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Posts Tagged ‘banksters’

Fabulous Friday – Our AliBaba Play Pays off Big!

We're already up over 100% on Alibaba.

How, you may wonder?  Well, two ways:  Back in October of 2007, before Alibaba IPO'd in China, I was touting the company when it had an $8Bn valuation ($1.10 per  share – pre-split).  I was the first and only analyst in the US to point out the benefits of Yahoo's investment back then and our Members who play the Asian markets were able to take advantage of that and today should be the culmination of the white whale of investing – the 20-bagger as Alibaba is expected to IPO in the US at $160Bn just 7 years later

YHOO, on the other hand, took the long and winding road but it should finally be getting to our $50 target and that's another 100% gain on the stock – though a very small consolation to those who didn't pick up AliBaba directly.  Fortunately, at Philstockworld, we know how to BE THE HOUSE – Not the Gambler and, back in June, when the rumors of the AliBaba IPO began we came up with a way for our Members to make 400% playing YHOO into the AliBaba IPO.  

From our Live Member Chat Room:

YHOO/Albo – Why not just buy YHOO?  YHOO is $35Bn and owns 22% of AliB while SFTBY is $91Bn and owns 33% of AliB, so you get a lot more bang for your buck with YHOO, whose forward p/e is only 19, than SFTBY, whose forward p/e is about 17 – so not all that significant.  Of course, more significantly is the potential impact of (guessing) $50Bn worth of AliB on a $35Bn company!  

So we don't even have to go crazy if we want to play the "YHOO is undervalued" game.  The Jan $38/45 bull call spread is $1.60 on the $8 spread with 400% upside if YHOO gains 28%.  I think that's worth $800 for 5 shares in the $25KP


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Toppy Tuesday – GS and JPM Reap the Rewards of Market Manipulation

$9 Billion Dollars!  

That's how much Goldman Sachs (GS) took in in revenues in the second quarter.  They then used $1.25Bn of it (14%) to buy back their own stock at an average cost of $161 per share and reduced the total number of shares by 17% which allowed them to "beat" estimates by earning $4.10 per share vs $3.70 last year (10.8% more).

That's right – it's a scam!  The same scam GS advises it's client companies to do with their own stocks to APPARENTLY inflate their earnings while, in reality, earnings are fairly flat.  The same scam, incidentally, GS had the entire country of Greece do – before that whole thing collapsed and took the Global economy with it a few years ago!  

By trading heavily from inside this fishbowl, GS was able to bump up their Investment and Lending Revenues by 46%, to $2.07Bn and all those little moves allowed GS employees to take 46% of the profits in compensation – up 6% from last year at $3.92Bn, which is really cool as GS only has 32,600 employees – so that's $1.2M per employee but, somehow, I think the top 326 (0.1%) get a bit more than the other 32,274, don't you? 

You would think GS shareholders would be angry that 50% of their revenues go to compensation.  After all, a hedge fund only takes 20% of the profits as salary (and that plus 2% of AUM also covers the cost of all operations) but GS, after taking $3.92Bn, drops just $2Bn to the bottom line for their investors or, in other words, GS is like a hedge fund that takes 66% of the profits!  

Still, with a p/e of 10, that 33% bone they throw investors is enough to keep them happy but, as with everything else, consider the conditions under which GS is able to make $6Bn in salaries and profits on $9Bn in revenues – Endless Free Money from the Fed, a stock market fueled by Mergers and Buybacks using the same Free Money, massive market manipulation by Central Banks around the World – many of whom are run by former GS employees and most
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The Bernanke Speech

The Bernanke Speech

Courtesy of MIchael Snyder at Economic Collapse 

When Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke gives a speech about the U.S. economy, it gets a whole lot more attention than when Barack Obama gives a speech about the U.S. economy.  Why is this true?  Well, it is because Bernanke has a whole lot more control over the U.S. economy than Obama does. It is the Federal Reserve that controls monetary policy and interest rates. It is the Federal Reserve that can create money out of thin air. It is the Federal Reserve which is going to have the most influence over whether there will be inflation or deflation. So when Bernanke gives a speech, world financial markets listen. On Friday, news of the Bernanke speech sent gold and silver soaring towards new highs and send the U.S. dollar tumbling once again.  This new Bernanke speech was yet another very strong indication that Helicopter Ben is getting ready to fire up the printing presses in an attempt to get the U.S. economy moving.   

So is it a good thing for an unelected, virtually unaccountable private central bank called the Federal Reserve to have more power over the U.S. economy than the president of the United States?

