DODD-FRANK

December 26, 2016


WARNING—This might be a little, if not a lot, boring to some of you maybe most of you.

O.K., with that said, what is the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act? I hear many people indicate the restrictions placed on banks, both national and regional remain THE reason for significantly tight credit since its passage in 2010.   Let’s take a look at the Act, the basics and how bankers feel it is crimping their style.

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act is a massive piece of financial reform legislation passed by the Obama administration in 2010 as a response to the financial crisis of 2008.  There were early signs of distress relative to the impending crisis: by 2004, U.S. homeownership had peaked at seventy percent (70%); no one was interested in buying or eating more candy. Then, during the last quarter of 2005, home prices started to fall, which led to a forty percent 940%) decline in the U.S. Home Construction Index during 2006. Not only were new homes being affected, but many subprime borrowers now could not withstand the higher interest rates and they started defaulting on their loans.  This caused 2007 to start with bad news from multiple sources. Every month, one subprime lender or another was filing for bankruptcy. During February and March 2007, more than twenty-five (25) subprime lenders filed for bankruptcy, which was enough to start the tide. In April, well-known New Century Financial also filed for bankruptcy.   According to 2007 news reports, financial firms and hedge funds owned more than one trillion ($1 T) in securities backed by these now-failing subprime mortgages – enough to start a global financial tsunami if more subprime borrowers started defaulting. By June, Bear Stearns stopped redemptions in two of its hedge funds and Merrill Lynch seized $800 million in assets from two Bear Stearns hedge funds. But even this large move was only a small affair in comparison to what was to happen in the months ahead.

1.) In simple terms, Dodd-Frank is a law that places major regulations on the financial industry. It grew out of the Great Recession with the intention of preventing another collapse of a major financial institution like Lehman Brothers.

2.) One of the main goals of the Dodd-Frank act is to have banks subjected to a number of regulations along with the possibility of being broken up if any of them are determined to be “too big to fail.”

3.)  To accomplish the goal stated in item number two above, the act created the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC). It looks out for risks that affect the entire financial industry. The Council is chaired by the Treasury Secretary, and has nine members including the Federal Reserve, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau or CFPA. It also oversees non-bank financial firms like hedge funds. If any of the banks gets too big in the council’s determination, they could be regulated by the Federal Reserve, which can ask a bank to increase its reserve requirement—the money it has ‘saved up’ and is not using for lending or business costs.

4.) Under Dodd-Frank, banks are also required to have plans for a quick and orderly shutdown in the event that the bank becomes insolvent—or runs out of money.

5.)  The Volcker Rule is part of Dodd-Frank and prohibits banks from owning, investing, or sponsoring hedge funds, private equity funds, or any proprietary trading operations for their own profit.  The Volcker Rule does allow some trading when it’s necessary for the bank to run its business. For example, banks can engage in currency trading to offset their own holdings in a foreign currency.

There are many financial types that see real issues with Dodd-Frank.  These are as follows:

