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Posts Tagged ‘Trade Deficit’

America’s Jobs Losses are Permanent

America’s Jobs Losses are Permanent

Courtesy of PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS, originally published at CounterPunch

Businessman carrying office belongings

Now that a few Democrats and the remnants of the AFL-CIO are waking up to the destructive impact of jobs offshoring on the US economy and millions of American lives, globalism’s advocates have resurrected Dartmouth economist Matthew Slaughter’s discredited finding of several years ago that jobs offshoring by US corporations increases employment and wages in the US.

At the time I exposed Slaughter’s mistakes, but economists dependent on corporate largess understood that it was more profitable to drink Slaughter’s kool-aid than to tell the truth. Recently the US Chamber of Commerce rolled out Slaughter’s false argument as a weapon against House Democrats Sandy Levin and Tim Ryan, and the Wall Street Journal had Bill Clinton’s Defense Secretary, William S. Cohen, regurgitate Slaughter’s claim on its op-ed page on October 12.

I sent a letter to the Wall Street Journal, but the editors were not interested in what a former associate editor and columnist for the paper and President Reagan’s Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy had to say. The facade of lies has to be maintained at all costs. There can be no questioning that globalism is good for us.

Cohen told the Journal’s readers that “the fact is that for every job outsourced to Bangalore, nearly two jobs are created in Buffalo and other American cities.” I bet Buffalo “and other American cities” would like to know where these jobs are. Maybe Slaughter, Cohen, and the Chamber of Commerce can tell them.

Last May I was in St. Louis and was struck by block after block of deserted and boarded up homes, deserted factories and office buildings, even vacant downtown storefronts.

Detroit is trying to shrink itself by 40 square miles. On October 25, 60 Minutes had a program on unemployment in Silicon Valley, where formerly high-earning professionals have been out of work for two years and today cannot even find part-time $9 an hour jobs at Target.

The claim that jobs offshoring by US corporations increases domestic employment in the US is one of the greatest hoaxes ever perpetrated. As I demonstrated in my syndicated column at the time and again in my book, How The Economy Was Lost (2010), Slaughter reached his erroneous conclusion by counting the growth in multinational jobs in the U.S. without adjusting…
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Is America In Decline? 24 Statistics About The United States Economy That Are Almost Too Embarrassing To Admit

Is America In Decline? 24 Statistics About The United States Economy That Are Almost Too Embarrassing To Admit

Courtesy of Michael Snyder at Economic Collapse (H/tip to Eddy Elfenbein at Crossing Wall Street)

Does anyone really want to hear that America is in decline?  For decades, most of us have been raised to believe that the United States is "number one" and that anyone who doubts that fact is a "gloom and doomer" that should just pack up and move to "Russia" or "Iraq" or some other country where things are not nearly as good.  But does it do us or future generations any good to ignore the very serious signs of trouble that are erupting all around us? 

The truth is that it is about time to wake up and admit how much trouble we are actually in.  The U.S. government is absolutely drowning in debt.  The entire society is absolutely drowning in debt.  We are being slaughtered in the arena of world trade, and every single month tens of billions of dollars (along with large numbers of factories and jobs) leave our shores for good.  Our infrastructure is failing, our kids are less educated and our incomes are going down.  We have serious, serious problems.  At one time, the U.S. economy was so dominant that it was not even worth talking about who was in second place.  That is no longer the case in 2010.  Our forefathers handed us the greatest economic machine in history and we have allowed it to fall apart right in front of our eyes.  A national economic crisis of historic proportions is getting worse with each passing month, and yet most of our leaders seem to be asleep at the switch.  

So is American in decline?  Well, read the statistics below and decide for yourself.  The reality is that when you start connecting the dots it gets really hard to deny what is going on.

