Wednesday, March 26, 2014

March 2014 SDADA Column

I really don't like to write about the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau each month but they seem to make themselves such an easy target. Every week brings another story that is just so outrageous that it bears mention. Plus they have placed our finance model under direct attack without regard for the adverse affects to the consumer. 

As you probably know, The Emperor's Clothes is a childhood story by Hans Christen Anderson. In this column, Randy Henrick,  associate general counsel and lead regulatory and compliance Counsel for DealerTrack, Inc., draws a very striking analogy between the CFPB and the Emperor:
The CFPB reminds me of the Emperor. They must know that the legal arguments they hope to validate in the Ally Bank Consent Order will not hold up in a court. My fear is that other lenders will be like the Emperor’s ministers and go along for fear that they will be the next entity upon which the CFPB will try to impose similar conditions and thus they go along as well.
If you want a very good analysis of why Ally Financial's recent settlement with the government over auto dealer markups on indirect auto loans is dangerous, read Richard Riese's column in American Banker.  Riese is senior vice president of the Center for Regulatory Compliance at the American Bankers Association.  Riese argues that the settlement was based on based on leverage, not law.  

He makes a very strong argument against the CFPB that can be summed up in the final paragraph of his column:
The government has overwhelming power and resources to pursue enforcement.  Leveraging a settlement on threat of litigation with less evidence than is required to prove intentional discrimination is an abuse of power. Compensating presumptively-minority borrowers who pay the same markup as individual non-minority borrowers undermines equal credit opportunity policy.

Ironically, at the same time the CFPB is accusing others of disparate impact, CFPB's own managers have shown distinctly different patterns in how they rate employees of different races. This report in American Banker details the findings that show a pattern of ranking white employees distinctly better than minorities in performance reviews used to grant raises and issue bonuses.

Ronald J. Rubin, a partner at Hunton &Williams LLP, comments on this issue in the Wall Street Journal. 
The lesson the CFPB should learn from its own disparate-impact experience: Statistics are complicated. Numbers don't lie, but people often misinterpret them. Effect does not necessarily equal cause.
It is inconceivable that CFPB's management could be discriminating against its workers. But disparate-impact statistics equal discrimination. As they say, what's good for the goose is good for the gander!

It is likely that CFPB will continue to ignore all public accusations, Congressional inquiries and media investigations because that is what they do. 

NADA’s Service Provider Data Access Addendum Now Available for Download

Last month, NADA’s Legal and Regulatory Affairs department issued a sample Service Provider Dealer Data Access Addendum (“Addendum”) and cover memo for dealers to use with their third party service provider vendors. This follows a memo sent last August from NADA to all members that contained an overview of the primary regulatory issues surrounding dealer data, numerous practical tips for dealers to consider when protecting their data, as well as samples of the contract provisions required under federal law when a dealer wishes to allow access to dealer data with a third party service provider. The Addendum is now available to dealers as a Word document at

Monday, March 10, 2014

March Madness and My Road to the Final Four

As you may know, I am a regular attendee of college basketball's pinnacle, the Final Four. This year, my road to the Final Four at AT&T Stadium in Dallas may be a long and winding one.
I am a Creighton University alumnus and Bluejay basketball fan. I also represent South Dakota's new automobile dealers on our national association board of directors. These three interests converge over the next month to create a crazy, hectic road for me from Chamberlain, SD to Dallas, TX.
I have decided to blog daily about my road trip. It starts with a day at National Automobile Dealers Association committee meeting in Washington, DC. My family will then join me for the 4-day Big East Mens Basketball Tournament at Madison Square Garden in New York.
From there I will trek across the county to Redondo Beach, CA for three days for a National Automobile Dealers Association Retirement Trust meeting. Following the NADART meeting, I plan to hit first and second round games wherever the Creighton Bluejays play. That will be 3+ days in one of eight cities - Buffalo, Orlando, Milwaukee, St. Louis, San Antonio, Spokane, Raleigh or San Diego. I won't know until Selection Sunday which is March 19. I currently have rooms booked in each of these cities.
So I will pack my bag for two weeks. It will be full of suits, dress shirts, ties and Creighton Bluejays apparel. Unfortunately, that is just a bit too long for me to travel by carry-on. I'll probably have to pack a little laundry soap as well!
I hope to update this blog at least daily and perhaps more often if events warrant it! So check back for updates.


