"Americans pay some of the world's highest rates for health care coverage and drug therapies. Although these costs hurt consumers, drug companies point out that the U.S. system allows them to bring new therapies to market faster and sometimes exclusively for domestic patients. Still, tabs like $84,000 for a curative hepatitis C treatment price most people out, even those with the best insurance.
"Andrew Lo, a finance professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management and director of its Laboratory for Financial Engineering, has proposed a fix of sorts. He and fellow researcher David Weinstock, a physician at the Boston-based Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, recently published a paper in the journal of Science Translational Medicine that shows how capital markets could finance these costly treatments in the same way that consumers bankroll other large purchases, like mortgages."
"Consumers take out loans every day to purchase houses, cars, and college tuition. What if they could do the same for expensive medicines?
"It’s an idea that a group of Boston-area health economists floated last month in response to the rising cost of prescription drugs. And as envisioned, everyone involved in health care and finance could benefit from the availability of a health care loan..."
"It was during the financial crisis that Andrew Lo had his epiphany: The way to save health care from ever-rising costs is by bringing in the banks. Specifically, by packaging drug development costs into securities to be bought and sold by Wall Street—the very, um, mortgage-bundling technique that blew up the economy in 2007. “The reason the financial crisis happened is not because securitization didn’t work. It happened because it worked way too well,” says Lo, a professor of financial engineering at MIT. Securitization injected a huge pool of money into mortgages—what if you could inject that pool of money into a worthwhile cause and, ahem, do it responsibly?
"So Lo, who has seen his mother and several friends die from cancer, wants to use the techniques of Wall Street to fix healthcare. In a new paper in Science Translational Medicine, he and his coauthors propose creating loans for patients whose insurance policies don’t cover ultra-expensive treatments like the cure for hepatitis C—loans that would be financed by bundling them and selling to Wall Street investors..."
"Risikoaversion ist eine der zentralen Annahmen der Wirtschaftswissen
schaften, aber auch eine grundlegen de Eigenschaft menschlichen Verhaltens. Trotz umfangreicher Forschung ist wenig über Nutzenfunktionen oder über die Gründe für unterschiedliche Risikopräferenzen von Individuen oder Gesellschaften bekannt."
[Risk aversionisone of the centralassumptionsof economics, butalsoafundamentalpropertyof human behavior.Despite extensiveresearch, little is known about the benefitsorfeaturesof the reasonsfor differentrisk preferencesof individualsorcompanies]
"Indexes are becoming more than just market-cap-weighted portfolios, according to a new report from MIT. With new passive investment products continuing to emerge, Sloan Professor of Finance Andrew Lo proposed broadening the definition of an index to include “dynamic indexes” such as smart beta strategies..."
"The investment industry should be constantly looking at the impact of technology on the status quo. Just because indexes have been defined as cap-weighted portfolios, doesn’t mean that can’t change. In fact, the evolution in portfolio management necessitates a change in thinking with regard to the definition of indexes, in particular so risk management can be decoupled from alpha generation. In a new paper that argues for a new definition of what constitutes an index, Andrew Lo, professor of finance at MIT Sloan School of Management pushes the boundaries by not only suggesting change, but by demonstrating a new functional definition for indexes and the benefits, and pitfalls, of doing so..."
"Economist, finance professor and investment manager Andrew Lo says some of the 'financial weapons of mass destruction' that helped trigger the 2008-'09crisis can be used for good. If deployed in megafunds by teams of savvy money managers and scientists, he believes, the securitization of intellectual property related to biomedical research could yield lucrative returns while also breathing life into what the biotechnology industry calls the valley of death - neglected early-stage, risky drug development projects for the rarest and most intractable diseases. But Lo, who has conducted several simulations that he says show this strategy could work, is just the idea guy..."
Andrew Lo, Professor of Finance at the MIT Sloan School of Management and the director of MIT's Laboratory for Financial Engineering, discusses his recent paper The Gordon Gekko Effect, corporate culture, and why biology is an increasingly relevant framework for understanding the financial markets.