Another Thursday Blog

Thu, 2017/07/27 - 2:49pm | Your editor
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Today, I hope, my readers will get two blogs, because the one from Wednesday did not go out normally and had to be re-sent, which I did early this morning. I left the office yesterday before I was sure the e-mail had gone out because of a social engagement. The Wednesday blog is badly formatted but I suspect most of you would rather see it with variable fonts than not see it at all.


After my dawn send, I attended to personal business, namely the vexed matter of using a bank transfer to pay the builder we owe money to in Portugal. The rules of SWIFT appear to have been changed in the middle of the month without there being a process for informing bank clients using the electronic transfer system why they did not work. After spending hours trying to pay our builder I went to the bank and was able to override the client-managed process by letting a bank officer do the deed. In between checking the data points he spent most of his time trying to get my husband's account moved over to the bank he works for, which by the way is unlikely precisely because he was pitching so hard.

Then no less than 2 of the 3 elevators in this building were out of service and my old desktop computer which I use as a back up also went agly. Never rely on systems which used to work. They will suddenly fail.


From my new brokerage's global expert Jeffrey Kleintop, here is a new reason for investing outside the US: thee degree to which the world's stock markets move in sync with each other has fallen to the lowest level in 20 years. He compared correlation between markets of the G20 countries plus Spain and found that they are no longer aligned with each other. Lower correlation increases the benefit of diversification to cut risks. He adds that this is “especially good news right now because stocks may be due for a pullback.” My new brokerage is Charles Schwab.


More for paid subscribers follows from around the globe with another terrible day of multiple company report (including an “ad hoc” one from a German company which didn't even need to provide it) and several scandals.


Fiat Luxe. As we are out of Fiat-Chrysler and its Ferrari sub it worth noting that its former labor relations head in Motown tapped into company funds provided for union worker training along with his late counterpart from the United Auto Workers Union to the tune of at least $1.8 mn. Among the items the exec funded with the stolen cash was a Ferrari 458 Spider, not a Fiat 500.

However Fiat is not one of the carmakers charged with running a cartel in Germany. Note also that the chemical producers there are now under investigation by the European Union for collusion in setting the prices for feedstock. Its market dominance was very reason that IG Farben was split three ways after World War II to create BASF, Bayer, and Hoechst.

Now for the rest of the news. There is a lot of it from the Americas, Europe, and the rest of the world.


*The scandal which will not go away is how drug company detail men persuaded doctors to liberally prescribe potentially addictive pain-killers on behalf of, among others, Teva Pharma of Israel. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D.-Mo.) who is minority leader of the Homeland Security Committee is investigating the way the drug companies pushed their opioids to boost use without warning often uninformed general practitioners of the risks.

*The value of Astra Zeneca fell by $13 bn on the stock market after its lung cancer drug combo of Imfinzi and Tremelimumab failed ther Mystic trials. It also had a bad quarter. So we now know why Pascal Soriot was hoping to hop to Teva. AZN is one of the holdings of Investor A/B, IVSBF, our Swedish holding co.

*Although its shares fell 2.5% today, I disagree with Mehdi Zare who today in called Teva “walking dead.”

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