Update: 10:30 AM EDT, 3/16/2014

So the trip to Washington, D.C. went fine and my meeting ended a bit early. I went to Union Station to see if I could get on a train for NYC earlier than the 5:00 PM train on which I was booked. I had read that Amtrak will allow you to move your time up and that's what happened to me.

I got on the 2:00 PM Acela Express and arrived at Penn Station in NYC shortly after 5:00 PM. After a rain soaked walk from Penn Station to my motel (about 4 blocks), I checked in, unpacked and checked on the arrival times of the rest of the family.

The South Dakota delegation was experiencing some delays but the DC group was set for an on time arrival. I call an old classmate that I knew was coming in for the games and we met up at on of the Bluejay bars.
Eventually we made our way to the Garden to watch the end of Seton Hall's victory over Butler and then saw DePaul upset Georgetown. After the games, we met up with daughter Rachel and son-in-law Andrew for a cocktail before calling it an evening.

The South Dakota delegation did not make it in on Wednesday evening and were scheduled to arrive late Thursday morning after another Delta disaster.

Thursday brought the late morning arrival of wife Judy, son Alex and daughter Sarah. After lunch at Greek Corner near our hotel, we decided to go the second afternoon game. We watch Seton Hall's upset of tournament top seed Villanova while at lunch. Providence out-battled St. John's in the second afternoon clash.

We grabbed some dinner between games and headed in to watch the Blujays' game with DePaul. The Jays took care of business and Xavier beat Marquette to set up a third Creighton/Xavier class of the year.

We did not get out of the basketball games until after midnight. Judy and Sarah we tired. Alex was ready to rally with a bunch of friends. We turned in for the evening while the night was just getting started for the rest of them.

On Friday, we played tourist. We walked up 7th Avenue to Times Square and then over to Rockefeller Center before making our way over to Brooklyn for our late afternoon dinner reservation at Peter Luger's steakhouse, which is one of my all-time favorite places.

Our group of 15 had a great meal and a wonderful time and unique dining experience. The steakhouse lived up to my very strong billing!!

It was off to the Creighton/Xavier game from there. The Jays had another strong performance and took care of the Musketeers before Providence ended the Seton Hall season. Again, Judy, Sarah and I were tired and the rest had to rally!

On Saturday morning we went to the 911 Memorial and Battery Park before making our way to Broadway to see an afternoon performance of The Book of Mormon. We all enjoyed the musical very much.
We hustled back to the Creighton team hotel (eventually taking 2 pedi-cabs) from the show to go to the Birds of Pray Creighton mass.

After mass, it was a quick dash through the pizza parlor on our way to the Garden for the championship game. Providence was in a "must win" situation to get into the NCAA tournament and they played like it. They executed a very shrewd game plan, slowed the game down and hit crucial shots.

Meanwhile, the Bluejays had tired legs and could not hit the crucial shots. The result was a disappointing 65-58 loss for the Jays.

The Creighton fans had nothing to hang their heads about though as their team played hard and in front of a staggering number of Bluejay faithful. Every other team in attendance was surprised and the number of fans who had made their way from Omaha and other points around the Midwest to follow their beloved Jays. It made it a lot of fun for all Bluejay fans.

We headed back to the motel to pack, knowing that the 6:00 AM wake up call would come too early. It did but we made it to Laguardia in plenty of time for Delta to delay our flights - mine to Minneapolis then Los Angeles and Judy, Alex and Sarah's to Minneapolis then Sioux Falls.

We all had a great time despite the championship game loss. It was great to spend time together as a family. It was fun to renew friendships with CU buddies for all of us. Especially enjoyed seeing my classmate Bryan Beam and his sister. Also had the son of another great Creighton friend join us for the weekend.

I am hoping to catch my connection to LA as I write this having sat at the LaGuardia gate for 45 minutes while mechanics were fixing the intercom.

