Thursday, July 29, 2010

From Lab To L.A.:Keck School Uses NIH Award

USC's Keck School of Medicine will be putting a 58 million dollar grant from the National Institutes of Health to good use in the communities of the Los Angeles Basin.The Clinical and Translational Science Award supports and promotes scientific discoveries and their health care applications in the real world.The Keck School will focus the award on the health problems of people in the densely populated urban environment of the Los Angeles Basin.The Clinical and Translational Science Institute already exists at Keck,presided over by Dr.Thomas A. Buchanan,Associate Dean for Clinical Research at Keck.USC competed with 38 other institutions for one of the nine awards.
Clinical and translational research connects basic scientists to clinical and community researchers and practitioners with the goal of accelerating the translation of lab discoveries into practical help for citizens.It can take up to 20 years for such discoveries to make their way into communities without the benefit of the perspective of clinical and translational research..Some of the many problems Keck and its several partners in academia,government and other realms are addressing include:
1.Relationship between childhood obesity and leukemia;
2.Disparities in health outcomes between sickle cell disease patients in L.A. and those elsewhere;and
3.Relationship between air pollution and the prevalence of chronic disease in urban communities.
Besides other professional schools at USC,among Keck's research partners are Kaiser Permanente of Southern California,the L.A. County health system and Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Hyundai Heavy's China Plans

Hyundai Heavy Industries is building a plant in China for heavy duty bulldozers.The factory will initially produce 8,000 of the three and five ton machines a year,ramping up to 10,000 within five years.They are also planning to produce heavy equipment in Brazil,Africa and the Middle East,inspired by their success in China.They entered the Chinese market in 1995,and their Chinese operations account for 50% of their global sales.
Besides manufacturing construction equipment,Hyundai Heavy has a shipbuilding division that is number one globally,with 15% of the world market.The company also produces electrical systems,industrial plants and offshore structures.Hyundai Heavy is a component of South Korea's KOSPI composite stock price index.In the U.S.,the company trades on the OTC pink sheets.

Industry Reacts To FinReg

The Financial Services Roundtable,a trade group,has been digesting the new financial reform bill just signed into law by President Barack Obama.They're in the accepting reality stage,said CEO Steve Bartlett.Their industry finances about 65% of the American economy.Most people believe there will be some diminution of credit because of the new law.Lending has been pretty flat for a couple of quarters as it is.The systemic risk part of the law is really good.They're just gonna live with the new law.They're just gonna make it work.
JP Morgan Chase,Fidelity and State Farm are among the trade group's members.Pure investment banks such as Goldman Sachs are not.Goldman Sachs is a great,very sophisticated company.Although they're not members,it's important to the economy that they do well.
Price controls on debit cards are a scary thing.The breadth of the law's consumer protection language is beyond belief.You shouldn't have regulations for price controls or product selection.The free checking is probably gonna go away to pay for the new debit card rule.The industry and some of the companies did go overboard with fees,admitted Steve Bartlett of the Financial Services Roundtable.
Mr.Bartlett is a former Member of Congress and mayor of Dallas.
JP Morgan Chase(JPM),Goldman Sachs(GS)

Jobs Alert:Window Coverings Firm Hiring

nextday BLINDS,a leading custom window coverings retailer,is holding a jobs fair.They are seeking Managers,Assistant Managers and Sales Associates.Interviews will be held at two locations from 10 am to 2 pm on
Wednesday,July 28
Woodbridge Store
2475 Prince William Parkway
Woodbridge,VA 22192
Thursday,July 29
Rockville Store
12204 Rockville Pike
Rockville,MD 20852
Excellent compensation and benefits are offered.If unable to attend,please send your resume to and fill out the Online
nextday BLINDS
Exactly right.Completely you.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

