Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Origins of the Federal Reserve

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rb4UR19cR60
via The Motley Fool

JPMorgan and Citigroup Were Once America’s De Facto Central Bank

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZDX3RBYPtY
via The Motley Fool

How JPMorgan Fueled the Growth of America

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNNACQJfuh4
via The Motley Fool

The Origins of the American Bank Industry

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_xxF1NIG1w
via The Motley Fool

Financials: The History of Banking in America *** INDUSTRY FOCUS ***

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttBvZvgjfAA
via The Motley Fool

The State of Investing in Virtual/Augmented Reality

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrQmhfmgibU
via The Motley Fool

How to Invest in Companies That Are Part of a Whole

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2OO0dgRCo8U
via The Motley Fool

Should You Invest In Such a Volatile Market?

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kC0d-jLqX1g
via The Motley Fool

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Health Wonk Review is up!

Check out the ACA Anniversary edition of the Health Wonk Review over at ACASignups. It’s a nice crisp edition

from Health Business Blog http://healthbusinessblog.com/2016/03/24/health-wonk-review-is-up-7/
via A Health Business Blog

How Should Investors Think About Valeant From Here

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3gxef55cg5o
via The Motley Fool

New To Valeant? Here's What Happened

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Ix3etCeSHQ
via The Motley Fool

Does This Marijuana Breakthrough Make This Marijuana Stock A Buy?

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5IxRR5BVf8M
via The Motley Fool

A Stunning Breakthrough For Medical Marijuana

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLA6aX7csQs
via The Motley Fool

Healthcare: These Two Stocks Are On Different Paths, But Both Remain Risky *** INDUSTRY FOCUS ***

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5NF-HfTBCM
via The Motley Fool

Under Armour Ready to Issue Its New Class of Shares

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ItOjVAoOsPQ
via The Motley Fool

What Under Armour’s 2-for-1 Stock Split Means for Investors

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TnsmGghBbA
via The Motley Fool

Can Amazon Bring Its Seamless Customer Experience to the Cable Industry?

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMhoa9eQB8Y
via The Motley Fool

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Consumer Goods: Amazon Forges an Unlikely Partnership With the Cable Industry *** INDUSTRY FOCUS ***

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gK3ecb69HxM
via The Motley Fool

Stocks On Our Radar

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6Opk7nZYG8
via The Motley Fool

How Will SeaWorld Stand Out Without Its Whales?

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MWw-6_py1I0
via The Motley Fool

Two Clothing Lines That Aren’t So Hot This Quarter

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhwNETad-I0
via The Motley Fool

How Much Will This Health Scare Affect Chipotle Long-Term?

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ea5mt1UUva8
via The Motley Fool

Why Oracle is Crushing the Cloud Space

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWErdJf2nH4
via The Motley Fool

Monday, March 21, 2016

Square’s First Q4 Report: Up 50%, But No Profits Yet

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdRcGxr0WFQ
via The Motley Fool

Ulta Salon Stock At All-Time Highs

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6Cm9GMVUgY
via The Motley Fool

Listener Question: Why Hasn’t Under Armour’s Stock Split Yet?

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MqkeVZg4BSQ
via The Motley Fool

Box Had a Better-Than-Expected Q4, But Is that Enough?

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRkRtatrzhA
via The Motley Fool

Why Shake Shack Went Down 15% Last Week

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPgaWmGbzjs
via The Motley Fool

How Sustainable is Bojangles’ Growth?

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhIpwy-gk44
via The Motley Fool

How Dollar General is Performing Better than Walmart

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZrbYdoJ9m-Q
via The Motley Fool

This Warm Winter, Dick’s Sporting Goods Wasn't So Hot

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIDepxLJH2M
via The Motley Fool

Worksite clinics 2.0? Interview with Crossover CEO Scott Shreeve

Friday, March 18, 2016

Energy: How Batteries Could Completely Upend the World of Energy *** INDUSTRY FOCUS ***

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4141SX2ZQE
via The Motley Fool

Traits of a Successful CEO: D from Delivery

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhIQYDlqavU
via The Motley Fool

Traits of a Successful CEO: A from Ambitious

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQUtgUh-WJ4
via The Motley Fool

Second breakfast: The Hobbits were on to something

From MedPage Today (For Kids, Two Breakfasts Healthier Than None)

Middle-school students who routinely ate two breakfasts — one at home and one at school — were still more likely to maintain a healthy body weight than those who skipped breakfast, a longitudinal study found.

