It's more complicated than we think.
I am talking about the two-part vaccine process that our nation must go through to get this economy back on track.
No, I am not talking about a difficulty at the actual jabbing level. I got mine done on time, painless, sweet people, little post-shot cooling off period and then right back to work.
The complication? The politicians.
I think without them, we would be open for business, and this stock market would be ready for its next leg up.
Sure, it's one at a time. Yes, it requires a person to check you in, a person to sit you down, and get the information you need, and a person to stick you. I had one of my colleagues, Heather Gaines, from "Mad Money," refresh the health care page endlessly until a spot opened up, 12:45, in Staten Island.
But, I think that if it weren't for the ridiculous method of going from the factory -- in my case, Moderna (MRNA) -- to the distributor to the state facility, some decision made no doubt by our outgoing president, we might actually be on the cusp of the fabled herd immunity that would make Covid a done deal for many. When you combine this vaccine with the Pfizer (PFE) offering and the Regeneron (REGN) therapeutic that makes it so if you catch Covid early enough -- testing, testing, testing -- we can keep you out of the hospital, even if you were to contract the disease.
Plus, despite press reports to the contrary, I think there are more good vaccines coming, including Johnson & Johnson's (JNJ) one-stop shop shot that could give us the vaccine glut come the second quarter.
Again, however, the problem is the lack of a federal plan. I had thought that you needed some sort of special place to get this done. I got my shot in some tent. Only a couple of people allowed in. But I could not stop thinking that if President Joe Biden puts his mind to this, we could open our high schools everywhere in this country, teach the military how to administer a shot, and get this done, the whole country done, in two months.
When you listen to the jubilation in peoples' voices after they got their shot, which did not hurt by the way, and how proud they were of their stickers, you realize that there are two polar opposite worlds going on in this country. There's the world of anger, divisiveness, violence, and rancor not seen since the Civil War, and then there is the possible end of Covid Tyranny that the government has managed to screw up, even as the companies have done amazing things.
If you are one of those bold souls who truly want to court Covid, because you don't want a shot, maybe you should not listen, as you won't be in shape to buy stocks anyway, before this thing is through.
So, let me give you my reflections, and if you are one of those bold souls who truly want to court Covid, because you don't want a shot, maybe you should not listen, as you won't be in shape to buy stocks anyway, before this thing is through.
Let me tell you what the world could be like if the government got its act together and instead of dickering why vaccines go bad, actually did what could happen.
First, there is no shortage of vaccines. When the New York City Mayor talks about the problem being not enough vaccines, I am flabbergasted. The CEO of Pfizer just told us that he's got millions and millions of them. It would seem that the president, right now, could make a few calls and get the military to work in this.
Ah, hah! But the military is on another case, the case of saying that it pledges allegiance to the flag of the United States of America. It isn't getting ordered to get this vaccine in your arm. It is more worried about a coup, maybe within its ranks? We haven't seen something this dangerous since Lee and Grant and so many other soon-to-be-generals were split about saluting the Union or the Confederate Flag; how convenient to find a bunch in the Capitol the other day. The States Rights Party never made it this far.
But here's the amazing thing. Every day it seems as the craziness plays out in Washington, we actually find good things worth buying. We literally hold our nose and buy and I think the buying makes sense after what I saw happen, before and after people left the little white tent in Staten Island.
No, I am not saying happy days are here again. Not when I am worried about the safety of the inauguration. But I am in a hopeful mood, having gotten part one of the vaccine -- and remember you may think I got it because I am rich and famous or a legendary Wall Street funnyman, but in reality, I am 65, and it was my turn.
I feel very lucky, especially given the rapid spread of the new, more transmissible virus. The clock is ticking. It's not too late for the federal government to regain its primacy.
Still, the vaccine's giving me hope. Here's some things to be hopeful for:
First is science and ingenuity. A year ago this week, I was traipsing around the JPMorgan Health Care conference and I bumped into this real nice, guy, Stephane. Stephane Bancel. He was telling me some story about crunching numbers to design special vaccines using messenger RNA technology. Sounded pretty good; $16, I liked it, I told it because it seemed like the first genuine breakthrough in vaccination since Edward Jenner and small pox, or at least Jonas Salk and polio. Truly breakthrough stuff. Pie in the sky, but breakthrough someday.
Fast forward one year later, and I am getting jabbed in the arm with the guy's vaccine. He's a hero.
Second, how about Lisa Su, the CEO of AMD (AMD) . Wednesday, Bob Swan lost his job at Intel (INTC) . An incredibly nice man, Swan, too -- not all that long ago CFO. The company replaced him with an old Intel hand, Pat Gelsinger, who was running VMWare (VMW) . That's all well and good, but you are getting an amazing opportunity to buy AMD down three bucks, because while I like the change, Intel doesn't need an old Intel hand. It needs someone new, young, hungry and way out of the Intel culture. That's why, I say, you just got still one more opportunity to buy the stock of the person whom I think had more to do with Swan losing his job than anyone: Su, who has moved well ahead of Intel in making better chips. Oh, and look out if Nvidia's (NVDA) Jensen Huang gets to buy Arm Holdings. That would be the coup that makes it so Intel might never recover.
I want to salute Plug Power (PLUG) . On Oct. 26, with Plug Power's stock at $14, CEO Andy Marsh came on "Mad Money," and said that the future for hydrogen power was now. He had worked for years for this moment when the stars were aligned and things were about to go commercial in the hydrogen space. He said he has worked in the cellphone industry and the phones were unwieldy and poorly performing until they hit a tipping point in scale, where they became ubiquitous and indispensable.
He said the same thing would now happen with hydrogen fuel cells. I pushed back that it was too expensive. He said at one point so were cellphones. I said that it was an impractical fuel. He said cellphones, when they were the size of big batteries, were ridiculously impractical.
And now, in two weeks' time, Marsh gets a $1.5 billion infusion from SK Group -- not that it even needed the money -- and now, yesterday, signed a joint venture with Renault to offer vehicles and fueling stations with production starting next year. Now all that is needed is a BP (BP) or an Exxon (XOM) or Royal Dutch (RDS.A) to be forward enough to go in business with these guys, although, like with Tesla (TSLA) , maybe they just get left behind.
The stock's now at $71. It took Moderna a full year to go from $16 to $123, where it is today. Plug Power's got to $71 from $16 in three months.
Both pretty much say it all about this market.
So, I can throw my lot into the negativity and focus on the impeachment and whatever the heck else Washington's doing. Or I can talk about ingenuity and opportunity. Sadly you won't find any in the Capitol. It's easier to find a Confederate flag. But in business? I'm just scratching the surface of today's greatness.