The Best of Real Clear Markets: Modern Medicine and the Marlins
This is a new weekly column in partnership with our friends over at Real Clear Markets. Wall St. Cheat Sheet excels at bringing you top short form journalism for a mobile world, so in the months to come we will be bringing you more partnerships such as this to highlight excellent long form journalism for your reading pleasure.
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2011 will mark the last year that a majority of America’s physicians own their own medical practices and operate their own offices or clinics. The notion of the newly minted doctor who rents an office and hangs out his or her own shingle is a quaint reflection of a Normal Rockwell era that has expired.
Nobody has been on a holiday shopping spree in America that matches the newly renamed Miami Marlins baseball team. In just a few weeks the Marlins have inked three free-agent deals, committing about $191 million in payroll for batting champion Jose Reyes, reliever extraordinaire Heath Bell, and perfect-gamer Mark Buehrle. Practically every story on these deals notes that the Marlins, whose entire payroll was a scant $29 million just a few years ago, have been stocking up in the hopes of filling a glitzy, new $645 million domed stadium with fans.
Looking through the Byzantine maze of accounting interpretations and black box calculations that compose Bank of America’s latest quarterly balance sheet presentation, you get the idea that the company has increased its exposure to derivative positions in the first three quarters of 2011 by about $6 billion on the asset side. In the context of these dangerous and volatile times, knowing what happened in 2008, that may not seem like a very good thing for the bank. There was also an increase in derivative liabilities, about $4 billion, so at least most of that increase was funded in the same arena (banks always want to match risks or net them out somehow).