Dealbreaker has an interview and an excerpt from The End of Medicine.
Ex-hedge fund guy Andy Kessler, recently took time to talk to DealBreaker's Carolyn Okomo about his new book, The End of Medicine, a witty, engaging examination of the heathcare industry in the not-too-distant future.
DealBreaker: Finance and technology has sort of always been your thing. In The End of Medicine, you utilize your expertise to analyze the healthcare industry. Was this an easy transition to make?
Andy Kessler: I spent 20 years looking for ever cheaper silicon that could change industries. Over the last few years, I’ve gotten bored. Wi-Fi and Wikis are cool, but a little dull. So I started looking for something else besides computing and telecom and music and stock trading and banking that technology would surround, squeeze, suffocate old business models and reshape in its image. In the meantime, a friend was diagnosed with cancer, only because he banged his head on a mogul skiing and an X-Ray showed a tumor on his neck. And a brother-in-law had a heart attack in the middle of the night. I wondered if there was some technology that could find this stuff early, before it was life threatening. Us baby boomers (I’m a late boomer at 47) are entering that fragile age. So I started following doctors around, cardiologists, radiologists, researchers at cancer centers and universities, looking for silicon.
Excerpt: Healthcare Hedgies
I was eavesdropping on two guys I recognized from the past. One guy used to run some tech money, I think I remember him getting blown out in 2000 for being long and wrong. But he’s obviously still in the business. I strained to read his name tag, without luck. The other guy was a classic popcorn hedgie. Always showing up where the action in, figuring out some angle and trading rapid fire looking for returns.
“For me, it’s just one thing.”
“Nope, these are all billion dollar markets.”
“Nope, they’re all trying to hit fish with a baseball bat.”
“True. So what is it? Balance sheet? Partners? Their logo?”
“You just play the trials. I don’t give a shit what drug it is, it almost always works the same way.”
“Get out of here.”
“No, check it out. Preclinical is bullshit, you could get gum off the sidewalk to reduce tumor size in rats. So what? Even Phase 1 is a load. They are mostly bent around to get decent enough results so you can get to Phase 2. I’ve tried to time Phase 1 announcements, but no dice. You always wait until you are about a third of the way into Phase 2, then you buy the shit out the stock."