Friday, November 12, 2021

Friday Night Links

  • The Biden regime has no moral compunction against using force at home to impose its will. The barriers are practical, not ideological. Biden, in June of this year, mocked “gun-rights advocates” as a defense against tyranny. They would need “F-15s and nuclear weapons” to defeat the state, Biden claimed. Implicit in this apparently weird statement is the acknowledgement that his administration would not hesitate to turn its full military might, including atomic bombs, against the populace in a war. [Josiah Lippincott]
  • The chief executive of Philip Morris International has said the two houses of Marlboro will not be reunited, telling the Financial Times that PMI will no longer pursue a combination with fellow tobacco group Altria. Jacek Olczak said at the Financial Times Global Dealmaking Summit on Tuesday that the “chapter with Altria is closed”, when asked about reviving merger talks between the two tobacco giants, which last took place in 2019. Instead, Olczak said he was focused on expanding PMI’s “pharmaceutical and therapeutic” knowledge and suggested the group may move into the cannabidiol (CBD) market. [FT]
  • [I]n 1962, Surgeon General Luther Terry selected an advisory committee of ten members to revisit the scientific evidence and produce a technical report on the health hazards of smoking. Representatives of government, medicine and industry, including some from the Tobacco Institute Inc., submitted a list of over 150 candidates for possible appointment to the committee. Each organization reserved the right to veto, without explanation, any name on the list. People who had taken a position on the issue, which included all those who performed the studies under review, were excluded from consideration. The committee on smoking and health ultimately comprised eight physicians, one chemist and one statistician, William Cochran. Reputed to be a “statistician you could talk to,” Cochran was by then well known for prior service on several national advisory committees dealing with prominent science policy issues: the effectiveness of the battery additive ADX2; an evaluation of the Kinsey report on sexual behavior; and the planning of the Salk polio vaccine trial. His acceptability to all the organizations responsible for proposing candidates may have been helped by the fact that he was a heavy smoker. Indeed, smokers made up half the committee. Cochran’s influence on the report and its conclusions was enormous. [Observational Studies]
  • I still was not precisely sure how the wedding would work, COVID-wise. My friend is a doctor, and I knew the crowd would mostly be New York and California people. There would be no anti-vaxxers among the guests, and the invitation said they’d follow the local public-health protocols. [...] My nonbinary 8-year-old was so mad and maybe so scared that they could barely look at me. My 5-year-old daughter proved her status as the ultimate ride-or-die kid. She brought a chair down the street so she could sit 20 feet away from me outside in her mask, as I sat on the porch in an N95. I’m not sure which reaction was more heartbreaking. It was as if one never wanted to see me again and the other didn’t want to let me out of her sight. [...] For people pondering edging back into normal life, or trying to jump in headfirst as I did, it’s easy to do the risk calculation only about physical health; that’s really what this was about for so long. But the vaccines changed that, and we need to update our mental spreadsheets. The life disruption—the logistical pain you cause those around you—is now a major part of any bad scenario. As I write this, I’m now 10 days past my first symptoms, but I continue to test positive on antigen tests, and so I have not returned home. I haven’t hugged my kids for 10 days. They missed a whole week of school, and my wife’s work life got turned upside down—even though they never tested positive or got sick. I blame no one but myself for this. We cannot will this pandemic to be over. [The Atlantic]
  • Everyone asks what is the catalyst for the Conrad long, as though a company whose stock is up 50% in the past six months (but still cheap!) is suffering for lack of a catalyst. Having said that, there are several catalysts: The company is buying back shares. In August 2010, the board authorized the company to repurchase up to $5 million of common stock, and they purchased 38,075 shares during Q3 2010 at an average price of $7. I will be interested to see the annual report, and find out how many shares were repurchased during Q4. The stock was under $9 for all of October, so they had the chance to make some attractive purchases. A company that trades for less than 1.5x EBITDA and is buying back stock will quickly take itself private. [CBS]