Previous studies have shown a link between skipping breakfast and weight gain, but the mechanisms behind this phenomenon are not well understood either, Schwartz and colleagues said. One reason may be reverse causality: Overweight individuals skip breakfast thinking it will help them lose weight. Another theory is that skipping breakfast leads to overeating later in the day.

I’m a breakfast eater, so such studies validate my own biases, much as the frequent articles about the health benefits of coffee, chocolate and alcohol warm the souls of those substances’ partisans.

But this study reminded me of the wisdom of the Hobbits, who seemed to be a happy, healthy lot. They had breakfast and second breakfast, plus five meals beyond that. Any good researcher knows to end his/her paper with a call for further research. In this case I think a study of Elevenses would make a good follow-on.


By healthcare business consultant David E. Williams, president of Health Business Group.

from Health Business Blog http://healthbusinessblog.com/2016/03/18/second-breakfast-the-hobbits-were-on-to-something/
via A Health Business Blog

Thursday, March 17, 2016

The Y.O.D.A. Method of Evaluating CEOs

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJ0lDCmKK8Q
via The Motley Fool

Traits of a Successful CEO: O from Ownership

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSVJ9Ld0vWM
via The Motley Fool

Traits of a Successful CEO: Y from Youthful

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-GhU47N0PXE
via The Motley Fool

Healthcare: How One Tech Company is Reimagining the Future of Healthcare *** INDUSTRY FOCUS ***

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8txTNwjxU5c
via The Motley Fool

Cutting the Cord: Magic Boxes and Going Cold Turkey

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sb3iKfrBvlE
via The Motley Fool

Cutting the Cord: Biggest Concerns Addressed

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VMiVA8CUDo
via The Motley Fool

Cutting the Cord: Haggling with Your Provider and Using an Antenna

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2FzCMESsy8A
via The Motley Fool

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

What’s Up with Expense Ratios?

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCkyNJEdaoI
via The Motley Fool

5 Steps to Cutting the Cable Cord *** MOTLEY FOOL ANSWERS ***

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qo1fLrEbsNY
via The Motley Fool

Talking Retail With One of the Industry’s Biggest Trade Groups *** INDUSTRY FOCUS ***

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0D8pMYQj87M
via The Motley Fool

How to Tell If a Small Bank Stock Is at Risk From Low Oil Prices

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PSOH8ziAGQ
via The Motley Fool

Don’t Buy A Small Bank Stock Unless You Do This

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAY_AFUJGh0
via The Motley Fool

How Small Banks can Compete Against Silicon Valley’s Biggest Players

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRCyeL9johI
via The Motley Fool

3 Reasons Small Banks Could Become a Thing of the Past

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPSv4INz014
via The Motley Fool

Collaboration in pre-clinical and clinical development: interview with Dalvir Gill

Monday, March 14, 2016

Hallmark Cards Acquires Media Company

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ns8fcEj82Pc
via The Motley Fool

Why Nike Suspended their Contract with Maria Sharapova

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zXPUsSGfbc
via The Motley Fool

Is the News Being Too Hard on Chipotle?

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myT4FOLDgd0
via The Motley Fool

Why General Mills Keeps Increasing Its Dividend

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LpoErlC7pnc
via The Motley Fool

Top 5 Companies I Like Now: Planet Fitness

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nNsfLuUortc
via The Motley Fool

Top 5 Companies I Like Now: MercadoLibre

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WyyoG5aC4ps
via The Motley Fool

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Healthcare: 3 Big Risks Facing Biotech Stocks

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDFAC0D_e0w
via The Motley Fool

How China’s Richest Man Is Making Waves in Hollywood

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6g_MwLseRw
via The Motley Fool

Box Office Consolidation Continues With $1.1 Billion AMC-Carmike Deal

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnBsw_w2K1U
via The Motley Fool

Health Wonk Review: Tales of the Trump


Had enough of Donald Trump by now? Well, you’d better do something about it unless you want to have to listen to him for another four years or more. I start this Health Wonk Review off with a couple Trumpy topics before moving on to the usual wonkery.