  • Codifies Too-Big-to-Fail. Rather than eliminating the market’s expectation that certain big financial firms are too big to fail, Dodd-Frank creates an explicit set of too-big-to-fail entities—those selected by the Financial Stability Oversight Council for special regulation by the Fed.
  • Threatens Small Businesses.Dodd-Frank’s complex web of regulations favors large financial firms that can afford the lawyers to analyze them. New requirements will be disproportionately costly for small banks and small credit rating agencies. Dodd-Frank’s complex derivatives rules will further concentrate an already concentrated industry. (I can attest to this fact.  My company has been trying to obtain financing for a local CNG project for over two years.  Just now getting that financing in place.  We are not asking for millions of dollars but even that has come under intense scrutiny.)
  • Hurts Retail Investors.Dodd-Frank gives the Securities and Exchange Commission a new set of responsibilities that distracts it from its core mission. New rules impose costs on nonfinancial companies that will be passed on to investors and consumers. Commission resources will be diverted to protecting the wealthiest investors.
  • Consumer “Protections” Harm Consumers. The consumer financial products regulator established by Dodd-Frank, rather than helping consumers, threatens to raise the prices consumers pay and limit the products, services, and providers available to help them achieve their financial objectives. Various rules, such as price controls on banks’ debit charge fees to merchants, are likely to increase bank fees for consumers and drive low-income customers away from basic banking services.
  • Sows the Seeds for the Next Financial Crisis. Dodd-Frank forces complex derivatives into clearinghouses. These entities will be large, difficult to manage safely, and very deeply connected with the rest of the financial markets. If one of these clearinghouses runs into trouble, the economic ramifications could be massive, which means the government will be tempted to engineer a bailout.
  • Creates New Unaccountable Bureaucracies. Dodd-Frank establishes several new bureaucracies, including consumer protection, data management, and stability oversight agencies that operate with limited transparency and little accountability to the American people.
  • More Power for Failed Regulators. Despite their past regulatory failures, Dodd-Frank gives the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Fed broad new regulatory powers.
  • Unchecked Government Power to Seize Firms. Dodd-Frank allows the government to sidestep bankruptcy and instead seize and liquidate companies. Vague criteria define which companies may be seized, and there is limited judicial oversight of the whole process. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation might use the process to prop up failing firms and to favor particular creditors.
  • Interferes with Basic Market Functions. The Volcker Rule, which prohibits banks from engaging in proprietary trading and limits their investments in hedge funds and other private funds, is proving to be difficult to implement. It will be more difficult to comply with and will interfere with the functioning of the market.
  • Replaces Market Monitoring with Regulatory Monitoring. Dodd-Frank relies on the hope that regulators that failed before and during the last crisis will be able to spot problems in the future. For example, Dodd-Frank gives broad new systemic risk oversight responsibilities to the Fed and the Financial Stability Oversight Council. It also raises the deposit insurance cap to $250,000, which will discourage large depositors from monitoring banks and correspondingly increase the likelihood of regulatory intervention.

If you aren’t asleep by now I can’t help you.  This is the long and short of the Dodd-Frank Act.  I would say reform was needed to reign in banks and financial firms that had grossly overstepped their mandates.  GREED was their goal.  They achieved that goal for a short period of time with consequences that have shaken our country and global finance.  Please not that now one banker, insurance company, hedge fund manager or other individual was charged with criminal activity.  Heavy fines were assigned but no one is now doing time for their misdeeds.

 


Our youngest grandson is twelve (12) years old and happens to be an avid Falcons fan.  As you probably know, the Falcons have their home in Atlanta, Georgia.  Actually, he is a rabid fan!  He has a Falcons “T” shirt, sweat shirt, ballcap, socks, underwear, rain jacket, wind-breaker etc.  Our grandson bleeds red and black.  You get the picture.  For his birthday, last week, we purchased tickets to the next-to-last Falcons game.  They played the San Francisco 49s and won in a handy fashion.  The 2016 season will be the last year for the Georgia Dome and the Falcons home field. Next year, the fans will watch the team in the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Let’s find several facts about the “Dome” and look at the complex.

In 1992, the Georgia Dome was completed at a cost of $214 million (US),  The funding came from the Georgia General Assembly, making it one of the largest state-funded construction projects in state history.  It seats 74,228 for football, and can hold approximately: 80,000 for concerts, 71,000 for basketball when the dome is fully open and 40,000 for basketball and gymnastics when the dome is sectioned off (one half closed off by a large curtain). For most Georgia State football games, the dome is configured with 28,155 seats, with tickets for the bulk of the lower level and the club-level seats on sale. The record for overall attendance at the Georgia Dome is 80,892,  This occurred during the 2008 SEC Championship Game in football.

The structure is located on 9.19 acres (3.72 ha) of land.  It has a height of 270.67 feet (82.50 m), a structure length of 745.75 feet (227.30 m), a structure width of 606.96 feet (185.00 m), and a total floor area of 102,149.51 square feet (9,490.000 m2). The dome is the largest cable-supported dome in the world. Its roof is made of Teflon-coated fiberglass fabric and has an area of 374,584.08 square feet (34,800.000 m2). From its completion until the December 31, 1999 opening of the 20-acre (8.1 ha) Millennium Dome in London, it was the largest hooked domed structure of any type in the world.

