Michael Scally MD

Doctor of Medicine
Welcome to the new Men’s [And Women’s] Economics forum! It is TIME to make some $$$MONEY$$$. After following ALL things related to men’s health it dawned on me to start a forum devoted to the economics of Men’s [Women’s] Health, which, BTW, does include AAS as well. So, with input from others, LET’S MAKE SOME $$$MONEY$$$.

I have found the Meso members to be on the cutting edge of science and its clinical application. It is my hope that this will become a valuable and important asset to Meso. Why not use this to our advantage and, in the process, possibly benefit from one another’s input.

For example, I have been following Pharmasset, Inc. (VRUS) – - for over a year. In that time, their share price has risen from $30 to over $125!!! This is still one of the hottest stocks. For more, check out the Pharmasset, Inc. (VRUS) thread. It is, IMO, a WINNER!

On the downside, there is Dendreon Corporation (DNDN) - Cancer Treatment, Research & Development - , which I have been checking on for the same time. I was a skeptic form the start for this new and innovative therapy. The share price skyrocketed after FDA approval only to see it plummet to Earth after their recent disappointing (and shameful) quarterly report. It is, IMO, still a BUST.

Each thread will be devoted to a company whether they are Public or Private. The original thread post will contain important information on the company. This will include their R&D focus and, if Public, links to their website home page, Investor relations (IR), Google Finance (GF), Yahoo Finance (YF), Seeking Alpha Finance (SA), and the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC).

Also, where available, I have included the 2010 10-K (Annual Report) and the most recent 2011 10-Q (Quarterly report). These will provide a good guidance on the company financials.

If anyone has a suggestion for a company to be followed, please use the format of the original post for each company thread. Or just make a reply on this thread! Or, Email or PM me and I will start the thread. All comments, suggestions, recommendations, etc. are welcomed.

I highly recommend checking back often to watch our progress and profit!
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Michael Scally MD

Doctor of Medicine
Re: Men's [And Women’s] Economics

The Atlas of Economic Complexity: Mapping Paths to Prosperity The Atlas of Economic Complexity

Harvard's Center for International Development (CID) and the MIT Media Lab have joined forces to create The Atlas of Economic Complexity: Mapping Paths to Prosperity.

The whole study is based on how many things countries make and how complex these things are. Based on historical benchmarking, this measure has proven to be highly predictive of growth in the future.

Michael Scally MD

Doctor of Medicine
The Davos oligarchs are right to fear the world they’ve made

The billionaires and corporate oligarchs meeting in Davos this week are getting worried about inequality. It might be hard to stomach that the overlords of a system that has delivered the widest global economic gulf in human history should be handwringing about the consequences of their own actions.

But even the architects of the crisis-ridden international economic order are starting to see the dangers. It’s not just the maverick hedge-funder George Soros, who likes to describe himself as a class traitor. Paul Polman, Unilever chief executive, frets about the “capitalist threat to capitalism”. Christine Lagarde, the IMF managing director, fears capitalism might indeed carry Marx’s “seeds of its own destruction” and warns that something needs to be done.

The scale of the crisis has been laid out for them by the charity Oxfam. Just 80 individuals now have the same net wealth as 3.5 billion people – half the entire global population. Last year, the best-off 1% owned 48% of the world’s wealth, up from 44% five years ago. On current trends, the richest 1% will have pocketed more than the other 99% put together next year. The 0.1% have been doing even better, quadrupling their share of US income since the 1980s.

This is a wealth grab on a grotesque scale. For 30 years, under the rule of what Mark Carney, the Bank of England governor, calls “market fundamentalism”,inequality in income and wealth has ballooned, both between and within the large majority of countries. In Africa, the absolute number living on less than $2 a day has doubled since 1981 as the rollcall of billionaires has swelled.

In most of the world, labour’s share of national income has fallen continuously and wages have stagnated under this regime of privatisation, deregulation and low taxes on the rich. At the same time finance has sucked wealth from the public realm into the hands of a small minority, even as it has laid waste the rest of the economy. Now the evidence has piled up that not only is such appropriation of wealth a moral and social outrage, but it is fuelling social and climate conflict, wars, mass migration and political corruption, stunting health and life chances, increasing poverty, and widening gender and ethnic divides.

Escalating inequality has also been a crucial factor in the economic crisis of the past seven years, squeezing demand and fuelling the credit boom. We don’t just know that from the research of the French economist Thomas Piketty or the British authors of the social study The Spirit Level. After years of promoting Washington orthodoxy, even the western-dominated OECD and IMF argue that the widening income and wealth gap has been key to the slow growth of the past two neoliberal decades. The British economy would have been almost 10% larger if inequality hadn’t mushroomed. Now the richest are using austerity to help themselves to an even larger share of the cake.

