Health Care Spending During a Pandemic

  In 2019, health care spending in the U.S. rose by 4.6%, for a total of $3.8 trillion. In fact, health care spending accounted for more than 17% of the economy. Spending accelerated in hospital care, physician and clinical services, and prescription drugs (which represented 61% of total national health spending).1 But here’s the interesting…

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Global Recovery in a Post-Pandemic World

In 2020, the World Economic Forum published its annual Global Competitiveness Report, as usual. However, in light of the global pandemic, it put its long-standing Global Competitiveness Index rankings on hold. Instead, the report focused on priorities for recovery and revival instead of competition.1 Indeed, economic globalization over the past two decades, in many ways,…

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U.S. Weighs Student Loan Forgiveness

The current tab for student loan debt in the United States is $1.6 trillion. Most individuals don’t owe the federal government huge sums of money: 14 million borrowers owe $10,000 or less, while less than 3.5 million borrowers owe $200,000 or more. Many of those students in the latter group may have pursued a higher…

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2021 Outlook: Wealth Managers Weigh In

While challenges likely still lie ahead, there’s no denying we all weathered our fair share of storms in 2020. Now that the calendar has turned to a new year, we looked to wealth managers across the nation to find out what they’re expecting for 2021. As you’ll see, the answer often changes depending on where…

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The Advantage of Portable Benefits

Since companies first competed to hire returning soldiers after World War II, employers have offered worker benefits such as health care insurance, retirement plans and workers’ compensation. However, today’s workforce model has changed considerably. Between 2007 and 2017, the percentage of the workforce engaged in alternative work arrangements rose by almost half, accounting for 94%…

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What Is “Stakeholder Capitalism”?

In its monthly Investment Insights publication, Merrill Lynch noted that while nationalism has been a strong trend throughout the past few years, globalism in the prior 30 years did much to reduce poverty worldwide. As trade agreements shifted many U.S. jobs and operations overseas, the average income of the lower 50% of global earners nearly…

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What’s Ahead for the Stock Market?

In November, the Dow experienced its best month since 1987, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq indexes enjoyed their best month since April of this year.1 With the election behind us and a vaccine on the horizon, the stock market has plenty to celebrate. Many consumers used the pandemic period to shore up their savings,…

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Small-Business Prospects and Prognostications

Small businesses tend to have certain traits that may offer an advantage over large companies. For example, these traits may include the flexibility to try out new ideas, staff up or down quickly, and adapt nimbly to a changing market. There may also be the indomitable spirit, determination, confidence and optimism that is inherent among…

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Flight Industry in Trouble

The airline industry has been largely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Secluding people in a confined space with limited air circulation for hours on end is not a great recipe for containing an airborne disease. However, airlines that have invested in protocols and protections to keep passengers safe are the ones that will likely survive…

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The Effect of Debt on the Global Economy

The national debt is a measurement of how much the federal government owes creditors, most commonly depicted as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP). A high debt-to-GDP ratio is considered viable when the economy is expanding, because that growth allows the government to generate higher tax revenues to help pay down the debt. However,…

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