  • You’ve nailed why the left is enraged by Rittenhouse and Wisconsin is persecuting him: his courage and effectiveness embarrasses them, and it also highlights how little Red America needs their kind of government. Left to their own devices, Trump voters can put out their own fires, and protect their neighborhoods from Biden voters. Who knows what else they can do? Better nip that thinking in the bud by throwing the book at young Kyle pour encourager les autres. This is why it’s not enough for Rittenhouse to be acquitted. Start a Rittenhouse Scouts to train and encourage young men of good character to do likewise. [Dave Pinsen]
  • The PV-10 of proved developed producing (PDP) reserves is only $77.984 million. That is quite simply astonishing. The company spent $272 million on capex in 2011 and probably about $100 million in 2012, and has very little to show for it. Of course, the company had negative retained earnings of $856 million as of Q3 last year. The PV-10 of the proved undeveloped reserves (PUD) is only $2.1 million according to the reserve report, and it would require $356 million in additional capital expenditure even to realize those. [CBS]
  • The way you make money in grain storage is to buy grain, store it in your elevators, and sell it forward. In order to be profitable, that strategy requires the futures market to be in contango: future prices that are higher than the spot price. And in order for the market to be in contango, there needs to be a glut of the commodity. Basically, the grain storage facilities get paid the most when there is a lot of commodity to store, which makes sense. [CBS]
  • The Muslims claim Mohammed was the last of the prophets, and that after his death God stopped advising earthly religions. But sometimes modern faiths will make a decision so inspired that it could only have come from divine revelation. This is how I feel about the Amish belief that health insurance companies are evil, and that good Christians must have no traffic with them. [SSC]
  • If we’re serious enough about public health to suspend the Constitution, e.g., the First Amendment right to assemble, and to close schools, why aren’t we serious enough to ban sweets and junk food until American average BMI trends downward? Why is it legal for a pharmacy to have a sale on candy (as CVS often does)? Although I love them, why is it legal for potato chips to be sold in the U.S.? If restaurants are required to check vaccination tags, why aren’t restaurants required to check BMI for every customer and then limit the number of calories served to customers over a threshold of 25? [Phil G]
  • The General Partner also cannot rely on Skadden’s advice about the acceptability of the Opinion. As a threshold matter, it is not clear that the Reliance Provision envisions opinions like Matryoshka dolls, in which counsel renders an opinion, then another counsel opines on the opinion, and so on, with the breadth of protection expanding at each level. If anything, the procuring of a second opinion can be a tell, implying inadequacies or taints in the original opinion. Boards often retain a second investment banker when they learn that their chosen banker has a conflict of interest that could render its advice suspect. At least in that setting, the second banker addresses the core issue. Here, Skadden refused as a matter of firm policy to opine on the core issue and instead provided an opinion about an opinion. Regardless, the Reliance Provision only protects the General Partner when it actually relies on the underlying opinion, not when it manufactures the opinion and then gets another opinion to whitewash the first one. No matter what Skadden said about the Opinion, the General Partner knew how the Opinion came about, including that it addressed hypothetical maximum rates in a setting where the regulatory changes were not yet final and were unlikely to have any meaningful real-world effect. Under those circumstances, the General Partner cannot invoke the Reliance Provision. [Bandera Master Fund LP, et al. v. Boardwalk Pipeline Partners, LP, et al.]


Allan Folz said...

I've often wondered what true catastrophic health insurance would cost. Something that only covers stuff like kids falling out of a tree and breaking an arm or leg, crashing one's bike on railroad tracks, slip and falls in the winter, complications from giving birth, etc.

I once tried making a rough estimate based on what hospitalization riders cost, but they seemed like such egregious rip-offs there was no signal that could be deduced.

I know the answer, but flip it around and ask yourself why you can't buy catastrophic health insurance, then, if you so desire, add in diabetes riders, cancer riders, or triple by-pass riders.

I am actually guardedly in favor of free full-ride health insurance for every citizen under 18 years old. It's pro-natalist and it's cheap. Of course the obvious risk is politicians can't leave well enough alone and eventually we get the single-payer atrocities they have in Canada and UK, but my understanding is, all things considered, Canada is pretty d*mn good when it comes to trauma care, and it doesn't cost a lick out of pocket.

Anonymous said...

Looks like "nonbinary" was edited out of the Atlantic article

CP said...