Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and author. Read my new book Big Science and my blog The Economy Hub mhiltzik@latimes.com

Sky-high price of new stem cell therapies is a growing concern

latimes.com — The public uproar about high drug prices has focused on outlandish cases such as single pills jacked up in price by 5,000%, miracle cures marketed for tens of thousands of dollars per treatment. But how will people feel when they're confronted with treatments that are even more astronomically expensive? ...

Have Disneyland tickets outpaced inflation? Yes, but...

latimes.com — You don't have to be an economist to know that a visit to Disneyland (or any Disney park) has become a lot more expensive over the years. The latest illustration is Disney's abrupt hike in the price of its top-ranked unrestricted Annual Pass to $1,049 from $779 , an increase of nearly 35% at a stroke....

BP's $20.8-billion oil spill settlement may give it a huge tax deduction

latimes.com — It's to be hoped that the American taxpaying public is thrilled with the $20.8-billion settlement announced Monday between BP and the Dept. of Justice over the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. That's because the taxpayers are likely to cover a large portion of BP's bill. Earlier estimates of the...

TiVo finally tells TV broadcasters to stuff it

latimes.com — Almost from its inception, TiVo, the San Jose company whose device has given the generic name to digital video recorders, has had an uneasy relationship with the broadcasting industry. But with the release last week of a new model of TiVo recorder dubbed the "Bolt," the firm is encouraging customers to "give commercials the finger,"  in its indelicate words.

Did Ben Bernanke really want to put bankers in jail? His book says no.

latimes.com — In an interview published in connection with Monday's release of his memoirs, Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke casts his vote--retrospectively--for the prosecution of bankers and executives responsible for the recent financial meltdown.
Oct 05, 2015

On jailing banksters, Bernake was lying in new interview, or he lied in his book. latimes.com/business/hiltz…

A debt limit fight--again?

latimes.com — You almost can set your watch by the recurrence of the federal debt limit showdown in Washington, and you certainly can paper your walls with the letters that have gone from the Treasury Department to Congress warning of dire consequences fro failing to raise it. Here it is again. Treasury Secretary...

The Obama Administration really is worried about the U.S. economy

latimes.com — The natural instinct of the people making economic policy at any given time is to put the best gloss on fresh economic data; that's why the White House described Friday's fairly dismal job numbers for September as marking " the 67th straight month of private sector job growth, extending the longest streak on record."

By banning Apple TV and Chromecast, Amazon shows what it means to be a monopolist

latimes.com — One of the questions routinely faced by government regulators and consumer advocates is whether a company can get so big that it starts acting against its own customers' interests.
Oct 02, 2015

Rare misfire by @hiltzikm -- Amazon's not remotely a monopoly. (Note: I'm a small shareholder.) latimes.com/business/hiltz…

The obvious solution to the Postal Service's problems that no one notices

latimes.com — The U.S. Postal Service might rightly be consider the sick man of government agencies. It's squeezed between two immutable facts: The U.S. Constitution and federal law require it to operate everywhere in the country, without discrimination; and its core business, delivering first-class letters, is inexorably going away.

A U.S. judge blocks the latest attack on teachers' political speech

latimes.com — The lawsuit known as Bain v. California Federation of Teachers always had a Lewis Carroll flavor. As we reported in May , it was an attack on the collective voice of teachers masquerading as a defense of free speech. A complaint about teachers being excluded from their unions' policy discussions,...
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Oct 10, 2015

Forget about Martin Shkreli: the sky-high price of new stem cell therapies is going to be a much bigger problem: fw.to/wqdGLhH

Oct 09, 2015

Bringing back Glass-Steagall isn't the panacea you think it is fw.to/oeJJ94b

Oct 09, 2015

GoPro's stock plunge is as dizzying as anything shot with its cameras fw.to/MMVysQI

Oct 08, 2015

Have Disneyland tickets outpaced inflation? Yes, but it's not that simple: fw.to/galED9l

Oct 08, 2015

The Cadiz water scheme: How political juice kept a lousy idea alive for years fw.to/si8RjuH

Oct 08, 2015

The government's new dietary guidelines ignite a food industry backlash--and the government backs down: fw.to/GxlpAWB

Oct 07, 2015

The government's new dietary guidelines ignite a huge food industry backlash--and the government capitulates fw.to/GxlpAWB

Oct 07, 2015

The wretched Cadiz water scheme: How political influence kept a bad idea alive for years: fw.to/si8RjuH

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