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John Eastman
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John Eastman is a writer, mixed media artist, and founder of several businesses ( ( over 25 years of hands-on business and entrepreneurial experience. He currently works and resides in a studio loft in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and NYC. Mr. Eastman... More
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  • Interview with Robert Lanza, Chief Scientific Officer of Advanced Cell Technology (OTCBB:ACTC.OB
    Interview with Robert Lanza, Chief Scientific Officer of Advanced Cell Technology (OTCBB:ACTC.OB

    I interviewed Dr Lanza at length about developments at this company. They and Geron have achieved milestone success in their work.  I'll be writing an additional article about why now may be the time to seriously look at stem cell firms for investment in an upcoming article.

    The article is at

    Disclosure: no positions
    Nov 27 11:51 AM | Link | Comment!
  • Where is the real Revenue?

    Where is the real Revenue?

     As any experienced CEO will acknowledge, you can never save a company by cutting expenses alone. 

    Republicans, with their newly found status in the U.S. Congress, and now democrats alike are focused on reducing the budget deficit and doing so in a dramatized manner for political gain along the way.   Perhaps with all good intentions, but you can only reduce expenses to a point.  Without sufficient revenue growth and expansion, such reduction is a failed effort. The continued economic recession has front row in the lives of all Americans.  While long-term deficits matter, they are long-term.  Anemic Gross Domestic Product GDP growth rate is what matters today. Increase the GDP growth rate and you produce jobs, tax revenue, and investment. The U. S. real gross domestic product increased at an annual rate  of 2.0 percent in the third quarter of 2010, (from the second quarter to the third quarter), according to the "advance"  estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the second  quarter, real GDP increased 1.7 percent.   China's GDP growth rate is  approximately 9%.

    Cutting expenses on a mass level does achieve lower expenditures, but also reduces services to millions of people who are already over their heads in trying to make ends meet.  Unable to live a productive life and pay for the life’s essentials, major cuts in programs further reduce revenue from their taxes had they been working and spending on discretionary items. For some, survival is at stake here. 

    A higher GDP growth rate causes revenue, that causes tax revenues, and that causes deficit reduction.

    Companies increase their revenue in a variety of ways.  They may invest funds on research and development (R&D), subsequently bringing a product to market and generating new revenue. Other methods include introducing enhancements and variations to existing successful products.  A warm customer is a good customer to re-sell to.  The cost of that sale is far less than new customer development. Yet a third proven method is the fast track way to market share and revenue---company and product acquisitions.   The acquisition of an entire company or a hot upcoming product fuels the revenue hungry parent company.  Expenses and duplication efforts are pared down at the target company, and new revenue netted.

     All of this is American Business 101.

     Where is the public and political discussion about, and plan for real revenue creation?  Cutting taxes at the mid and upper segment of the population in the hope of boistering GDP growth (because people will be spending more) is a wishful and perhaps a long-term idea.  It may have worked in prior years (Reagan’s trickledown plan) but this country’s GDP is too anemic for that now.  The path to balancing the budget and long-term deficit reduction is real revenue increase.

    The ideas being presented in today’s discussions are void of these ideas.  Perhaps new taxes on upper income Americans, and significant tax reductions for firms that invest hundreds of millions into the U.S. economy - resulting in jobs, product development, revenue etc. - are the key.

    Tax cuts to the masses, decreasing services, and wage freezes are expense reductions, not solid new revenue ideas.  We may have to live with long-term deficits for the next 5 years but the fuel for an economic recovery is new ideas for revenue.

    Note:  This essay is also published on






    Disclosure: no positions
    Nov 19 6:10 PM | Link | Comment!
  • The FDA is smoking…….with ideas

    The FDA is smoking…….with ideas

     The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently presented its ideas and somewhat of an ad campaign for continued deterrence of smoking.  The primary elements of their campaign ideas consist of requiring cigarette makers to print bold and extreme graphic health warnings on cigarette packages and billboard advertisements. Their newfound power of regulating tobacco (The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act) has prompt these ideas.

    The nine messages

    These messages would consist of nine new warnings in text accompanied by color graphics depicting the negative health consequences of smoking.  The warnings are:

    WARNING:  Cigarettes are addictive.

    WARNING:  Tobacco smoke can harm your children.

    WARNING:  Cigarettes cause fatal lung disease.

    WARNING:  Cigarettes cause cancer.

    WARNING:  Cigarettes cause strokes and heart disease.

    WARNING:  Smoking during pregnancy can harm your baby.

    WARNING:  Smoking can kill you.

    WARNING:  Tobacco smoke causes fatal lung disease in nonsmokers.

    WARNING:  Quitting smoking now greatly reduces serious risks to your health.

     The ideas are at the proposal stage as unveiled to the public. The FDA is seeking public comment on the proposed rule from Friday, November 12, 2010 through Tuesday, January 11, 2011. The agency is proposing that the health warnings appear on the upper portion of the front and rear panels of each cigarette package, and comprise at least the top 50 percent of these panels.

    In cigarette advertisements, the FDA requires that the warnings appear in each ad, and occupy at least 20 percent of the advertisement including color graphics. Yes, color graphics depicting the harmful affects of tobacco use.

     So is this a good idea?  Obviously the intentions are noble and valid.  Tobacco use is harmful. Hands down, proven over and over again. But where does it end?  This regulation issue happens to be about tobacco use. There approximately 40 million Americans who use tobacco products. Roughly 260 million do not. 

    Do we really want to see graphic images of the effects of smoking?  There are other causes on the streets and on billboard advertisements that come to mind.  For instance, anti-abortion groups and their graphic depictions of fetuses.  Need I say more?   The FDA regulates many products.  Should we expect to see potato chip makers required to post graphics of obese people or overweight babies with their ads due to the obvious negative consequence of eating their product?  The fat content of potato chips contribute to heart disease. How about cheese makers? Americans are eating more cheese than ever and cheese has one of the highest saturated fat content percentages of products consumed in America.  Are we therefore going to see graphic images of grossly overweight people, with heart disease, clogged arteries, etc. on billboard advertisements in the future?

     A picture speaks a thousand words as they say, but to all who experience it, not just a subset of who sees it. Having all of the public experience upsetting images is not productive. The FDA’s ideas for graphic representations may go up in smoke as the public realizes the consequences.

    Note: This essay is also published on



    Disclosure: no holdings
    Nov 12 9:11 AM | Link | Comment!
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