially water; right, Opie?

"The only genuine difference between such an operation and a state- or municipality-directed monopoly is that a handful of people outside of Orygun pocket loads of cash with each billing cycle, and apparently lie about their financial status to enable rate increases."

Yes, and that's the difference that matters. Those are the capitalists. They are not accountable to ratepayers. They are looking to maximize their return at the expense of ratepayers.

Looks like the WW hit one out of the park with this one. Sort of reminds me of how they "scooped" the Oregonian on the Goldschmidt child rape scandal. I keep wondering if the O is getting scooped, or if they deliberately don't want to investigate stories like this one because they don't want to bite the hand that feeds them so much advertising revenue. There was evidence that they knew plenty about the Goldschmid rape story, but failed to go after it for some reason. The O's selective aggressive reporting coupled with their penchant for self promotion makes me wonder if they should be lumped in with the S&P's and the Arthur Anderson's of the world.

oh well at least there is still Moodys and Fitch.

Suppose you held a hedged position in bonds issued by PGE. (A hedge here means instead a highly leveraged position.) And, their credit rating received a boost. You would potentially reap a windfall . . . all by "accident."

In the interest of transparency I would like a full list of the folks with an interest in PGE issued bonds, and I would want the list of beneficiaries traced back through the layers of incorporations back to real live people.

"I keep wondering if the O is getting scooped, or if they deliberately don't want to investigate stories like this one because they don't want to bite the hand that feeds them so much advertising revenue. There was evidence that they knew plenty about the Goldschmid rape story, but failed to go after it for some reason. The O's selective aggressive reporting coupled with their penchant for self promotion makes me wonder if they should be lumped in with the S&P's and the Arthur Anderson's of the world."

The O did touch on this story on the front page of yesterday's business section, near the fold line.

As for whether its being scooped, I think editors don't want to touch certain stories, and I am not quite sure why. I think it is partly because many news men and women seem to fancy themselves part of an artistic elite that doesn't want to get its hand dirty scooping the real stuff, so they get their wares from the PR folk who bolster their own opinions by denigrating those of other people. It gets so that the truth takes a back seat to social/political considerations.
So we loose the diaglog and interchanges that would help us better understand the world around us.

I don't think it is only the O that is guilty of ignoring/suppressing local stories, but it seems to do it with the most regularity.

Also, journalists seem unwilling to critique the profession and themselves. This happens in law and other professions as well; I guess it's human nature. But I think professionals have a duty to try to get beyond it: to learn, grow, and to serve the public, not just their own career ambitions.

"Suppose you held a hedged position in bonds issued by PGE. (A hedge here means instead a highly leveraged position.) And, their credit rating received a boost. You would potentially reap a windfall . . . all by "accident."

This MAY work if PGE's short term paper was in a distressesd situation (its not), a credit upgrade in PGE's paper would not cause a run in the bonds price.

It looks like they are editing reports to service debt at a cheaper rate.


Grage Wine,

So I looked at your "study", a bunch of opinions by Reason magazine aren't a study, imagine that Liberatarians don't like municipal wi-fi:-)

Among the many assertions that don't pass the smell test was:

Unlike traditional government-owned utilities, the lightning pace at which broadband technology improves and prices fall is difficult for municipalities to match, according to Reason

Excuse me, when has hi-speed ever gone down? I've had broadband for 10 years and the prices are at least 25% higher now than when they started.

One of my beefs is the gaming of one's unique access to advance information, like a pending government decision.

One need only watch Trading Places to see that information can translate to money, particularly with the aid of leveraging tools.

The reason to post here is just to note these two links of interest on liability pertaining to a tip that originates from a government actor.

Trading on political information
Politicians tipping Lobbyists who tip Hedge Funds

The so-called "rating agencies" are private Wall Street corporations that sell evaluations of corporations and are paid by the same corporations that are being evaluated. They use the term "agency," I believe, to make themselves appear to have some sort of connection with government.

