I inherited the happy gene but I’d be happier still if we would just stop – and by “we,” I mean the Republicans – inflicting needless harm on ourselves.
We didn’t have to squander the huge looming surplus President Clinton left President Bush and his Republican Congress. We didn’t have to invade Iraq. We didn’t have to manufacture this summer’s debt ceiling crisis. And we don’t have to sit paralyzed as our bridges and schools crumble while so many people eager to fix them are out of work.
Even though much of this week’s stock market action is related to Europe’s dire straits, I think the market would respond with enthusiasm if we passed the American Jobs Act – now, right away – and got to work. What ARE we waiting for?
And if we did start moving, and grabbed control of our future, it would give markets around the world more confidence as well.
ROMNEY ON THE JOBS ACT
He’s against it, of course – except, as you’ll see in this quick video, the main things in it. When he was advocating those things, he could say with authority that they made sense. Now that the President has proposed them, they apparently don’t.
Economists say passage of the Act will add 1.3% to 2% to what the GDP otherwise would have been. We need to pass this bill right away. We need to put people back to work right away. And all that stands in the way of doing so is the Republican Party.
A year and a half later, Solyndra has gone bankrupt due to changing market conditions and stiff competition, and the GOP is using that fact to attack clean energy investments. Now the Journal is suggesting that the Department of Energy, by betting on a company that the Journal itself called the #1 clean tech company in the U.S., gave Solyndra a loan guarantee because it did “not understand” the solar industry and engaged in “political favoritism.”
☞ There is so much wrong with the right’s attacks on the Solyndra loan, as there is with the right’s attacks on the American Jobs Act. Click here if you missed the “5 lies” about Solyndra. And here if you lacked the time yesterday to “attend” a fascinating Clinton Global Initiative session featuring the CEO of Solazyme – someday, the gas in your tank or the oil on your arugula may come from their algae – and the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy. Both were emphatic with regard to Solyndra that we must have a tolerance for risk-taking – which means lots of failures – if we want to succeed. As any venture capitalist will tell you, not every risk pays off. That’s no reason to stop taking them. (The session moderator, Van Jones, notes cheerfully that we are, after all, Americans, not American’ts.)
From the Borowitz Report:
Canada to Build Twenty-foot Fence if Perry Elected
Could Be Electrified, Border Officials Warn
THE BRIDGE TO SOMEWHERE
The President spoke yesterday at a heavily trafficked bridge – declared “functionally obsolete” – that connects House Speaker Boehner’s home state of Ohio with Senate Minority Leader McConnell’s home state of Kentucky. He wants to put people to work fixing the bridge. The Republican response was to dismiss the speech as a stunt. Yet no one disputes that the bridge is obsolete, or that there are tens of thousands of others around the country like it, or that there are thousands of unemployed construction workers in Ohio and Kentucky. What ARE we waiting for?
EUROPE’S DIRE STRAITS
Since Germany seems to be the only one that can save the day, my guess is that she will. But there’s real risk she won’t, with significant consequences worldwide. The financial system is interconnected. There’s good cause to be nervous.
The company got a bad legal ruling yesterday and the stock plunged, as explained here. Having seemingly unlimited amounts of money I can truly afford to lose (I don’t eat much), I doubled up. Thirty-one days from now, once the wash-sale period is up, I may sell the original shares for a tax loss; although if tax-selling drives it down further I might buy more first. The risk reward here seems to be good. In a year or two, even if the ruling is not reversed on appeal, the stock could be significantly higher. But as always: only with money you can truly afford to lose.
Chris Hanacek: “Does guru have any sense on the time horizon for the uptake of their Fibrocell process?”
“It’s difficult to gauge,” writes Guru. “This product was launched in the UK about 10 years ago and the then management team pushed very aggressively on sales, so much so that the product ended up being misapplied, patients sued the company, and the product was eventually pulled from the market. The product when correctly applied produces excellent results – it is your own skin! However, the current management is taking time to train doctors on the correct application process. The training is simple – one day. Still, it takes some time to go around the country and train the doctors. Then uptake depends on patient interest. Even when a patient decides to purchase the product, it takes a couple of months to grow enough skin to inject back into the patient.
“The market for products to address facial scars and wrinkles is large. Allergan’s Juvederm did $88 million in the most recent quarter, annualizing at more than $350 million. Medicis’ competing product, Restylane, is on track according to Deutsche Bank to do more than $123 million this year. Thus, there is plenty of opportunity in the market for FCSC (valued at about $50 million recently for the whole company). Management, however, has not been willing to provide specific guidance at the moment and is remaining appropriately conservative until they can gauge the commercial interest themselves. Juvederm and Restylane fade after a few months, so if you use those, you must go back to the doctor to get regular re-injections. FCSC provides your own skin, which regrows and remains in place. Long term a much better outcome.
“The acne indication is not on the label yet, but there, the product competes with lasers, which of course, do not regrow skin, but merely try to flatten the areas surrounding the acne. The company has completed one successful acne trial that has been published and is discussing with the FDA what would be required to get acne officially on the label. However, since the product is approved for wrinkles, a doctor is free to prescribe it for acne if the doctor chooses and I would expect that patients that can afford laser treatment would look very seriously at this therapy instead. I certainly would.”
Quote of the Day
Spending tens of thousands of dollars on a person's last few months of life is compassionate, but spending tens of thousands of dollars to improve a person's first few years of life is investment.~.
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