The health of globalization
- Republicans in the US House of Representatives have a plan to replace the Affordable Healthcare Act (they have been planning for this moment for seven years). The details matter to the healthcare industry. The macro concern is whether Congress passes this by mid-April, or whether it ties up the legislative agenda and blocks other policy measures.
- The travel ban against several Muslim countries has been revised and re-instated. The immediate macroeconomic impact is via the signal effect. The signal of the first ban was not well received by Middle Eastern investors; this second ban is unlikely to change that signal.
- UK BRC like-for-like retail sales fell (more than expected) again in February. The consequences of the structural decline in sterling have been evident in consumer prices, and this seems to be constraining the willingness of consumers to spend.
- The G20 draft statement, according to media reports, will omit the phrase "resist all forms of protectionism". This is another signal to financial markets that things have changed. Generally, protectionism will disproportionately hurt the living standards of lower income groups in a society.