Update 7:00 PM CDT, 3/25/2014

So I made my connection to Los Angeles in Minneapolis. I arrived in Los Angeles about 1:30 pm local time.

That gave me enough time to watch some basketball and time for a workout and before our dinner that evening.

We ate at Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes. Before dinner, we enjoyed quite a show. God was entertaining with a beautiful sunset, whales and dolphins. It was magnificent.

After a very nice dinner, we made our way back to our motel, The Portofino, in Redondo Beach. I was exhausted and ready to call it a night.

I had a golf game at Trump National Golf Club Los Angeles the next morning. Trump National was a spectacular course in a breathtaking setting but it probably wasn't the place to play your first golf game of the season. Every teebox had a view of the ocean (and very little view of the fairway!).

We played on a perfect day, 72 degrees and a breeze blowing off the ocean. The huge American flag can be seen from every point on the golf course. I like that. The golf course is a true gem. It is everything you would expect in a championship course overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It did kick my ass!!!

That evening brought another nice dinner and an early bedtime - which was greatly appreciated as I was still somewhere between Eastern and Central Daylight time!

Wednesday was an all-day meeting followed by dinner at Jay Leno's The Comedy and Magic Club. It's a comedy club, so the tables are small and the food is mediocre. That seems to always be the case at these places. But the entertainment was great. I laughed for two hours straight.

The next day was a meeting until noon and then more golf. This time is was historic Palos Verdes Golf Club. Built in 1924, this course had beautiful ocean and mountain vistas throughout our round of golf. It was a much more forgiving course as well and I appreciated that so early in the golf season.

My golf partners for the two days were great. I enjoy golfing with someone who loves the game but does not take themselves too seriously. Jim, Jason and Jim were just that - great partners who loved golf and played quite well.

After an informal dinner with some NADART friends who were still in town, I moved to the Hampton Inn near the airport since I had a 6:00 am flight the next morning.

My flight to San Antonio was early but went well. I made my connection in Salt Lake City and arrived in San Antonio about 1:30 CDT. I rode to our downtown hotel with cabbie Martin who turned out to be our escort for the weekend.

I knew that rides to and from the AT&T Arena were going to be a challenge so I talked to Martin about taking care of us. He did just that for our entire stay in San Antonio including a ride to the airport for Alex and then me on Monday after the basketball games.

Since Rachel and Andrew and Alex did not arrive until later that evening, I had the day to myself. After doing some laundry (a must on a two-week trip), I headed for the Riverwalk. I found a sports bar and planted myself at the bar for the evening.

While patrons would come and go, I could strike up a conversation with anyone about college basketball as I sat there watching three televisions. The cocktails were good, the food was adequate and the view of the basketball games was tremendous. I was happy!

Both of the flights made it in on time and we all met up at the Doubletree Hotel bar where we were staying. Everyone was tired but ready for some Bluejay basketball.

We got going late the next morning and took off for the arena at about 10:30 am. Nebraska and Baylor tipped at 11:45 and we wanted to watch it all.

Baylor beat Nebraska in a very ugly basketball game. Creighton took care of business against Louisiana-Lafayette to set up a matchup on Sunday against Baylor which scared me right after seeing Baylor play. They were long and athletic, just the combo to cause a matchup problem for the Bluejays.

After a break at the only sports bar for miles between sessions, Alex and made our way back for the Providence/North Carolina game. That was a great game as UNC pulled it out at the end. Iowa State took care of business against North Carolina Central setting up a UNC/ISU matchup on Sunday.

We met up with Rachel and Andrew, who went out to dinner with some friends who drove down from Austin, for a nitecap at the hotel bar. We caught the last two games of the evening on TV.

Saturday was a fun day in San Antonio. We started at the Alamo, followed by lunch at a other sports bar on the Riverwalk with some Creighton friends. Next we went to the smoke shop to get some cigars (which we never smoked) and then to Pat O'Brien's piano bar for music and mint juleps.

Then it was back to the Riverwalk to the Creighton bar for a pep rally followed by a walk to Mi Tierra, a rather famous San Antonio Mexican restaurant. By then, we had all had enough to eat and drink and we turned in for the evening.

