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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET

  • September 23, 2008 05:31 PM UTC by Liz Claman



    Jeff Kindler, Chairman and CEO of Pfizer (PFE) joined me exclusively on Fox Business’ Bulls and Bears show today to say his business is already being affected by the mortgage and subprime disaster and that Congress should pass the rescue plan being put forth by Henry Paulson and Ben Bernanke without delay.  Kindler and I took the stage at Radio City Music Hall in NYC this afternoon to speak before the World Business Forum which Fox Business is co-sponsoring.  The audience of 5,000 was riveted by his thoughts on the crisis, particularly when he talked about how this kind of financial nightmare actually causes people to skimp on, of all things, their own health care.   (Unrelated, today the head of world’s number-2 truck maker Volvo said the turmoil is already having a major impact in Europe).

    Kindler talked extensively about the 2011 patent expiration of their blockbuster cholesterol drug Lipitor and how he believes Pfizer is ready with a whole host of new drugs in the pipeline, particularly in the cancer realm.  We also got him to comment on Pfizer’s inhaled lung medication Spiriva and how some researchers say it raises the risk of heart attack, stroke and death from heart disease.  The short end of it is that Pfizer stands by the medication. 

    By the way, inside scoop: during one of the lighter moments when we were on stage, he even joked about Pfizer’s super-star drug Viagra, saying, “I’m taking it!” 

    For a lawyer whose doctor-father wished his son had become a surgeon, Kindler jokes, “I told my dad, ‘At least I’m selling medicine. Does that count?’”

    Please listen to our discussion… I think you’ll find him engaging and focused on growing Pfizer, no matter how challenging the financial climate becomes.

    No brown skins. (Hispanic Americans and the 1986 Immigration Reform Act)

    The Economist (US) February 3, 1990 No brown skins SAN FRANCISCO HISPANIC Americans were against the 1986 Immigration Reform Act; they feared it would give employers an excuse not to hire people who looked or sounded Hispanic. They were right, it seems. The California Fair Employment and Housing Commission reports that the law, which is supposed to deter illegal immigration, has created “a widespread pattern and practice of discrimination” against legal immigrants.

    The law fines or imprisons those employers who are caught hiring illegal immigrants. Nervous employers are playing safe by brushing aside official work permits and declining to hire people with brown skins and Latin names and accents. The law, which was supposed to protect people against this happening, created a special counsel to hear complaints and to act on them. But there is just one special-counsel office, and that is in Washington, DC. Few immigrants even learn of its existence, let alone approach it with complaints. go to website illegal immigration statistics

    In addition, reports the Californian commission (an independent agency established 30 years ago to protect civil rights in jobs and housing), the Immigration and Nationalisation Service (INS) issues such a variety of different immigrant classifications that employers cannot be familiar with what is official and what is not. The confusion is compounded by the amnesty that the law gave to illegal immigrants who could prove that they had lived in the United States since 1981, plus the special rules for agricultural workers. The sorting-out of all this leaves the immigration service snowed under with forms and letters of work-approval.

    Although the INS claims to have spent $2m on educational material explaining the law, the explanation, the commission says sternly, is “inadequate…incomplete and confusing”. As remedy, the commission proposes a temporary moratorium on employer sanctions until the backlog of appeals for work authorisation is cleared, the educational material is rewritten and special counsel offices are opened around the country. go to website illegal immigration statistics

    The California report is important since about half the immigrants who come to the United States seeking work authorisation come to California. But it is only one in a series of reports on the effect of the 1986 law. A New York task force is due to report to Governor Mario Cuomo soon. And in a month or two, the General Accounting Office (GAO), which was officially charged to monitor the consequences of the immigration controls, will be issuing its findings. Last year the GAO reported that about 16% of some 3.3m employers who were aware of the new rules did discriminate against foreign-looking applicants. The report called for a more co-ordinated effort to educate the public but, unlike the California commission, it did not declare that a “pattern” of discrimination had resulted from the act.

    If the GAO now finds such a pattern, it would trigger changes in the law. Congress would have 30 days to consider lifting sanctions against employers. But if the GAO reports that it has found no serious discrimination, the provisions in the law that are supposed to protect workers against bias would be removed. In any event, the GAO report will set off a fiery debate in Congress.

