A person with type 1 diabetes incurred annual insulin costs of $5,705, on average, in 2016. The average cost was roughly half that at $2,864 per patient in 2012, according to a report due to be released on Tuesday by the nonprofit Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI).
Now a new alarm is ringing, one that’s triggering a different conversation among the folks who manage the pension fund’s investments. On the surface, it’s about structuring the investment portfolio to meet growing needs. But dig a little deeper, and it’s also about the basic solvency of the pension plan.
The expected increase reflects higher social security spending to support the aging population and the cost of servicing the world’s heaviest public debt burden.
While shrugging off fears of an imminent global recession, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde warned policymakers on Monday to brace for a “serious slowdown” as trade protectionism, higher tariffs and financial market turbulence darken the outlook.
“We need to realize that from a monetary perspective there is no ammunition left in Europe, (the) interest rate is at an all-time low, and also the QE (quantitative easing) program which we are now building down … So if we really get to an economic slowdown in Europe, I think the central banks and governments, from a monetary point of view, have no ammunition left to address it,” Feike Sijbesma, CEO of DSM told CNBC at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
The Chinese economy grew last year at its slowest pace in three decades, and 2019 could be even worse. Fang Xinghai, vice chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, put a brave face on the slowdown Tuesday, saying that growth as low as 6% would not be “a disaster.”
But sentiment is darkening. The International Monetary Fund this week lowered estimates for global economic growth in 2019 to 3.5%, its second downward revision.
Navigating Around the ‘Invisible Hand’ (Kevin J.)
As the S&P 500 hovers some 300 points above the lows seen on Christmas Eve, we have witnessed the full power and fury of the central banking cabal, complete with their government and regulatory confederates, as they offer shadowless doubt that stock prices are indeed a big part of policy mandate. Also, right up there at the top of their to-do list, is “managing” the prices of gold and its junior surrogate, silver, as their centuries-old utilities as canaries-in-fiat-sensitive coal mines has been denigrated by decades of interventionalist price-capping. It is both maddening and infuriating but it is not unexpected; it was actually announced the weekend before Christmas with the Mnuchin statement regarding the Plunge Protection Team (PPT)…
Her programs may seem lame and loopy today, but they’ll be a hit – we predict – in the future. With the Republicans discredited by the financial disaster, radical Democrats will be elected all over the country.
And then, the intellectuals will explain why their programs “make sense.” In fact, they’re already on the case.
The Freak Chart (thc0655)
With the advent of permanent central bank intervention sparked by the financial crisis all of us have come accustomed to markets always going up with the occasional correction in between and the timing of corrections have seemingly become shorter and shorter. Big fat bottoms that happen after just a few days of temporary terror. We haven’t seen a true bear market since the financial crisis and even that one lasted barely more than a year as central banks stepped in. The last longer term bear market came after the technology bust in 2000 when markets bottomed in 2002 and 2003 and then proceeded onto the next bull market.
Small nudibranchs, known as blue sea dragons, feast on blue buttons and man o’ wars, using their winglike cerata to grab and hold onto their tentacled prey. There are sea anemones, barnacles, copepods, color-changing crabs, specialized bacteria, even bugs, all living in this inverted reef in the middle of the open ocean. (Organisms that live exclusively by floating at the surface of the water are called pleuston, while neuston is a broader term, referring generally to the sea-surface ecosystem, which is why I chose to use it here.)
Gold & Silver
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