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Latest  |  Highest rated
  • How the Senate Bill Would Change Healthcare [View article]
    This is a small, somewhat flawed but neccesary step forwards. In the end a majority of doctors support medical reform. When they sign up they signed up to treat patients and care for people not figure out how to save HMO's money denying care and spend a lifetime figuring out the legalities of medical treatment.

    The government is already in healthcare. What we need is regulation, fairness, and efficiency.

    If I believed this would collapse the advancement ion healthcare I would not have bought ISRG this week. If the market thought that, then the pharmas and some medicals would not have risen. The naysayers are not speakijng for the medical community or even for medical practices save the medical insurance companies who will face fair and equitable competition in their essential monopoly or duopoly areas of service.

    The US has a lot to catch up for in the medical world. It has been sluipping behind every other developed nation by medical metrics for over a decade.

    This is not because America doesn't have the best health care procedures and medicine. It's because of the dispensers of medical care, the medical insurance companies still haven't seen fit to support preventative medical care or any care at all unless there is no way out of it. And that's only after you and you doctor fill a warehouse of paperwork to get it. And then another warehouse to bill it to your insurer. Talk about a paradigm of inefficiency. They seem to have learned buraucracy from the old Soviet Union.
    Dec 24, 2009. 12:44 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Capital Spending Picks Up [View article]
    This is a great data point to track. It doesn't show a recovery but is indicative of an economic bottom. Now the issue is if it can hold if there is no more stimulus/currency weakening and/or if interest rates rise. It is because that is highly doubtful that one can not call any semblance of a real recovery, only the technical end of the recession still.

    Don't get fooled or suckered into a last run end of the year rally. Pick only very good companies with great prospects that you won't mind holding even if the markets weaken. Despite my hesitance to participate further in this market, I have felt compelled to jump back in this week buying ISRV. Thus even in a very risky market I still believe in extreme selectivity. Thet means no bulling into broad based mutual funds that, by their nature, can never hedge overall market risk.
    Dec 24, 2009. 12:11 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Outlook for a Merry Christmas Eve [View article]
    Merry Christmas everyone too. This year was not as bad as people feared but certanly near as good as it needed to be towards cleaning up the mess made in the last 10 years. Oh well, at least that gives us plenty to wish for in 2010.

    First on my list is controlling the Federal Reserve and the great sapping of worth it is doing in the name of bank security. QE is a disaster. When will people wake up and realize the Federal Reserve is a banking oligopoly with lobbyists? It's interests have 0% to do with your well being, happyness, or financial wealth. There is no Santa Claus and Bernanke is certainly not it if there was one.
    Dec 24, 2009. 12:03 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Geithner: There Will Be No Double-Dip [View article]
    And if he is wrong what will happen. All the Treasurers, Federal Reserve Chairmen, etc. spew endless amounts of possitive spin and are proven wrong when it doesn't materialize. They in a big way believe it is part of their job. What a job. They should just put it in their job description as such: "My duty is to lie constantly and make no or little excuses if I am wrong. After all, everyone expects me to lie." In the old days it was called a buyer beware clause.
    Dec 23, 2009. 04:26 PM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Year in Review: Newton's Law of Motion, Mean Reversion and Momentum [View article]
    The other rising force is lower liquidity and/or a dollar rally.

    You could also look at other physics laws for guidance like this: For every reaction there is an equal and opposite reaction. That reaction was loose montary policy breeds rising asset and commodity prices. It's the same concoction that drove the 2007 housing bubble. Any QE contraction or drop in liquidity is likely to be met with a violent counter reaction to the previous run built upon a perception of endless free cash to any financial company that wanted it.
    Dec 23, 2009. 03:40 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Dollar Starting to Give Back as Equities Rise [View article]
    If the dollar firms and QE reverses, after commodities get the wind knocked out of them the stockmarket will probably be slammed.

    The big issue is that Bernanke appears to be much more willing to make the dollar worthless than face a double dip. Will Congress and others let him dig deeper into the QE hole in which a stagflation, hyper-inflation, or lost decade of economic oblivion awaits? Given the fact Congress seems largely inept and have learned to be dependent on force fed solutions by outside lobbyists, they most likely will roll over to the Federal Reserve and Treasury yet again at the cost to American taxpayers, America's kids, and America's savers.
    Dec 23, 2009. 03:23 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Focusing on Malinvestment, Not Stimulus [View article]
    I wish malinvestment was one of the 10 most common words attributed to government stimulus and the economy in 2009 because itr is definately a major theme to all the terrible government economic propping strategies. Although we can blame the way government handled themselves, the outcome would be the same no matter what they did. Government spending and stimulus by nature misallocates resouces. That's why capitalism works and socialism doesn't.

    Don't we have enough historic examples to know this fundamental truth. Need the US be another casualty of poor governmental planning running a prosperous capitalist economy off track and into a ditch trying to save old industries and failed businesses and business models?
    Dec 23, 2009. 02:46 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Holiday Bulls, Housing Inventories and Banker Hatred [View article]
    First, the fact that builders keep producing new homes with such a giant existing overhang just goes to show how misallocated our economy remains towards the bubble housing crisis. If you wanted to help the housing crisis a year of low building and low new homes sales would do wonders. Instead we keep pumping money into adding supply to what is already oversupplied.

    If homes were a commodity everyone would lose loads of money, many would go broke, overlegerage would be replaced with cash only on demand quick turn as needed purchases, and the industry would consolidate. The fact that is it not just prolongs the pain similar to Japan's now lost decades.