Trump may be the first major party candidate with fascist tendencies, but his healthcare proposals are just the usual Republican pap with a few pieces of Obamacare and socialism thrown in for good measure.  NCPA’s Health Policy Blog gives us the rundown.

As Health Care Renewal tells it, many nutritional supplements are akin to the old snake oil remedies. Consumers are fooled by the positioning of these products as health-promoting when they may be nothing of the sort. It may not surprise you that Donald Trump was behind a dubious vitamin selling scheme.

Artificial Intelligence is a threat to many jobs, including workers comp claims adjusters. But those claims adjusters won’t be needed anyway if all the jobs are done by bots! Workers’ Comp Insider lays out the case.

Forcing everyone on Medicaid into managed care sounds oh-so-obvious, but Wright on Health thinks Iowa will be in for a Kansas-style surprise after flipping the switch on April Fool’s Day.

The Affordable Care Act makes it easier for women to access midwives and freestanding birth centers. Healthinsurance.org sheds light on the particulars.

Health Access takes big health plans to task, with a focus on those bad boys at Anthem Blue Cross and Cigna. Advocates want to keep the companies from getting bigger until they get better.

From the “Chutzpah in Health Care Financing Dept” Insureblog  reports on how an Oregon CO-OP is suing the Feds after being shorted on Risk Corridor funds.

Colorado Health Insurance Insider informs us that health plans are more confident in their risk pools in states with state-run exchanges. Those states may be doing more adequate eligibility verification than Healthcare.gov.  Perhaps by 2017, the changes that the federal exchange is implementing  will make enough of a difference that carriers will no longer find it necessary to try to avoid enrollments occurring during special enrollment periods.

Finally, I published my 11th annual birthday post on the Health Business Blog, featuring my favorite post from each of the last 12 months.

By healthcare business consultant David E. Williams, president of Health Business Group.


from Health Business Blog http://healthbusinessblog.com/2016/03/10/health-wonk-review-tales-of-the-trump/
via A Health Business Blog

Shake Shack Investors Scramble as 2016 Guidance Underwhelms

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cr2uYotcmUU
via The Motley Fool

Shake Shack Valuation Gets Another Reality Check in Light of Decelerating Growth

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ovfqOwKZEw
via The Motley Fool

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Why The Fed is Testing Banks for Negative Interest Rates

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSy4OVE3vc4
via The Motley Fool

What Wall Street Got Right and Wrong in 2015

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RA7Vb329aSU
via The Motley Fool

How Book Value and ROE are Intertwined

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajrVOJD_YdM
via The Motley Fool

What Negative Interest Rates Actually Mean for Investors

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVkl_E0copI
via The Motley Fool

Why Negative Interest Rates Won’t Affect Individuals

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=auQdcrhah90
via The Motley Fool

Fincancials: Why Negative Interest Rates (Probably) Won’t Hit the U.S. *** INDUSTRY FOCUS ***

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PI1TPeRM89g
via The Motley Fool

Monday, March 7, 2016

Get Invested Now!

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgpOtMZO3o8
via The Motley Fool

Happy 11th birthday to the Health Business Blog


The Health Business Blog has turned 11 years old! Continuing a tradition I established with birthdays onetwothreefourfivesixseveneightnine and ten I have picked out a favorite post from each month. Thanks for continuing to read the blog!

March 2015: Sovaldi – a near-perfect example of price discrimination

The controversy over the pricing of Gilead’s Sovaldi for Hepatitis C is a textbook example of price discrimination in action. My quick review of the economic principles involved helped explain the situation.

