Tuesday, September 22, 2015


Three major drug companies spent $100 billion dollars on Research and devleopment in the last five years.

Three major generic drug companies spent under $10 billion on research and development in the last five years.

Since important new drugs are almost impossible to find the major drug companies are likely to find fewer new drugs over the next ten years as their cash flow will decline.

Since generic companies don't do much research or find too many new drugs, the net result will be less drugs, more illness and consequently, more expense.

Unless we get very lucky and the drug companies have a few more breakthroughs.

Furthermore, there is a strong likelihood of declining morale and a significant weakening of the talent who are able to find new drugs.

Monday, September 21, 2015


In a recent edition of a well know NY newspaper, there was an interview with the head of Loews
Corporation, Jonathan Tisch.  In my opinion, this executive sits in his position of power due to the fact he had a brilliant grandfather, not the results his company has generated since his grandfather's passing.

What made the article worthy of comment, was an absurd last paragraph where the executive is quoted with saying " I was taught never start a paragraph with the word I.  It sends a message that "I" am more important than the people reading the article."  The insanity of the article is that there were about forty "I's" referring to himself in the very short interview.  In my opinion, I have never seen such an egocentric interview ever.

Watch out for interviews in this newspaper.  

Wednesday, September 9, 2015


When the Syrian insurgency began President Obama was given a "one time only" opportunity to quickly prevent escalation.  Inaction was followed by inaction and well over 100,000 people have been killed, wounded or misplaced.

The complexity of facilitating an end to the carnage now, creates a much more difficult, expensive. risky and limited set of options.

As we wrote in an earlier blog, the cost of ending atrocities early would have been much less than the cost is today and the longer term implications of inaction are not any clearer.

The character of any President is most tested when issues of life and death for many take over the landscape.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015


When the housing boom was taking place it developed huge vested interest in the continuation of the housing bubble. A voice in the dark could point out the absurdities of what was happening but the enjoyment of inflated prices and profits overwhelmed sanity, logic, discipline and history.

In my opinion, we are now being faced with a "time bomb" that will far exceed long term capital management, the insurance protection decline of the 1980s and the financial collapse of 2008. This huge "Black Swan", huge beyond comprehension, will hit when least expected and we will wonder why it wasn't dealt with before. The answer will be found underneath the rubble of certain greedy Wall Street types and vested political interests.

We cannot permit automated machine type trading, with no relationship to companies outlook, etc. to dominate the volume of trades in the stock market. There is no excuse, none whatsoever, for creating a machine driven gambling casino mentality in order to justify the existence of capitalism.

Here is what's going to happen. A computer driven decline will occur and the brakes will fail due to human error or whatever causing the equity wealth of the country to be sharply cut again. Because there will be something happening in the world at that time, recovery will not be as fast as it was in the late 2000's. All computerized trading, of the type we are referring to, should be made illegal and stopped before its too late.

The vested interest will tell you otherwise and make their case. Just like in the long term capital case they are mostly using other people's money and are more concerned with their chance of winning than losing. The monies not theirs anyhow and there is no concern for the system, only their own profits.

Look at the erratic swings in the stock market that have occurred in the last few weeks. We draw this as a small example, a very small example, of what is coming if we don't stop this type of computerized trading.

P.S. Please remember that I am a very strong supporter of capitalism and many of the activities that our financial firms participate in. The probably isn't a better system than ours.

Thursday, August 27, 2015


We first published our blog below about the Solyndra scandal on September 26, 2011.
There's an incredibly misleading editorial about the Solyndra scandal in a leading New York newspaper. A simple review of the company's prospectus immediately highlights the following:

1. Several executives had compensation approaching a million dollars.
2. There were at least 25 million stock options made available to various parties.
3. Large hedge funds were significant owners of the company's shares.

The editorial blames the bankruptcy on a "stunning collapse in the price of solar panels".

It is obvious that before an investment of $500 million occurred analytical reports should have been written forecasting the trend of solar panel prices (if the company did not have enough big commercial customers that should have been easily detectable to anyone that took the time to review the company's position in the marketplace).

To compare the financial crises with the solar panel market is patently absurd. Home prices have risen for many years whereas solar panel prices were really a commodity product.

