Today's big movers....
Tech rules! USD
Newsmakers rule! BUCY, MOS
Speculative energy plays rule! WPRT, ARLP (the coal MLP -- it's em fogo, en fuego, on fire!), NEP...
Brazil is in the dumpster for now... money coming out...
Seriously, Doc, who cares what Obama knows about economics? Stimulus rules!!!! The trend is your friend and the trend is UP.
LOL, I thought you thought the market sucked?
As to more stimulus, I doubt it would do much lasting good.
Just temporary boosts in sentiment that have a bigger long term cost.
Along with any other budget busting measures and pork they can think of.
Healthcare, near as I can tell is short on reform and going to cost far more on a service- adjusted basis.
And any changes made now in order to win support by the medical establishment will be like an anchor for any new admin wanting to implement REAL reform.
Big Pharma, Docs, Insurance Co's all at the trough at the expense of taxpayers and once the new bill is signed into law, it will be near impossible to reverse course.
Innovation in healthcare delivery will be all but stifled and cost control will be near impossible once the healthcare unions get tenure at the trough as well.
Rationing of services will be the only way to cut costs going forward.
Time to get out of the domestic waters IMO.
Or stick to things that are a bit insulated from the second wave of bad news that's sure to come.
Like interest rates on bonds.
Bernanke going to have to print faster and buy back more bonds unless he's willing to let rates go up.
And where will the money go if the people selling bonds are scared of an increasing rate environment?
Where the marginal money goes when bonds are being sold will be key.
AU/PGM's, materials (for China), energy, and EM's ....and/or go short most US consumer-related stuff is still my current thinking.
<Big Pharma, Docs, Insurance Co's all at the trough at the expense of taxpayers and once the new bill is signed into law, it will be near impossible to reverse course.>
Doctors, again? Jeez, will it ever end?
I think the greatest negative PR stunt in history has to be how all labor costs are thrown at doctor's feet. I swear people must think RNs, LVNs, Therapists, Medical assistants, technicians, and health care managers work for free.
The truth is Winny that my wife is a RN, and a starting salary for a RN is roughly double what it was when she first got her degree sixteen years ago. And that's true for all people in health care... except for doctors.
Starting salary for an internist like myself has roughly stayed the same during that time.
The grand scheme in the 90s to correct health care costs was capitation. That was the insurance scheme whereby you got paid per month by insurers for each member regardless of the level of service you provided them. There was an incentive to keep people out of the office.
One day a respiratory therapist shows up as a patient. He has a punctured ear drum, and I give him antibiotic drops. He then calls on a Sunday complaining of pain, and I have seen him just this one time. I respond to the call, and tell him to buy Motrin and let him know that I am not going to give him a narcotic.
A week later, he shows up in my office with a hand written note condemning me for not adequately treating his pain and for my being rude and tells me he is changing doctors. I ask him how much does he think I made off having him as a patient. He responds, "I don't know. Like $150."
I laugh and tell him try $12 a month. After overhead, that is $6, and after taxes that is $4 a month. And I ask him if he thinks that I got paid for providing a service on a Sunday for free. He shrugs his shoulders. He doesn't care if I got paid.
I then make the comment to him that he thinks that I didn't provide the care that you needed, and there is a word for providing needed services without compensation, and that word is communism. I ask him how many times he has provided free service as a respiratory therapist. He doesn't answer.
And that is one reason I quit: capitalist expectations in a communist system.
An easy way to cut medical costs are elimination of the red tape. Standardizing billing procedures would save at least 10% of the total health care bill.
The reason it is not done is because the fear is making the system more efficient would result in over billing. That over billing has not happened in the rest of the world is not relevant.
The reality is that by making the billing system cumbersome insurers get services provided for free.
End of life care costs 20% of the Medicare's total budget, and it has been tied up in the ridiculous battle over abortion. So we have Sarah Palin's stupid comments about death panels, and some even more stupid parts of the public who believe her.
Malpractice costs are laughably predicted to be at only 2%. The reality is closer to 30%.
One of the stupidest things I have ever seen is Americans are more concerned over their right to sue doctors for screwing up than getting health care.
That countries have higher quality care, lower costs, and less malpractice is lost on the public. They think their ability to beat a doctor over the head is the best way to get quality, and they don't want any facts presented to them that might change their mind.
