Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Why would an organization enourage such a conflict of interest?

I realize organizations need money but sometimes conflicts of interest seem to dominate common sense.  A case in point:

The New Rules for Sunscreen -

"Take endorsements and seals of approval with a grain of salt. The Skin Cancer Foundation gives a “seal of recommendation” to sunscreens, but only if their manufacturer has donated $10,000 to become a member of the organization."

 BTW the rest of the article is well worth a read! 
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Thursday, May 16, 2013

S&P cuts Berkshire Hahaway's rating, but barely.

S&P cuts Berkshire Hathaway rating by one notch to 'AA' - Yahoo! Finance:

"The lower credit rating on BRK better reflects our view of BRK's dependence on its core insurance operations for most of its dividend income," said Standard &Poor's credit analyst John Iten."
How to bond rating agencies work? Here are a few good links:

From Wikipedia:  (they have really cool tables showing defaults by rating_

A straight forward primer:

and a slightly more academic version here is from  JF piece:

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Thursday, May 02, 2013

SEC subpoenas ‘political intelligence’ firms in a case of leaked information - The Washington Post

SEC subpoenas ‘political intelligence’ firms in a case of leaked information - The Washington Post:

" The latest case emerged April 1 when Height Securities, a Washington-based stock brokerage firm, alerted its clients that the government would soon make a decision favoring private health insurers who participate in a Medicare program.

The alert went out 18 minutes before the end of the trading day, sparking a surge in trading in the shares of several major health-care firms, including Humana and Aetna. The official government announcement was made after trading closed for the day."