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  • QuickChat #270, April 2, 2014 [View instapost]
    Wow, if I was in AZN I would be pissed that they turned down that deal. If I was in Pfizer I would be relieved, but worried that they were trying to blow our cash so recklessly.

    Years ago I predicted that the large American pharma would cease investing in the US on the manufacturing end, BUT would begin a wild MA cycle buying up tiny pharma for their R&D. This move is in line with that idea, except now its apparent that Pfizer has waited too long and is desperate to bolt.

    I wonder if they will now go on a buying spree among the smaller players...
    Apr 20 06:52 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • QuickChat #270, April 2, 2014 [View instapost]

    Interesting article. As usual we see various arguments put forth that historic number crunching yields a dire warning of impending doom, including of course some charts of the S&P and peaks and valleys...

    All measured in US$ without taking devaluation and inflation into the picture. Of course, when one does that, the charts all flatten out and the trends often reverse, and history starts to require actual study to comprehend.

    The Shiller chart as usual is shouting that the sky is falling, and to the author's credit, he eventually acknowledges that it's history shows that it is successful merely 2% of the time. Bah.

    Take the chart overlaying a Fed interest rate, where a comparison is made between thoroughly, massively, inflated equities and an objective interest percentage. Remove a century of currency deflation and inflation, and its a picture of equities performing in a narrow, flat range against an interest rate moving at random.

    The article does better as it concludes that deflationary dangers in Japan and China are likely triggers for any pending crash, arguments that would mesh well with more useful charting that took into account a complete historic perspective.
    Apr 19 07:42 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • QuickChat #270, April 2, 2014 [View instapost]
    The entire system of Socialist/Capitalist Cronyism has at its heart a kernel of zero sum thinking. To get into step with this nauseating ideology, one must start with the idea that the United States has far too much, and MUST relinquish its standard of living for a fair share to be apportioned to deserving "others".

    There is no actual growth, just a division of a static pie.

    Acquiring sufficient power to gain control of the collective assets, so that "fairness" can be insured, is the political prerequisite.

    I have talked to those who hold these beliefs from time to time over the years, and they view themselves as engaged in a "noble undertaking".

    This supports my belief in the existence of alien life, if not alien intelligence.
    Apr 18 03:52 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • QuickChat #270, April 2, 2014 [View instapost]
    Look on the bright side. The US is committing economic seppuku so that deserving people elsewhere can have jobs and enjoy life under their local enlightened despot.

    The 'greater good" redefined.
    Apr 18 01:12 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • QuickChat #270, April 2, 2014 [View instapost]
    I went to school with a Korean kid who could compute things (anything, including rainman stuff and complex algorithms) instantly, in his head. He was just learning English, so he struggled to communicate, but anything to do with numbers was automatic.

    He also had a near psychic ability to look at a list of numbers and pick the "right" answer, even when they hadn't shown him the computation yet. Spooky. The college profs were fascinated.
    Apr 18 11:11 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple: The Case Against A Dividend Increase [View article]
    I tend to generally agree with your points, Moon, but in this case I believe Apple is managing to strike a nuanced strategy that acknowledges the current macro market romance with stock buy backs. Their cash reserves and spending on R&D continue to grow at a healthy rate, while they also continue to participate in strategic M&A.

    Dividends for mega companies are more of a game of demonstrating very long term (if small) and dependable performance. As decades of steady dividend payouts accumulate, the view of these companies as 'dividend royalty' is a bankable reputation.

    Like many complex strategies, there is a right way to do this, and thus far I see Apple taking the high road...
    Apr 18 07:12 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • REE/Strategic Minerals Concentrator, March 18, 2014 [View instapost]
    He's well qualified on paper, has the experience in the business, but he struggled on his first outing with communicating. Language barrier.

    I also think he had to figure out the corporate culture, following NC in the job with Curtis still hanging around as Chairman.

    Then he had to rebuild the LAMP because the original design was flawed.

    He needs to show us that he can handle a tough CC, and NC to boot. We'll see.
    Apr 17 07:05 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • QuickChat #270, April 2, 2014 [View instapost]
    When I was teaching art, I always sought to instill in the kids the concept that art was also very like a serious "sport". I told them that a good baseball player learned to throw a ball by constant repetition and development of their eye/hand coordination, and that built muscle memory. Artists require the same things, and will benefit from practice and repetition just like the athlete.

    There is a tendency to "specialize" teaching, ie, forget that there are many different types of "learning", and thus to cover all of them, different types of "teaching" are also required. Teach verbally, and those students and subjects which best respond to this style of instruction will succeed, while all others will not. Teach visually - teach physically/mechanically - and yes, it follows a logical pattern. We should never forget that we are seeking to teach a WHOLE being with multiple senses plus a mind plus a body, all linked together. The entire entity will learn as a gestalt, if we support that process, and a superior outcome will be the result.

    So I came up with "exercises" for the various key functions needed to learn to draw, to paint, to carve, to mold, etc. For many children there is a need for privacy, particularly when attempting to build skills in very new or difficult disciplines. I also came up with methods by which they could teach themselves much of the things which required repetition, by capitalizing upon those things which come from repetition.

    Anyone who has family members and children interested in the arts should seek out instructors that follow these tenets. I will be happy to work via the internet with anyone who can use this sort of advice.
    Apr 17 05:56 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • QuickChat #270, April 2, 2014 [View instapost]
    Flu season pop for NVAX would not be unusual...

    Followed by drop as the season abates.
    Apr 17 11:19 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • QuickChat #270, April 2, 2014 [View instapost]
    China buys most of the herbaceous feedstocks from elsewhere (the US is a primary source), then process them and rename them and market them as "Chinese". Do some digging and you might discover that there are North American sources for many.
    Apr 17 11:02 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • QuickChat #270, April 2, 2014 [View instapost]
    Maybe Ohio should consider modifying its Primary legislation, to require a runoff if no one gets 50% of the vote. It will tend to level the playing field...
    Apr 17 10:27 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • QuickChat #270, April 2, 2014 [View instapost]
    DG: So, if no one gets 50%, Boehner could win the primary with 40%? Then the advantage to the incumbent of a crowded field is strong.
    Apr 17 10:13 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • REE/Strategic Minerals Concentrator, March 18, 2014 [View instapost]
    Time to start tracking the short action on the ASX...
    Apr 17 09:32 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • QuickChat #270, April 2, 2014 [View instapost]
    I would tend to back Boehner, if simply because a district that had repeatedly put him in Washington every 2 years for SO long is obviously mired in the mud and not prone to making a change.

    This is indeed a situation where a front-runner in a large herd can benefit from the size and constitution of the herd. The also-ran majority will assassinate one another, clearing the field for the current seat occupant, who simply has to wait for the primaries (and likely runoffs, if they have that process in Ohio) to work their magic.

    Add in the doubtless lavish national funding which will flow to the Party leadership (including contributions from the members of groups like the Tea Party who persist in supporting the national party, despite all logic)...

    Apr 17 09:29 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • QuickChat #270, April 2, 2014 [View instapost]
    Probably ethylene gas, DG. Its the culprit in accelerated spoilage in fruits and veggies. There are ethylene "absorbant" containers and bags which help with this, particularly if you are putting this produce in your refrigerator.
    Apr 17 09:17 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment