Pulse: US


An Unbearable Burden: Paying for Commercial Health Insurance

The Healthcare Affordability Index shows how the rising costs of healthcare insurance, both for companies and employees, stagnate wages.

Beginning the endgame in Venezuela

As the crisis in Venezuela has deepened over the past week, a mysterious transformation has occurred. What started out as U.S. diplomatic support for the new, constitutionally legitimate government of Juan Guaidó has come to be treated in the international media as a possible U.S. military intervention.

EconVue Spotlight | Peak Davos

The biggest economic conference of the season, the World Economic Forum, has just wrapped up in Davos. Most of the sessions are now available as they happen, and with the snow piled high here in Chicago, watching them online almost seemed like being there. I’ve included links to some of the best discussions and interviews you might enjoy on this even colder weekend.

Expect Little Change in FOMC's Balance Sheet Plans Next Week

This morning, the Wall Street Journal issued a "bombshell" report about changes to the Fed's plans to "normalize" its balance sheet. The story, FMI contends, delivered far less than it promised.
 
The WSJ reported, in an overwrought and very run-on opening sentence, that “Federal Reserve officials are close to deciding they will maintain a larger portfolio of Treasury securities than they’d expected when they began shrinking those holdings two years ago, putting an end to the central bank’s portfolio wind-down closer into sight.”
 

The Struggle for Control of Occupied Venezuela

I am sharing my new work on the struggle between the de facto government of Nicholas Maduro in Venezuela, and the National Assembly, just recognized by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as the country's legitimate (de jure) government. 

This report originally appeared at CSIS' Web site.

The Shutdown Poses a Serious Threat to the American Economy

The government shutdown has produced a serious economic threat that’s hiding in plain sight: The people who collect, analyze and release all the basic data tracking the path of the economy and its principal aspects are on furlough.  So, the shutdown has forced thousands of companies and financial institutions and millions of investors to rely on guesswork instead of data, and each week the problem grows worse.

Beware Of Forecasts - EconVue Spotlight

Predicting the future is notoriously difficult, but that doesn’t stop the flurry of prognostications every January. We’ve gathered a selection of 2019 forecasts, including some predicting low probability events, because just imagining the unlikely can reveal horizons sometimes obstructed by conventional wisdom.

2019 Outlook

Like previous “year ahead” reviews I have published on EconVue, this is not intended as a prediction of how events will necessarily unfold in real life. Instead, as always my intent is above all to consider the main risks to the stability to the international political and economic environment in various regions of the world that I am relatively familiar with.

Europe

2019: Trends, Risks and Hard Questions in Latin America

I am sharing with  you my new article examining trends and challenges facing Latin America and the Caribbean as we begin 2019.  The work focuses on the reinforcing effects of the fragmentation and other changes in the criminal groups across the region, the advance of the PRC, and deepening political crises in Guyana, Venezuela, Honduras, and Guatemala.  The article also highlights significant developments and challenges in Mexico and Colombia as countries of concern.

Getting Precise about Precision Medicine: Balancing Hope, Potential and Cost

Co-wrote with Dr. Harold Picken, Huron Consulting.

Definitions of precision medicine are anything but precise. For seriously ill patients and their families, precision medicine therapies provide a hope when all else has failed. They’re willing to risk long odds for the chance to improve or extend life, but they want health insurers to cover the costs.

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