Warren Buffett has described the recent American economy like an athelete who has collapsed of cardiac arrest and needs recussitating with a defibrillator.
But, what if the cause of this collapse is a tumor close to the heart? Tumors that originate in the heart are rare, but can be either benign or malignant. Because the heart is such an essential organ, even benign tumors can be life-threatening.
Benign tumors include: Myxoma, is the most common tumor inside the cavities of the heart and accounts for about half of the tumors that originate in the heart. Fibromas, which also develop in the myocardium or the endocardium. These tumors tend to occur on the valves of the heart and may be related to inflammation. Teratomas of the pericardium, often attached to the base of the great vessels, usually occur in infants.
Malignant tumors that originated elsewhere in the body and spread to the heart are more common than ones that originate in the heart. Malignant tumors, including carcinomas, sarcomas, leukemias and eticuloendotheliar tumors, can spread to any heart tissue. Lung and breast cancers often invade the heart. Malignant melanomas have one of the highest rates of spreading to the heart.
Treatments. Untreated benign cardiac tumors may be life threatening. Treatment of myxoma is usually done by surgical removal of the tumor. Treatment of malignant cardiac tumors usually involves radiation, chemotherapy and management of complications.
The botomm line is this: If these "toxic derivatives of unknown value" are the tumor around the heart of advanced economies, then they need to be effectively identified, shrunk, and safely sugically excised from the healthy portion of these economies. Until a comprehensive treatment plan is devised to include radiation, surgery, and rehabilitation, the current infusion of extra blood is just keeping this patient barely alive.
Just my opinion,
Author of "The Four Filters Invention of Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger. Two Friends Transformed Behavioral Finance." which is available from Amazon.com
Dislaimer: portions of my talk here are taken from: [www.csmc.edu]