Urgent action must be taken if…
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10 Reasons Why Conservatives Should Be Against Unfair Trade With China And 10 Reasons Why Liberals Should Be Against Unfair Trade With China

Michael Snyder makes arguments appealing to both right and left against our free trade relationship with China. Some of these arguments are better than others, but as a whole, he makes good points on each side. - Ilene 

10 Reasons Why Conservatives Should Be Against Unfair Trade With China And 10 Reasons Why Liberals Should Be Against Unfair Trade With China

Courtesy of Michael Snyder

There are very few things that the top politicians in both political parties agree on these days, but one of the things that that they do agree on is that free trade with China is a good thing.  George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, John McCain, Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have all fully supported our trade relationship with China.  In this day and age, virtually anyone who even dares to question how fair our "free trade" is with China is immediately labeled as a "protectionist" and is dismissed as a loon.  But when you sit down and really analyze it, there are a whole lot of very good reasons why both conservatives and liberals should be fundamentally against our unfair trade relationship with China.  But you won’t hear these reasons being talked about on CNN, MSNBC or Fox News.  You won’t hear many members of Congress get up and give speeches about how trade with China is bleeding our economy dry.  Both major political parties have completely and totally bought into "the benefits" of globalism and free trade and there isn’t even much of a national debate about our trade policies anymore. 

But there should be a national debate.  Unfortunately, most conservatives are just going to accept whatever their leaders tell them to believe.  Conservatives have been convinced that to be against unfair trade is to be "anti-business" and no conservative ever wants to be anti-business.

Similarly, most liberals blindly follow whatever Obama, Pelosi and Reid tell them to believe.  Millions of hard working Democrat voters have lost their jobs due to our nightmarish trade relationship with China, but they are still convinced that Obama is their savior and that they must not ever say anything that he does is wrong.…
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The Trade Deficit Nightmare

The Trade Deficit Nightmare

Courtesy of Michael Snyder of Economic Collapse 

When they hear the word deficit, most Americans immediately think of the U.S. government budget deficit which is rapidly spiralling out of control.  But that is not the only deficit which is ripping the U.S. economy to shreds.  In fact, many economists commonly speak of the "twin deficits" that are destroying the U.S. financial system.  So what is the "other deficit" that they are referring to?  It is the trade deficit.  Every single month, we buy much more stuff from the rest of the world than they buy from us.  That means that every single month there is a massive outflow of wealth from the United States.  Every single day, America becomes just a little bit poorer as Americans continue to run out and fill up their shopping carts with cheap plastic crap from China and dozens of other emerging economies. 

Not that trade is a bad thing.  Trade can actually be a very good thing.  But the gigantic trade imbalances that the United States has been running for years are absolutely bleeding us dry.  Unfortunately, our politicians have just stood idly by as each month we continue to transfer massive amounts of wealth out of the United States.

The U.S. Commerce Department recently announced that the U.S. trade deficit increased by 18.8 percent in June to $49.9 billion.  Most analysts had expected the figure to be somewhere around 41 to 43 billion dollars.

In the month of June, imports rose to approximately $200 billion while exports fell to about $150 billion.

So can we afford to have a net outflow of 50 billion dollars each and every month?

Of course not.

We had so much wealth as a nation that we could afford to do this for a while,…
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Trade Deficit Widens, Signals Weaker U.S. Economic Growth

Trade Deficit Widens, Signals Weaker U.S. Economic Growth

Courtesy of Rom Badilla at Bondsquawk

Stacked Red Cargo Containers

The trade deficit widened for the fourth consecutive month on a jump in imports of consumer goods from China, signaling weaker economic growth for the U.S.  The Department of Commerce revealed that the U.S. Trade Balance for June totaled a deficit of $49.9 billion from a revised prior period gap of $42.0 billion.  The widening was driven by both a 1.3 percent fall in exports and a 3.0 percent increase in imports.  The June number disappointed the market as economists forecasted a negative trade balance of $42.1 billion.

Since January of 2010, the trade gap has widened 42 percent suggesting that economic activity during that period was weaker than originally thought.  Imported goods from China and Mexico highlight much of the activity as the numbers reveal.  Year to date, the trade balance with China totaled a deficit of $119.5 billion, a year over year increase of nearly 16 percent.  Similarly, trade with Mexico reflects a negative balance of$33.1 billion for an increase of 56 percent from a year ago.

Today’s widening suggests that economic growth in 2010 may be weaker than originally estimated due to a change in assumptions of the calculation of GDP data.  BNP’s chief economists, Julia Coronado stated in an email to clients that the widening deficit “has been a significant weight on GDP in 2010.”  Furthermore she added that the “advance estimate of Q2 GDP had assumed a widening in the trade deficit in June; however the data showed an even greater deficit than assumed. Combined with other incoming source data that has been weaker than assumed, Q2 GDP looks to be tracking 1.5% q/q saar, down from the 2.4% advance estimate.”