In 2006, the Atlanta Falcons and the Georgia World Congress Center Authority announced a $300 million renovation to the Georgia Dome. The project was separated into two stages. The first stage, which took place before the 2007 NFL season, focused on updating the premium seating areas, including the creation of eight ‘super-suites’ as well as an owners’ club.  In 2008, the exterior of the stadium was repainted, replacing the original teal and maroon color scheme with a red, black and silver theme to match the Falcons’ team colors; the stadium’s original teal seats were replaced with red seats in the 100 and 300 levels and black seats in the Verizon Wireless Club Level (200 Level). The entrance gates and concourses were also renovated and updated before the 2008 football season.  In 2009, the video screens in both end zones were relocated to a new exterior monument sign on Northside Drive. The interior end zones each received a new and considerably wider High Definition video screen that significantly enhances views of replays, as well as graphics and digital presentations. A new sound system was installed in the same year, replacing the previous system that was nearly 20 years old.

The external structure may be see below.

ga-dome

The dome is adjacent to the Olympic Centennial Park in downtown Atlanta.  Very close to the Park is the CNN Center and the Georgia Convention Center.  As you might expect, this area is always hopping with things to do, great restaurants and other mesmerizing activities.

centenneal-park

Falcons field may be seen from the JPEGs below.  As you can see the internal structure is absolutely huge—huge with no internal supporting members to restrict vision.

falcon-stadium1

falcon-stadium2

One thing you must love about NFL football is the enthusiasm on display from the fans.  One of which may be seen below.  The foursome sitting in front of us would always turn and give us high-fives when the Falcons scored.  The final score was 41 to 17—Falcons.  We were high-fiving most of the night.

fantastic

NEW HOME FOR THE “BIRDS”

Next year the Falcons will move to the Mercedes-Benz Stadium leaving the dome behind.  The existing structure will be torn down to provide much-needed parking in the area.  The Benz stadium will be cutting-edge with all the amities you might expect.

Mercedes-Benz Stadium is an under-construction retractable-roof, multi-purpose stadium in AtlantaGeorgia, that will serve as the home of the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League (NFL) and Atlanta United FC of Major League Soccer (MLS). It is intended to replace the Georgia Dome, which has been the Falcons’ home stadium since 1992. The total cost is estimated at $1.4 billion.  Mercedes-Benz Stadium is scheduled to host Super Bowl LIII in 2019.

In December 2014, the Georgia World Congress Center’s board of governors approved a resolution to raise the cost of the stadium to $1.2 billion. The stadium was initially slated to cost $1 billion, then rose to $1.2 billion in October 2013.

The city has agreed to contribute $200 million in stadium bonds, but with additional tax revenues[42] and with the state of Georgia contributing $40 million for parking expansion, public spending is expected to reach near $600 million.

In January 2015, the Falcons announced the sale of personal seat licenses (PSL) costing up to $45,000 per seat, depending on the section of the stadium. The most expensive tickets will be priced at $385 per game, in addition to one-time PSL fees, for the first three years.

On August 21, 2015, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Mercedes-Benz would acquire the naming rights for the stadium, and this was later confirmed by a press conference at the stadium site on August 24. Under the stadium deal with the city of Atlanta and the Georgia World Congress Center Authority, the Falcons organization controls the stadium’s naming rights and receives all related revenue. Mercedes-Benz USA CEO Steve Cannon stated that the sponsorship would last 27 years, calling it the largest marketing deal in Mercedes-Benz’ history, but Cannon would not disclose the full value of the deal.

As artist rendition, may be seen below.   A real departure from the existing structure.

mercedes-benz-stadium

We had a great time and I certainly hope you find the time in the very near future to visit “HOT-Lanta” and the Centennial Park area.