The big exception to the tide of inequality in recent years has been Latin America. Progressive governments across the region turned their back on a disastrous economic model, took back resources from corporate control and slashed inequality. The numbers living on less than $2 a day have fallen from 108 million to 53 million in little over a decade. China, which also rejected much of the neoliberal catechism, has seen sharply rising inequality at home but also lifted more people out of poverty than the rest of the world combined, offsetting the growing global income gap.

These two cases underline that increasing inequality and poverty are very far from inevitable. They’re the result of political and economic decisions. The thinking person’s Davos oligarch realises that allowing things to carry on as they are is dangerous. So some want a more “inclusive capitalism” – including more progressive taxes – to save the system from itself.

But it certainly won’t come about as a result of Swiss mountain musings or anxious Guildhall lunches. Whatever the feelings of some corporate barons, vested corporate and elite interests – including the organisations they run and the political structures they have colonised – have shown they will fight even modest reforms tooth and nail. To get the idea, you only have to listen to the squeals of protest, including from some in his own party, at Ed Miliband’s plans to tax homes worth over £2m to fund the health service, or the demand from the one-time reformist Fabian Society that the Labour leader be more pro-business (for which read pro-corporate), or the wall of congressional resistance to Barack Obama’s mild redistributive taxation proposals.

Perhaps a section of the worried elite might be prepared to pay a bit more tax. What they won’t accept is any change in the balance of social power – which is why, in one country after another, they resist any attempt to strengthen trade unions, even though weaker unions have been a crucial factor in the rise of inequality in the industrialised world.

It’s only through a challenge to the entrenched interests that have dined off a dysfunctional economic order that the tide of inequality will be reversed. The anti-austerity Syriza party, favourite to win the Greek elections this weekend, is attempting to do just that – as the Latin American left has succeeded in doing over the past decade and a half. Even to get to that point demands stronger social and political movements to break down or bypass the blockage in a colonised political mainstream. Crocodile tears about inequality are a symptom of a fearful elite. But change will only come from unrelenting social pressure and political challenge.


Michael Scally MD

Doctor of Medicine
Greek leftists Syriza aim for landmark election win

(Reuters) - Greeks began voting on Sunday in an election expected to bring to power the radical leftist Syriza party, which has pledged to take on international lenders and roll back painful austerity measures imposed during years of economic crisis.

Barring a huge upset, victory for Syriza, which has led opinion polls for months, would produce the first euro zone government openly committed to cancelling the austerity terms of its EU and IMF-backed bailout programme.


Member Supporter
Anyone have any thoughts on when to get back into oil/ nat gas stocks? They are at some all time lows right now. I've been watching RIG and HERO, RIG is more stable but HERO could have a huge rebound if they can survive this dip in energy prices.

Michael Scally MD

Doctor of Medicine
Anyone have any thoughts on when to get back into oil/ nat gas stocks? They are at some all time lows right now. I've been watching RIG and HERO, RIG is more stable but HERO could have a huge rebound if they can survive this dip in energy prices.

Oil Slides to Near 6-Year Low; Saudi Arabia Holds Firm Despite Supply Glut

Hedge Funds Bet Oil Will Fall Further

Michael Scally MD

Doctor of Medicine
Understanding NGDP targeting

NOMINAL GDP targeting is not a new idea. It has an intellectual pedigree that goes back well before the crisis, but even if we just focus on the recent debate over changing Fed policy to targeting growth in the level of nominal output, we're talking about nearly 3 years' worth of public discussion. Scott Sumner started his blog in early 2009, was linked by Tyler Cowen just a few weeks later, and had the economics blogsphere debating intensely by the end of that year. It has taken a while for non-economist elites to notice, but the debate has been bubbling for a while. Neither has the American debate proceeded in isolation. Central banks pay varying amounts of attention to the path of nominal output, and some—among them the Bank of England—put quite a lot of weight on NGDP. But Kevin Drum writes that it's important to get the NGDP debate out in the open. I suppose that's right; I just figured that's what we'd all been doing for the past 30 months.

The trigger for Mr Drum's post was a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed which purported to call into question claims made on an NGDP target's behalf. What it mainly demonstrated was that quite a lot of journalists haven't paid attention to the debate over NGDP targeting. I supose that's to be expected. Those who have simply must do a better job explaining the contours of that debate to others.