In addition, the Mortgage Bankers Association released its weekly applications index.  For the week ending August 6, mortgage applications increased by only 0.6 percent from a prior period increase of 1.3 percent.  This anemic numbers partially coincides with stagnant mortgage rates, which influences demand for home purchases and mortgage refinancings.

According to Bankrate.com, the 30 Year Conventional National Average Rate was unchanged at 4.56 percent from the prior week.  Interestingly and given that interest rates are generally correlated, the 10-Year U.S. Treasury dropped 9 basis points to 2.82 percent during the same time-period.

With yesterday’s FOMC announcement that they will reinvest maturing mortgage and agency…
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The Threat to Muddle Through

The Threat to Muddle Through

Courtesy of John Mauldin, at FrontlineThoughts.com

Standstorm Strikes Beijing

If the Chinese allowed the renminbi to rise, would that make the USA better off? That is the contention of a cabal of critics from Senators to Nobel laureates. Paul Krugman wants to see a 25% tariff on Chinese goods. Today we examine that idea, and look at the real problems that we face. If only it were so easy. The numbers just don’t add up. The fault, dear Brutus…

O Canada

But first, and quickly, and in keeping with the spirit of the recent Olympics in Canada, I want to let my Canadian readers know that I am excited to announce a new Canadian partner, Nicola WealthManagement, based in Vancouver. Why Nicola Wealth Management? I have spent some time getting to know them and have come to have a great deal of trust in and respect for John Nicola (President) and his team. In my opinion, they are one of the premier wealth management firms in Canada. Further, they are as committed to helping you find high-quality investments, including absolute-return strategies, as I am.

If you are from Canada, get started now by going to www.accreditedinvestor.ws and signing up, and I will make sure one of the team at Nicola Wealth Management will call and qualify you to receive our Accredited Investor Communications.

And of course, if you are in the US, Latin America, Europe, or South Africa, and if you are an accredited investor (basically a net worth of $1 million or more), you can go to that link and I will have one of my partners in those areas contact you about the various absolute-return strategy funds that are available to you. (In this regard, I am president of and a registered representative of Millennium Wave Securities, LLC, member FINRA.)

The Threat to Muddle Through

I have pretty well laid out over the past decade that I think the US will Muddle Through what promises to be a period of below-trend growth and a long-term secular bear market. It will not be pleasant or fun – there will be a lot of pain – but we will get through the coming crisis (note: I think the Big One is still in our future). That is what we…
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2010 Tin Tiger Tuesday

The year of the Tiger begins!

Chinese New Year is a serious business with tens of millions of migrant workers in China, as well as many from overseas, traveling home to have reunion dinners with their families.  In addition to fireworks, celebrants like to wear new clothes from head to toe (preferably red as it drives away evil spirits) and they exchange  red envelopes and red packets called “Ang Pow”. These Ang Pows are usually are passed out during the Chinese New Year’s celebrations, almost always containing money (from a couple of dollars to several hundred). Per custom, the amount of money in the red packets should be of even numbers. The number 8 is considered lucky (for its homophone for “wealth”).  In addition to red envelopes, which are usually given from elders to the younger, small gifts (usually of food or sweets) are also exchanged between friends or relatives. Gifts are usually brought when visiting friends or relatives at their homes. Common gifts include fruits (typically oranges, and never pears), cakes, biscuits, chocolates, candies, or some other small gift

The Year of the Tiger is considered lucky and this year is the year of the Metal Tiger, which explains all the commodity hoarding and the tigier is also considered auspicious for risk-taking and bravery.  Traditionally, all debts are paid by New Year’s and there is much emphasis on looking forward and letting go of the past.  The Chinese markets will be closed all week but we can expect a lot of forward-looking behavior when they come back so I’m liking FXI March $40 calls for $1 as long as our markets hold positive as we could get a nice pop next week as China plays catch-up. 

BCS will be popping the financials this morning with some great LOOKING earnings but much of it came on the sale of their Global Investors unit to Black Rock for a $9.9Bn gain so nothing at all to get excited about.  Impairments were up 49% but slowed in the second half and guidance indicates the worst is over.  Also goosing the market this morning is SPG offering $10Bn for GGWPQ, the bankrupt version of what was GGP.  This works out to about $9 for shareholders who hung on – we had taken a flier on them in the spring under $1 but got the heck out at $5 as THAT seemed high but I guess not and I”m now…
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The Chinese Disconnect?