DRAIN THE SWAMP

December 13, 2016


Sometimes the only way you know where you are is to look back and see where you have been.  My grandfather use to say this to me when I was a kid.   Heard it a thousand times.  It was his way of saying that frequent reflection is “good for the soul” and reminds us we are going to have good days and bad days, at least on this earth.  Countries are like individuals in that respect—not really that different at all.  We still live in a great country, full of promise.  For the most part, a kid born today can be just about anything he wants to be as long as he has a dream AND the work ethic to put that dream into motion.  This fact has been demonstrated time and time again and with a diverse cross-section of our population.  Woody Allen was pretty much correct when he said that 95 percent of success was just showing up.  A dude names Thomas A. Edison indicated that 90 percent of his success was due to perspiration and 10 percent to inspiration.  A fairly smart guy named Einstein said the world is not dangerous because of those who do harm, but because of those who look at it without doing anything.  Years ago, when I played high school football, I had a coach named E.B. (Red) Etter.  Coach Etter had two great sayings, “You boys had better show me something and damn it, if you make a mistake, make it at full speed.”  “The next one seen loafing will do laps to Pittsburg and back.”  Coach Etter did have a way with words.   One more and I will get to the point; “I don’t get to blow the whistle, I don’t get to ring the bell, but just let the train jump the track and see who catches hell.”  Some of us, are quick to place blame, throw someone under the bus, cry foul, put on that “poor me” attitude.  Ever listen to talk radio?  We do have problems and it has become evident, forgive me—more than evident, that the American people are going to have to help themselves.  We are going to have to work around our Federal government if we get any problems solved.  We start by getting “liquid”.  Eliminate debt, become much more independent and much less dependent upon Federal services.  Employ our full resourcefulness.  Engage.

The significant inactivity we see today from our “Executive” and “Legislative Branches” of government results from nothing more than fear.  Fear of taking a stand.  Fear of performing.  Fear of engaging.  Ever hear these before?

  • If I do something to make the train jump the track, I might not get reelected.  Then what would I do?  Better not even try.  Stalling is the best policy.  Let’s consider action AFTER the mid-term elections.
  • I definitely don’t want to offend the unions.  OK, so what if our kids can’t read.  How is that my problem?  I send my children to private schools.  After all, I am a member of Congress.
  • If I protect our borders I will lose 12 million votes.
  • There is more ( and better ) officiating in an NFL game on Sunday than we get from the SEC relative to oversight of the stock market.  Then again, porn sites are much more interesting than working a “day job”.
  • Tort reform!—Do you know how much money those guys contribute to our PAC?
  • We know that “Freddie” and “Fanny” are in terrible shape but a “re-org” right now would be too disruptive.  Besides, fixing them would mean admitting they need fixing and we have been saying all along that they were in “fine working order”.
  • We can fight two wars.  We just have to make sure we send our best and brightest back—again and again and again.  PTST doesn’t last forever—does it?  After all, those prosthetic devices seem to work well enough.

You get the picture.

Ever wonder when these guys work?  Is “The View” more important than sitting at your desk in the Oval Office, with your sleeves rolled up and your tie loosened?  Head down, plowing through.   We have viable information that most of Congress did NOT read the new health care bill.  We have viable information that the most of Congress did NOT read the 2500 page “jobs bill”.  We have viable information that the Attorney General did NOT read the bill passed by the Arizona Legislature BEFORE the Federal suit was levied.  I don’t think in my lifetime (and I’m 74) I have seen a president that travels more than Mr. Obama.  It seems as though he relishes the spotlight and finds great pleasure in conveying absolute minutia to just about anyone who will listen.  When you think about it, what great revelations come from Washington anyway?  I’m not talking about news; I’m talking about “stuff” you can use.  Information that, once known, changes your life; makes every day living easier; reduces stress; promotes a minimal feeling that things will eventually be OK; addresses a growing unemployment; addresses the feeling that there may be a  double-dip recession and does something about it.  Where are the “guys and dolls” we elected?  Well, they are feeding at the public well.  We are truly on our on so, let us act that way.  Develop a resourcefulness that is indicative of our American heritage.  Can do spirit.  The difficult we do immediately, the impossible takes a little longer.  We know that if we don’t they won’t.  Let’s learn from history.

