Trump and Drug Prices

December 7, 2016 at 10:29 am

Send Comment Share: Facebook Twitter

Pharmaceutical stocks were down this morning after President-elect Trump gave an interview to Time magazine in which he said, "I'm going to bring down drug prices. I don't like what's happened with drug prices."

Continue Reading

 

Salman, Scalia, and Bharara

December 6, 2016 at 2:13 pm

Send Comment Share: Facebook Twitter

The Supreme Court this morning handed down a unanimous decision, written by Justice Alito, in the case of Salman v. United States, in which Bassam Salman was sentenced to three years in jail for trading on inside information that originated with a relative who was an investment banker at Citigroup.

A few points are worth initially mentioning in reaction to the decision.

The U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara, is already claiming vindication.

"The court stood up for common sense and affirmed what we have been arguing from the outset -- that the law absolutely prohibits insiders from advantaging their friends and relatives at the expense of the trading public," Bharara said in an e-mailed statement reported by Bloomberg. "Today's decision is a victory for fair markets and those who believe that the system should not be rigged."

Continue Reading

 

Pentagon Waste

December 6, 2016 at 8:13 am

Send Comment Share: Facebook Twitter

Pretty interesting Bob Woodward story in the Washington Post about how the Defense Department buried a report showing how it wastes about $25 billion a year, and could save $125 billion over five years by becoming more efficient. One eye-grabber: the Pentagon has 30,000 people working just on "health care management," that is, "health-care policy, oversight and administration, excluding medical care."

Submit a Comment

 

Trump-Schumer Bromance Threatens Freedom, Rule of Law

December 6, 2016 at 7:52 am

Send Comment Share: Facebook Twitter

President-elect Trump's decision — on Senator Schumer's advice — to reappoint Preet Bharara as the U.S. attorney for the Southern district of New York is a warning sign, I write in my column this week, which also gets into some other issues where Mr. Trump and Mr. Schumer seem aligned. Please check out the full column at the New York Sun (here), Newsmax (here), and Reason (here).

Submit a Comment

 

11 Ways Trump Is Like JFK

December 4, 2016 at 12:22 pm

Send Comment Share: Facebook Twitter

"Eleven Ways Trump Is Like JFK" is the headline of my latest column for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, which you can read in full by clicking here. A former editor at the New York Times described the column as "extremely clever."

Submit a Comment

 

Hamilton Electors

November 30, 2016 at 9:04 am

Send Comment Share: Facebook Twitter

A slickly produced video (embedded below) is promoting the idea that "37 patriots can save this country" — that is, if only 37 Republican members of the 538-person electoral college decline to support Donald Trump, Mr. Trump would lack the majority of electors needed to become president. It seems like a long shot to me, but what really caught my eye were the three images that the video used to go with the phrase "choose an alternative president." They were pictures of Michael Bloomberg, Mitt Romney, and John Kasich. Mr. Bloomberg declined to run and endorsed Hillary Clinton. Mr. Romney declined to run in 2016 and lost the general election when he ran in 2012. Mr. Kasich was roundly defeated by Mr. Trump in the Republican primaries. It seems to me that for the electors to take the presidency away from Mr. Trump and give it to one of these three guys would be not only farfetched, but profoundly unjust and undemocratic.

Submit a Comment

 

Compliance Vehicles

November 30, 2016 at 8:26 am

Send Comment Share: Facebook Twitter

General Motors loses $9,000 on each electric Chevrolet Bolt it sells, but it keeps making and selling the cars because of California state laws requiring it to either sell zero-emission vehicles or purchase credits from another company that does so, Bloomberg News reports in a fascinating look at what one expert calls "compliance vehicles."

The more ZEVs a company peddles to the public, the more credits it earns, and those with a surplus can sell them to competitors that are falling behind. As an electric-only manufacturer, Tesla has been able to really tap the program. In the third quarter, it made $139 million selling credits, which helped Tesla hit its second-ever quarterly profit on a GAAP basis.