Of course not.

But that is the way our system works.

So what did Bernanke say during his speech in Boston that was so earth shattering?

Well, you can read a full transcript of what Bernanke said right here.  The following are a few key excerpts from Bernanke’s remarks….…
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I Love 33:1 Leverage – BIS

I Love 33:1 Leverage – BIS

Courtesy of Karl Denninger at The Market Ticker 

Amusing news here out of BIS….

When it comes to the calibration, the Committee is proposing to test a minimum Tier 1 leverage ratio of 3% during the parallel run period.

Ah, now that’s nice.  How do we get that sort of leverage ratio being "allowed"?  I wonder if Germany’s banks might have something to do with that….

I’ve read the entire report; Bloomberg has a "sanitized" version is that is mostly ok in it’s interpretation – the key point being:

July 26 (Bloomberg) — The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision softened some of its proposed capital and liquidity rules …..

Right.

Someone needs to tell these clowns that both Lehman and Bear blew to the sky with leverage ratios around 30:1, and that their "proposal" allows more than double the former legal limit for investment banks in the US (before Hanky Panky Paulson got the SEC to remove the limit, of course.)

I suppose we need another global financial detonation before people start taking the words "leverage" and "reserves" seriously.  Heh, you all know my view on this: One Dollar of Capital.

But if you do that, you have banks that are clearing agents for the economy and utility providers of credit, with each dollar of risk they take being pre-funded by an equity or debt purchaser who stuck THEIR money into the pot, knew they could lose it, and will demand a REASONABLE return.

That is, banks would be stodgy businesses again that paid out most of what they earned in dividends, and that would typically be 5 or 7% a year – and that’s it. 

The common bankster’s salary would be a middle-class wage in the middle of America – a middling-five-figure number.

And the looting of the world’s commerce through finding some way to skim off a piece of each and every transaction, amounting in the totality of the marketplace to a colossal tax of well over a trillion dollars in the United States alone each and every year, would end.


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Merkel Tells Obama To Stuff It

Merkel Tells Obama To Stuff It

Courtesy of Karl Denninger at The Market Ticker 

This ought to get interesting….

Referring to the G20 summit in Canada next weekend, Merkel said in a videotaped message that "we are going to discuss when to quit the phase of short-term measures and go on to lasting budget consolidation."

Such a move was "urgently necessary, in the view of the Europeans and particularly of Germany," she said.

Obama urged the world’s leading economies Friday to avoid scaling back government spending too quickly or risk derailing the global recovery.

Heh heh heh….

Oh Mr. President?  Yes, you Mr. Obama.

Chancellor Merkel appears to have figured out the meaning of this graph:

That is, more than two years of attempting to force credit creation to expand, thereby once-again restarting the Ponzi Scheme, has failed.

All further exercises in this vein will do is make the damage worse, exactly as I said it would in 2007 initially.

"Our highest priority in Toronto must be to safeguard and strengthen the recovery," Obama said in the letter dated June 16, but released Friday amid concerns about the pace of the global recovery.

There is no recovery Mr. President.  There has not been and will not be until the speculators and banksters that have taken on excessive debt, either as creditors or debtors, are forced to disgorge same.

The below chart lays forth the wasteland you are creating:

You (and you predecessor, George Bush) have replaced 11% of final demand (in the form of GDP) with deficit spending.  You have no credible plan to stop doing it as final private demand has failed to rebound, just as it did not in the 2003-2007 years and thus George Bush was unable to withdraw his bogus "stimulus" measures.

You are now trapped in an exponentially-deteriorating credit picture Mr. President.  The only question remaining is whether you and your idiot "advisors" will recognize this and act in time to prevent the destruction of the political system of The United States.

There is no means by which you can avoid the pain and adjustment that has to be taken.  It is not possible, mathematically, to continue to increase the total systemic indebtedness, irrespective of the manipulations and games you attempt to pull on the body politic.

Angela Merkel and the rest of the EU have come to recognize that the…
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When Do We Start Arresting The Central Bankers?

When Do We Start Arresting The Central Bankers?

Courtesy of Karl Denninger at The Market Ticker 

You want to know where the spikes in the Euro came from today?

Try here:

That’s "official intervention" by the Swiss National Bank and if they don’t cut this crap out they’re going to cause an equity and credit market collapse.

These jackasses now have double the Euros they held just a short while ago from these "operations", and as you can see, they’re pissing into a hurricane on even a daily basis, say much less on anything more consequential:

 

Congress does not have the right to get involved in the affairs of a foreign sovereign. 