I wrote the above post three years ago.  Since that time—we have a new sheriff in town, Donald John Trump. His message— “Make America Great Again”.   Drain the swamp.  I have absolutely no argument with this but can he do it?  According to the web site POLTIFACT, “the Donald” has promised to do the following during his first four-year term as president:

  • ‘Build a wall’ — and make Mexico pay for it
  •  Temporarily ban Muslims from entering the United States
  • ‘Bring manufacturing (jobs) back’
  • Impose tariffs on goods made in China and Mexico
  • Renegotiate or withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement and Trans-Pacific Partnership
  • ‘Full repeal of Obamacare’ and replace it with a market-based alternative
  •  Renegotiate the Iran deal
  • Leave Social Security as is
  • Cut taxes
  • ‘Bomb’ and/or ‘take the oil’ from ISIS

I am assuming he will accomplish these things using executive orders where necessary and obtaining Congressional approval when available.  When I was a kid it was always easier climbing up a tree than coming down.  Governing is complicated even when you have a majority in both houses of Congress.  The time it takes to make corrections may take as long as creating the problems in the first place even without objections from the rank and file Senators, Congressmen and Women.  I can NOT imagine what might take the place of the Affordable Heath Care Law or how long it will take to implement corrections allowing a better and more workable system.  At an average of 1,100 words per page, the 10,535 pages of Obamacare regulations consist of approximately 11,588,500 words. By contrast, as officially published by the Government Printing Office, PPACA is 906 pages long and HCERA is 55 pages long.  It would take me four years to read it.

Our tax code–takes 73,954 pages to define and explain.  Light reading for a rainy Saturday afternoon.  Nothing that long can be completely understood by any individual. You see the problem.

I personally would be satisfied if he accomplished reinvigorating manufacturing, once again creating jobs, reducing our individual and corporate tax burdens and removing regulations that unnecessarily restrict commerce.  Then again, that’s just me.  I suppose we “hide and watch”.  TO BE CONTINUED!

DALLAS ARBOURETUM

December 11, 2016


I mentioned in my last post five “must see and do” experiences you should take advantage on your next trip to Dallas.  (I do recommend a trip to Dallas.  Put that on your bucket list.) One of those was a visit to the Dallas Arboretum.  My wife and I did just that to witness their rendition of The Twelve Days of Christmas.  IT WAS SPECTACULAR.

I think we are all familial with the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”  It has quite a history.  “The Twelve Days of Christmas” is an English Christmas carol. From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics. It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of the Church. Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality which the children could remember. To fit the number scheme, when you reach number 9, representing the Fruits of the Holy Ghost, the originator combined 6 to make 3, taking the 6 fruits that were similar: the fruit in each parenthesis is not named separately. There are actually Twelve Fruits of the Holy Ghost.

The “True Love” one hears in the song is not a smitten boy or girlfriend but Jesus Christ, because truly Love was born on Christmas Day.  The partridge in the pear tree also represents Him because that bird is willing to sacrifice its life if necessary to protect its young by feigning injury to draw away predators. The two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments. The three French hens stood for faith, hope, and love. The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The five golden rings represented the first five books of the Old Testament, which describe man’s fall into sin and the great love of God in sending a Savior. The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation. Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit—–Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy. The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes. Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit—–Charity, Joy, Peace, Patience [Forbearance], Goodness [Kindness], Mildness, Fidelity, Modesty, Contingency [Chastity]. The ten lords a-leaping were the Ten Commandments. The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful Apostles. The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in The Apostles’ Creed.

I’m embarrassed to admit that I have heard this song all of my adult life and have never known or understood the meaning of each verse.  As opposed to a hidden meaning; I thought it was a light-hearted attempt in which a suiter was trying to gift his girlfriend during the Christmas season. I had no idea it had very deep scriptural meaning.

What I would like to do now is take you on a “digital trip” through the gardens while we look at twelve ingenuous depictions of each day of Christmas.  We first will take a very quick look at the grounds and then onto the kiosks.  Please remember the order is as follows:

  • A Partridge in a Pear Tree
  • Two Turtle Doves
  • Three French Hens
  • Four Calling Birds
  • Five Golden Rings
  • Six Geese a Laying
  • Seven Swans a Swimming
  • Eight Maids a Milking
  • Nine Ladies Dancing
  • Ten Lords a Leaping
  • Eleven Pipers Piping
  • Twelves Drummers Drumming

THE VISIT:

As you enter the Arboretum, you experience a sea of lights.  Trees, walkways, shrubs, statues—all are lighted or highlighted with lights.  The three JPEGS below will give some idea as to how the garden is decorated at Christmas.

enterance-lighting

walkway

The digital picture below does not do justice the magnificent Christmas tree in the center of the garden. The tree stands approximately twenty feet tall and has well over one thousand lights.

christmas-tree

Another absolutely beautiful display is shown below.  Two magnificent Christmas trees covered with snow.

christmas-trees

Let’s now look at the kiosks for each verse of the song.  Remember there are twelve.  Please note the remarkable detail with each representation.  The staff indicated to me the designs, fabrication and installation were are accomplished by in-house personnel.  It took eleven months to bring this song to life.

parterage

a-partridge-in-a-pear-tree-2

A Partridge in a Pear Tree

two-turtle-doves

Two Turtle Doves

three-french-hens

Three French Hens

four-calling-birds

Four Calling Birds

five-golden-rings

Five Golden Rings

NOTE:  Five seals are balancing the golden rings on their noses.

six-geese-a-laying

 

Six Geese a Laying

seven-swans-a-swimming

Seven Swans a Swimming

eight-maids-a-milking

eight-maids-a-milking2

Eight Maids a Milking

nind-ladies-dancing

nine-ladies-dancing2

Nine Ladies Dancing

ten-loards-a-leaping

nine-lords-a-dancing2

Ten Lords a Leaping

Once again, notice the detail.  The ten lords are mounted on a rotating platform.

eleven-pipers-piping

 

Eleven Pipers Piping

twelve-drummers-drumming

Twelve Drummers Drumming

CONCLUSION:

The display in Dallas runs through 2 January 2017.  The surprising thing for me was the level of detail and how each individual exhibit was lighted.   Several of the figures were on movable platforms to show differing designs for each.  No two were just alike.  This was also very impressive.

If you are in Dallas, the trip is worth the two plus hours for a visit.  Hope you can take a look.

 

PECAN LODGE

December 8, 2016


This Thanksgiving my family and I traveled to Dallas, Texas to visit our youngest son and his wife Sarah.  Even though we are East Tennessee “ridge-runners” we love Dallas.  It’s a great place to visit with “tons” of wonderful restaurants, museums, and other terrific things to do and see.  If I may, let me recommend to you the following five visits that we consider “must see and do” experiences.  We have visited each of the following sites and I can attest to experiences.  Here we go:

  • Dallas Arboretum and Gardens–The gardens are truly outstanding but bring your walking shoes.
  • Dallas Cowboy Stadium—Seating 80,000 rabid fans, it sits prominently in Arlington, Texas
  • Ross Perot Museum—Downtown Dallas
  • Downtown Dallas Skyline—A wonderfully modern skyline with truly cutting-edge designs.
  • Pecan Lodge Restaurant—Best ribs and brisket in Dallas and voted one of the best four in the world.

OK, I know there are many many others but if you have only two or three days you might consider these five.  Dallas Cowboy Stadium is out of town but is a remarkable engineering and architectural feat—it is a must see.  Put that one high on your list.

This may be a little off-the-wall, but I would like to take you to the last one on the list—The Pecan Lodge Restaurant.  If you like smoked brisket, smoked ribs, smoked sausage AND all the sides that might go with each, you NEED to visit the Pecan.  The Texas Monthly called it one of the best four (4) BBQ restaurants in the world.  (Of course, they are a bit bias but it is a great experience.)

The owners tell us the following: “It all started when we ditched our corporate jobs and weekly travel that came with them so we could spend more time as a family. And, to be honest, we weren’t out to set the world on fire – just some mesquite wood, plus a little oak. But one mouthwatering bite of brisket led to another, and before we knew it, the juicy secret about Pecan Lodge was out. Folks began to serve us up heaping portions of praise, and soon after, lines started to form for what Texas Monthly called one of the Top 4 BBQ joints in the world.