From Thousands To Millions:The Jake Gittlen Cancer Research Foundation

The Jake Gittlen Cancer Research Foundation has grown fron raising 2500 dollars to a total well into the millions.Founded by Warren Gittlen as a memorial golf tournament to honor his father,who had died of cancer in 1970,the foundation funds oncology research at Penn State's Hershey Medical Center.It strives to recruit the top 10% of researchers,continuing to derive income from the golf tournament,the largest fund-raising amateur golf tournamnet in the U.S.It also receives funding from corporate sponsors-especially Giant Food Stores,which has donated over 5.4 million dollars over 28 years.Other sponsors include Giant vendors such as PepsiCo,Procter&Gamble,Clorox and Kraft Foods.
The foundation has raised more than 14 million to date.Its funds have been used to develop techniques and materials used in production of HPV vaccines such as Merck's Gardasil,a major preventitive of cervical cancer.This year,Gittlen Cancer Awareness Bracelets may be purchased for 10.00.The colorful beaded bracelets are handmade and show your support for cancer research,and all of the proceeds go to the Jake Gittlen Cancer Research Foundation.The bracelets may be purchased by emailing
Giant Food Stores operates hundreds of supermarkets in the Mid-Atlantic region.It is a brand of Dutch retailer Ahold.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Why Intel Did Better

Intel's chips are used in 80% of the world's computers.Its Q2 results show that people and companies are investing in technology,Chief Financial Officer Stacy Smith says.The enterprise market came back.They saw server and notebook sales strong.The IP network centers invested in posting information in the cloud.
Intel sees tablets as being a complimentary market.They saw nice growth in netbook sales and great growth in notebook.They think they're gonna be very well represented in tablets.
Intel's success is a combination of the strength of their product lines and their hard work to reduce their expenses.They're still really excited about the investment they're making in China.They saw that China over Q2 was a little stronger than normal seasonal patterns by the end of the quarter.China will be Intel's largest market in the world,Mr.Smith predicted.
Another tech titan,IBM,posted earnings per share that were greater than estimates,but,unlike Intel,reported revenue that missed the estimates of Wall Street analysts.Texas Instruments followed suit.
Intel(INTC),International Business Machines(IBM),Texas Instruments(TXN)

Why Canada Did Better

On the jobs front,Canada has clearly outperformed,says Andrew Pyle of full service financial firm Scotia McLeod.Canada's growth of over 2% is reflecting domestic demand.Commodities are a much bigger share of Canada's exports,but there's been a slight shift to domestic spending from commodities,which has been helpful in the past six months.He thinks Canada will get an interest rate hike before the end of the quarter.
The financial landscape in Canada was a lot firmer before the recession,Mr.Pyle indicates.Consumers there weren't hit by housing,so their wealth wasn't so impacted.Nonetheless,the direction of Canada's economy and the Canadian dollar,the Loonie, are tied to the U.S.,Canada's largest trading partner.If the U.S. takes a double dip,it won't be good for the Canadian economy,the financial planner noted.
Scotia McLeod is a division of Scotiabank.Founded in 1921,it serves clients through a number of branches,including the National Branch in Toronto.
Bank of Nova Scotia(BNS)

Jobs Alert:IBM Still Hiring

Are you an IBMer?If so,Big Blue is looking for you.If you can identify trends,think strategically,innovate and are ready to make the world work smarter,attend the IBM Global Business Services Open House on Tuesday,July 27 at
Ritz-Carlton Tysons Corner
1700 Tysons Boulevard
McClean,VA 22102
For a list of openings and to pre-register,visit

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Pfizer and Samsung Medical Center Collaborate

Pfizer,the world's largest pharmaceutical company,is collaborating on the study of liver cancer tumors from Korean patients with Samsung Medical Center in Seoul,South Korea.This joint research will generate genetic profiles and aims to direct therapies and enhance outcomes for liver cancer patients.Professor Park Cheol-Guen in Seoul and Dr.Neil Gibson,Pfizer's Vice President of Oncology Research,are among the participating scientists.
Liver cancer is especially common in Asia.Pfizer took note of South Korea's world class research environment and chose it as the hub for addressing Asia's pressing need for a liver cancer drug.SMC has been building a large liver cancer specimen collection and developing collaboration with research partners,expanding the knowledge base for liver cancer diagnosis and treatment.The institute has been designated a member of the Group of Leading Research Hospitals by the South Korean government.Choi Han-Yung,President of SMC,said the goal is to send a new message of hope for patients with liver cancer across the world-especially in Asia.Dr.Gibson explained that the partnership will combine Pfizer's competence in drug development with SMC's extensive genome information and technology in the liver cancer area.
Liver cancer is uncommon in the U.S.,but the rates of diagnosis are increasing.Chronic infection with hepatitis viruses is one known cause of the disease.As well,diabetes patients are at greater risk of developing liver cancer.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