    As for listening to advice, just because Golman and others are window dressing doesn't mean we should participate. I parked all my money out of this market. I suppose my only regret is not buying ISRG, so even in this uncertain market I am buying some today. It is a good example or a prudent investment in a company regardless of the trend of the general market.

    Invest in a company with a future.
    Dec 23, 2009. 02:07 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Japan, The U.S., And the Lost Decades [View article]
    Assuming that the US' way out of QE mirrors anything similar to Japan's QE bout, it behooves anyone to realize buying the market or even just big cap baskets won't save them. It requires diligence, patience, foresight, and research. Loot forwards at the future leaders not behind.

    For now get out of commodities. Their leadership seems on the waning side. 2010 will be about selective growth if we escape a double dip which is no means certain. A weak double dip will be ok if the Federal Reserve somehow is able to normslize interest rates from zirp and end QE. That will give them leverage to weaken rates in order to stimulate again if needed.

    The worry right now is that the traditional tools of monetary policy are already used. Thanks to a throw the baby and the bathwater at anything dangerous, we currently have no rocket, no machine gun, no tank, and no ammunition.
    Dec 23, 2009. 01:47 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Climate Deal Requires Fairness, Not Equity [View article]
    Canada's tar sands is much more of an environmental mess than just CO2 emissions. From strip mining to boiling the stuff with water and leaving massive mounds of waste, most average people would call it an ecological nightmare if they knew what was going on. So much for the perception of Canada as a pristine environmental sanctuary.

    Which leads me to this point, almost no nation is innocent when it comes to pollution. Thus the grandstanding and pointing fingers at each other is more to draw attention away from their own problems than it is an honest attempt to solve the crisis. While the participants lecture others about what they should do and commit to indefinate and unenforcable agreements little is being done anywhere to curb their own abuses. If anything counties are producing more waste so that when they use a given year as the basis point for curbing CO2 emissions their county's total output is greater and thus gets more carbon credits.

    Altrhough I like the idea of curbing CO2, is this really the right way to go about doing it? I think each country should start taking their own immediate initiatives to curb domestic pollution regardless of an over-arching global inititive that never gets us too far off of the ground.
    Dec 21, 2009. 08:53 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • FDIC Salvage Operation Doesn't Hide Number of Failed Banks [View article]
    There are a few things that could upset banks in 2010 that stand out in my mind. Higher rates meaning the end of zirpishness and free money. The Federal Reserve reveral of backstops and QE which like higher rates shrinks the money supply. Any upset in the derivatives market also continues to be a threat because nothing has been doneto disclose, value, regulate, or solve any of the issues surrounding them. And the erosion of commercial property which is the looming new weakness. Although housing certainly hasn't recovered it is not really eroding significantly. It may not be a growth sector but it isn't the big unknown threat it used to be. It has been replaced by a set of new unknowns.
    Dec 21, 2009. 08:39 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Humor for Yuletide Week [View instapost]
    Mayascribe: I think "catastrophic" was the most used financial term in 2008 and 2009. Everything was described as this in order to justify equally catastrophic government measures which all ended up sucking money from you and your children.

    Then the tem was used by the Treasury and Federal Reserve to devaluate whatever money you had left and make sure you will get almost nothing for whatever you might save. They might have put a spend this before it expires date on every dollar bill. No wonder Americans are compelled to save nothing and spend everything.

    It's a hell of a way to run an economy.
    Dec 21, 2009. 12:51 AM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Dollar Situation Is Getting Clearer [View article]
    If the Fed revokes it's backstops and QE the dollar can sustain its push up into 2010. The Federal Reserve has a lot of excess money to mop up. Someone who has been playing with a lot of virtually free money is bound not to be happy. That being banks and financial institutions.

    Of course, if the Federal Reserve is not serious about ending QE and backstopping or reverses its course abruptly we can expect constant double digit dollar devaluation year in and year out. Unlimited currency output mean no limit to how weak the buck can get. Cause = Effect.
    Dec 21, 2009. 12:44 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Congress Made the Bank Bailouts Work for Taxpayers [View article]
    TARP requirement are tough. Don't make be spew. As for the public getting their money's worth, that's the best joke I've heard in a long time. The only real thing I can agree upon is giving automaker's TARP money was significantly worse thanh giving banks money. Now TARP is becoming a slush fund for just about anything thanks to Hank Paulson who wanted no restrictions on the funds.

    Congress is guilty of gross negligwence giving away taxpayer money without a set of guidelines and requirements. If the economic sky really ever does fall it will be because of bills like this, not because bad banks go belly up.
    Dec 20, 2009. 10:16 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Police Officer Responds to 'Six-Figure Federal Salary Gravy Train' Post [View article]
    Yes I think this jump in $100k + salaries is what Obama calls stimulus, LOL. I suppose that's why his popularity has dropped so much. He should read the stimulus bill before he let's Congress feed him a bill full of garbage. If he wants salary caps on bankers he should start in his own backyard. Control government spending and cap government salaries and benefits.

    Even though some would disagree, the Democratic party's main demographic is not public employees.

    Perhaps I am too harsh lambasting Obama. This mess was not made in a year. The constant creep of out of control government spending has been going on for decades, especially under Bush Jr. who claimed to be a compassionate conservative. He was obviously neither.
    Dec 20, 2009. 10:11 AM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
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