April 2015: E-cigarettes – the California Cooler of the 21st century

If like me you came of age in the 1980s you remember the California Cooler, a sweet wine/juice combo that made it easy for kids to start drinking alcohol even if they couldn’t handle the “adult” taste of beer, wine or liquor. They were very popular at the time but I don’t recall anyone ever saying they were a healthy alternative to anything. But when it comes to e-cigarettes, policymakers are confused.

May 2015: Of course emergency department visits are increasing

How many times have you read that the rise in ED visits contradicts the predictions of Obamacare supporters who said that providing insurance would send people to primary care?  Although some supporters did make that claim, it’s long been evident to many others that those with insurance use the ED and other services more, not less.

June 2015: Primary care prognosis. Is it really so grim?

The Boston Globe published a gloomy article about primary care containing all the usual cliches. But they neglected some other significant challenges and failed to note factors that may lead to a resurgence of primary care over the next decade.

July 2015: How immigrants help health reform succeed

Medicare turned 50 in July, which provided an opportunity for all manner of retrospectives and speculation about what the future holds. The Partnership for a New American Economy publicized one of my favorite arguments: that immigrants are a key reason that Medicare is still solvent.

August 2015: Ready for the eyeSelfie for diagnosing health problems?

A friend lamented that his teenage daughter seemed fixated on taking selfies of her eyeball with his phone.  I thought it was a little odd but suggested that maybe she was looking for just the right shot to send off to an ophthalmology lab for diagnosis. My answer isn’t as farfetched as it sounded.

September 2015: Why drug price regulation should not be ruled out

I’m a proponent of free markets and in general defend drug companies in their price setting, especially when they’re introducing new, innovative products with real clinical and financial benefits.

But we have to remember that the reason high prices can persist in the market is that drugs are protected by patents and other restraints on competition such as the orphan drug law. Those rights are monopolies granted explicitly by the government. There’s really nothing free-market about them. Since the government grants these rights it should also be able to regulate the benefits that result from them.

October 2015: A wakeup call from the nanny state

A mom decided to make her own decision about what was best for the health of her newborn. The nanny state went nuts and triggered an amber alert that woke up thousands of people in the middle of the night. The only good thing about it is that it’s literally a wake-up call to the whole community about how the system treats vulnerable people.

November 2015: United pulls out of ACA exchanges. Should we care?

Recently we’ve heard what could be interpreted as bad news about the viability of the exchanges:UnitedHealth is withdrawing from the program. In the highly politicized world of health reform, that information has Obamacare foes sounding the death knell.

I see things differently.

December 2015: 6 reasons to ignore listicles, even this awesome one

Are you bothered by  articles with headlines like, 21 Euphoric Experiences for People Who Just Love Food, 11 Christmas Cards Only Cubans Would Send or 7 Surprisingly Easy Ways to Get Organized for the Holidays? (These are just a few of the articles on BuzzFeed’s home page as I wrote this.)

I don’t like them either, and I don’t read them. (Neither should you.) So I thought I would do something therapeutic by explaining what’s wrong with them.

January 2016: How crazy is Ted Cruz’s FDA reform proposal?

In 2014 I held substantive healthcare policy interviews with all nine candidates for governor of Massachusetts. I thought maybe in 2016 I would do a similar series at the presidential level to help elevate the debate. I guess I was hopelessly naive to think that would be attractive, so instead I’ve started to analyze some of the more radical ideas put forth by the candidates.

In general I don’t think very highly of Senator and Republican Presidential candidate Ted Cruz, but his proposal to loosen the drug approval process is at least worth discussing.

February 2016: In Medicare Advantage, providers are becoming payers

Accountable Care Organizations enable providers of care to take on some of the functions of health plans and to receive some of the financial rewards as well as the risk. But at least on the Medicare side it can be fairly indirect, with patients “attributed” to providers rather than assigned and little formal ability to keep a patient within a single provider system.

So it’s not huge surprise that some integrated provider organizations are going further, and sponsoring Medicare Advantage (MA) plans themselves. That way they are literally both the payer and provider.

