20120813-070249.jpgGood morning

The headlines:

  1. Ryan’s new medicare plan.

    Link: not really that new – just more in focus now that he’s a running mate.

    I’ll be honest: I quite like Ryan’s suggestion.

    In summary: the current Medicare offers medical aid coverage to a rapidly expanding group of elderly Americans. This practically means that the medical costs are uncapped, as the elderly just get operations and so on and Medicare pays for it.

    Ryan’s idea is that Medicare offered fixed sums of money to elderly Americans to cover them sourcing their own private medical insurance. That is: the Federal Government will cover the premiums on private medical aid schemes.

    So instead of Medicare being a defined benefit plan, it turns into a defined contribution plan. Which is genius. Because apart from limiting annual payouts, the Federal Government will get the private sector trying to regulate the hospitals into only doing what is necessary, rather than attempting that itself.

    I’m a fan. Obama – pay attention.

  2. The Euro Crisis Update.

    Link: Sub-zero bond yields be crazy.

    The German bonds are trading at negative yields, meaning that investors are apparently willing to pay for the privilege of owning them.

    People are beginning to wonder if that is justified, given that Germany will unofficially become the Euro-lender of last resort if the ECB starts to back all the failing countries.

    I’m just surprised that this is news.

  3. Tesoro buys BP’s Californian Oil Refinery.

    Link: To control 23% of California’s oil refining capacity.

    Buying the refinery and 800 gas stations for $1.18 billion is apparently cheap at the price. Especially with rising gas prices in the region.

    It all seems well timed. For a while, every-oil-producer has been concerned about Californian environmental legislation and falling fuel prices. Then last week, there was a fire at the largest Northern Californian refinery, which cause a drop in output.

    Enter Tesoro with a BP purchase.

    And their share price does a vertical leap:

  4. Electronic Arts sees New Windows operating system as key to mobile gaming.

    Link: gentlemen, please.

    Grasping at straws? I’m told that the future of gaming is online.

    The market certainly seems to think that you’re just not online enough:

  5. Groupon’s sales miss estimates.

    Link: Is extreme couponing just a fad?!


    Sidebar – can anyone tell that I just discovered “basic charts” on Yahoo finance and the Nasdaq website?

  6. RIM says that Blackberry 10 will soon be ready for licencing.

    Link: I’m just not sure that it can be soon enough.

    It sounds like the only words we ever hear out of RIM are “soon” and “slight delay”.

    Well, and CEO Mr Heins telling everyone that Blackberry is “here to win” and “not here to fight for third or fourth place”. Which is a little euphemistic, because at this point, I think that any place is better than no place at all.

    That said, the BB10 prototype picture that I stole off Google images does look hot:

That’s all for now.

Have a good day.