But Congress has every right to demand that Bernanke close his goddamn swap lines right now until this shit stops, lest The Fed be the one who is on the hook when the entire ECB structure comes apart and WE THE TAXPAYERS are on the hook.

This sort of tampering, performed by a private party, is illegal.  Of course it’s routine and "expected" in the FX space for sovereigns to interfere, but much of the instability that we have seen of late has been caused by this sort of "intervention."  Specifically, today it was responsible for a sixteen point, or 1.5%, jackrabbit move in both directions in the stock market in the space of less than two hours.

There is absolutely no excuse for The United States to support this sort of garbage with our taxpayer backstops.  These instabilities in the foreign exchange markets make it impossible for real companies to hedge costs and profits in foreign nations and do severe and irrevocable damage to these firm’s operations.

It is also reflecting into the US Commercial Paper markets and driving spreads wider there as well. This is the very same market that locked up in 2008 and triggered the equity market collapse.

The SNB’s "interest" in doing this is clear: Half of European banks are stuffed full of debt written in Swiss Francs – in nations where the currency is the Euro!  These idiots (both the borrowers and the banks that offered these "products") have now seen the principal balance of these loans represented in Euros rise by 11% in the last year.

This sort of idiocy, incidentally, is one of the reasons two years ago that I said there was no chance we could possibly "inflate our way out" or…
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Death-Spiral Intercept

Death-Spiral Intercept

Tiffany & Co. Grand Opening Cocktail Party

Courtesy of Karl Denninger at The Market Ticker 

Well well well….

In essence, White was saying: "it’s the debt, stupid."  When aggregate debt levels build up across business cycles, economists focused on managingwithin business cycles miss the key ingredient that leads to systemic crisis. It should be expected that politicians or private sector participants worried about the day-to-day exhibit short-termism. But White says it is particularly troubling that economists and their models exhibit the same tendency because it means there is no long-term oriented systemic counterweight guiding the economy.

This short-termism that White refers to is what I call the asset-based economic model. And, quite frankly, it works – especially when interest rates are declining as they have over the past quarter century. The problem, however, is that you reach a critical state when the accumulation of debt and the misallocation of resources is so large that the same old policies just don’t work anymore. And that’s when the next crisis occurs.

It seems that Mr. [Edward] Harrison has it figured out.  He goes on to spend a lot of digital ink on the periphery of the bottom line, which is that we continue to think of debt in terms of service costs (indeed, you’ll hear Bernanke talk about it, but never about the actual gross financial system debt outstanding.)

When you boil all this down, however, you get to the following chart (trendline added by moi):

You can see what’s going on here – each "crisis" leads to lower lows and lower highs. 

This presents two problems:

  • Lower lows have run into the zero boundary.  That wasn’t sufficient this time, which of course is why we got "Quantitative Easing" and other similar abortions intended to distort market rates – like guarantees on bank debt, for example.  Ultimately this devolves into The Fed or The Government (as if there’s a real difference) guaranteeing everything to prevent spreads from blowing out.
     
  • Far more sinister, however, is what happens to the top line.  The top line – that is, the maximum rate between crises, declines because it becomes impossible to normalize rates - nobody can afford to pay "normal" rates with the amount of leverage they have.

This is where the ultimate failure in policy arrives, and it…
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Carte Blanche for the Banksters

Carte Blanche for the Banksters

By MIKE WHITNEY writing at CounterPunch

Rear view of woman wearing fairy costume walking down a dirt road

Housing is still on the rocks and prices are headed lower. Master illusionist Ben Bernanke has managed to engineer a modest 7-month uptick in sales, but the fairydust is set to wear off later this month when the Fed stops purchasing mortgage-backed securities (MBS). When the program ends, long-term interest rates will creep higher and sales will begin to flag. The objective of Bernanke’s $1.25 trillion quantitative easing program was to transfer the banks’ toxic assets onto the Fed’s balance sheet.  Having achieved that goal, Bernanke will now have to find a way to unload those same assets onto the public. Freddie and Fannie, which have already been used as a government-backed off-balance-sheet dumping ground, appear to be the most likely candidates.

Bernanke’s liquidity injections have helped to buoy stock prices and stabilize housing, but the economy is still weak. There’s just too much inventory and  too few buyers. Now that the Fed is withdrawing its support, matters will only get worse.