The Chinese Disconnect?

Courtesy of Leo Kolivakis at Pension Pulse
 


A follow-up to my last comment on the death-defying dollar. In his NYT op-ed column, Paul Krugman writes about The Chinese Disconnect and notes the following:

Many economists, myself included, believe that China’s asset-buying spree helped inflate the housing bubble, setting the stage for the global financial crisis. But China’s insistence on keeping the yuan/dollar rate fixed, even when the dollar declines, may be doing even more harm now.

Although there has been a lot of doomsaying about the falling dollar, that decline is actually both natural and desirable. America needs a weaker dollar to help reduce its trade deficit, and it’s getting that weaker dollar as nervous investors, who flocked into the presumed safety of U.S. debt at the peak of the crisis, have started putting their money to work elsewhere.

But China has been keeping its currency pegged to the dollar — which means that a country with a huge trade surplus and a rapidly recovering economy, a country whose currency should be rising in value, is in effect engineering a large devaluation instead.

And that’s a particularly bad thing to do at a time when the world economy remains deeply depressed due to inadequate overall demand. By pursuing a weak-currency policy, China is siphoning some of that inadequate demand away from other nations, which is hurting growth almost everywhere. The biggest victims, by the way, are probably workers in other poor countries. In normal times, I’d be among the first to reject claims that China is stealing other peoples’ jobs, but right now it’s the simple truth.

So what are we going to do?

U.S. officials have been extremely cautious about confronting the China problem, to such an extent that last week the Treasury Department, while expressing “concerns,” certified in a required report to Congress that China is not — repeat not — manipulating its currency. They’re kidding, right?

The thing is, right now this caution makes little sense. Suppose the Chinese were to do what Wall Street and Washington seem to fear and start selling some of their dollar hoard. Under current conditions, this would actually help the U.S. economy by making our exports more competitive.

In fact, some countries, most notably Switzerland, have been trying to support their economies by selling


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The Future of Global Finance

The build-up of dollars abroad transformed the United States into a gigantic bank, and like any bank, it was vulnerable to a run.

It has long been recognized that the global financial structure — built as it is around the dollar as the world’s reserve currency — has a fundamental design flaw that makes it inherently unstable. The problem was first identified back in the early 1960s by the Belgian-American economist Robert Triffin, in “Gold and the Dollar Crisis.” Writing about Europe’s accumulation of dollars, he argued that the system carried the seeds of its own destruction. Foreigners could acquire dollars only if the United States ran current account deficits — that is, spent more than it earned. But lending money to someone who lives beyond his means has obvious dangers, and the same is true of countries.

Thus, the American deficits necessary to supply dollars to the world for international transactions simultaneously undermined confidence in the currency. It was only a matter of time, Triffin predicted, before the system would be hit by a crisis — which it duly was in the early 1970s.

In the wake of the 1997 financial crisis there, countries in East Asia set out to build up war chests of dollars as insurance against domestic banking runs or downturns in the global economy. At about the same time, China embarked on a program of export-led growth, engineered by keeping its currency artificially low.

Interpretations of what happened next differ. Some argue that to absorb these goods from abroad while avoiding unemployment at home, the United States very consciously stimulated consumer demand. The country, in effect, was forced to live beyond its means. Others believe that the Fed misread the fall in prices as a symptom of inadequate demand rather than for what it was — an astounding, once-in-a-generation expansion in the supply of low-cost goods — and kept interest rates low for an unusually long time, which provoked the real estate bubble.

In either case, the result was an enormous accumulation of dollars in the hands of Asian central banks. Those dollars, when invested in the American bond market, drove long-term interest rates even further down and made credit in the ­United States even more artificially…
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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

Q3 GDP at 3.5% Beats Expectations

Courtesy of Doug Short.

The Advance Estimate for Q3 GDP, to one decimal, came in at 3.5 percent, down from the Q2 Third Estimate of 4.6 percent but better than mainstream econonmists' expectations. The Wall Street Journal's survey of economists had a median, mean and mode of 3.2 percent. Investing.com had a slightly lower forecast of 3.0 percent.

Here is an excerpt from the Bureau of Economic Analysis news release:

Real gross domestic product -- the value of the production of goods and services in the United States, adjusted for price changes -- increased at an annual rate of 3.5 percent in the third quarter of 2014, according to the "advance" estimate releas...