Sunday was game day - Bluejays and Baylor. We had lunch and watch games at a great bar called The Esquire. Excellent traditional cocktails and original cocktails were their specialty. The cocktail perfectionist would appreciate the big square ice cubes that started every drink. I enjoyed watching the mixologists who only mixed cocktails - they were not distracted by taking orders from the patrons. Other servers handled that task. I highly recommend The Esquire if you get to San Antonio.

From ther, we made our wat to the AT&T Arena - the site of the masacre. Unfortunately, the Baylor Bears mauled the Bluejays. It was a tough matchup for Creighton but they did not have their "A" game that night and the final 30-point margin reflected that.

I will save my reflections of the Bluejays magical season for another post but you can find Coach McDermott's post-game talk to the team here and a good analysis of how most Bluejays fans felt after the game here.

We had a post-game meal at Mi Tierra and then back to the motel. Alex had an early 6:00 AM flight and Rachel and Andrew had a 9:00 AM flight. I did not fly out until 2:40 PM and went home by way of Atlanta. I arrived back to Sioux Falls at 9:20 PM completing my 13-day junket.

Delta had totally destroyed my bag on the NYC-LAX leg of the trip but I felt more wiped out than my bag looked. It was great to sleep in my own bed!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Favorite Albums

When I decided to write a post about my favorite albums, I thought it would be easy. When I began the process, I realized what a huge project it could turn out to be. So I had to set some parameters for myself. If I didn't, this would be a never-ending list (or more precisely a "never published" list!).

Notice that the name of the post is not "Top Albums" or "Best Albums". I think every album speaks to everyone differently and for different reasons. Most of the albums on this list tend to take me back to another time in my life or were significant to me for some other reason. That certainly doesn't make them "top" or "best".

In preparing for this, I looked over several "Top 500" or "Top 100" lists posted on the internet. I found them somewhat helpful in jogging my memory. But the most helpful tool that I used was simply going through the folders of my music on my desktop computer. That's where I found the answers to the question.

What follows is a list of albums, in no particular order, that I consider my favorites. For those that I can, I have commented as to why the album made the list. Some albums are there and I cannot quantify why but I know they belong there. Most of the albums are old - so am I.

You will notice that the list is lacking in the 1990-2010 time frame. I got busy with life, being a father, chasing my kids and not having time to listen to enough music. I don't have as much time to critically listen to music as I used to or I would like. My son continues to expand my musical horizons by opening my eyes to a lot of great new music (which he regularly reviews here). Perhaps that means I will update this list with newer, fresher selections.

I recently read that Pandora claims to be able to determine your voting tendencies by the music you stream on their service. Well have at it Pandora. Let me give you a tip: I vote Republican!

I reserve the right to add to this list and I know I will. This has been a month long effort to identify these albums but it is not an exhaustive effort. I will be adding more so come back to check it out!

I welcome your comments and feedback. Agree or disagree?

Fleetwood Mac - Rumours

Rumours was released when I was a junior in high school. Fleetwood Mac had the hits stacked up pretty well then and this album was full of future hits. It struck me at the time as great pop music but took on much greater significance when I started dating my future wife and it became "our" favorite album. We listened to this album so much during the summer of 1977 that I wore out one of the cassettes that I recorded from the vinyl for my car. It was the "soundtrack" of our early courtship.

I later grew to appreciate some of the musical and production genius and innovation exhibited on this album. I recently read Making Rumours: The Inside Story of the Classic Fleetwood Mac Album by Ken Caillat and Steve Stiefel. Caillat, the album's co-producer, tells the full story of what really went into making Rumours - both musically and personally.

Chicago - Chicago Transit Authority

As a young trumpet player, I was totally smitten by the the unique eclectic blend of jazz, classical, and straight-ahead rock and roll when I first heard this album. The trumpet intro to Does Anybody Really Know What Time it Is? was my favorite trumpet part for years.

I'm quite certain that I'm not the only aspiring young musician influenced by Chicago. Every high school jazz band has Chicago songs in their library. I remember how excited I was when my high school concert band played a Chicago medley.

