A fun evening: Had the chance to meet and talk with General Electric's (GE) new CEO John Flannery and Chief Financial Officer Jamie Miller at a media gathering Tuesday evening. Not getting into the exact details of the chats, this was a very informal holiday meet up -- it was just nice to hear their goals for the storied industrial giant. I will offer these things up, however. These are the right executives to be leading GE in what will be a major transformation over the next five years. They are clear communicators, straight shooters, incredibly experienced, connected across industries and have a desire to move as fast as possible for a company GE's size. These are all key attributes that will serve GE well as it hits the reset button in many areas of its business. Change won't happen overnight, and more pain in 2018 is likely. But if you collect GE dividend checks you should have confidence in the two vital people at the top calling the shots.
Bitcoin is absurd: The fact that writers such as yours truly continue to give ink to bitcoin's rise is probably only helping to fuel the mania. In that regard, it kills me to fuel the craziness around something so utterly stupid as bitcoin (yes, stupid -- you ever see a bitcoin before?). As TheStreet's Martin Baccardax pointed out, bitcoin's market cap of $186 billion puts it ahead of the market values of Disney (DIS) , IBM (IBM) and McDonald's (MCD) . If you own McDonald's don't cash out and buy some bitcoin -- you'll thank me down the line for this guidance.
While the tax plan gets all the headlines: Don't forget team Trump still hasn't gotten anything done on overhauling the debacle that is the nation's healthcare system. Hence, many could expect premiums across the spectrum to skyrocket in 2018. Here's an in-depth look at the cost outlook from Medicare Part next year from TheStreet's Robert Powell. Increases of at least 20% should be expected in most cases.
Chipotle Founder Steps Aside
I have been EXTREMELY critical of Chipotle (CMG) founder and CEO Steve Ells for years. In no way did I think he would succeed when he took the CEO reigns earlier this year (and all the while trashing his long-time partner Monty Moran) -- he is a chef, not a CEO. Further, he just isn't an inspirational guy that rallies the troops. So, definitely not surprised Ells decided to step aside today. Chipotle will have no problem finding the true operational CEO it needs at this point in its life.
Give the above video a watch: we recently asked activist Bill Ackman about Ells (Ackman is a big holder of Chipotle).
Meanwhile, here is my quick take on the news...
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