Is Big Pharma A Piñata?

Healthcare is, or more correctly, continues to be the topic of the day.  We are all, as patients, providers and/or tax payers, necessarily involved in the whole issue of how best to provide reasonable and universal access, on an affordable basis, to quality healthcare. Big pharma, and therefore, investors, are directly involved.  Media commentary likes … Continued

Lackluster Economic Growth?

To varying degrees, commentators and economists are suggesting that the U.S. economy seems to be struggling to sustain a growth rate on the order of 2%, while most observers believe that growth on the order of 3% would be highly beneficial and, is also generally considered to be a reasonable target. June unemployment has fallen … Continued

Shareholders’ Rights Update

In our March 15th blog, we commented on the apparent deterioration in shareholders’ rights in connection with the initial public offering of Snap, Inc. shares, which have no voting rights.  This issue is garnering increased attention from institutional investors. State Street Global Advisors recently urged the U.S. financial regulator to block companies from adopting controversial … Continued

Here We Go Again

Recently released data from Freddie Mac revealed that nearly 50% of Americans, who have recently refinanced their homes to take advantage of lower interest rates to reduce borrowing costs, are taking cash out.  This means that the home owner is increasing the principal balance, and reducing equity. This is the height of folly.  Apparently, people … Continued

Investing in Education

Wikipedia defines investment as the allocation of money (or sometimes another resource, such as time) in the expectation of some benefit in the future. Wikipedia defines education as the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits. The foregoing suggests that, before investing a great deal of time and … Continued

Involuntary Part-time Work

The economy is continuing to add jobs and the U.S. April jobs report was generally positive.  On the plus side, the unemployment rate of 4.4% would suggest that the country is at, or near, full employment.  However, as noted previously, the labor force participation rate remains near record lows at 62.9%.  This is troubling, as … Continued

The Skills Shortage

Currently, U.S. jobs data suggests that overall unemployment is relatively low, underemployment remains an issue, labor force participation is relatively low and there appears to be a significant skills mismatch, which is likely to get worse. Anecdotal evidence suggests that millions of jobs stand empty because employers are unable to fill jobs that are in … Continued

What Happened to Bitcoin?

According to Wikipedia, bitcoin is both a cryptocurrency and an electronic payment system invented by an unidentified programmer, or group of programmers, under the name of Satoshi Nakamoto.  Bitcoin was introduced in October 2008 to a cryptography mailing list, and released as open-sourced software in 2009.  The system is peer-to-peer, allowing users to transact with … Continued

New Job Multiplication

It is generally accepted by economists that for every new job, some additional jobs are a natural consequence.  However, not all new jobs are created equal. The oil industry has been advertising that every new energy job creates two more positions in the economy. Volvo Car Group’s new factory near Charleston SC, may do much … Continued

PAYGO

PAYGO (Pay As You Go) is a Federal budget rule requiring that new legislation, affecting revenues and spending on entitlement programs, taken as a whole, does not increase budget deficits.  That sounds constructive but, as we all know, the Federal budget continues to reflect deficit spending and the national debt continues to increase. Endless deficit … Continued

Affordable Housing?

Trulia, an online residential real estate site for home buyers, sellers, renters and real estate professionals, has recently provided data suggesting that rising housing prices are putting America’s largest metropolitan areas out of reach for teachers and first responders.  Trulia’s study defines affordability as a household spending 31% of its monthly income on housing, assuming … Continued

“Take This Job and Shove It”

This is the title of a 1977 country music song written by David Allan Coe and popularized by Johnny Paycheck. In January 2017, the number of people quitting their jobs rose to a seasonally-adjusted total of 3.22 million, the highest number since February 2001. The new high in job quitters comes following a number of … Continued