By healthcare business consultant David E. Williams, president of Health Business Group.



from Health Business Blog http://healthbusinessblog.com/2016/03/07/happy-11th-birthday-to-the-health-business-blog/
via A Health Business Blog

Biggest Financial Tool of 2015

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWhRu-o0Bsc
via The Motley Fool

Best Credit Card of 2015

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtSLarYVjpo
via The Motley Fool

The Most Fascinating Listener of 2015

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uY3oboptw6g
via The Motley Fool

Best Mutual Fund of 2015

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZDHmTfQmQ8
via The Motley Fool

Best Discount Broker of 2015

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jg9raR9Vj24
via The Motley Fool

Most Useless Market Commentary of 2015

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2bHfS5UDCQ
via The Motley Fool

Friday, March 4, 2016

When Should Big Oil Say No?

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXY0fGq0HsM
via The Motley Fool

What Warren Buffett Thinks About Renewable Electric Utilities

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jOCldr7pGro
via The Motley Fool

Oil CEO Indicted, then Killed in Car Accident

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AE65OQNL0vw
via The Motley Fool

Energy: An Adieu to Aubrey McClendon *** INDUSTRY FOCUS ***

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVnTMu3UCP0
via The Motley Fool

Call for Submissions: Health Wonk Review

I’ll be hosting the Health Wonk Review on March 10. Please submit your post by 9 am on March 8. You can use the contact form on the Health Business Group site.

Not familiar with the Health Wonk Review? Learn more here.

from Health Business Blog http://healthbusinessblog.com/2016/03/04/call-for-submissions-health-wonk-review-4/
via A Health Business Blog

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Should Investors Buy Into Companies Developing Zika Virus Treatments?

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFMcNIMZrK0
via The Motley Fool

Top 3 Post-EPS Performers in Healthcare

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3FlJCOp0Q8
via The Motley Fool

Healthcare: Should You Buy Into Companies Developing Zika Virus Treatments? *** INDUSTRY FOCUS ***

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6HwEFtH_7c
via The Motley Fool

Why We Invest

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bC-Z01YFsKI
via The Motley Fool

Most young men don’t know about emergency contraception. Is that ok?


About 40 percent of adolescent boys and young men know about emergency contraception, aka the “morning after pill” or Plan B according to a Journal of Adolescent Health study. Women who take the pill within a few days of unprotected sex or a condom break can avoid an unwanted pregnancy because emergency contraception prevents ovulation.

So how should we think about the 40 percent number?

The authors are pleased that the number is as high as it is, and take it as proof that educational campaigns are working. They’d also like to see the number go higher so that boys and men take responsibility for contraceptive planning. In an ideal world that’s undoubtedly true, but I wonder whether it would be better if men were less aware of emergency contraception rather than more.

After all, the possibility of pregnancy is not the only reason to avoid unprotected sex. Prevention of sexually transmitted diseases is right up there as well. If boys and men know that emergency contraception is an option, they may be less careful about protection and more likely to pressure their partners into having unprotected sex in the first place.

I’m not actually advocating for purposefully keeping people in the dark, but I’d focus the awareness message heavily on girls and women.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

By healthcare business consultant David E. Williams, president of Health Business Group.

from Health Business Blog http://healthbusinessblog.com/2016/03/03/most-young-men-dont-know-about-emergency-contraception-is-that-ok/
via A Health Business Blog

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

What Marriott Can Tell Us About the Hilton Transformation

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=me5Pl95VVhA
via The Motley Fool

Lego on Track to Overtake Mattel as World’s Largest Toy Maker

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sP0E-m9JeeM
via The Motley Fool

Hilton Worldwide to Spawn Three New Companies in Latest Spin-off

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oxu5krnRjZQ
via The Motley Fool

Consumer Goods: Hilton’s Breaking Up (Into Three New Companies) *** INDUSTRY FOCUS ***

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0FSsTgX3M4
via The Motley Fool

Apple Pay: An “On-Ramp” to Visa’s Network

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Vc9_strtU4
via The Motley Fool

Why Walmart is Trying to Get Into the Payments Business

from The Motley Fool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75oka7QHJCk
via The Motley Fool