Chicago is still one of my favorite bands. I kept all of my Chicago vinyl when I sold my records several years ago. There were just too many good memories there for me to cut them loose. One of the reasons this album appears on my list is because it made me a huge Chicago fan.

Elton John - Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

I was 13 years old when Elton John released this album and it seemed he was everyone's favorite artist at that time. This album punctuated a pretty good run for him. To me, it seemed like a greatest hits compilation!

It started with the epic Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding and continued on with Candle in the Wind, Bennie and the Jets, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting (which is still my favorite EJ song!).

I think it is on this list because I listened to it very regularly during a very impressionable time in my life - junior high school. Elton John was larger than life during this time frame as well.

Bruce Springsteen - Born to Run

I was a late comer to Springsteen mania. I was not on the band wagon for Greetings from Asbury Park or The Wild, The Innocent & the E Street Shuffle (though I think Springsteen was more of a local talent at the time those albums were released). Born to Run was released in August 1975 and I don't know that it even hit my radar until the summer of 1976. When I did hear it, I know that I was not overwhelmed by Springsteen's genius because I was listening to a lot of pop music at that time.

Sometime in late 1976 or early 1977, my musical tastes began to mature and I began to realize that the song Born to Run was speaking to me, a 16-year-old boy/young man, about growing up. I realized that the lyrics on this album were deeper and music more complex than what I had been listening to. For the next thirty years, Springsteen was high on my playlist (some would say he was my playlist!).

This album made the list because it marked my maturity - both in musical taste and as a teen age boy! Thunder Road remains one of my all-time favorite songs.

Little Feat - Waiting for Columbus

It's the horns. They are all great songs but the Tower of Power horn section did it for me. Little Feat played a wonderful mix of blues, country, and R&B on this album.

All of these songs seem to be re-worked or extended versions of the studio cuts. Recorded on their 1977 tour, Waiting for Columbus was released in 1978. I didn't discover this album until I went to college. I had the album in vinyl and when I replaced it with the CD version in the 90's, I found two songs had been left off (I assume that was so that they could put the two-record set on one CD). Fortunately, a remastered two-disc edition was released in 2002 that expands and re-sequences the songs into a full concert set, with encore.

I ask myself what a live album is doing on my favorites list because I don't feel that greatest hits compilations and live albums carry the artist's theme or message like a studio album. But this one works for me. It soon was in the Friday afternoon playlist at school where we might have washed it down a time or two with a bit of our favorite malt beverage!

Steely Dan - Aja

I was a bit of a audiophile when I was in high school and college. I DJ'd many dances and used that money to finance my addiction to the best audio equipment I could afford. I was regularly upgrading. I learned that certain music could make your system really rock. Aja was one of those albums that could make any system sound good but it made a great system sound fantastic!!

Steely Dan was considered to be a jazz rock but it had a pop influence. But the production was crisp, clear and defined. The bass lines always stood out making the stereo pop. This is still my go-to music to check how my stereo sounds. When I set up to do one of my middle school dances, I crank up Aja to use as a sound check!

The Rolling Stones - Some Girls

Released shortly before I trekked off to college, it seemed that Some Girls was on the turntable at every party I went to freshman year of college. I have always felt that this was the Rolling Stones version of disco music. Some Girls found its way onto many dance floors during this time. Punk and disco were both pretty popular then and it's not difficult to hear the influence of each.

The album did exhibit the Stones versatility with disco of  Miss You, the punkish Respectable, the balladry of Beast of Burden, the electric blues of Some Girls and the twangy country track Far Away Eyes. Sprinkled among those gems is some good old Rolling Stones rock and roll.

This album makes the list as one of my favorites because it takes me back to that magical time of being on college campus.

Return to Forever - Romantic Warrior

I started listening to jazz-rock early in college. I remember listening to Romantic Warrior for the first time and was in complete awe of the musicianship. Chick Corea's keyboards, Stanley Clarke's bass, Lenny White's drums and Al DiMeola's guitar blended rock riffs with jazz themes and a sound like nothing I had heard before. It was less of a funk sound than previous Return to Forever efforts.