TIAA-CREF Bullet Points

Roger W. Ferguson,CEO of pension fund manager TIAA-CREF,has a number of bullet points on his mind for investors.With regard to financial reforms,there needs to be:
1.More emphasis on risk
2.More emphasis on liquidity
4.Dedication to serving the consumers.
As for retirement,investors should:
1.Start saving earlier,setting aside 10-14% of income for a safe nest egg
2.Have a good,diversified portfolio that reflects their risk appetites,selected from 10-20 options
3.Seek out objective advice from non-commission advisors
4.Realize that with living for 20-30 years in retirement,you will need guaranteed income in the form of an annuity.
TIAA-CREF is regarded as one of the most painstaking money managers active in the market today.CEO Roger W. Ferguson was Vice-Chairman of the Federal Reserve from 1999-2006.

Nothing Fast About Recovery

You don't get a fast recovery,Harvard economist Ken Rogoff points out.It doesn't mean you're about to enter something worse.The larger risk is government debt.There is always a sovereign debt problem after a crisis as spending explodes.He thinks housing prices still have further to fall,but a double dip recession is about as likely as in a random year.He wouldn't say there's an elevated risk of one.
There are fears that slowing Chinese growth and the Euro Zone debt crisis could hinder recovery.As China normalizes and grows,it's going to have bumps like everyone else.To think it's all upside is just absurd.Property prices and leverage are probably the best indicators you're going to have a problem.China cannot keep growing its exports at the same rate it's been doing.At some point,they have to redirect their strategy.
The Euro Zone banking system has moribund banks in it,but it's not gonna get better if there's denial,Professor Rogoff believes.
Results of stress tests of Euro Zone banks are to be released this month.U.S. banks passed a similar test earlier in the financial crisis.
iShares FTSE/Xinhua China(FXI)

Jobs Alert:Comcast Adding Sales Staff

Comcast is recruiting Residential Direct Sales Representatives.They earn up to 80,000 a year.If you are an extroverted,ambitious and goal-oriented independent worker who is ready to build relationships within your community,Comcast wants to talk with you.Requirements are a high school diploma or GED,valid driver's license and satisfactory driving record and one year of direct to consumer sales experience.To speak with a recruiter,call 1.888.924.0008 or apply online at
Comcast:It's more exciting here.Building a high-speed connection just got faster.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Reflection:LeBron's Respectable Decision

ESPN,a holding of Disney,was criticized for devoting an hour special to LeBron James' decision on where to play basketball for the next several years.Both LeBron's decision and ESPN's coverage,in the event,turned out to have a lot of integrity.It was refreshing to see that in the high-priced world of professional sports.The ESPN journalists stayed true to their own profession.They didn't shy away from LeBron.They were in his face with the tough questions,questions that knowledgeable fans were surely asking in their own minds.
As for LeBron James,he handled the whole process as well as any human being could be expected to.Everything he said made sense.By all appearances,he is a well-grounded gentleman,as well as a sports star.To keep his sanity through the media and business madness is the true mark of his character.Congratulations to him for that achievement.We need all the examples of sound behavior we can find in a culture racked by mental illness and extremes of every sort.And ESPN is also praiseworthy for keeping their heads above the dangerous water.
No child who watched the ESPN special went to bed the worse for it,and should have benefited from the reasoned judgement showed by all concerned.That is high praise indeed for contemporary television.
In Cleveland,the response was sharp,with vitriol being directed at LeBron for his mature,rational approach.Cleveland produced and retained a star player for seven years,but ultimately failed to make a championship team possible,as so many other cities have failed;but Cleveland will start over again on the project,not waste time castigating LeBron James for exercising his rights as an athlete and a person.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Greenspan Grapples With Crisis

