Monthly Archives: September 2009

Kids and Komputers

iTouch after a Shower

iTouch after a Shower

It’s always the youngest.

On Saturday my 4yr-old left our iTouch (old iPhone) outside for four hours of rain.  We didn’t notice it was missing until we went looking to play with it at 9:00 PM.   My 4yr-old  sheepishly told my oldest that she was using it outside and put it down on a lawn chair shortly before being chased back inside by the rain.

While holding the now dripping device, I did a little searching on some tech blogs for hope.  Not surprisingly, I found numerous others with a similar problem, though different causes; dropped in the toilet being the best.

Following the advice of blogs, I dried it with a paper towel and stuck in a tupperware container with some silica packets and rice (short grain, in case you were wondering).

Well I opened the tupperware up this morning, plugged it into the computer and presto, it works.

I think I may be buying some more AAPL today.

— Tom


Irony and Unintended Consequences

Tolstoy would say that Rep. Wilsons outburst (scroll down for video)was an inevitable result of this summer.   Ironic that Congressman Wilson may have uttered the one tipping remark that will save healthcare for the President.

Now onto the details.  Whatever is finally voted for, I don’t imagine the status quo is where we will end up.

How many of the 46 million uninsured have been postponing needed medical procedures??

Lets assume 10 percent of the newly insured require immediate outlay from whomever is the insurer.  Remember that a large portion of the uninsured are in this situation because they were dropped from the previous insurer due to recision or an exclusion based on a pre-existing condition.

Why don’t the private companies want the Government taking these high-risk, immediately cash negative, individuals?  My guess is that are making such an obscene amount of money that, rather then fearing an ultra competitive public plan, they actually fear what may be revealed by the open books of a public plan.

How many employees are held “Job” hostage at their current employer?  Are you?

The current plans seeming to be leaning at both healthcare transportability and eliminating the pre-existing exclusion for new enrollees.  My guess is somewhere between 5% and 25% of the corporate workforce is currently coerced by healthcare from changing jobs.  This outcome better be on the radar of large corporations like McDonalds and Starbucks.   Currently, they outcompete mom and pops for talent just because they offer healthcare.  At the least, employees will have removed one of the swords hanging over their heads at a crappy job.

Who loses if this passes, and haven’t we learned there’s no free lunch?

The stocks of Insurance Companies, Pharmacuticals, in fact, all healthcare related companies are up big time.  The doctors aren’t marching down fifth avenue so they must think they’ll get paid.  And, supposedly, this is all going to end with more people getting healthcare, and cheaper.

Some can argue that it’s because investors and doctors all think reform is doomed.  As an experienced investor and trader (and cynic), maybe the opposite is true.

Perhaps the doctors are getting squeezed now and they actually want reform.  Perhaps the stock investing class is running a classic pump and dump with the healthcare sector.

It won’t surprise me if we see healthcare reform as the scapegoat for a W recovery, no recovery, a re-test of the March ’09 stock market lows, continued decline in housing or any other calamity.

Be greedy when others are fearful and fearful when others are greedy.

Be pessimistic when others are optimistic and optimistic when others are pessimistic.

— Tom Bergman