Of course, that hasn’t stopped the folks at Bloomberg News from cheerleading the "nascent" housing rebound. Here’s a clip from Monday’s column:

"The U.S. housing market is poised to withstand the removal of government and Federal Reserve stimulus programs and rebound later in the year, contributing to annual economic growth for the first time since 2006. Increases in jobs, credit and affordable homes will help offset the end of the Fed’s purchases of mortgage-backed securities this month and the expiration of a federal homebuyer tax credit in April. ‘The underlying trend is turning positive,’ said Bruce Kasman, chief economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in New York."

Just for the record; there have been no "increases in jobs".  Unemployment is stuck at 9.7 percent with underemployment checking in at 16.8 percent. There’s no chance of housing rebound until payrolls start to rise. Jobless people cannot afford to buy homes.

Also, while it is true that the federal homebuyer tax credit did cause a spike in home purchases its effect has been short-lived and sales are gradually returning to normal. It’s generally believed that  "cash for clunker-type" programs (like the homebuyer tax credit) merely move demand forward and have no meaningful long-term impact.

So, it’s likely that housing prices — particularly on the higher end — will continue to fall until…
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Rule by the Rich

Rule by the Rich

Courtesy of PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS at CounterPunch  

UPI POY 2009 - Washington DC

The election of Republican Scott Brown to the U.S. Senate by Democratic voters in Massachusetts sends President Obama a message. Voters perceive that Obama’s administration has morphed into a Bush-Cheney government. Obama has reneged on every promise he made, from ending wars, to closing Gitmo, to providing health care for Americans, to curtailing the domestic police state, to putting the interests of dispossessed Americans ahead of the interests of the rich banksters who robbed Americans of their homes and pensions.

But what can Obama do other then spout more rhetoric?

The Democrats were destroyed as an independent party by jobs offshoring and so-called free trade agreements such as NAFTA. The effect of "globalism" has been to destroy the industrial and manufacturing unions, thus leaving the Democrats without a power base and source of funding.

Obama and the Democrats cannot be an opposition party, because Democrats are as dependent as Republicans on corporate interest groups for campaign funding.

The Democrats have to support war and the police state if they want funding from the military/security complex. They have to make the health care bill into a subsidy for private insurance if they want funding from the insurance companies. They have to abandon the American people for the rich banksters if they want funding from the financial lobby.

Courthouse of Supreme Court

Now that the five Republicans on the Supreme Court have overturned decades of U.S. law and given corporations the ability to buy every American election, Democrats and Republicans can be nothing but pawns for a plutocracy.

Most Americans are hard pressed, but the corporations have only begun to milk them.

Wars are too profitable for the armaments industry to ever end. High unemployment is now a permanent state in the U.S., thus coercing job seekers into military service.

The security industry profits from the police state and regards civil liberties as a hindrance to profits. By announcing that he intends to continue the Bush policy of indefinite detention, a violation of the Constitution and U.S. legal procedures, Obama has granted the Democratic Party’s consent to the Republicans’ destruction of habeas corpus, the main bastion of individual liberty.

Jobs offshoring is too profitable for U.S. corporations for Obama to be able to save American jobs and restart the broken economy.

Americans are
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Help One Of Our Own PSW Members

"Hello PSW Members –

This is a non-trading topic, but I wanted to post it during trading hours so as many eyes can see it as possible.  Feel free to contact me directly at jennifersurovy@yahoo.com with any questions.

Last fall there was some discussion on the PSW board regarding setting up a YouCaring donation page for a PSW member, Shadowfax. Since then, we have been looking into ways to help get him additional medical services and to pay down his medical debts.  After following those leads, we are ready to move ahead with the YouCaring site. (Link is posted below.)  Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated; not only to help aid in his medical bill debt, but to also show what a great community this group is.

http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/help-get-shadowfax-out-from-the-darkness-of-medical-bills-/126743

Thank you for you time!

 
 

Chart School

Consumer Confidence Drops

Courtesy of Doug Short.

The Latest Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index was released this morning based on data collected through September 18. The headline number of 86.0 was a surprising decline over the revised August final reading of 93.4, an upward revision from 92.4. Today's number was well below the Investing.com forecast of 92.5. The current level is a four-month-low.

Here is an excerpt from the Conference Board press release.

Says Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board: “Consumer confidence retreated in September after four consecutive months of improvement. A less positive assessment of the current job market, most likely due to the recent softening in growt...

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Zero Hedge

America's "All Important" Housing Market Flashing Red After Bad Data Double Whammy

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Those who read Zero Hedge regularly will be aware that for us no other regional US housing market is more important than that of the San Francisco. Recall from June:

When it comes to critical housing markets in the US, none is more important than San Francisco. 

