Tuesday, January 30, 2018


The chess battle over health care will cost you a lot of money.  It doesn't matter what your ideology is it will cost you a lot of money, each and everyone of you.

Simply put, this is the story.  Approximately 65% of medical dollars spent go to labor, directly or indirectly.  That's the millions of people who provide the health care system, whether they work for a hospital or a biotech company.  Labor is 65% of every dollar received by the medical profession.

The revenues for the medical industry (in entirety) can either be paid for by the government (TAXES) or by individuals (PREMIUMS).

When you pay the taxes to the government for the medical industry they are either called Medicare, Medicaid or something similar.  When you pay the premiums to your insurance company they are paid for by your personal income.  So you either pay taxes or premiums, both are used to pay the workers in the medical profession 65% of those two numbers.

No politician is willing to tell the people who don't work in the medical profession that medical expenses are destined to rise PERMANENTLY.  The cost of labor is not going down so we will have a continuing rise of medical care costs.  There is no competition.  There is basically a single payer system and that's just the way it is.  So forget the politics.  It's bogus.  

Thursday, January 18, 2018


President Trump has now brought attention to poverty.  Being politically correct buried the story. Continuation of the problem is allowing it to get worse.  The six poorest countries in the world are all in Africa. They are Burundi, Niger, Malawi, Gambia, Liberia and Congo Kinshasa which were all European colonies. 

Tuesday, January 9, 2018


For years I wanted to write about Calpers. I just never got around to it. It epitomizes one of the things that have been wrong in the investment arena.

Calpers had several hundred billion dollars under management for California state employees. They have long made a practice of complaining about corporate managements who their investment personnel thought were not managing their companies effectively.

The people who made these complaints knew next to nothing about managing companies. They were concerned with self serving publicity. Many of us have known for years that if Calpers had been held accountable for their own mismanagement of the investments under their areas of responsibility, the beneficiaries of Calpers assets might have been rewarded.

The New York Times ran an article today stating that Calpers lost about a quarter of their total investment portfolio during the last few years. Investment professionals will best serve their clients if they stick to money management and not corporate management, which is usually used to serve as a total distraction from their own lack of money management skills.

Thursday, January 4, 2018


Watch the news, pick up a magazine especially newspapers, watch the TV and immerse yourself in the "everythings wrong" philosophy.

The democratic process, with its unbelievable capacity for openness and sharing of thoughts, seems to thrive on conflict. This conflict results in a vibrant Nation that lurches forward with small and gigantic steps.

All around us the pundits of doom sell negativism.

The reality is anything but. The enormous strides made by democracy and capitalism in the last few decades are incomprehensible. Almost every country has seen the standard of living of its people rise. There is no longer a significant chance of slipping back into extreme socialism and communism. All about us the engine of American and World creativity is blossoming into a whole new era that is only at its beginning.

Cars are changing, jet planes are making huge strides, biotechnology is still alive and well. The immensity of the Internet and all the companies that are continually being spawned is almost too much to grasp. Old industrial America is stabilizing. Revolution in America is not realistic for many years, if ever.

Markets get ahead of themselves, competition for profits is intense and there is a continuum of winners and losers in most spheres of life. The government in all its confusion functions. There is an awareness that so many major components of our democracy need revitalization. So all is not lost.

The market doubled too quickly from its lows. No one I know bet the house on 1 1/2% 10 year government bonds. Most observers are focused on everything but the real picture.

The real picture is our ingenuity. The fact is that most people go to work everyday and most enjoy their jobs.

The deficits will not sink the ship (although they should be brought down). Europe will not sink. Greece will still be there and so will Spain. And Russia, with all its recalcitrance will not do anything stupid. So seek your opportunity, use common sense, pay attention to what you are doing and praise the fact that everyday there is opportunity.

Shepard Osherow. All Rights Reserved