    Part of the debate is whether the law’s strictness has in fact cut down illegal immigration. Statistics from the INS suggest that it has. In 1986 1.6m people were caught trying to enter from Mexico; in 1989, with more border guards, the total had shrunk to 850,000 people. Either they are getting cleverer at evading the guards, or the law, despite its unfair side-effects, is working.

    Family and friends describe US man in suspected ricin case as a down-on-his luck loner

    AP Worldstream March 7, 2008 | KEN RITTER If only Roger Bergendorff could say why vials of deadly ricin, guns and a copy of the “The Anarchist Cookbook” were found in his Las Vegas motel room.

    Instead, the struggling graphic artist remained hospitalized Thursday, unconscious and on a ventilator, unable to describe how he and his beloved dog became the focus of a toxic mystery still puzzling investigators.

    “At this stage of the investigation, he could be a perpetrator. He could be a victim. He could be both,” said FBI agent David Staretz.

    Bergendorff, 57, has been hospitalized since Feb. 14, when he summoned an ambulance to the Extended Stay America motel several blocks from the Las Vegas Strip, complaining of respiratory distress.

    Authorities suspect Bergendorff was exposed to ricin, which is deadly even in minuscule amounts. But they cannot be sure because the poison breaks down in the body within days. Bergendorff was hospitalized for two weeks before the ricin was discovered in the motel room.

    Family members and former neighbors in Southern California, Reno and the Salt Lake City area say they are mystified.

    “I can say with confidence there was no intent for any kind of terrorist activity,” said Erich Bergendorff, a younger brother who lives in Escondido, California. “I was asked by the FBI if he’s affiliated with any group or if he would have been influenced by any group. I couldn’t prove it, but I would be willing to bet that would not be the case.” Roger Bergendorff, grew up in La Mesa, California, a bedroom community outside San Diego. He also lived in Huntington Beach, California, before moving at least six times from 1990 to 2007, according to public records and interviews with friends and family members.

    Never married, he struggled with booze and bills. The recovering alcoholic declared both personal and business bankruptcy in the 1990s and suffered a heart attack in 1998, at age 48. He also was treated for depression, his brother said. go to site escondido humane society

    Bergendorff seemed to have constant money problems and sometimes overstayed his welcome when people tried to help.

    He worked for slot machine maker International Game Technology in Reno from 2001 to 2004.

    When he moved to Las Vegas, he told his family he was working on a contract designing graphics for another slot-machine company. That contract ran out, and he told his brother he planned to stay and wait for another job.

    His brother said Bergendorff graduated in 1980 with a bachelor’s degree from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.

    “I don’t think he felt he was creative enough,” Erich Bergendorff said. “He really felt he had to work hard … to keep up the standards that he had which were really quite high.” Friends and family members say Bergendorff was deeply saddened by the Jan. 27 death of his older brother, Fred, who had struggled with ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

    Bergendorff was concerned he couldn’t afford to travel from Las Vegas to Southern California for his brother’s memorial service, family members said. He posted a Jan. 29 message online describing Fred Bergendorff as “the best brother you could have.” Roger Bergendorff also worried about his dog, Angel, who at 13 years old suffered health problems and needed eye drops four times a day, Erich Bergendorff said.

    “Whatever he went to the hospital for, it was not suicide,” Erich Bergendorff said. “There might have been an accident. He was very depressed about losing his brother and having financial difficulties and losing his job.” Family members didn’t know until Feb. 21 that Roger Bergendorff was hospitalized. They reached a motel manager, who found the dog and two cats in Bergendorff’s room and turned them over to the Humane Society.

    With eviction looming, a motel employee went to the room again Feb. 26 and found guns in the room, police said. The employee contacted authorities, who retrieved the guns and William Powell’s “cookbook” on how to assemble homemade bombs, marked at a section on ricin, Las Vegas police said.

    Police found no ricin and tested the air, but found no contamination. They have not said what weapons were found. web site escondido humane society

    Two days later, as cousin Thomas Tholen was collecting Bergendorff’s belongings from the room, he turned over a plastic bag containing several vials of what turned out to be ricin powder to the motel manager. Authorities said castor beans, from which the ricin toxin is derived, also were found in Bergendorff’s room.

