WASHINGTON, Sept. 22, 2015 – Today is the first day of fall, and fall is just what stocks are doing, following Monday’s bizarre day, which started out bullish but was promptly derailed that afternoon by a typically clueless tweet from the Democrats’ faltering, alleged front-runner for the next presidential sweepstakes.
Price gouging like this in the specialty drug market is outrageous. Tomorrow I’ll lay out a plan to take it on. -H https://t.co/9Z0Aw7aI6h
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) Sept. 21, 2015
Commented CNN.com Tuesday morning:
“Wall Street is already betting that a President Hillary Clinton may not be good for the red-hot biotech industry.”
Seriously? Has Wall Street has finally gotten its nose out of the New York Times—Pravda on the Subway—and figured out at last that promoting socialists without any business experiences at all for president of the United States is a losing proposition?
“Biotech stocks tumbled on Monday after Clinton fired off a tweet about ‘price gouging’ in biotech drugs,” continued the CNN report, adding, “Prices had skyrocketed overnight to $750 from just $13.50 each for a drug called Daraprim — a 62-year-old drug used to treat a life-threatening parasitic infection. Clinton sent out a link to a New York Times article about it.”
There’s the NYT again.
“Clinton promised to unveil a plan on Tuesday to take on ‘outrageous’ price increases like that one. Her campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment on specifics.” That’s great. A “plan” to solve all our drug pricing problems, overnight no less.
Already beset by additional problems, Wall Street took its cue again from crashing biotechs to wipe out Monday’s meager gains, heading back rapidly to the kind of mood that caused last Thursday’s and Friday’s massive market declines. As we write this (around 11 a.m. EDT), the Dow is off 264, with the S&P 500 down 30 and the tech-heavy and biotech-heavy NASDAQ getting whacked to the tune of negative 87.
Hillary’s obviously getting the same kind of input from her minions that she got when drawing up her highly secretive and fortunately aborted plan for HillaryCare back in the 1990s. Of course, we have something even worse, now, but we’ll let that pass, directing you back to our previous comment on
Socialists Democrats who know absolutely nothing about business but tell us how they’re going to fix things anyway. Overnight, no less. “Mirabile dictum,” as Virgil might say.
Snapping back at the smartest woman in the world, Brent Saunders, mega-drug-maker Allergan’s CEO, criticized the drug cited in the NYT’s hit piece on big pharma. He noted that the big price increase on a single drug that the paper cited was essentially an outlier. He told CNBC, “The example she [Hillary Clinton] tweeted about today was just one egregious situation. I think we have to separate the one-off kind of situations with what really happens. And, keep in mind, we need to have good pricing to create innovation,” Saunders said.
Right answer, Brent. And even more right when you consider the over-all price increases Obamacare patrons are going to see in just a week or two when they get the bad news on 2016’s massively increasing premiums—much of which will go to cover drug price increases the Obama administration told the drug companies he’d allow in return for their getting behind the administration’s socialized medicine plan.
But Hillary was not the only clueless blabbermouth smacking stocks back from their Monday rally attempt. Again on CNBC, it was St. Louis Fed governor Bullard who stepped up to the plate, again at an inopportune time and foolishly keying up a convenient CNBC media target.
We appreciated Bullard’s frankness recently in a recent Fed report where he scored much of the now-ended Fed QE money printing effort for failing to lift more than a few economic boats, something we’ve been complaining about right here for years. But with markets in turmoil due to massive issues with China, Europe and the tinderbox Middle East, not to mention the Fed’s own backing off from a September rate increase, why criticize nearly seven years of Fed-backed market bullishness now?
According to the network, the Bullard-Cramer brouhaha “started with Bullard, in an interview on CNBC’s ‘Squawk Box,’ saying: ‘I’ve got a message for your friend Jim Cramer. The Fed cannot permanently raise stock prices. The idea that the Fed is going one way or the other, and this is what’s driving the stock market, is not true. He’s one of the great people at looking at businesses, how good is this business, what’s the profitability of the business, what’s this thing worth? And to have him cheerleading for lower rates 24-hours a day is, I think, unsavory.’”
In addition, “Bullard said it’s time to increase interest rates, and policymakers should not react to turmoil in financial markets.” Really. In other words, everyone should just do as the government tells them, right? So how far has that gotten us since the Obama administration’s 2008 coronation.
Cramer, who increasingly has had his own issues, responded with more than a touch of irony, “Other than the ‘unsavory’ comment, typically I like to have combat that does not involve any sort of ad hominem attack.”
“I’m taking [the] Janet Yellen position,” he continued, “which is also ‘unsavory,’ I guess,” Cramer said. “Am I ‘cheerleading for higher prices’? I’ve been pretty negative on the market. I cheerlead that Main Street needs to be on firm footing.”
He insisted the time will come for a rate hike, just not now “when China is not teetering, when Europe is on firmer ground…. I’m [also] worried about deflation,” he noted, pointing out perhaps the most obvious reason for keeping interest rates down for now.
Commodities are already deep in the tank, a clear sign of deflationary pressures, and, as we have also often reminded our readers, jacking interest rates at such a delicate time could let all the air back out of a stock market that was close to completing a recovery—which is just what the Fed did in 1937, torpedoing a tentative recovery from the Great Depression and leaving it to World War II to finally sort things out.
Sadly, all this is part of the larger problem in these dis-United States in 2015. The smart-ass, clueless and generally Ivy League-educated blowhards and gasbaggers who invest today’s Washington have screwed up everything in this country that wasn’t already screwed up. When someone inhabiting the Great Unwashed responds with the slightest bit of criticism, they accuse their critics of “not understanding,” when it’s they themselves who are guilty of pure idiocy.
Compounding the problem on Wall Street both Monday and today: Hair-trigger, headline-driven algorithms that HFTs use to move markets violently up and down on the faintest economic or political sneeze, blowing out investors and their retirement funds every time to enrich themselves via a computer gaming strategy that has zero to do with profit-and-loss, i.e., real investing in a market of stocks.
Add in the lunatic social justice warrior/liberation theology rantings of Karl Marx fan, Pope Francis,* who’s visiting the Great Satan this week; and the massive gaming of U.S. emission testing regimes by Volkswagen—and perhaps others—and it’s beginning to look like another nasty, volatile trading week.
It’s all shaping up to be the kind of action that makes HFTs very happy while prompting real investors and soon-to-be retirees alike looking everywhere to see if there’s another country, anywhere, where they can protect what’s left of their hard-earned assets and live in peace and freedom as the sun slowly sets on the Great American Experiment.
*FYI, the Maven is a Catholic and a very disgruntled one at this point.