Each of these guys went on to establish very significant solo careers of their own which is why I have come to appreciate the talent on display on this album more as time goes on. Each contribute their unique song writing skills to the album. The songs are different in style reflecting the the composing artist.

Carol King - Tapestry

Tapestry was one of the first albums I ever bought. I'm sure I was driven by the radio play of It's Too Late. I know I had no appreciation for King's songwriting skills and extensive catalog at that time. I know I did not realize the deep pool of talent that played and sang with King on the album.

I did know that I loved the music. Many of these songs were recorded by other artists and met with great commercial success.

Linkin Park - Hybrid Theory

Playing "Mr. DJ" at middle school dances for the past fifteen years has exposed me to some music that I like (and a lot of music that I didn't like!). Linkin Park is one of those artists that I would not have become familiar with were it not for the junior high boys who requested them but would not dance to them.

I am not a rap fan but the rock, hip-hop and alternative music blend by Linkin Park caught my attention enough for me to listen to the entire album. I am interested by how they brought several different genres together while the lyrics had a powerful message. Lyrically, it seemed every single song had a message dealing with a deep, dark topic.

This album made the list because, perhaps more than any other album on this list, it caused me to expand my music tastes.

The Who - Who's Next

I got a new clock/radio with money I had earned delivering the Minneapolis Tribune when I was about 12 years old. It was the kind of clock that had numbers that mechanically flipped over each minute to display the time. It had a really cool feature that was new to me. The "sleep" function would allow me to have the music play for up to 60 minutes before turning off on its own. So I would set the "sleep" function to 30-60 minutes (it was just a dial that was not very precise) before I shut off the lights each night.

Apparently I did not know how to work it very well because I remember waking up in the middle of the night to the eery sounding keyboard bridge on Won't Get Fooled Again. It reminded me of a horror flick when I awoke but when Daltrey's scream preceded Townsend's crashing guitar, I wanted to find out who sang that song. Once I did, I bought it. The album cover appealed to every adolescent boy's sense of humor.

This album appears on the list because the music moved me to action at a fresh young age.

Bruce Springsteen - Darkness on the Edge of Town

History now tells us that the ten pearls that ended up on Darkness were survivors from dozens and dozens of tunes Springsteen penned for the album. After listening to a few that didn't make the cut (Breakaway or The Promise), one can get a sense for what a prolific songwriter Springsteen is. The dam of music was full and it was the ten classics on this album that came over the spillway.

Lyrically, the themes are darkness and despair - ones that come easily to Springsteen. Musically,this is rousing rock music with some of Springsteen's best guitar solos and riffs.

Darkness is the first album to feature the classic lineup that came to be known as The E Street Band. The second side of Darkness is without a doubt one of the greatest sides of any rock album that will ever exist and I know of no other album on which the order of songs works as well as this one.

Though his recent efforts have not inspired me like his earlier efforts because they are so dominated by liberal/socialist/idealist themes, this may be my favorite Springsteen album from top to bottom - and that is saying something because I do like his music!

Warren Zevon - Excitable Boy

Warren Zevon's sense of humor came through in his lyrics. IMHO Zevon is one of the best singer-songwriters of all time. Excitable Boy was produced by Jackson Browne and guitarist Waddy Wachtel and every song on the album has a story.

The song Excitable Boy is  about a juvenile sociopath's murderous prom night. Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner and Lawyers, Guns and Money were political statements by Zevon. His most successful commercial release, Werewolves of London featured Mick Fleetwood and John McVie.

Zevon's death in 2003 was stunning. After being diagnosed with cancer, in 2002, he refused treatments. He began recording The Wind, which includes guest appearances by close friends including Bruce Springsteen, Don Henley, Jackson Browne, Joe Walsh, David Lindley, Billy Bob Thornton, Emmylou Harris, Tom Petty, Dwight Yoakam, and others. VH1 documented a man who retained his mordant sense of humor, even as his health was deteriorating over time.

There are several Zevon albums that could make this list, but I chose this one because it turned me on to Warren Zevon and his many talents.

