The White House press secretary ducks and dodges questions from reporters on this Issue. Nancy Pelosi was asked this question and responded "are you serious" and the reporter responded "yes maa'm I am" In which Pelosi said "that Is not a serious question" then left the room. Reporters are actually beginning to do their jobs by asking questions that the average citizen like you and I want asked. Even some Democrats are starting to question the Constitutionality of this mandate. http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/56491 Sen. Akaka Says ‘I’m Not Aware’ of Constitution Giving Congress Authority to Make Individuals Buy Health Insurance
http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/57024 TS [more]
Information that fools should pay attention to If you Invest In leveraged EXCHANGE TRADED FUNDS....
Leveraged and Inverse ETFs: Specialized Products with Extra Risks for Buy-and-Hold Investors
The SEC staff and FINRA are issuing this Alert because we believe individual investors may be confused about the performance objectives of leveraged and inverse exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Leveraged and inverse ETFs typically are designed to achieve their stated performance objectives on a daily basis. Some investors might invest in these ETFs with the expectation that the ETFs may meet their stated daily performance objectives over the long term as well. Investors should be aware that performance of these ETFs over a period longer than one day can differ significantly from their stated daily performance objectives. Continued....... http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/leveragedetfs-alert.htm [more]
If you can read a nutrition label or a baseball box score, you can learn to read basic financial statements. If you can follow a recipe or apply for a loan, you can learn basic accounting. The basics aren’t difficult and they aren’t rocket science. [more]
When Investors start to feel comfortable I get really nervous. With the market searching for a reason to head back down, I personally view this Is a probable watershed event. I know.....everyone says buy the dips, and I say what Is the risk/ reward at these Inflated stock levels? If you think that the dow will be 12,000 In 6 months,then by all means keep buying. On the other hand,what are the odds that we hit 9,000 before we hit 12,000 ? Remember all of the green shoots? The overall market,which Includes small and mid-caps have not participated In the run up In the past couple of months. The russell 2000 Is stuck In a rut to say the least. Congress Is still more worried about health care than jobs, yet all of the talking media heads have proclaimed that the recession Is over. Over for who? Not me. I have been unemployed for almost a year,with no end In sight. Who are all of these people that are doing so well? We have had a house for sale In California for 2 months. Even with Interest rates at 4.6% and a $6500- $8500 credit we cannot get anything done. The main problem? NOBODY CAN GET A LOAN !!!! Unless you have a credit score of 750 or higher,you can forget It. BANKS ARE NOT LOANING MONEY FOR ANYTHING..... Consumers are not spending,banks are not lending,our governments deficit Is equal to 95% of GDP,and ten states are close to bankruptcy. The green shoots need water to grow,and from everything I have been hearing,the whole world Is running out of this precious commodity... http://downloads.pewcenteronthestates.org/BeyondCalifornia.pdf As one financial crisis recedes, another may be beginning. In Dubai this week, we've had a foretaste of what may be to come as governments around the globe seek to grapple with the explosive growth of fiscal deficits and public debt. Yet the important question for markets today is not whether Dubai and Sheikh Mohammed can survive the sandstorm; in fact, that is almost irrelevant. Dubai's debts of $80 billion (£48 billion) are a tiresome and unwelcome irritant which will cause further write-downs among western banks, but in the scale of things not of great significance: Britain is planning to raise more than three times that amount in the debt markets in this financial year alone. Rather, the issue is whether this grand vision of the Dubai desert kingdom is just an isolated, and therefore containable, incident, or a more worrying outrider for a wider sovereign debt crisis which might eventually engulf major, advanced economies. Everyone thought the financial implosion of the last two years was largely behind us – yet Dubai has reminded us that if nations start defaulting, then it may be about to enter a new and even more frightening phase. Across the developed world, public debt is set on an explosive course. According to new estimates by Moody's, the credit ratings agency, the total stock of sovereign debt worldwide will have risen by more than 50 per cent between the start of the financial crisis in 2007 and the end of next year, to $15.3 trillion. I don't have a good feeling about all of this. I think It all of this adds up to another crisis wating to happen... As always, tread lightly fools...... see you on Monday... TS [more]
Warren Buffett who has been reluctant to split his companies stock will do just that In early 2010.Buffetts class "B" shares will split 50 for one. Look for Standard & Poors to add this company to the S&P 500 Index soon thereafter. Index funds that track the S&P 500 will Immediately begin adding this stock to their portfolios. This should give the newly split shares some POP as this unfolds. Buffet bet big on the U.S economy over the long term by purchasing Burlington Northern Railroad at a 31% premium to the stock price at the time. One of the primary reasons for the split Is to better allow the shareholders of (BNI) to take stock for the deal Instead of cash. This gives Investors like you and me the chance to own stock In one of the premiere companies of a generation,and maybe even make some extra cash along the way. I urge all fools to take advantage of this probable lucrative situation. I will be buying some of the class B shares BEFORE the split,and then add to my positions over time. Accumulating some of these shares before the split could be the way to go If you can. If you wait until after the split,I am confident you will still be richly rewarded over the long haul.... http://www.google.com/finance?q=NYSE%3ABRK.B TS [more]
How many times a day do you hear the term "ask your doctor", or "tell your doctor" on T.V ? More times than you think.....A bitter pill for taxpayers: Drug ads do nothing but boost drug prices Melly Alazraki
Nov 24th 2009 A new study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that direct-to-consumer drug advertising may be associated with increased drug prices -- and little else. Specifically, researchers looked at blood-thinner (anti-clotting) drug Plavix, which is commonly prescribed for heart conditions. They found that advertising aimed at consumers did not actually increase the use of the drug. However, because of the increased expenditure for advertising, the price of the drug increased, and so did the reimbursement cost of Plavix for Medicaid patients.