And that's the whole point. It's far easier to demonize doctors then see what it is truly driving up costs. Doctor's pay is like 5 to 10% of the total health care costs. If the public wants to look at who is truly driving up health care costs, they need to look in the mirror. Doctors are tired of being the public's scape goat,and they are quitting in droves.
many of your plays have to do with the recent surge in U.S. electricity consumption. That it is going up now after going down for two years in a row, a first in U.S. history, is based once more on the notion that all things are well.
The market is surging because it thinks that is a trend. I think it's a hiccup that will last a few months.
Racking up America's public debt to create a surge in demand is not a permanent solution. It's like getting a cash advance on one credit card to pay another.
Winny and I actually agree on this point. Scary.
As far as chasing charts goes, I would do some of it if there was empiric evidence to do so. Short term trading has nothing to do with fundamentals and is entirely based on sentiment.
The chart patterns that TA gurus look at though have been analyzed and shown not to work. The evidence that they do is purely anecdotal.
As Buffett said, if making money is exciting, you are doing it wrong.
"Racking up America's public debt to create a surge in demand is not a permanent solution." This is a very limited myopic view of what is happening... what about normal cyclical factors; what about EM/China demand; what about return of confidence in the financial system... these are all part of the recovery story.
"It's like getting a cash advance on one credit card to pay another." No, it's like someone putting money in my pocket because I'm an equity investor. I don't wish to miss the boat nor do I lament the chance to recover what was lost.
"As far as chasing charts goes, I would do some of it if there was empiric evidence to do so." I'd call myself a swing trader... my current strategy is to stick with the stock and sectors that work and get rid of the others. I have an account with almost no activity, another with some movement and one I use for "trading"....
"Short term trading has nothing to do with fundamentals and is entirely based on sentiment." So what, as long as it's working.
"As Buffett said, if making money is exciting, you are doing it wrong." I don't care about 'exciting', I care about what works. I may have mentioned before that a part of my portfolio was professionally managed by a Lehman Bros subsidiary... At the trough, they created a paper loss of 40%... This was devastating for me. But it served as a wake-up call. Thankfully, I'm recuperating nicely. If I seem "excited", let's just say I'm not shy about sharing my successes... In fairness, I've also been honest about my failures.
Cheers and Happy Holidays, one and all.
which used to be pretty good at being non-partisan is in the Dems corner all the way.
You have to wonder if the Daily Show will show this headline, Franken anti-rape provision may be stripped by a Democrat. See the link: http://minnesotaindependent.com/47850/franken-anti-rape-provision-may-be-stripped-by-a-democrat
The Daily Show also did a lame (and I think false) attempt as to why there is opposition to this provision. One bothersome aspect of the military is that it cannot be sued for anything. So if evil is done, lawyers look at deep pockets and KBR/Halliburton is first on the list.
So if a U.S. marine rapes a female KBR contractor, guess who gets sued? It's not going to be the U.S. government.
And this isn't theoretical. I have lived it. I have been sued due to a hospital screw up, but thanks to a Texas law on county hospitals, the most an attorney could collect from them was $10,000, so they sued me instead. No one denies that the one with the deepest pockets in a lawsuit is going to get hit the hardest.
And this government association with Halliburton/Kellogg, Brown, and Root is not new. LBJ, a Democrat, funneled money from Brown and Root to the Democratic party in the 50s and 60s. And the exact same charges Dems hurl at Republicans today were hurled back at Dems and LBJ in the 60s. What the Iraq war and Vietnam war have in common were presidential (or VP in the case of Cheney) puppets who started wars to help the bottom line of Halliburton/KBR.
But Obama and the Dems ran on change we can believe in, and they lied. They are engaging in business as usual. http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/gop_blasts_kickback_health_fix_dAelgwc0jXXhMD6fwB05IK
"In exchange for Nelson's vote on the $871 billion health bill -- the key 60th vote needed to overcome unanimous Republican opposition -- Democratic leaders guaranteed the federal government would pay the full price of expanded Medicaid coverage in Nebraska."
If this isn't the same old Washington, I don't know what is.
It's this kind of crap Fred that is going to doom the Dems. The governor of Nebraska doesn't want Nebraskans to be given a special deal on Medicaid, and I bet most Nebraskans don't either.