Now is as good a time as any for me to do a little of that explaining. Mr Drum writes:

Matt [Yglesias] is right that one of the theoretical virtues of NGDP targeting is that it combines both employment and inflation into a single metric, which would make this question moot for policymakers, but it unquestionably does imply that during recessions the Fed would tolerate higher inflation. I think that's a good thing (as does Matt); [WSJ writer Evans doesn't]. But it's certainly a key issue that deserves plenty of public discussion.

Let's slow down here. Does an NGDP target imply greater inflation in recessions? Were the Fed to adopt an NGDP level target right now, most supporters of the policy would recommend that the Fed allow for a period of "catch-up", during which the economy would expand at an above-trend rate in order to make up some of the ground lost during the recession. This isn't a feature unique to NGDP targeting; advocates of price-level targeting would call for something similar. During a period of catch-up, inflation would probably run above the desired rate, as would real output growth. This actually isn't even inconsistent with an inflation-rate target. A central bank actually targeting an inflation rate should react to deviations above and below target similarly, suggesting that the Fed should be no more aggressive in fighting above-normal inflation than it was in fighting below-normal inflation; 2% on average is good enough. A period of catch-up NGDP growth and inflation is really only inconsistent with a policy of steady opportunistic disinflation or, to the extent that the two are different, of central bank incompetence. One way of understanding the push for an NGDP target, I think, is as a means to get the central bank to take its mandate more seriously.

Of course, it's worth asking why there is so much ground to be made up in the first place. One of the strongest points in favour of NGDP targeting, in my view, is that it implied a need for far more action from the Fed far earlier in this business cycle. People remember how aggressively the Fed intervened to prop up the financial system in the fall of 2008, but they forget how slow the central bank was to react to what was obviously a precipitous decline in the macroeconomy. The fed funds rate stayed at 2% from April until October of 2008. The Fed didn't ramp up its initial asset purchase programme above $1 trillion until March of 2009, at which point the economy had already lost some 6m jobs. Why the delay? One data point worth noting: the monthly core inflation rate was positive throughout 2008 and 2009. NGDP growth, by contrast, was already negative in the third quarter of 2008, and was sharply negative in the fourth quarter of that year, when total spending in the economy shrank at an 8.4% annual pace. A central bank with an explicit NGDP level target would have faced (appropriately) intense pressure to do much more much sooner than one with the Fed's present, vague focus on an inflation target as a means to broader macroeconomic stability.

Now, in a situation in which a central bank has credibly established an NGDP target, recessions would by definition be due to real shocks. In those cases, maintaining the target would mean higher inflation to go with lower real growth. So if the American economy is hit by a real shock, an NGDP target might mean inflation at 5% and zero real growth, rather than what we might observe today—inflation around 3% and a drop in real growth of perhaps 2%. I'm happy to have a debate about which Americans are likely to prefer, provided that we stipulate that in the meantime, the NGDP target is also preventing major episodes of cyclical unemployment. It's worth mentioning that given a positive productivity shock, an NGDP target would imply real growth above normal levels and inflation below normal levels. An inflation-targeting central bank, by contrast, might respond by adding more stimulus to an economy, potentially inflating bubbles.

Mr Drum continues:

Evans's other two points are worth thinking about too. It's true that the Fed has to pick a target no matter what it's doing, but NGDP is a new one with no track record. That makes it trickier to get a consensus about what the right figure should be, and consensus is important since the whole point of NGDP targeting is that everyone has to believe the Fed is really, truly committed to its target.

NGDP is not a new one with no track record. Countries have been keeping track of nominal output for ages, and most central banks, including the Fed keep a close eye on the path of NGDP either explicitly or implicitly, by putting weight on both inflation and real output in making policy decisions. This isn't some crazy new variable that's been dreamt up. Consensus and commitment to an NGDP target are no more or less important than they are for an inflation or price-level target.

And the question of whether the Fed can hit an arbitrary NGDP target is critical. Central banks have pretty time-tested mechanisms for hitting inflation targets, but growth targets are something different. There are plenty of economists who are skeptical that monetary policy alone can accomplish this.

Luckily for us all, the mechanisms available to hit an NGDP target are exactly the same ones used to hit an inflation target. The Fed will communicate its policy goals, then use the levers at its disposal to move NGDP to the desired level. When the fed funds rate isn't stuck near zero, that means the standard change in the fed funds target rate and corresponding open-market operations. If NGDP is expected to be too high, rates go up; too low, and rates go down. At the zero bound, the tools are the same ones the Fed has been using or saying it could use for the past three years. If you think the Fed can affect inflation, you think the Fed can affect NGDP; that's all there is to it. Now, you might argue that the Fed can't affect inflation, but that's an extremely difficult position to reconcile against recent data.