The idea that risking is what its all about is a joke on its face. Its easy to take risks that are totally wrong, but success is determined by wise decisions. The outlook for solar panel pricing in the United States was obviously negative since the number of companies that have been started in just a few years indicates relatively simple ease of entry and requires no particular technological advantages.

Another disadvantage the solar companies faced is the fact that oil producing countries want to keep any alternative sources of energy out of the picture even though most oil is used for cars and trucks, not power generation. Coal is the only true competitive alternative to solar energy and reducing the demand during the next decade would cause serious additions to unemployment. Unfortunately most of the coal miners could probably not be working in the solar industry.

The relationship between the hedge funds, all sorts of people in government and whether there were unions involved in the Solyandra workforce is only the tip of what seems to be a huge potential scandal of political power with our money.

Thursday, August 13, 2015


Its not considered acceptable to tell the masses of the people that they are economically uneducated and their own worst enemy. The rule is one man, one vote. The Democratic party has figured out how to tell the economically ignorant a lie about how our system works. They get way with it because the average man struggles to make a living. Its easier to have a scape goat than to seek the truth.

The government did not bail out the banks. That is a total lie. The financial system of this country was falling apart. The impact on the "common man" (which is all of us), would have been so devastating that the resulting unemployment, loss of pension funds, etc. could have overwhelmed everyone. The government did not save the "rich banks"; it saved those of us who are the depositors of the banks, the receivers of their loans and dependent on them for millions of jobs. The Democratic party finds it expedient to outright lie to the people.

The second lie is that the rich, whomever that is, have benefited far in proportion to the rest of the population. I reiterate again why is the government so worried about any particular class of people rather than working together to solve our problems without promoting class warfare.

Lets get something clear between us. Lets say I have $1 million dollars. If I take that money and rip it up then $1 million dollars disappears from the economy. But if I take that money and spend it, give it to the plumber, the car manufacturer, to the restaurants and some to the government. then the $1 million dollars is circulated throughout the economy. What I don't spend I invest. Lets say I buy stock with my $1 million dollars. I get the stock but someone else gets the $1 million dollars and no matter who it is, they take that money, spend it, invest it and it keeps on circulating. But its still only $1 million dollars. The only question of any relevance is how to turn the $1 million into more money, plant, equipment and capital and have it circulating through the economy.

The only thing the Democratic party wants to do is keep you uneducated. The more of you who become more economically educated the less of you will agree with the Democrat's self-serving, power preserving, education diminishing, democratic policies.

Warren Buffett is looking out for his own A-S. He is more concerned with you buying his own product, like Geico, (which is the worst insurance company I have ever dealt with) than helping you become educated.

Just remember what Warren Buffett wrote on June 26, 2006, "The only condition to this committment is that the Foundation must continue to satisfy legal requirements qualifying my gift as charitable and not subject to gift or other taxes."

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


There could be 100 instruments in a symphony orchestra. Be as it may, classical music is not mainstream. Many orchestras have gone out of business for lack of public support.

Now think of these 100 instruments with 100 players and hundreds if not thousands of note combinations that are played at any particular symphony. In the front stands the music conductor, generally knowledgeable about all the pieces in the orchestra and having the job of bringing them together into symphonic harmony so that an audience may enjoy the outpouring of the music. Thousands of notes, just a hundred people and a conductor pulling it all together. It's no wonder so many conductors never make it big time. Think of the genius of Beethoven, Bach or Mozart writing the music for each and every piece. Complex, yes and generally unappreciated by society.

We are all managers of something, whether its our family, a job, our business, from a small corporation or a gigantic one, from an island, to a city, to a state and on upwards.

Whether the most powerful force in our government or not, the President stands as the conductor of an awful large orchestra. One of the major questions we are faced with in an election year is which future President will "conduct" the pieces of this ultra large orchestral phenomenon called the United States as to bring out the great music that our founding fathers would have hoped for without over blowing majority rule or undermining minority rights.

We must ask the question of whether a republic democracy can ever play harmonious music when the various players can't agree on the notes to be played. As long as the dissension of voter views stays so wide spread we may feel we are this great democracy. That might even be true if the standard of living hadn't stop increasing 20 years ago. Politicians in general don't want to conduct, they want to build power bases.

Shepard Osherow. All Rights Reserved