Jimmy Buffett - Fruitcakes

I am a Parrothead. It is very, very difficult for me to pick one Jimmy Buffett for this list. Buffett's music was what I was listening to while raising those kids on the river. His music is the soundtrack of my summers.

Fruitcakes exhibits a great collection of the Caribbean flavors Buffett does best. He covers the Grateful Dead's Uncle John's Band with a wonderful calypso style that only Jimmy can do.

Buffett's sense of humor shines on this album. Even the titles of some of the songs (Apocalypso, Quietly Making Noise, Vampires, Mummies And The Holy Ghost, etc) reflect Buffet's humorous slant on the world.

As the father of two daughters, his ode to his daughter Delaney Talks to Statues makes me reminisce about how fast they grow up.

The rest of the list...

These albums are among my favorites. They don't qualify for additional comments because either I couldn't think of anything to say or the music speaks for itself (mostly I just had to get this posted and it was really grinding down!). These albums rate right up there with those above.

Coldplay - A Rush of Blood to the Head

Queen - A Night at the Opera   

                                                        Elvis Costello - My Aim is True

Kansas - Leftoverature

Johnny Cash - American Recordings

Billy Joel - 52nd Steet

Marshall Crenshaw - Marshall Crenshaw

The Killers - Hot Fuss

Hootie and the Blowfish - Cracked Rear View

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - Damn the Torpedoes

Boston - Boston

Dire Straits - Brothers in Arms

Santana - Abraxas

Eagles - Hotel California

Van Morrison - Moondance

February 2014 SDADA Column

I'm sure I don't need to tell you that it has been a long, cold, brutal winter. While we can see spring in the
windshield, I am troubled by what I see in the rear view mirror.

There are not many natural gas lines in central South Dakota, so rural residents and small towns primarily use propane for heating. You can see many metal propane tanks sitting in backyards and behind businesses. Propane is bought by hundreds of gallons at a time, so if you’re running low and the price spikes a couple dollars per gallon--it can really hit hard.

Neither Winner nor Chamberlain-Oacoma have natural gas and while it has cost my dealerships a considerable amount of money this winter, I am much more concerned with the amount of car payments that have gone up chimneys in our area.

I know that propane is a supply-demand driven commodity. When demand is high and/or supplies are low, prices will escalate. According to the Energy Information Administration, propane reserves were at their lowest level in January in at least 20 years.

The irony is that we have so much natural gas in this country that we burn it off the tops of oil wells. You can see the net effect of that practice below as the oil wells in western North Dakota burn off enough natural gas to light up the area more than the Twin Cities.

Those of who live in rural area or small towns would benefit from getting that gas being burned off  those wells. I am hopeful that we can find a more efficient way to liquefy that gas or somehow transport it to those of us held hostage to propane costs. Our customers would benefit and our bottom lines would benefit.

NADA Supports Efforts to Reform CFPB 

NADA sent a letter on Wednesday, Feb. 26, to House Members in support of H.R. 3193, a bill to be considered by the House of Representatives today that would bring greater accountability to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

The letter highlights the bureau's effort to eliminate a consumer's right to negotiate a better interest rate on an auto loan offered by a dealership. As the letter notes, “If the CFPB, like other agencies, were subject to customary congressional oversight, it is doubtful it would have attempted to fundamentally change and regulate the $783 billion auto loan market via guidance without (1) prior public comment or hearing; (2) answering direct and specific questions by Congress for nearly a year; and (3) first assessing the impact of its guidance on consumers."

NADA’s Service Provider Data Access Addendum Now Available for Download

Last month, NADA’s Legal and Regulatory Affairs department issued a sample Service Provider Dealer Data Access Addendum (“Addendum”) and cover memo for dealers to use with their third party service provider vendors. This follows a memo sent last August from NADA to all members that contained an overview of the primary regulatory issues surrounding dealer data, numerous practical tips for dealers to consider when protecting their data, as well as samples of the contract provisions required under federal law when a dealer wishes to allow access to dealer data with a third party service provider. The Addendum is now available to dealers as a Word document at