Nor is GM the only company doing this. Bloomberg reports:

Continue Reading

 

Non-Bank Lender

November 29, 2016 at 10:48 am

Send Comment Share: Facebook Twitter

The rise of non-bank lenders as alternatives to heavily regulated banks is a theme we have been following here (see earlier posts here, here, and here). Now Bloomberg brings news of a firm in Thailand, Muangthai Leasing, whose founders have become billionaires by offering small loans collateralized by cars, land, or motorcycles: "Millions of Thais ...need working capital for small businesses, but lack the credit history required by commercial banks."

1 Reader Comment

 

The Trump Panic, Rule of Law, and Presidential Power

November 29, 2016 at 10:26 am

Send Comment Share: Facebook Twitter

If some hedge fund exhibited a fraction of the public posture of noncompliance toward, say, insider trading law that Harvard University is exhibiting toward immigration law, Preet Bharara would be frog-marching its founder down Park Avenue faster than Usain Bolt. My column this week looks at the rule of law and executive authority under Presidents Obama and Trump. Please check it out at the New Boston Post (here), New York Sun (here), and Newsmax (here).

Submit a Comment

 

New England's Most Charitable State

November 28, 2016 at 8:56 am

Send Comment Share: Facebook Twitter

The most charitable state in New England turns out to be New Hampshire, Boston magazine reports, citing a WalletHub study ranking all 50 states (Utah was tops in the nation).

Boston magazine doesn't get into it, but New Hampshire is also the New England state with the lowest income tax rate — zero. It's often claimed that lower income tax rates will hurt charitable giving by reducing the incentive provided by the tax deduction for charitable giving. But it's also possible that, by leaving individuals and families with more after-tax money in their pockets, lower tax rates actually encourage charitable giving. After all, you can't give away money that the government has already taken away.

Submit a Comment

 

Allison at Treasury?

November 28, 2016 at 8:35 am

Send Comment Share: Facebook Twitter

President-Elect Donald Trump was scheduled to meet this afternoon with John Allison, who is reportedly a candidate for Treasury Secretary or perhaps some other high post in the administration. My review of Mr. Allison's 2012 book that called for eliminating the Federal Reserve and cutting defense spending by as much as 50% is here.

Submit a Comment

 

Anxious About Trump? Take a Number

November 27, 2016 at 11:42 am

Send Comment Share: Facebook Twitter

My latest at the Las Vegas Review-Journal:

The intensity of the reaction is enough to make some of us wonder if this fear that Trump is terrible has become so ingrained that it would survive any encounter with even the strongest evidence to the contrary.

Rather than speculating, or worrying, how about laying down some markers?

Please check out the whole column by clicking here.

1 Reader Comment

 

Wisdom From David Brooks

November 22, 2016 at 8:14 am

Send Comment Share: Facebook Twitter

David Brooks is a New York Times columnist with whom I've certainly had my share of differences over the years, but today's column has some very wise passages:

Many of my fellow Trump critics are expressing outrage, depression, bewilderment or disgust. They're marching or writing essays: Should we normalize Trump or fight the normalizers?

It all seems so useless during this transition moment. It's all a series of narcissistic displays and discussions about our own emotional states.

It seems like the first thing to do is really learn what this election is teaching us. .... It's stupid to react to every Trump tweet outrage with your own predictable howls. It's silly to treat politics and governance purely on cultural grounds, as a high school popularity contest, where my sort of people denigrates your sort of people....

Continue Reading

 

The View From Michigan

November 21, 2016 at 9:01 pm

Send Comment Share: Facebook Twitter

A quick trip to Detroit was just what I needed for some perspective on the presidential election. That's what my column is about this week; please check it out at the New York Sun (here), Reason (here), and Newsmax (here).

Submit a Comment

 

McDonald's Screen Ordering

November 20, 2016 at 9:10 pm

Send Comment Share: Facebook Twitter

The New York Times manages to write up McDonald's decision to roll out "digital self-serve ordering stations" at all of its 14,000 U.S. restaurants without any mention at all of increases in minimum wages and health care mandates, factors that many of us predicted would accelerate the trend of workers being replaced by machinery.

2 Reader Comments

 

Next 15 items ->

Follow Us On:

Facebook    Twitter    RSS    Join Mailing List

ADVERTISEMENT