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Zero Hedge

Q3 GDP Rises 3.5% Despite Sharp Slowdown In Consumption, Pushed Higher By Government Spending Spree

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Moments ago, the market was expecting Q3 GDP to print at 3.0%, and was pleasantly surprised when instead it got a 3.5% print, sending all risk assets kneejerk higher. However, a quick glance into the components revealed that things were certainly not as they seemed, with Personal Consumption in Q3 actually decreasing notably from Q2's 2.5%, to just 1.8% in Q3, below the 1.9% Expected, and accounting for 1.22% of the 3.54% Q3 GDP, the lowest Personal Consumption boost to GDP since Q2 2012 excluding the infamous Q1 winter vortex quarter.

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Phil's Favorites

Outside the Box: The Colder War

Outside the Box: The Colder War

By John Mauldin

The story of energy is the story of human expansion. From the days when we roamed the African savanna, we tamed first fire and then other forms of energy, using them as tools to control our environment and improve our lives. The control of energy has always been at the heart of the human story.

This week our Outside the Box essay is from my friend Marin Katusa, who has written a fascinating book about a part of that story, a subplot of intrigue and conspiracy. Under Putin, Russia has aspired to dominate the energy markets. Called The Colder War, Marin’s book is a well-written tale of the rise of Putin and his desire to change the way the world’s energy markets are controlled.

I sat down a few months ago with an advance copy, not sure...



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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: Bullish conviction returns, but market likely to consolidate its V-bottom

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

Bulls showed renewed backbone last week and drew a line in the sand for the bears, buying with gusto into weakness as I suggested they would. After all, this was the buying opportunity they had been waiting for. As if on cue, the start of the World Series launched the rapid market reversal and recovery. However, there is little chance that the rally will go straight up. Volatility is back, and I would look for prices to consolidate at this level before making an attempt to go higher. I still question whether the S&P 500 will ultimately achieve a new high before year end.

In this weekly update, I give my view of the current market environment, offer a technical analysis of the S&P 500 chart, review our weekly fundamentals-based SectorCast rankings of the ten U.S. business sectors, and then o...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of October 27th, 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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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.

Here's the latest Stock World Weekly. Enjoy!

(As usual, use your PSW user name and password to sign in. You may also take a free trial.) 

 

#455292918 / gettyimages.com

 

...

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Market Shadows

Bill Ackman's Big Pharma Trade Is Making Wall Street A Super Awkward Place

 

#452525522 / gettyimages.com

Intro by Ilene

If you're following Valeant's proposed takeover (or merger) of Allergan and the lawsuit by Allergan against Valeant and notorious hedge fund manager William Ackman, for insider trading this is a must-read article. 

Linette Lopez describes the roles played by key Wall Street hedge fund owners--Jim Chanos, John Paulson, and Mason Morfit, a major shareholder in Valeant. Linette goes through the con...



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Option Review

LUV Options Active Ahead Of Earnings

There is lots of action in Southwest Airlines Co. November expiry call options today ahead of the air carrier’s third-quarter earnings report prior to the opening bell on Thursday. Among the large block trades initiated throughout the trading session, there appears to be at least one options market participant establishing a call spread in far out of the money options. It looks like the trader purchased a 4,000-lot Nov 37/39 call spread at a net premium of $0.40 apiece. The trade makes money if shares in Southwest rally 9.0% over the current price of $34.32 to exceed the effective breakeven point at $37.40, with maximum potential profits of $1.60 per contract available in the event that shares jump more than 13% to $39.00 by expiration. In September, the stock tou...



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Digital Currencies

Goodbye War On Drugs, Hello Libertarian Utopia. Dominic Frisby's Bitcoin: The Future of Money?

Courtesy of John Rubino.

Now that bitcoin has subsided from speculative bubble to functioning currency (see the price chart below), it’s safe for non-speculators to explore the whole “cryptocurrency” thing. So…is bitcoin or one of its growing list of competitors a useful addition to the average person’s array of bank accounts and credit cards — or is it a replacement for most of those things? And how does one make this transition?

With his usual excellent timing, London-based financial writer/actor/stand-up comic Dominic Frisby has just released Bitcoin: The Future of Money? in which he explains all this in terms most readers will have no tr...



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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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