Author: mcastor

Michael Castor is the author of this blog, “Quintessential.” Michael is also the portfolio manager of an investment fund in New York City. Before becoming a portfolio manager Michael worked at Bernstein Investment Research and Management from 2001 to 2006 as the firm’s healthcare analyst and as the healthcare sector leader. Prior to Bernstein, Michael worked in the investment banking/equity capital markets division of JP Morgan where he focused on biotechnology and healthcare equity offerings. Before entering finance, Michael spent three years in clinical medicine. He completed his surgery internship at Indiana University Medical Center followed by two years of surgery and otolaryngology residency at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York. Michael earned a MD from The Ohio State University College of Medicine, where he graduated summa cum laude. He earned his undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering from Tulane University where he graduated summa cum laude with departmental honors.

Unemployment claims data caught my eye

I found this impressive. The US Department of Labor publishes the weekly number of unemployment claims in the US. Today fell to the lowest level since 1969, far below analysts’ expectations (see graph below). This is particularly impressive on a…

Brexit deal would make Britain a vassal state

I see Brexit stories frequently in the news. I’ve noticed the US media has focused on whether the vote will pass December 11th or if Theresa May will remain in power. Date of the split is Friday March 29, 2019.…

A set of lies agreed upon

Napoleon once said “History is a set of lies agreed upon.” I think that holds equally true for the narratives investors tell themselves regarding stock markets. For several years, the narrative has been “with great economic growth, low unemployment, and…

Sleep deprivation blood tests? Research better spent elsewhere

I find it important to read news stories with a critical eye. Example: While riding an elevator this week, the video news feed informed me (and my fellow elevator riders) that scientific research has yielded a new blood test that…

5G networks – new tech to watch

I recently learned about the development of 5G wireless networks (see here for what I found to be a great article: The US and China are battling to take control of the new wave of wireless networks). I mention that…

Spinal cord paralysis – some recovery is possible

Spinal cord transection leads to paralysis below the level of the injury. Current medical thinking is this paralysis is permanent and irreversible. Periodically, I read about endeavors to treat spinal cord injury with stem cells. Some early-stage experiments have suggested…

Tax cuts and rising government debts

Across the world, I see a trend of governments cutting taxes. I understand the drivers. Low corporate taxes attract businesses to set up operations. For individuals, low taxes are popular and makes for better chances of reelection. However, big picture…

Aspirin has no role as a vitamin

For people with heart disease, it is well established that aspirin lowers the risk of heart attacks. Taking aspirin is standard care in people with heart disease. In addition, there have been studies suggesting Aspirin yields other benefits – notably…

Simple framework for thinking about economic activity

I would like to start by saying this post is merely describing my thought process for scaling down the complex entity that is the US economy. My goal in writing this is to provide readers with a framework about how…