Tal Ben-Ami

Event-driven, biotech, commodities
Tal Ben-Ami
Event-driven, biotech, commodities
Contributor since: 2013
Correct Uberneocon, I am submitting the correction now. Thanks for catching the error! Ampio has since raised an additional $55M which should finance it for at least 2 years out, give or take a quarter unless burn rate significantly increases.
As we say in Israel, המקום ינחם אתכם. May God comfort you for your loss.
Good question. I have perhaps worded it wrong. What I meant to say was that GBM tumors have a tendency to form vascular endothelial cells, which are the cells that line the blood circulatory network (they are one of only a handful of tumors that do). These vascular cells form into blood vessels and are intertwined with the tumor, so to remove the tumor requires surgery that avoids these new blood vessels, which is almost impossible and, at the very least, extremely dangerous.
Important clarification:
Form 144 which was filed by Frost does NOT report a sale of shares. All it does is register shares. Frost has not sold any shares. Only form 4 registers a sale.
Thank you for your kind comment Kathy. Much obliged.
Selling volume always equals buying volume. Buying in the past two weeks has been just as huge.
My point had nothing to do with Frost. See the first paragraph. He was simply mentioned as a catalyst for the recent attention Biozone is getting.
For every seller there's a buyer. All in all Frost sold 15% of his position, which could be nothing more than an accounting measure for tax reasons. This article was not about Frost. In fact, I specifically downplayed Frost's involvement in the very first paragraph. If his selling continues traders should take notice, but it doesn't change the fundamentals of the company.
The DOE will not be a savior to any EV company. It will only distort true market forces. If CCGI succeeds, it'll have to be with minimal government subsidies.
I don't see why CCGI will have to sell any hardware. Revenue sharing is a good business model, there just needs to be more usage.
There indeed was an ability to print in the 1800's, especially after the new quasi-centralized national banking system was put in place after the Civil War. Private banks printed their own private bank notes over and above the stock of gold and silver in their vaults. This was the original definition of inflation - "inflating" the stock of paper not backed by metal. Of course, back then, if banks did this too much, it would start a run and force it to deflate back down. The inflation over the stock of metal would be the boom, and the deflation the bust. That was the business cycle back then. Nowadays the Fed can keep printing an infinitum until the big spectacular bust soon to come.
For more on this, check out chapter one of A History of Money and Banking in the United States.
it's a long chapter but a fun read.
Brian -
Very insightful. I agree with most of what you're saying, and Volcker did quite singlehandedly save the fiat dollar for 30-40 years (we'll see how much longer it has). Dollar steam is completely running off of 80's interest rates. That tank is almost empty and Bernanke simply cannot refill it without bankrupting the Federal government completely.
Where I disagree is that the business cycle itself is not a natural economic thing and needs no "ironing out". Business cycles are a result of theft, plain and simple, theft that is sanctioned by government and allowed to continue. Business cycles are caused by printing money and forcing people to accept it. If money were free market and government enforced bank contracts to pay in gold at all times upon request and presentation of a note, there would be no business cycle, period. There would only be slow, gradual, growth.
Matthew -
The 2000 and 2007 market tops took 15-20 months to fully materialize. It won't be any different in this case. We're looking at an extended topping process which should complete around the end of 2014, beginning 2015. Then the real "correction" will come, which will be more like a cyclical bear.
Netbluesky - I’m honored that you took the time to respond so thoroughly to my article. This is obviously quite important to you and I’m glad. It is to me as well. Point by point, my response:
1) The Fed is dumping huge amounts of cash into the economy. I’m not sure what you mean when you claim that it isn’t. $85B per month in bond buying and MBS’s are being added electronically to the monetary base. Rogers is long the dollar for now because he knows that people will buy it in the short term out of fear, though it is the wrong thing to do, that he is clear about. Currencies will start collapsing from the weakest to the strongest, starting with the Yen, moving on to the Pound, then the Euro, and finally the dollar.
2) The chart of rising commodities essentially is a chart of inflation by definition. In my article I differentiate between inflation and price inflation. Any increase in the monetary base whatsoever is by definition inflation, because no increase is covered by any commodity. Whether this inflation changes prices or not is a different story and less important. In the 20’s there was massive inflation that did not change the price level because the increase in production during that time counteracted it. But the inflation taking place still arguably created the 20’s boom followed by the Great Depression bust.
3) GDP is a meaningless number. It accounts for all the money borrowed from other countries that the US did not produce. It also accounts for damage repaired from things like Hurricane Sandy, which does not add any net wealth to the country. It is an artificial, invented number that can yield no meaningful economic calculation.
4) Treasury bond backing is a fiction. Treasury bonds are promises to pay in dollars. You can’t back a piece of paper by a promise to pay that piece of paper. The logic is circular. Dollars are fiat. The “full economic might of our nation” that you refer to is also a fiction. The US borrows more money than it produces in wealth. So the economic might of the US is nothing but its ability to borrow. That is quite tenuous, an economic might dependent on countries giving it money. When the merry-go-round stops, that might will evaporate with severe consequences.
5) Your point on the Fed not providing liquidity during the depression has the cart before the horse. You’re basically quoting Milton Friedman, who was a monetary socialist. If the solution to depressions is printing money, then depressions would never happen. In fact, according to F.A. Hayek, depressions are caused by booms. Booms are caused by printing money.
6) I do not know how you claim the economy has been stable since 1913. Depressions were certainly not deeper and wider at all before 1913. There were only short panics caused by money printing which were over in less than a year. I’m not sure what you’re using as your metric to say such things.
7) FOREX is not at all fair. It is gambling based on divining the actions of central bankers. If I had a magic oil producing button, oil would lose value. Every central banker has a currency producing button. Therefore all currenies will fall. While all currencies tumble down a steep incline, real commodities keep gaining. One may strengthen in terms of others, but they are all going down in terms of what they can buy.
8) Rising and falling production and consumption are caused by monetary expansion. They are not natural, not in large swings as they have been happening lately.
9) Crashes in oil and other commodities follow booms, caused again by Fed balance sheet expansion. So if you’re asking whether the Fed has anything to do with the extreme volatility in oil and other commodities, the answer is yes.
10) Most of the Fed liquidity is indeed sitting idle. When it starts flowing, prices are going to rise fast.