"The cost of drugs to public and private health insurance programs has been a long-standing source of concern among policy markers," wrote the study's authors, Michael Law of the University of British Columbia and his colleagues. Indeed, several members of Congress have asked the GAO recently to examine allegations of price gouging on drugs, especially in light of the ongoing debate over health-care reform legislation.
Prescription drug prices are cited as one of the three top reasons for Medicaid expenditure growth, and prescription drug costs have increased by an average of 15.4% per year between 1994 and 2004. Meanwhile, spending for direct-to-consumer drug advertising has increased more than 330% in the last 10 years, the authors write.
Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) and Sanofi-Aventis's (SNY) Plavix has annual sales of $9.5 billion last year. The researchers chose Plavix because there was no consumer advertising for the drug from 1999 to 2000. Then, from 2001 to 2005, U.S. spending on consumer advertising for Plavix exceeded $350 million, an average of $70 million per year.
The researchers examined data from Medicaid programs in 27 states. Despite all of that advertising, the use of Plavix by patients in those states' programs did not change. More precisely, since Plavix sales were growing, the ad campaign did not accelerate that growth. However, the price of a Plavix pill increased by 40 cents, or 12%, after the ad campaign began. "Overall, this change resulted in an additional $207 million in total pharmacy expenditures," the authors wrote. Add in the additional revenues from the rest of the states' Medicaid programs, and the cost to taxpayers would be much higher. (Perhaps sufficient to cover the cost of the ad campaign?) This latest research builds on results of an older study which also showed drug advertising to consumers had only minimal impact on sales.
Those who are in favor of direct-to-consumer advertising of brand-name drugs argue that advertising makes patients more knowledgeable, allowing them to ask for treatments from their doctors. The opponents of this practice claim that more often, such advertising misleads consumers about the benefits and risks of many drugs. Neither side ever questioned whether ads would increase medication use or not.
Most countries in the world do not allow advertising of prescription medications directly to patients. Meanwhile, Americans spend most than other nations on health-care -- 16% of U.S. GDP in 2007. It seems that both sides in the direct-to-consumer advertising debate are wrong in their estimates of the effect of drug advertising on use. But the research does support what both sides agree on -- that consumer advertising costs contribute to that higher American health-care bill, as the Los Angeles Times wrote.