This conflict of interest is particularly important in the case of regulated private utilities, such as PGE. Such a utility has a strong incentive, during the late stages of rate case proceedings, to have the rating agencies issue a negative evaluation of the company, as that strengthens its arguments for a rate increase (in the perverse logic of regulated utility ratemaking). While other corporations would seek to paint an accurate or perhaps rosy picture of its prospects, the utility has the opposite incentive -- to paint a negative picture of its prospects, except if its requested rate treatments are adopted by the regulator. Adopting such favorable rate treatment is then touted as being beneficial to ratepayers, as it supposedly allows the utility to borrow more money at lower rates of interest than would otherwise by charged to a utility with weak financial prospects.

This savings on interest costs is usually very small and not remotely enough to overcome the added cost to ratepayers of the rate changes the utility advocates. Yet, this rationale provides public relations cover for regulators who wish to approve rate increases. It also leads to the circular conclusion that ratepayers are benefitted by paying higher rates now, as that somehow will lead to lower rates in the future. But, when the future arrives, the utility again argues that ratepayers are benefitted by paying higher rates now, and so on and so on and so on.

The emails between PGE and S&P appear to illustrate this. PGE management suggested to S&P that the supposedly neutral evaluation includes language stating that the "negative outlook" for PGE could be overcome, if the Oregon PUC were to adopt PGE's positions in the ongoing rate case.
S&P incorporated the proposed PGE change verbatim.

Thus, it appears that PGE successfully turned the supposedly neutral S&P evaluation into a document that affirmatively lobbies for the adoption of PGE's specific proposals in the ongoing rate case, which is nearing the final decision phase.

You Portlanders whine about PGE and 5 or 6% rate increases? Here in The Dalles we're forced to buy power forced to buy power from Wasco Electric Co-op and we have had two (2) 20% rate increases in three years
Wasco Electric Co-op is a private, non profit corporation supposedly owned by the members or stockholders (the ratepayers). Even though Wasco Electric is a state-sanctioned monopoly it is not regulated by the Oregon Public Utility commission (as if that would help anything from judging from their past performance).
Wasco Electric refuses to get the proper easements for installation of power lines, refuses to participate in candidates forums so the stockholders/voters will be informed about the board of director candidates and has threatened to sue anybody who questions anything. All of these statements are true...Please check them out for yourself.
On top of that even though the members or ratepayers supposedly own the company Oregon State Statutes (ORS62) gives the ratepayers no rights whatsoever and protects the Co-op from any oversight. For example the ratepayers cannot even find out what the manager makes in salary and benefits much less get any meaningful financial data from them.
These and many other problems have cost the ratepayers many thousands of dollars. And you think you have problems?


Sponsors


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013
Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
La Antigua Clásico, Rioja 2011
Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
Argyle, Vintage Brut 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16 Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2014
Benton Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
Primarius, Pinot Gris 2015
Januik, Merlot 2013
Napa Cellars, Cabernet 2013
J. Bookwalter, Protagonist 2012
LAN, Rioja Edicion Limitada 2011
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
Denada Cellars, Cabernet, Maipo Valley 2014
Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
Oberon, Cabernet 2014
Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
Three Horse Ranch, Pinot Gris 2014
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
Nelms Road, Merlot 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pinot Gris 2014
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
Goodfellow, Reserve Pinot Gris, Clover 2014
Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2015
Trader Joe's, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015
La Vite Lucente, Toscana Red 2013
St. Francis, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Kendall-Jackson, Pinot Noir, California 2013
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2013
Erath, Pinot Noir, Estate Selection 2012
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Intrinsic, Cabernet 2014
Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
Occhipinti, SP68 Bianco 2014
Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2013
Des Amis, Rose 2014
Dunham, Trautina 2012
RoxyAnn, Claret 2012
Del Ri, Claret 2012
Stoppa, Emilia, Red 2004
Primarius, Pinot Noir 2013
Domaines Bunan, Bandol Rose 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Deer Creek, Pinot Gris 2015
Beaulieu, Rutherford Cabernet 2013
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
King Estate, Pinot Gris, Backbone 2014
Oberon, Napa Cabernet 2013
Apaltagua, Envero Carmenere Gran Reserva 2013
Chateau des Arnauds, Cuvee des Capucins 2012
Nine Hats, Red 2013
Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Roxy Ann, Claret 2012
Januik, Merlot 2012
Conundrum, White 2013
St. Francis, Sonoma Cabernet 2012

The Occasional Book

Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 113
At this date last year: 155
Total run in 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269


Clicky Web Analytics