Mr Drum closes:

Finding some kind of mechanical monetary rule that automatically produces stable growth is sort of the Holy Grail of monetary economics, and we should subject any new proposed rule to plenty of tough questioning.

Perhaps there are people making extraordinary claims for NGDP targeting. In general, I think that most of its supporters consider it to be part of the evolution of monetary economics toward a greater understanding of how the central bank can best achieve macroeconomic stability. I don't consider NGDP targeting to be a panacea or a holy grail. I simply think it's likely to perform better as a policy goal than inflation over the long run, and much better in the rare but very costly economic disaster. And I tend to believe that the idea has grown in popularity not because of unreasonable claims made on its behalf, but because of the strength of the arguments in favour of it.

Michael Scally MD

Doctor of Medicine
Dalio warns Fed of 1937-style rate risk

The US Federal Reserve risks causing a 1937-style stock market slump when it finally moves to raise interest rates, one of the world’s most powerful hedge fund managers has warned.

Ray Dalio, founder of the $165bn hedge fund group Bridgewater Associates, said in a note to clients and followers that he was avoiding large bets on the financial markets for fear that the Fed’s expected change of policy could have dramatic unintended consequences.

The note emerged as Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund, warned on Tuesday that US rate increases could trigger instability in emerging markets, leading to a re-run of the Fed-induced “taper tantrum” of 2013.

The comments frame a high-stakes Fed meeting at which the central bank’s policy makers are expected to open the door to the first US rate hikes in nearly a decade.

The Fed is on Wednesday expected to remove pledges to be “patient” before lifting rates when it concludes two days of deliberations. Market expectations are for it to raise rates either in June or September, but the soaring value of the dollar and a spate of soft economic indicators have muddied the waters going into the meeting.

In Mr Dalio’s note, the stark tone of which has led it to be widely circulated around the industry, he and his co-authors urge the Fed to proceed with caution and to set out a public plan B, in case monetary tightening goes wrong.

“We don’t know — nor does the Fed know — exactly how much tightening will knock over the apple cart,” Mr Dalio and Mark Dinner, his colleague, wrote. “What we do hope the Fed knows, which we don’t know, is how exactly it will fix things if it knocks it over. We hope that they know that before they make a move that could knock over the apple cart.”

“We are cautious about our exposures,” they added: “For the reasons explained, we do not want to have any concentrated bets, especially at this time.”

The note likens financial conditions today to those in 1937, eight years after the 1929 stock market crisis and at the end of four years of money printing that had led to surge in equity valuations. Premature tightening by the Fed led to a one-third slump in the Dow Jones Industrial Average in 1937 and the sell-off continued into the following year.

Today, many analysts fear the knock-on effect any Fed tightening will have, particularly on emerging markets, especially when combined with a strong dollar.

Messrs Dalio and Dinner wrote: “If one agrees that either a) we are near the end of the developed country central bankers’ ability to be effective in stimulating money and credit growth or b) the dollar is the world’s reserve currency and that the world needs easier rather than tighter money policies, then one would hope that the Fed will be very cautious about tightening.”

Although Bridgewater’s investment style is heavily computer-driven, Mr Dalio’s investment commentary has long been valued by investors. His Pure Alpha fund, with over $80bn in assets, is among the top performing funds of all time, according to a 2014 survey from LCH Investments.

Many emerging market corporations, such as Chinese property companies, have borrowed dollars , despite their lack of dollar revenues, with few anticipating how strong the US currency would become.

Ms Lagarde said in Mumbai that she feared that negative “spillover” effects from rate hikes could lead to a re-run of the crisis that hit developing economies nearly two years ago, after then-Fed chairman Ben Bernanke hinted at an early end to its “quantitative easing” bond purchasing programme.

“I am afraid this may not be a one-off episode,” Ms Lagarde said.

Officials from Asia and South America have repeatedly urged the Fed to take international conditions into account when they formulate monetary policies. Fed officials stress that they closely watch global developments when reaching policy decisions on US rates — even if their formal mandate focuses squarely on US employment and inflation.

That message was underscored in January when the Fed included wording to emphasise it is watching “international developments” when deciding monetary policy.

Stanley Fischer, vice-chairman of the Fed, said in October he recognised that it was “not just any central bank” and that it took account of feedback effects between the US and the rest of the world. He added, however, that the most important contribution it could make to the health of the global economy was to “keep our own house in order”.

Mr Fischer also said that a gradual exit by the Fed from ultra-easy monetary policy should prove “manageable” for emerging markets, and that the Fed was doing all it could to avoid roiling markets with policy surprises.

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