The Flywheel

Program for June 29th

Good bye, George!

Our outgoing president gets the boot, and our new one, the gavel. Should be fun.


MEETING OF June 22, 2007

Welcome, Invocation, Thought for the Day

George Egan led today’s meeting and Stoney recited the invocation.  Bob Dabney led us in the pledge of allegiance.

Rotarians with Guests

  • Jim Paucar brought his brother Mario to the meeting.
  • Richard Alexander brought his 13 year old daughter to today’s meeting.
  • Don Lau brought his disputed son Jordon to today’s meeting.
  • Gary Bell brought Jason Mathews a friend of his to the meeting today.
  • Jim Young brought Dan Miller a Walnut Creek real estate developer to today’s meeting.

Sunshine Report

There were not reports of any Rotarians suffering today other than your editor who is tired of writing the Flywheel that nobody reads because it is so boring. [Not true!]


  • NIAD is having a fundraiser on Saturday June 30 at Draper and Esquine’s new winery at the historical Cannery building at the end of Harbor Way.  The Cannery building is one block north of the renovated Ford Plant on Harbor Way.  Tickets are $25 if purchased early and $30 if purchased at the door.


  • Richard Alexander turned 59 today and donated $100 to the Carl Rafus Fund.
  • Jan Brown contributed $100 to recognize her Birthday and her anniversary.
  • Judy Kafka refused to stand up because she had Levis on in violation of club rules but she was being noticed for her anniversary.
  • Charlie Wong donated to his youngest daughters Paul Harris to celebrate his anniversary of 59 years.

Happy and Sad Dollars

  • Josh Genser tithed $5 because his daughter just got her license and does not have to be her taxi service any more.
  • Rafael donated $20 to thank everybody for coming to his open house.
  • Herb Cole informed us that a clinic project that he is working on the Mexico was receiving funding.
  • Don Lau like Josh was happy that his daughter got her license so he does not have to drive her everywhere.
  • Our Lame Duck President George Egan donated $20 because he had such a good time at the Salt Lake annual meeting.

Raffle Results

Judy Kafka won the raffle but pulled a white ball.  There is $331 in the pot for next time.


Ryan Johanson the past Treasurer of Greater Bay Bank, and Barclays Bank spoke today about the growing popularity of hedge funds as an everyday investment vehicle.

Hedge funds have special powers that in contrast to mutual funds enable them to short sale stocks, and use enormous amounts of debt which greatly magnify the gains and losses of their investments.

These types of financial tools used to be the province of only the rich investors but as more people have the $1,000,000 min required to invest hedge fund investing has become almost commonplace.  However, there is a proposed SEC rule that may increase the minimum investment to $2.5M.

Hedge funds despite their increasing popularity also have a nasty feature whereby they do not have to disclose what they are investing in.  This lack of visibility increases the risk of these types of products and provides a fertile environment for fraud.

In 1960 there were 60 funds today in 2000 there are 2000 funds that control 1 trillion dollars.

Institutions and pension plans have assumed rate of return of 8% - 9% which almost forces them into these types of risky investment where high returns are possible. 

-Scrupulously scribbled by scribe Mark Howe