• Tim Knight from...
    02/06/2016 - 00:25
    What we must remember is this: we are in a bear market, and the risk of a countertrend rally is present, but confined. The opportunity on the downside movement dwarfs the risk of a push higher, as...

Medicare

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As China 'Buys Low' To Build SPR, Washington Forced To Sell Strategic Crude To Meet Budget





The signs of regime change are everywhere. From embarrassment by Russia's success in Syria to China's creation of its own 'World Bank' and SWIFT alternative, the trend of de-empirization are growing, but tonight's news that Washington will sell oil from its strategic reserve in order to meet budget constraints and avoid default (as China takes advantage of low prices to build its own reserves) is simply stunning in its analogy of the shifting world order.

 
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Bernie Sanders, Don't Kid Yourself!





If Bernie Sanders really believes that socialism is the solution, then he is misguided – even though his criticism of oligarchic cronyism is justified. Socialists believe that the society is just one “organic body” and as with all such entities resources are used indiscriminately by the organism so as to support its various functions, organs, faculties, etc., never mind who produces and who consumes the resources; those are for the whole system to use as is needed: “From each according to his/her ability, to each according to his/her need!” Trouble is some of the people will have to decide about all this.  It is not automatic, contrary to what Marxists think. And here is where the politicians and their appointed bureaucrats enter the picture.

 
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Hillary Clinton Pretends to Be Progressive: She's Actually Conservative





Reality is only what a politician does  in office, not about mere rhetoric. Even when rhetoric is great, such as it was with Abraham Lincoln, it has relied upon honesty in order to be able to be so. Lying rhetoric tends simply to be forgotten by historians. It shouldn’t be, even if this requires us to remember some very bad rhetoric. Lies can be very important, no matter how bad the rhetoric might happen to be. History should deal with what’s important. So should voters.

 
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Competitor Offers Equivalent To Turing's Scandalous $750 Pill For Just $1





Having become an overnight social and industry outcast, at least Turing Pharma's Martin Shkreli had one thing going for him: a business model that afforded him solid margins, because despite promising to cut the price of the scandalous Daraprim, Turing did not do that. Now, however, even that may be in jeopardy following news that San Diego-based specialty drug maker Imprimis Pharmaceuticals, says it can make a close, customized version of Daraprim for a paltry $1 a pill, NBC reports. That's a big contrast to the $750-a-dose that Shkreli said Turing was going to start charging for the same drug. 

 
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A Fatal Accident Waiting To Happen: U.S. Healthcare





Many of the systems we take for granted are historical accidents. Either based on legacy systems hundreds of years old (higher education) or assembled in a short-term, ad hoc fashion (post-1940 national defense/ national security), these systems have expanded into vast patronage systems that are completely out of touch with 21st century needs, costs or realities. The U.S. healthcare system was not planned; it is largely accidental.

 
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Frontrunning: October 20





  • Canada's Trudeau topples PM Harper in shock election win (Reuters)
  • Where Canada’s Harper Hit Hurdles (WSJ)
  • Pugnacious Trudeau Steps Out of Father's Shadow and Into Power (BBG)
  • European Stocks Decline, Euro Rallies as ECB QE Optimism Fades (BBG)
  • Valeant, Under Pressure About Price Increases, Plans Changes (WSJ)
  • Syrian rebels say they receive more weapons for Aleppo battle (Reuters)
 
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Hillary Clinton Sends Letter To FTC Demanding Review Of Pharma Industry, Turing's "Anticompetitive Practices"





For those wondering if Hillary Clinton's feud with the pharmaceutical industry in general, and with Turing Pharma's Martin Shkreli in particular, is over we just got the answer: it is only just getting started. Moments ago Reuters reported that Clinton has sent a letter to the FTC for recommendations on "changing laws to prevent anticompetitive practices", with a focus on Turing which has become a poster child for all that is wrong with the US specialty pharma industry, and the pharmaceutical industry in general.

 
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America's "Inevitable" Revolution & The Redistribution Fallacy





"There are so many fault lines that the nation seems consumed by a conflict of all against all... there is an inevitable “revolution” coming because our politics, culture, education, economics and even philanthropy are so polarized that the country can no longer resolve its differences."

 
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Valeant Stocks Tumbles 9% After Company Confirms It Has Received Federal Subpoenas





Back on September 28, when the specialty biotech drug scandal was just getting started and leading to a biotech bear market, Valeant stock suddenly plunged $50 leading to massive losses for its top holder Bill Ackman when it was revealed that House democrats had requested a Valeant subpoena. To be sure, the company promptly made it clear that an official subpoena had not actually been sent, just that some politicians were demanding one. That changed overnight when Valeant issued a press release providing an "update regarding government inquiries", in which we learn that the subpoena is now official.

 
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Goldman "Picks Apart" The Labor Paradigm: 50 Years Of A Productivity Paradox





"We simply exhausted the productivity benefits of prior innovations. In the late 19th century, hugely important 'general purpose' technologies, like electricity and the internal combustion engine, were invented."

 
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Inflation Watch: Retiree Health-Care Costs Are Soaring





Despite 'promises' of lower healthcare costs (from President Obama) and 'promises' of a comfortable retirement (if only you invest all your savings in stocks), Bloomberg reports the average 65-year-old couple retiring this year will face health-care costs of $245,000 in the years ahead, up 11% from 2014.

 
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More Pain For Biotechs Ahead: Valeant's "Astronomical" Price Increases Take Center Stage; Pfizer Gets Dragged In





Late last week, after looking at Valeant soaring default risk as measured by the price of its blowing out CDS, soaring to over 30% even as its stock prices was surging, we wondered - does someone know something? It appears someone may have known that this weekend, the same Andrew Pollack whose NYT article exposing Turing's 5000% price increase resulted in Hillary Clinton promising to cap specialty biotech prices if elected, has come back for round two and after taking aim at Shkreli and Turing, much to the chagrin of Bill Ackman, Pollack is now taking aim at the biggest culprit: Valeant Pharmaceutcals.

 
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The Looming Medicaid Time-Bomb





Between the demographic time bomb about to go off - that is, the growth of the elderly population far exceeding the growth of the working age population by several orders of magnitude - and then the weak economy, the huge expansion of entitlements under the health care law, and the dramatic increases of the costs of those entitlements, including for labor, what could possibly go wrong?

 
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It's One Indivisible System: Empire, The State, Financialization, & Crony Capitalism





The system is a machine in which each gear serves the whole. So go ahead and try to "reform" the system by extracting whatever gear you don't approve of: the Deep State components, the Security State organs, the Federal Reserve, cartels/monopolies enforced by the State, the suppression of democracy, crony capitalism, whatever. The system is interdependent. Each subsystem needs the others to function.

 
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Dear Martin Shkreli: This Is How You Hike Drug Prices





"In the Twitter-storm furor over Turing’s recent one-drug price gouge attempt, the media has overlooked the reality that Martin Shkreli was created by the system. Shkreli is merely a rogue trying to play the gambit that Valeant has perfected." And there you have it: boost the prices of dozens of drugs in the span of 1-3 years anywhere between 100% and 800% and nobody notices (thank you insurance companies). But hike the price of one drug by 5,500% and suddenly all of America thinks you are satan incarnate.

 
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