It’s not easy work, but we love what we’re doing. And there are no shortcuts to doing it right. Our BBQ pit burns 24 hours a day, fueled by nothing but wood and passion. We grind and stuff our own sausage. And anything we can make from scratch, we make from scratch – from our Southern Fried Chicken to Aunt Polly’s banana pudding to our Mac n’ Cheese to the collard greens. Times change, and sometimes you have to roll with the punches. Our little stand at the Farmer’s Market had to make way for redevelopment, so we’ve now set up camp in the heart of Deep Ellum. You’ll find us where Main St. meets Pryor St., and good old-fashioned elbow grease meets smoked perfection”

Before we really get into a pictorial visit, let’s look at how they do it.

Texas Style Brisket by Pecan Lodge
Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups paprika
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 3 tablespoons onion powder
    • 3 tablespoons garlic salt
    • 1 tablespoons celery salt
    • 1 tablespoons black pepper
    • 1 tablespoon lemon pepper
    • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
    • 1 teaspoon cayenne
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
    • 1 trim brisket, about 5 to 6 pounds
    Directions
  1. Combine all the drying ingredients in a bowl and blend well.
    2. Trim the brisket, leaving about 1/4-inch of fat.
    3. Season the brisket with about 1/4-cup of the rub. (NOTE: You don’t want such a thick crust that the smoke won’t penetrate the meat. Let the brisket marinate overnight in the refrigerator.)
    4. Preheat your grill to 250 degrees F using charcoal and hickory.
    5. Using indirect heat, cook the brisket for 3 1/2 hours and flip. Cook another 3 1/2 hours, cooking for a total of 7 hours (about 1 1/2 hours per pound.) The brisket should cook to an internal temperature of 185 degrees F.
    6. Rest for 10 minutes on a cutting board before slicing. Slice brisket against the grain

How long does it take to smoke a brisket? And at what temperature? Are there any tricks to creating the “bark” on the brisket?
The answer varies, depending on the weight and type of smoker you are working with. Most of our briskets cook between 15 and 18 hours. To get a nice bark, we use a generous layer of spice rub, which — blended with the fat insulating the brisket — leads to a nice, dark bark on the outer layer.

I hope you’ve got that and will be willing to give it a try.  The Lodge is very willing to give you this recipe which I think is outstanding.

THE VISIT

The Pecan Lodge opens at 11:00 A.M. each day. Parking is no problem at all with plenty of spaces in the back and sides of the building.  As you walk towards the entrance you see two massive smokers.  These smokers run seven days a week with each brisket taking eighteen hours (minimum) to cook.  We were fortunate this day because the doors to the smoke house were open.

massive-smokers

Since it was the Thanksgiving holiday, there were fifty or sixty people in line to pick up call-in orders.  I can imagine turkey and brisket sitting on dining room tables across the Dallas area. NOTE:  The pick-up line is separate from the line for indoor and outdoor seating.  Don’t get in the wrong line.

call-in-orders-pick-up

We got there around 11:20 thinking we would be one of the first families in line.  Please note we were at the back of the line you see below.  Down the sidewalk and around the corner past the “bull” you see in the background.  I stepped out to take this picture to indicate just how popular this place is.

waiting-line

Due to the number of people ordering and needing to be seated, the management requires each order to be submitted before individuals are seated.  In other words, you can’t send a family member to save a seat while you are in line.  They are really big on this one.

please-be-seated

The two digital pictures below will give some indication as to the size of the indoor dining room.  It’s big and notice not too many people are looking up—all looking down at their plates and going at it.

inside-seating

inside-seating2

It would not be a BBQ “joint” without hats, shirts, belt buckles, etc etc.  These are on display so you can choose and pay as you place your order.

hats-shirts

Given below is the menu.  It’s the only one you get.  We all ordered one, two or three meats and one or two sides.  This gave us variety to share with each other. Note the “Hot Mess” in the upper right of the menu.  I did not order this but my son did and it is outstanding—hot but outstanding.

menue

We were very lucky in that the day gave us seventy-five degree temperatures and plenty of great sunshine.  We ate outside where there were eleven picnic tables—most of them full.

outside-seating

I know we have BBQ in east Tennessee and some of it is pretty good, but we do not have Texas brisket.  Hope you enjoyed this post and can make the visit to the Pecan Lodge in big “D”.

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