Author: Lloyd Graff

Ping pong. Rowing. Surviving somehow in the ghetto.  After a life in Chicago, most of it on the Southside, I thought I knew a lot about black life in the city.  I didn’t know “nuthin.” Over the last few days, I listened to a long interview with Wally Green, who escaped gang life, drugs, death, and a jail cell, with a ping pong paddle in his hand. Today he is a $100 per hour ping pong coach. He has played around the world, is a TikTok celebrity, TEDx Speaker, Cofounder of SPiN New York, and just returned from the Maccabiah…

Read More

Time, money, prospects, hope, and the allure of winning.  It all comes together in the next week of baseball season.  In every business we constantly weigh all of these factors in our daily decision making process.  Do we hire a person with a history of jumping from job to job, knowing he or she has attained skills that will make our business money in the short run? Do we take on a machining job that requires expensive new machines, knowing it may only last a short period? Should we dump a business that has made us a pretty good living…

Read More

The Home Run Derby at the Major League All-Star Game ended up with two young Dominicans, Julio Rodriguez and Juan Soto, blasting 400-footers in a battle for the trophy.  The greatest young stars in the NBA, Nikola Jokić, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Luka Dončić, headed for the Basketball League in their early 20s. Perhaps the best pitcher and greatest hitter in baseball is the same guy, Shohei Ohtani, of Japan. If you have talents, if you have ideas, if you have ambition to have a full life where you can reach your potential, you head for America –still. On the other…

Read More

When I was a young man and we moved into our new warehouse in Oak Forest, IL, one of the first things I did was plant an apple tree.  The soil next to the building had been scraped off to accommodate our parking lot, but I planted it anyway. I love apples, and I wanted to watch the tree grow and bear fruit, along with the business it was close to.  This was almost 40 years ago. I was no farmer. I only planted one tree, and I expected it to magically bear fruit. But it was moribund. It had…

Read More

My son Ari was going to Peru on an adventure vacation a month ago. I thought it would be useful for him (and me, too) if he had a person in the country who he could call as a resource in case of a problem or perhaps just to meet up with for an hour in a cafe. I know exactly one person in Lima, Peru, Marco. We had sold a Wickman screw machine to him 10 years ago. We reconnected last year because he was looking for an INDEX CNC multi-spindle. He came to the US and looked at…

Read More

What if the popular wisdom is wrong? As usual.  For many decades, the consensus was that if inflation gets too hot, the Federal Reserve must raise interest rates to tame it. Reduce demand for goods and services by making them more expensive, then people will purchase less and the pressure on prices will seep out like air in a balloon. It makes sense, seemingly. The Fed is the only powerful force capable of doing this in the American economy because Congress and the President have become helpless beasts stuck in Washington sludge, incapable of reducing federal spending. But in 2022,…

Read More

You are confused about inflation, interest rates, recession—your job. I’m not going to act like the Wall Street economist who knows less than nothing, but proclaims there is a 10% to 90% chance of recession to justify their million-dollar paycheck.  I’m going to tell you what is going to happen over the next year. Give me a grade next July 4th when the fireworks go off. *** Inflation has peaked. The statistics may not show it this month, but car prices are no longer demanding premiums, used cars are more plentiful, and there will be even more available next month.…

Read More

Father’s Day came early for me with the end of the NBA Finals.  The Golden State Warriors won the championship with four of the five players with the most minutes in the final game being the sons of former NBA players. The fifth, Draymond Green, had his Michigan State coach, Tom Izzo, in the stands who was his father figure. Steve Kerr, the coach, has a father story worth relating also. The Warriors have a culture unlike any other in the League. The leader of the band is Steph Curry. His dad, Dell, played 14 years in the NBA. Quite…

Read More

I feel like my 20,000-square-foot house’s lot is a wildlife preserve.  Three weeks ago, a deer gave birth to a fawn in a group of bushes in our backyard. The baby lay well-hidden while its mom left for long periods because deer know how to be discreet around potential predators. She would come back in the early evenings to nurse and clean the fawn, then quietly leave when she saw her baby was hidden away again.  This went on for a couple of weeks. My wife sensed the phase was over, opened our fence, and we have not seen the…

Read More

The country is pulling apart. It’s a mess here.  I don’t think so.  This Memorial Day weekend reminded me of how remarkably bound together we are. Sometimes it takes a dark tragedy like the shooting in Uvalde, Texas, to awaken even the hacks in Washington that we must finally do something to prevent mentally ill kids from firing AR-15 assault rifles in schools.  The copycat massacres are bringing Second Amendment zealots and gun restrictionists together at least on the fringes. I find some hope that the terror may finally be bringing us a bit closer to a consensus. *** The…

Read More