My guess is that Senator Ben Nelson is toast when he runs for re-election.
The political idea I signed out for when I voted for Obama was that he would come and out and shame the crap out of a guy like Ben Nelson for pulling a stunt like this. But that is the problem I mentioned with Obama. He's afraid to get dirty even if it means doing the right thing.
Thank god Obama is a pragmatic realist who can actually bargain his way to a positive outcome.
Imagine if he was as intransigent as you wish him to be: nothing would ever get done -- which would make him a Republican, rather than a centrist Democrat.
If KBR was forcing the girl to room with 400 men and had no security or authorities around to protect the women, then KBR may have some responsibility even if it was Marines who did the deed. However, it was not Marines. It was KBR staff and it gets worse:
The medical evidence of her rape disappeared while in that hands of KBR "security" personnel. Security? For whom?
I has sympathy for your experiences Doc, but none for KBR in this case.
Someone wrote that, "from war, all other evils flow."
"if he was as intransigent as you wish him to be"
Fletcher Prouty wrote about the forces that led to the Kennedy assassination. The more time passes and the more things unfold, the more likely Prouty's theories seem. It is possible that Obama's decision to send more troops to Afghanistan was influenced by the legitimate but inexpressible fear that the same dynamics are at work today.
John Dean has been saying for few years that we are on the verge of Facsism:
evil corporation on the planet. This kind of behavior is not a shock to me because rape is always a part of war, and I believe this woman. The conduct of the military and KBR is disgusting, but I can't say I am surprised.
But just to put in context for you Fred, there are now at least 50,000 Iraqi female refugees, some as young as eight years old, selling themselves to men in Syria.
I was just trying to provide a rationale for opposition to Franken's bill. It's not as cut and dry as the Daily Show made it out to be, and there is politics as usual involved here. And so what if a Republican votes against this bill, it's not as if their votes matter anyway. There's a lot of times a Congressman is going to vote against a bill he or she hopes passes.
And in the end, it appears that the party that is going to do the most to water down the Franken proposal is the Democrats themselves.
I still think this was a cheap shot by the Daily Show to suggest Republicans are somehow pro-rape.
<Thank god Obama is a pragmatic realist who can actually bargain his way to a positive outcome.>
You have 70% of the public in favor of a public option, 60 Senators of your party in control, a house majority, and a public that was so fed up with the politics as usual that it dumped the two candidates the media installed as front runners (Hiliary Clinton and Rudy Giulani).
The public saying enough is what got Obama elected in the first place.
The Democrats claiming that getting single payer wasn't realistic don't even realize how much scrutiny they are under. The level of interest in this bill has been unprecedented.
Just four or five years ago, the carve outs the senators(Baucus of Montana, Lieberman of Conneticut, Bill Nelson of Florida, Carl Levin of Michigan, and Ben Nelson of Nebraska) got put in the bill would be praised. Now, they have signs around their necks admitting that they are bought and paid for.
The Dems have no excuse outside of their own greed and incompetence that a public option was not made into law.
So sure Obama will take a victory lap and proclaim that they have gotten health care reform done when no other president has been able to. But that is one thing, and it is quite another when the American people have to live with the absolute crap that is in this bill/law.
GW Bush got funding for two wars, the Patriot Act, and a huge tax cut through Congress, and he didn't have near the mandate nor the Congressional support Obama has had with health care. The difference between Obama and GW Bush was GWB was willing to get his hands dirty, and Obama isn't.
How do you think people who are ill are going to feel when they are denied care? Do you think that Obama and the Dems plea for "being realistic" with not getting a single payer is going to temper sick people's outrage? Please.
How do you think healthy people in their 20s will feel when Obama tells them that have to continue to pay Medicare taxes (for seniors who get full coverage) and are required to pay for private health insurance that they aren't going to use? Do you think that plea of "being realistic" is going to stifle their outrage ? Once more, please. The healthy person in their 20s is getting totally screwed by this bill/law.
The Dems don't have the Republicans to kick around on this issue, and they are clueless as to why people like myself voted for them.
We didn't do it so an azzhole like Ben Nelson can rip up us off or have a bunch of excuses made. If you can't get into law something that 70% of the American people are for, then you need to go.