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Friday pinch-hit randoms


Isn't your office remodel done yet?

• Short interest in the markets has grown significantly in the past two years. On the NASDAQ, short sellers added over a billion new short sales. Yet it is up 24%.

• If you didn't see this week's WSJ Op-Ed piece slamming the oncology division at the FDA, you should read it. This is the number one risk to biotech companies focused on oncology and increasingly detrimental to public health in America.

• Biotech is up strong for the second day in a row and has put in a good week.

• Is latex paint thicker now than 10-15 years ago? I remember painting flat surfaces and watching the paint spread out to cover the brush strokes. Now you paint something flat even with a foam roller and you get lines (and yes, I'm loading the roller with enough paint).

• Newt Gingrich in 2008? Yikes! We need less shrillness in DC, not more.

• Add biotech venture fund money into the cache of potential cash flow into dev-stage biotech. They are paying 3x-4x more for private deals than the value of publicly-traded companies and are starting to do something about it.

• Is Wall Street using the plot of FX's made-for-TV movie "Oil Storm" as an investment thesis in the face of the hurricane bearing down on the Gulf?

• I attended a meeting this week about building a monorail system here in Seattle. It reinforces the idea that a close-up view of how policy is created is about as unappetizing as watching sausage being made. The amount of ignorance about the issue was staggering, but that did not prevent people from expressing their opinion.

• We can talk all we want about when the market is going to "wise up" but I find it curious that few people assume "wising up" isn't a necessary behavior for the bears. Why do volatility sellers have to be market bulls? The modus operandi of more than one short-side biotech fund I know is to short the common and sell the calls.

• I love the propensity of the Tour de France helicopter camera crew to film any animal off the side of the road. You'd never see that on corporate sports television in the US.

• Lemmings, sheep, bears?

• Which is the worse lapse in judgment? The hiring or sending the photos to a public developer?

• I've decided this is cool and not creepy after sleeping on it... I bet it starts a trend.

• They've outfitted a few racers with heart rate monitors in the Tour this year. Fascinating and depressing at the same time. Fascinating that a body can be trained to perform at these levels on an extended basis. Depressing in that a dash up a couple flights of stairs gets my heart rate at the same levels.

• If the short side cannot figure out a thesis that matters to the bull side, perhaps the simplest explanation is the bears are wrong.
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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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