Not everybody fully agrees with the study's methodology and findings; some suggest, as the authors of the study themselves do, that there need to be more studies done on the matter. [more]
Happy turkey day to all fools........... TS
Answer the online poll related to this article. So far a majority of Americans have rated his presidency an F minus....... http://www.usnews.com/articles/news/obama/2009/11/25/trouble-is-brewing-for-obama-democrats-in-2010.html TS [more]
How can there be a recovery If the banks are not lending,and consumers are not spending ? .Washington Post Staff Writer Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Lending by U.S. banks plunged by 2.8 percent in the third quarter, the largest drop since at least 1984 and the fifth consecutive quarter in which banks have reduced lending, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. reported Tuesday. [more]
With many key trial results being announced over the next 12 months,this biotech seems like a logical addition to anyones portfolio,with a fairly low degree of risk at this currently depressed stock price of $1.63 Key Developments (LXRX) Lexicon completed patient enrollment ahead of schedule in a Phase 2a clinical trial of its drug candidate for non-constipating irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), LX1031, an inhibitor of tryptophan hydroxylase that acts locally in the gastrointestinal tract. Top-line data from the trial is expected to be available in November 2009, with detailed results available in the first quarter of 2010.Lexicon completed Phase 1 studies of its drug candidate for type 2 diabetes, LX4211, an inhibitor of sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2). The company also initiated a Phase 2a clinical trial of the drug candidate in patients with diabetes. In the Phase 1 clinical trial, LX4211 was well tolerated at all dose levels and produced a dose-dependent increase in urinary glucose excretion. LX4211 also demonstrated a favorable pharmacokinetic profile supporting the potential for once daily dosing. The Phase 2 clinical trial is designed as a four-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study to evaluate the safety and tolerability of LX4211 and its effect on biomarkers associated with type 2 diabetes. The trial will be conducted in the United States and is expected to enroll 36 patients with non-insulin dependent type 2 diabetes. Top-line data from the trial is expected to be available in the first quarter of 2010.Lexicon advanced LX2931, an inhibitor of sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) lyase, into a Phase 2a study in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. The Phase 2 clinical trial is designed as a 12-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study to evaluate the safety and tolerability of LX2931 and its effects on symptoms associated with rheumatoid arthritis. The study will include up to 120 patients and will be conducted at multiple centers in the United States and Eastern Europe. Top-line data from the trial is expected to be available in the third quarter of 2010. Lexicon continues to enroll patients in a Phase 2a study of its drug candidate for carcinoid syndrome, LX1032, an inhibitor of tryptophan hydroxylase that reduces peripheral serotonin production without affecting brain serotonin levels. The Phase 2 clinical trial is designed as a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study to evaluate the safety and tolerability of LX1032 and its effects on symptoms associated with carcinoid syndrome. The study will include up to 28 patients with carcinoid syndrome who are symptomatic despite treatment with currently available therapy. Top-line data from the trial is expected to be available by the third quarter of 2010.In October 2009, Lexicon completed the public offering and sale of 38.3 million shares of its common stock at $1.50 per share. The net proceeds of the offering were $55.2 million, after deducting underwriting discounts and offering expenses. http://www.lexicon-genetics.com/pipeline/index.html Full disclosure, Long LXRX (14,000 shares) and adding more under $2.00 This Is not a ( FOOLISH) Investment for longer term Investors. TS [more]
While Obama jets around the world,his lack of decision making Is costing American lives.... A bad month in Afghanistan rippled across the US AP – This Nov. 17, 2009 On the Net: http://www.clearwaterinitiative.org [more]
“The only reason you ever pursue bad policy is when you think there’s some sort of political advantage,” Rep. Charles Gonzalez (D-Texas). ENOUGH SAID !!!!!!! TS
This Is what your congress has come to. The bill stinks so much that Its hard to even hold your nose. If this bill passes,It will cripple this nation for decades. They had to vote for the house version on the WEEKEND In the dead of night so concerned citizens could not voice their objections.The same Is occuring on the Senate side. They will vote on this bill SATURDAY, again In the dead of the night... What does that tell you,my fellow Americans? Heaven help us all...... http://blogs.abcnews.com/thenote/2009/11/the-100-million-health-care-vote.html TS [more]
By James Galbraith, professor of government/business relations at the University of Texas. http://finance.yahoo.com/tech-ticker/article/375918/%E2%80%9CA-Govt.-Not-Run-by-the-Financial-Sector%22-James-Galbraith's-Rx-for-Wall-Street-Reform?tickers=XLF,FAS,FAZ,GS,MS,JPM,C&sec=topStories&pos=9&asset=&ccode= http://finance.yahoo.com/tech-ticker/article/375136/%22A-Truly-Extraordinary-Slump%22-Reports-of-Robust-Recovery-Premature-James-Galbraith-Says?tickers=XLF,XHB,^dji,^GSPC,DHI,TOL,PHM [more]
Warning Signs, Watching Democrats Commit Political Suicide By Alan Caruba
I don’t venture much into political prognostication. I follow politics, but not so much to comment on the day-to-day madness of Washington, D.C., but because the legislation that does get passed often has long term penalties for Americans and for our economy... [more]
Some of the charts from recessions past....... http://www.financialsense.com/fsu/editorials/iacono/2009/1119.html also,how about the russell small cap Index... http://www.financialsense.com/Market/wrapup.htm something just does not seem quite right...... TS [more]
It's coming,and sooner than you may think.... Federal Debt at 95% of Gross Domestic Product. Actual unemployment Is 22%. Banks borrowing money at near 0 % then Investing It In the markets,Instead of loaning It to their customers,which Include small businesses..... Consumers are saving their money,not spending It. Rising oil prices going Into the winter will keep consumers at home. Gold & silver are telling the whole story,yet many of the pundits are not paying attention. Tread lightly fools....... http://seekingalpha.com/article/173607-why-the-stock-market-should-crash [more]
Financial Sense University..... John Browne, Senior Market Stategist,Euro Pacific Capital The U.S. economy is in uncertain times. Analysts are split between those seeing recovery and those fearing a second downturn. This confusion is being echoed in the highest levels of government as President Obama simultaneously speaks about the need for more federal spending and warns of the dangers of increased debt. As the volatile markets indicate, investors are not only confused - they are seriously concerned.