    Police and the FBI quickly denied any terrorism link, but have not explained why. Officials said Bergendorff could face state charges of possession of a controlled substance or more serious federal charges of possession and manufacture of ricin.

    Ricin has no antidote, and can be lethal in amounts as small as the head of a pin. It prevents the body from synthesizing proteins and shuts down vital organs such as the liver, kidneys and heart.

    “If you breathe it in, it would spread very rapidly through the bloodstream,” said Andrew Ternay Jr., founder of the Rocky Mountain Center for Homeland Defense at the University of Denver.

    “It’s not the kind of stuff you use for anything except for poison,” added Ternay, author of “The Language of Nightmares,” a glossary of terms for chemical, biological and nuclear weapons.

    The only legal use for ricin is cancer research.

    In Riverton, Utah, where Roger Bergendorff lived before moving to Las Vegas, neighbors described him as a down-on-his-luck loner who lived for a time in a pickup truck camper with his pets.

    John Walster let Bergendorff stay in the camper when he wore out his welcome at Tholen’s home in the spring of 2006. He said Bergendorff stayed about three months before Walster asked him to leave in August 2006. When Bergendorff still didn’t move out, Walster packed up his things and left them outside.

    Bergendorff also lived for a decade in Huntington Beach, California, where he designed airbrush calendars and postcards that were sold in souvenir shops.

    His former landlord, Jerry Smith, recalled Bergendorff frequently paid his rent late. He was being evicted when he declared his illustration business bankrupt in April 1990. Bergendorff claimed $309,700 in debts and $26,650 in assets.

    When Bergendorff finally moved out, he destroyed a darkroom he had built in the two-bedroom apartment, Smith said. He left torn pages from pornographic magazines scattered everywhere.

    “He was mad because we had to evict him,” Smith said. “It was like he wanted to do something symbolic with these magazines, to shock us.” ___ Associated Press writers Allison Hoffman in San Diego and Jennifer Dobner in Salt Lake City contributed to this report.



Exactly, why are we going to give more money to the companies that got us into this mess? Under the guise of trickle down economics? Clearly that doesn't work, the people at the top of the food chain keep most of it, and it usually never trickles down far enough to get to those who really need it. Let's try some trickle UP economics for once. Let's BAIL OUT the families who are losing their primary (and modest) homes! Pay off part or all of their bad loans, FIRST! Think about it, the money will get them out from under their exorbitant loans, and at the very same time, pump that revenue back into the lenders who aren't collecting these loans now. This way, the very people who need it the most, benefit first, and the corporate giants collect on their bad debts at the same time! At least this way, everyone wins, not just the very wealthy. Oh, and why is it that the very CEO's who plunged us into this mess are driving around in their grossly expensive gas guzzling SUV's, and flying in their private planes from one mansion to another, why are they even allowed to keep any of their ill-gotten wealth? Clearly, if they are at the helm of these sinking companies, shouldn't they have received NO golden parachute, no incentives, and no bonuses? In what other realm are people so grossly rewarded for poor performance? Pay, bonus, and retirement caps are definitely a requirement of any bailout proposal! For that matter, I would think that any company losing money should not pay their employees, including upper management, beyond a base salary!

September 24, 2008 at 3:25 pm


I think the Rich will be in Favor of this Bailout, since they are a part of this, and birds of the same feather. why should we the Common people pay for the RICH.

September 24, 2008 at 11:41 am

B Scott

This article almost brought tears to my eyes.When I read that this CEO was worried that ordinary people were skimping on their health care(drugs)I was deeply moved.I said almost, because I don,t think the ordinary people are skimping,its very difficult to take your medication or deep breaths as Hillary suggests,when you are drowning. The only people with their heads above water are the ones that created this mess.

September 23, 2008 at 10:37 pm

about this blog

  • Liz Claman joined FOX Business Network (FBN) as an anchor in October 2007. Her debut included an exclusive interview with Berkshire Hathaway CEO and legendary investor Warren Buffett.

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