News 

Rates for the most common ACA health plans drop for a second year

“The administration also has nearly eliminated funds for advertising and other outreach activities focused on hard-to-reach people who are eligible for ACA health plans but remain uninsured” writes Amy Goldstein for washingtonpost.com. ACA health plans first became available for 2014, four years after Congress passed the sweeping law that revised large parts of the U.S. health-care system.The data also show that the number of insurance companies willing to sell ACA health plans also has rebounded after widespread defections for a few years.According to the most recent federal figures, 10.6 million…

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Markets News 

Billionaire Howard Marks gives his best advice for navigating an anomalous market where 30% of the world’s debt has a negative yield

“At minimum, negative rates mean there’s increased uncertainty, and thus we have to proceed with more trepidation,” he wrote in a recent memo” writes Christopher Competiello for businessinsider.com. Tried-and-true valuation methodology — like the type highly dependent on historical relationships — suddenly becomes futile in a world of negative rates.Marks demonstrates some of the ancillary effects negative rates are having on markets, including: Against that backdrop, Marks offers up his best advice for traversing the landscape — and it all comes down to durability and dependability.”Whatever we knew in the…

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News Regulators 

Bank of Japan’s Kuroda calls for mix of steps to boost economic growth

“But he said fiscal spending and structural reforms to boost an economy’s potential growth will help enhance the effect of monetary easing” writes Midwest Communications Inc for 95kqds.com. “In responding to significant downward pressure (on growth), a policy mix of monetary easing, flexible fiscal policy and steps to raise the natural rate of interest could be effective.”. The BOJ should examine financial functioning and make appropriate policy responses, so that the cost of monetary easing is reduced.”. “We are equipped with unconventional tool kits, so there is no need to…

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News 

How churches can save marriage — and American religiosity

“Research suggests that low marriage rates and weak family structures translate to higher poverty and crime rates, in addition to lower education levels and reduced happiness writ large” reports washingtonexaminer.com. While the U.S. divorce rate has long hovered around 50%, the rates of so-called “gray divorce” have more than doubled in recent years. Source: washingtonexaminer.com

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News 

Sanders plan would have billionaires taxed more than they earn

“The proposal has elicited criticism from analysts on the basis that high tax rates discourage people from working or investing, and thereby slow economic growth, and ultra-high tax rates would amplify those effects” reports washingtonexaminer.com. Bernie Sanders’ tax plan would impose annual tax rates of well over 100% on the richest 400 Americans, according to his economic advisers, mostly through his new wealth tax.”This will, in theory, accomplish it.” Of course, Sanders also does favor much higher income tax rates.Today, in contrast, the tax rate for the same group is…

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News 

‘Addiction’ to cheap money will do ‘tremendous damage’ to the global economy

“U.S. President Donald Trump has consistently called for low interest rates, tweeting in September that the Fed should cut interest rates to zero or even set negative interest rates” writes Weizhen Tan for cnbc.com. Speaking at the Forbes Global CEO Conference in Singapore on Tuesday, Hedrick-Wong said: “I’m a firm believer that zero interest rate, or negative interest rates (is) actually doing tremendous damage to the economy over the long term.Low interest rates hurt lenders’ profits as they narrow the margin that banks can earn.Still, analysts are expecting the Federal…

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AUD News 

Australia unemployment rate dips, still long way to go

“That helped nudge the jobless rate down a tick to 5.2%, from a one-year peak of 5.3%, the first drop since February when it got as low as 4.9%” writes Midwest Communications Inc for 95kqds.com. Yet the jobless rate still remains well above the RBA’s aspirational goal of 4.5%, and further declines would likely be needed to lessen the case for more stimulus.”But employment surveys point to jobs growth slowing and we expect unemployment to reach 5.5% by early next year.”. “Almost all of the strength in employment growth over…

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Markets News 

Funding market strains resurface as repo rates stay elevated

“The overnight repo rate spiked as high as 2.26%, according to one estimate” writes Sunny Oh for marketwatch.com. The repo rate usually closely tracks the central bank’s benchmark interest rate as they both are considered sources of short-term borrowing.This compared with the effective fed funds rate, which stood at 1.90% on Oct. 15.Strains in short-term lending markets popped up again on Wednesday as the cost of borrowing funds overnight in return for high-quality collateral, or the repo rate, shot up on Wednesday.Hedge funds and banks use the repo market to…

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News 

China’s central bank extends medium-term loans but keeps rates unchanged

“China’s central bank extended loans through its medium-term lending facility (MLF) on Wednesday while keeping the lending rate unchanged” reports cnbc.com. Some analysts believe that keeping the borrowing costs on medium-term loans unchanged reflects policymakers’ inclination to avoid loosening monetary policy too much lest it stokes a credit binge.The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) said on its website the interest rate on one-year MLF loans remained at 3.3%, the same as the previous operations.The central bank usually conducts MLF operations when there is a maturity coming due, but there are no…

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