18 June 2018 FT — Articles to Read

18 June 2018

Question: According to MSN, why will you age better than your parents?

White House under fire over financial watchdog nomination – Pg. 2

–          Donald Trump plans to nominate a little-known White House official to head a financial watchdog meant to protect consumers in the latest sign of his administration embracing low-profile approach to tackling bank regulation

–          The CFPB was created by the Dodd-Frank reforms after the 2008 financial crisis and was reviled by bankers and Republicans, who blamed it for stifling the financial sector

–          Mr Mulvaney has made big strides in styming some of the CFPB’s former work, temporarily freezing new regulations and reviewing proposed rules, including those on payday lenders

Argentina finance minister defends bailout – Pg. 4

–          Argentina’s Treasury and finance minister insisted that the government would meet tough new targets for lowering the fiscal deficit next year, as he defended the country’s decision to seek a $50bn bailout from the IMF

–          Mr Dujovne pointed to innovative clauses in the deal proposed by Argentina that would allow the government to increase spending on social programmes and relax deficit targets, if necessary, which the fund “welcomed warmly”

–          Such socially sensitive terms contrast with past IMF programmes, not least the fund’s last standby arrangement with Argentina that ended with 2001-02 financial crisis that had grievous consequences and tarnished the multilateral lender’s reputation

Insurance – Pg. 7

–          …after over a decade of crisis AIG is a shadow of its former self, having sold off large chunks of its business

–          …in January it spent $5.6bn on its first purchase in a decade, with a hint of more deals to come, and has used the past 12 months…to recruit a new management team and shake up the way it operates

–          The insurer has been under sustained pressure for most of the past 15 yeasr.  It lurched from Eliot Spitzer’s accounting investigation that resulted in a $1.6bn settlement in 2006 to needing a $185bn government rescue two years ago later just to survive at the height of the financial crisis

–          It has repaid the taxpayer bailout, partly via asset sales.  At its peak, the insurer was worth $240bn and had a triple A credit rating.  It is now worth about a fifth of that and Fitch rates it A-, six notches lower

–          Regulators restricted the company’s growth because they deemed it a “systemically important” financial institution.  But last autumn, as part of the Trump administration’s deregulatory agenda, it rescinded AIG’s “too big to fail” status

–          Part of the reason for the share price fall may be the scaling back of share buybacks, but there are more fundamental problems.  AIG has long avoided the kinds of financial products, such as credit default swaps, that turned toxic in 2008 and led to its bailout.  Today, it is the traditional property and casualty insurance business, which accounts for almost two-thirds of revenues, that is the group’s big anxiety

–          …AIG has struggled to generate a profit from business insurance in the US.  It covers a wide range of commercial risks, from workplace injury claims to clean-up costs from environmental damage…

–          Problematic policies sold by AIG, such as professional liability and workers’ compensation, are known in industry jargon as “long-tail”, leaving the insurer on the hook for potential liabilities years into the future

Meet Canada’s business school trailblazers – Pg. 11

–          Isabelle Bajeux-Besnainou of McGill University says englightened maternity and paternity rules have helped women forge senior careers in Canada (Prof Note: I took a class with Isabelle at GWU.  Huge loss for the school!)

Answer: (1) More exercise (Prof Note: I am down 20lbs and feeling great.  Still obese by U.S. government standards but pushing forward under my own power! J); (2) Better joint replacement; (3) A new attitude toward growing older (Prof Note: I will absolutely tell you that my 40s are better than my 30s which were better than my 20s); (4) Improved cartilage solutions; (5) More plant-based food; (6) Greater understanding of which foods are bad for us (Prof Note: Probably could have done without the gelato last night!); (7) More effective exercise; (8) Making cells young again; (9) Greater understanding of inflammation; (10) More sharing of health data; (11) 3d printing; (12) Tissue engineering; (13) Falling smoking rates; (14) Greater awareness of environmental factors; (15) Fitness trackers; (16) Digital pathology; (17) Greater focus on keeping minds sharper; (18) More interest in healthy foods; (19) Better food production and labeling; (20) HPV vaccination; (21) More cancer-fighting vaccines; (22) Better hygiene; (23) Improved dental hygiene; (24) Smart phone apps; (25)  More socializing later in life; (26) Socializing online; (27) Better blood pressure control; (28) The sequencing of the human genome; (29) Genetic screening; (30) Gene editing and therapy; (31) Targeted cancer therapies; (32) Newer antibiotics; (33) New stroke treatment tool; (34) Clearer ultrasounds; (35) Greater use of meditation; (36) More minimally invasive surgery; (37) Robotic surgery; (38) Natural orifice surgery; (39) Telesurgery; (40) Telehealth; (41) More research on gut bacteria; (42) Better understanding of the role of stress (Prof Note: I actively work to reduce my stress); (43) Wearable health sensors; (44) More personal tech innovation; (45) New ideas about ‘nursing’ homes; (46) More senior living options; (47) More volunteering, more health benefits; (48) Greater understanding of social determinants of health; (49) Recognizing the importance of mental health as we age; (50) Big Data