Alan Greenspan,former Federal Reserve Chairman,clearly has continued to wrestle with financial issues,if his recent comments are any guide.The stock market is not merely an indicator,he points out;it's a cause of economic activity.The data show that most people do not distinguish between paycheck income and their 401k appreciation.And upper income persons account for 45% of personal income expenditure.
Because of this effect,an underperforming stock market tends to crimp the consumer spending so vital to economic health,it has been observed.
The problem is,industrial production rose fairly steadily until the last week in May,and then it stopped dead.There is a normal pause in economic recoveries,but we are coming out of the greatest global economic crisis the world has ever seen.This recovery has continued to be dominated by large banks and big business.The small banks are loaded up with commercial real estate loans-the worst possible loans-so they aren't lending.
The problem in job growth is the extraordinary growth in productivity.It's still showing growth at a tremendous pace.This is much too much.There is surely a short term fear factor.The average hourly work week has been going up.
As long as that is the case,companies won't be hiring many new workers.It means they're just piling more work on the existing staff.
A big regulatory response to the financial crisis is appropriate,but you have to depend on the owners and managers to protect their equity.There is nothing that beats counterparty surveillance.A small little group of government auditors can't do much of any significance,in Mr.Greenspan's opinion.
Alan Greenspan continues to serve the nation long after he left office by applying his intellect to the current situation,clarifying it,or at least stimulating discussion with his comments.

Double Dips Are Rare

The economic data do not reinforce the idea of a double dip recession,says Tony Crescenzi,Senior Strategist and Portfolio Manager at PIMCO.Yet sustainability is in question.Job creation doesn't match labor force growth today.Double dip recessions are rare,however;there have only been three in the past 150 years.
It really probably emanates from the sovereign debt crisis:if Europe stays stable,perhaps the escape velocity for growth will be reached.There is income growth at this time.The money market has improved and then moved sideways since May.Hopefully there will be clarity and transparency in Europe on the bank stress tests.In the meantime,consider Treasury securities as insurance for portfolios,Mr.Crescenzi suggests.
Apart from another recession,a slow growth environment is quite harmful in itself,hindering employment prospects and straining all levels of government.In that scenario,tax revenues may not recover fast enough to avert fiscal train wrecks.

Blue Chip Tips

Janney Montgomery Scott,a full service financial firm,recommends the following blue chips:
Johnson and Johnson,which has tremendous cash flow and is growing in the emerging markets;
ADP,which has lots of cash and can benefit from a modestly improving job market;
Exxon Mobil,which has a tremendous balance sheet and both upstream and downstream energy operations;
and Microsoft,which can benefit from the corporate tech upgrade cycle now underway.All of these firms have the highest credit rating and pay decent dividends.
Janney,175 years old, is primarily active along the eastern seaboard,having dozens of offices to serve its clients.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

PSA Test Saves Lives

The controversial PSA test for prostate cancer has been validated as a useful test by Swedish research in a newly published study.Published in The Lancet Oncology,the study showed that screening men from 50-65 years old with a biannual PSA test,and follow up exams as needed,reduced deaths from prostate cancer by almost 50% over 14 years.It also found that PSA testing compared favorably with other types of cancer screening,such as that for breast cancer.The research was led by Dr.Jonas Hugosson of the University of Gothenburg.
The PSA test identifies prostate-specific antigen,a biomarker found in the blood of prostate cancer patients.The test is so sensitive,though,it can detect cancers that will never reach a significant stage of development in the patient's lifetime,resulting in a number of unnecessary and often debilitating tests and treatments.In short,it is a flawed test.Still,this study indicates that PSA testing has a very beneficial outcome in a substantial number of cases.
Overall,the PSA test would seem to be more helpful than harmful.