The country appears to be going through a period of buyer's remorse over the election of Barack Obama. The majority cobbled together by the President one year ago included the Democratic base, independents hoping for "change," and many disaffected Republicans betrayed by the Bush Administration's big-government neoconservatism. It is unlikely that most of these voters favored an overt push toward socialism; however, this is what they have received. As the 'tea parties' illustrate, voters are not only confused - they are seriously concerned.
These concerns are justified. The Administration's hard-left turn was evident from the outset. Ignoring expert advice to spend on job-creating infrastructure, Obama spent wildly on entitlements. Now, with rising grassroots discontent, a falling currency, and threats to America's AAA credit rating, there is some evidence that the Administration is trying to hedge its bets through tough talk. Yet, they still have not taken any tough action. As their gold stockpiling highlights, foreign governments are not only confused - they are seriously concerned.
Over at the Federal Reserve, no such soul-searching appears to be underway. Its chairman, Ben Bernanke, is clearly intent on avoiding deleveraging. He has charted a course of massive liquidity injections, financed by hitherto unimaginable levels of monetary inflation. He has even attempted to coordinate these expansionary policies on an international basis.
For the moment, the cheap liquidity has saved Wall Street. To the delight of the Goldman Sachs, et al., the Fed has created a boom in financial assets, including equities, bonds and commodities. These rallies have stimulated a nearly universal belief that the worst has past. This feel-good attitude could be clearly seen on a recent cover of The Economist that read: "After the Storm - How to Make the Best of the Recovery."
But, to many people, life looks increasingly desperate. Official U.S. figures admit to some 15 million unemployed. Despite the massive stimulus packages, American consumers are still in shock and not spending as they once did. Already, the fall in consumer demand is larger than that of the early 1930's. The authorities now face a moment of truth: admit that they don't have the power to bring the consumer back to life or redouble their efforts, consequences be damned.
The whole world awaits the decision, which could indicate a wild inflation, a major recession or the worst of both.
Should the Administration accept, or even be forced to accept, an ultimately healthy deleveraging, a deep recession would ensue. Entitlements would have to be dramatically reduced while taxes remain unreasonably high. Otherwise, the federal government could face outright default. Barring a popular revolt, this course would lead to a sustainable recovery.
On the other hand, if the government continues to run the printing presses, as seems far more likely, hyperinflation will become a distinct possibility. While this may create the appearance of recovery, with rising stocks and less short-term unemployment, average citizens will notice a sharp decline in their standard of living. It will get harder and harder to 'make ends meet' as wages increase less than the cost of everyday goods.
The hyperinflation scenario will likely buy the Administration a little more time, but would eventually give way to the worst of all possible worlds: hyperinflationary depression. Here, America would feel a deep recession concurrent with rising prices - similar to what we're seeing right now with gold. This is truly a devastating outcome and should be avoided at all costs.
America is at a crossroads. It is important in these times to have leaders we can trust to make the right decisions, even if they are unpopular. Obama, Bernanke, Reid, Dodd, Pelosi, Frank... These are not names that are trusted to make wise choices over expedient ones. The markets know it; the voters know it; and, judging by the price of gold, the rest of the world knows it too.
