Monday, March 09, 2009

Burning Down the House

So so glad big pharma isn't hurting for money. Merck can spend $41.1 bil to buy other people's research rather than doing some themselves. Patents expiring - it's ok, we're rich, go buy some more. After all, we're funded by the US health care system!

Gerry pointed me to a contrasting document about Boeing's layoffs. Boeing's CEO wrote his employees as follows:
More than a few of you have written to me asking whether we could avoid layoffs altogether by not paying incentive awards this year or by freezing wages across the board," McNerney noted.

He said such actions would preserve some cash during the year and lessen the immediate impact on people, but "our judgment (and one shared by most major companies) is that they would put us at a competitive disadvantage."

Meaning in short that the layoffs are not forced by the downturn, but are an executive choice.

EVERYBODY should listen to this episode of Warren Olney's KCRW show "To the Point." "Could AIG Wreck the Economy?" Well yes, it already has. In this show you will hear:
  • Detroit News columnist Daniel Howes say the world auto industry is about to line up for government money.
  • A WSJ reporter (Michael Crittenden) say that in Senate hearings the Fed representative say that the identity of the companies getting tens of billions of public dollars must remain secret, to preserve the world banking system.
  • A former bank examiner, Mark Williams, agree that secrecy is essential because the public loans are actually permanently gone, and learning their destinations will destroy confidence.
  • A Venture Capitalist, Peter Cohan, attack the secrecy position in the name of democracy and market confidence.
  • Felix Salmon, a financial blogger, say the secrecy is protecting the fact that so much money went to AIG's clients in a) Europe and at b) Goldman Sachs, whose personnel were directly involved in designing the bailouts.
  • Everyone agree that we don't really know anything about where the money is or how much it's going to take or why it's costing so much.
It's three-hund-red-sixty-five-degrees.

In other words,

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