 

Courtesy of its location, not only does it reflect the general Fed-driven liquidity bubble which is the tide rising all housing boats across the US, but due to its proximity to both Silicon Valley and China, it also benefit...



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Phil's Favorites

Schoolgirls Aged 14-16 Leave France, UK, Germany for Syria to Join ISIS Jihad

Courtesy of Mish.

As many as 63 seriously misguided teenaged girls from France, 40 from Germany, and 50 in the UK have left their countries to join ISIS in Syria.

The Guardian has a fascinating report on Schoolgirl jihadis: the female Islamists leaving home to join Isis fighters. Hundreds of young women and girls are leaving their homes in western countries to join Islamic fighters in the Middle East, causing increasing concern among counter-terrorism investigators.

Girls as young as 14 or 15 are travelling mainly to Syria to marry jihadis, bear their children and join communities of fighters, with a small number taking up arms. Many are recruited via social media.

Women and girls appear to make up about...



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Option Review

VIX Call Spreads Trade

The CBOE Vix Index topped 17.0 and the highest level since early-August on Monday morning amid declines in U.S. equities to start the trading week. The volatility index is off its earlier highs to trade 5.0% higher on the session at 15.65 as of 11:30 am ET. Options volume on the VIX is hovering near 360,000 contracts, or just more than 50% of the average daily reading of around 660,000 contracts. Calls are far more active than put options, as evidenced by the call/put ratio up above 4.2 in morning trading, perhaps as some traders position for volatility to stick around.

Large call spreads traded on the VIX today caught our attention as one big optio...



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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

Reminder: David is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Click here for the full report.




To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

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Sabrient

Sector Detector: Stocks fight off predictable weakness, but expect more downside

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

Yes, the market showed significant weakness last week for the first time in quite a while. In fact, the Dow Jones Industrial Average moved triple digits each day. But it was all quite predictable, as I suggested in last week's article, and certainly nothing to worry about. Now the market appears to be poised for a modest technical rebound, and longer term, U.S. equities should be in good shape for a year-end rally. However, I still believe more downside is in order before any new highs are challenged. Moreover, market breadth is important for a sustained bull run, so the challenge for investors will be to put together broader bullish conviction, including the small caps.

In this weekly update, I give my view of the current market environment, offer a technical analysis of the S&P 500 chart, re...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of September 29th, 2014

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...



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Market Shadows

Ebola vs. Us

Ebola vs. Us

By Ilene 

Ebola is spreading too quickly for Ebola-vaccine makers to conduct typical studies of safety and efficacy on experimental vaccines. Instead, vaccines will be tested for basic safety, but then deployed with protocols devised now in order to test for efficacy essentially on the field. Testing has to be expedited because the situation in West Africa gets worse every day while there are no approved vaccines or other treatments.

The chart below is from a paper in the New England Journal of Medicine showing estimates of the virus's trajectory projecting out to November 1, 2014. If current trends continue...



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Stock World Weekly

Stock World Weekly

Newsletter writers are available to chat with Members regarding topics presented in SWW, comments are found below each post.

The latest issue of Stock World Weekly is now available. Please sign in with your PSW user name and password. Or simply take a free trial to try out our weekly newsletter. 

...

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Promotions

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Digital Currencies

Making Sense of Bitcoin

Making Sense of Bitcoin

By James Black at International Man

Despite the various opinions on Bitcoin, there is no question as to its ultimate value: its ability to bypass government restrictions, including economic embargoes and capital controls, to transmit quasi-anonymous money to anyone anywhere.

Opinions differ as to what constitutes "money."

The English word "money" derives from the Latin word "moneta," which means to "mint." Historically, "money" was minted in the form of precious metals, most notably gold and silver. Minted metal was considered "money" because it possessed luster, was scarce, and had perceive...



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Pharmboy

Biotechs & Bubbles

Reminder: Pharmboy is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Well PSW Subscribers....I am still here, barely.  From my last post a few months ago to now, nothing has changed much, but there are a few bargins out there that as investors, should be put on the watch list (again) and if so desired....buy a small amount.

First, the media is on a tear against biotechs/pharma, ripping companies for their drug prices.  Gilead's HepC drug, Sovaldi, is priced at $84K for the 12-week treatment.  Pundits were screaming bloody murder that it was a total rip off, but when one investigates the other drugs out there, and the consequences of not taking Sovaldi vs. another drug combinations, then things become clearer.  For instance, Olysio (JNJ) is about $66,000 for a 12-week treatment, but is approved for fewer types of patients AND...



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