Friday, September 26, 2008

Don't Bet Against Medco or CVS, either

As a follow-up to Tuesday’s post about Express Scripts (ESRX), both Medco Health Solutions (MHS) and CVS Caremark (CVS) have now been added to the "no short sale" list. The Wall Street Journal headline sarcastically asks: New To The Financial Sector: Medco, CVS And IBM? So, do you think it's too late for me to start a failing investment bank and get a bailout?

The comments on my original post speculated that a small (less than 10%) ownership stake by New York Life Insurance put ESRX on the list. But even Express Scripts was not initially sure how it ended up on the list. See Not All Cos Guarded By Short-Sales Rule Strictly Financial from Tuesday, which says:

If you're wondering why drug-plan administrator Express Scripts Inc. (ESRX) was added to the (do not) short list of financial stocks, so is Express Scripts…"We have no financial services business. The list came out, and our name was on the list," he said.

Express Scripts has since stated that it got on the list because of a small insurance subsidiary associated with administration of Medicare Part D. The subsidiary is "very tiny, highly specialized," involving a few thousand of the company's tens of millions of clients. (Source)

Not be outdone, Medco clamored to get on the list, supposedly because it too has a small insurance plan. Per the WSJ article:

“They were asking why Express appeared on the list and we did not. To us, it's an issue of fairness as well as an issue of relief from excessive” market turmoil, said Medco Health spokeswoman Ann Smith.

Apparently, one-seventh of all stocks are now on the list. Glad to see that the SEC is being so stringent. As my daughter would say:



In related economic news, I prefer The Onion’s suggestion for an economic stimulus over the new bailout bill. See Recession-Plagued Nation Demands New Bubble To Invest In, which notes:.

According to investment experts, now that the option of making millions of dollars in a short time with imaginary profits from bad real-estate deals has disappeared, the need for another spontaneous make-believe source of wealth has never been more urgent.

The manner of bubble isn't important—just as long as it creates a hugely overvalued market based on nothing more than whimsical fantasy and saddled with the potential for a long-term accrual of debts that will never be paid back, thereby unleashing a ripple effect that will take nearly a decade to correct.

Oh yeah!!

1 comment:

  1. Snarky! Love the Onion piece in there, too!