Copyright © 2009 John Browne [more]
The governments total spending budget was 1 trillion,or 30 % of GDP In 1982,today the national debt Is over 12 trillion which Is equal to 95% of GDP !!!! Real Inflation has skyrocketed over the years,and precious metals have only just begun to ascend..... There's a lot of catching up to do... http://blogs.marketwatch.com/cody/2009/11/11/1982-vs-2009-unemployment-interest-rates-real-estate-and-other-comparisons/ [more]
As the market rockets to the moon,FAZ goes underground. What In the sam hill Is driving this market ? As If we do not know...... Market rockets higher on LOW VOLUME again. Gold,Silver,Oil, BONDS, What Isn't going up ?? The percentage of Americans that have a job !!!! CARRY TRADE FOREVER!!!!!!! NOT !!!! Is America making the same mistake that JAPAN made by keeping Interest rates artificially low to STIMULATE the markets ? Is America the next In line for a DECADE LOST ? Something has to give,and when It does look out below ...... TS [more]
(fox news) Forget the stock market. Sure, the Dow has made a stunning improvement since January 20. The market has jumped from just under 8,000 to over 10,000 -- a 29 percent increase.
But that’s not the place to put your money. Unemployment is outpacing Wall Street just a bit. Joblessness went from 7.6 percent when Obama took office to 10.2 -- whopping a 34 percent increase. If you could invest in job loss, you’d be a big winner under the current president.
Clearly the people without jobs might not appreciate that philosophy. Who could blame them? For all that the media maligned the Bush administration over the economy, unemployment was better the entire time we had George W. Bush as our president.
A lot better. Nearly half the time Bush was in office, unemployment was less than half what it is now. And only in the last two months of his tenure did it top 7 percent. Unfortunately for job seekers, Bush is jobless and Obama is the one looking out for their interests.
Only he isn’t. Obama has been on a relentless campaign to get health care reform passed. He pushed the stimulus bill. He’s bailed out Wall Street and Detroit with mountains of cash so high we couldn’t count them in our lifetimes. That money went to the politically connected. Bet you already know who they gave their money to this last election cycle. Hint: It wasn’t Republicans.
The result is a job crisis the likes of which we haven’t seen since the early ’80s. And what’s scary is the trend lines for the Dow and unemployment are almost identical. CNBC Chicago Board of Trade reporter Rick Santelli made the connection in a Nov. 6 appearance. As Santelli talked, a terrifying chart showed how, as the Dow hit 8,000, 9,000 and 10,000, unemployment hit 8, 9 and 10 percent. At this writing, the Dow is at 10,246.97 and unemployment is at 10.2 percent. That’s as close to a 1-to-1 correlation as you get. [more]
http://www.military.com/veterans-day/ Thank you for making this country safe for all of our citizens. Thank you for your personal sacrifices on behalf of the AMERICAN PEOPLE. May God Bless all of you........ TS
FDIC boss: Big banks still aren't lending enough FDIC's Bair says big banks aren't lending enough, using 'carry trade' to make money
By Stevenson Jacobs, NEW YORK (AP) -- The head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said Tuesday she's "very worried" that the nation's biggest banks aren't lending enough and warned the economy could take another turn for the worse without increased access to credit.
FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair said the FDIC's upcoming quarterly report would show that "not many large institutions are doing a very good job of lending." Instead, she said, some are taking advantage of near-zero interest rates by borrowing dollars cheaply to buy higher-yielding assets like stocks or commodities -- a move known as the "carry trade." [more]
Check out shadowstats........ http://www.shadowstats.com/
Absolutely the worst bill EVER to come out of Congress........ http://www.govtrack.us/congress/vote.xpd?vote=h2009-887 What the Pelosi Health Care Bill really says........ By BETSY MCCAUGHEY
The health bill that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is bringing to a vote (H.R. 3962) is 1,990 pages. Here are some of the details you need to know. [more]
GM takeover part of broad federal role By Patrice Hill
Capping a series of bold government actions to rescue failing corporate giants, the White House has won approval of its restructuring plan for General Motors Corp., putting the government on track to take ownership of the storied automaker by the end of the week. [more]
Romney: Obama economic stimulus plan is a failureFormer GOP presidential candidate Romney pronounces Obama's economic stimulus plan a failure
On 8:54 am EST, Monday November 2, 2009 Buzz up! 307 Print
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney says the time has come to stop the economic stimulus program, contending that it has not worked as the Obama administration planned. [more]
Nancy Pelosi's new health care bill Is a monstrosity that some legal scholars have called UNCONSTITUTIONAL.... http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703399204574505423751140690.html the Federal Government does not have the authority under the Constitution to MANDATE health care........ http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204518504574416623109362480.html?mod=googlenews_wsj [more]
Most voters think the news media has too much power over their elected representatives in Washington and the decisions they make. It’s yet another finding that highlights the distance voters see between themselves and their government.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 62% believe that what the media thinks is more important to the average member of Congress than what voters think. Just 27% say what voters think is more important to the average congressman. Eleven percent (11%) are not sure. [more]