TenCount -> Repealing and replacing Obamacare

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TenCount -> Repealing and replacing Obamacare

A highly selective view of events in the week ahead with important financial, legislative and political implications, put together by your friends at Sphere Consulting.

Edited by Edward Wyatt

  • Happy Independence Day (tomorrow)! If you haven’t actually read the Declaration of Independence in a while, we highly recommend it – powdered wig not required. As the sacred document states, “all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.” Which to us means thanks for continuing to read TenCount!
  • Congress is out of town, of course, and the president is headed To Hamburg, Germany, for the G20 summit Friday and Saturday. Tensions are expected to be high, with large public protests expected and recent strains exhibited between German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Trump, who recently pulled the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord. Putin and Trump will meet face-to-face for the first time, a confab that could overshadow the larger group meeting.
  • The evidence seems pretty strong that Russia undertook an extensive effort to meddle in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. On the eve of President Trump’s meeting with President Putin, the Heritage Foundation on Thursday will sponsor “Russian Interference: Past, Present and Future,” an examination of the Russian tactics, focusing on historical global precedents and how the U.S. can mitigate the threat of foreign political disruption in the future.
  • The idea of repealing and replacing Obamacare was that doing so at the same time would keep some 20 million Americans from losing insurance with no certainty of an alternative. President Trump threw that idea under the bus on Friday, when he encouraged Republican Senators to do the former next week even without any plans for how or when to do the latter. Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska proposed canceling Congress’s August recess to stay in Washington and work on a replacement. We will forgo comment on how likely it is that Congress will cancel its month-long vacation.
  • Nobody knew trade could be so complicated: The Trump Administration missed a deadline on Friday – self-imposed though it was – to finish a major study of steel imports. Administration officials said the delay was the result of their discovery that the national security implications of changing U.S. policy on steel imports could spur cost increases for American manufacturers and cause trading partners to retaliate.
  • Warren Buffet gets it right, again (sigh). Bank stocks climbed last week after the Federal Reserve announced that major U.S. banks had passed stress tests devised in the wake of the financial crisis. And who was investing in banks back when it seemed like the entire financial system was teetering on the brink of disaster? Mr. Buffett, of course, who announced last week he would exercise warrants to buy shares of Bank of America, making him its largest shareholder. Buffet got his stake several years ago at $7.14 a share, compared to a current market price of more than $24. He’s also the largest shareholder of Wells Fargo.
  • As we’ve said before, the one part of the financial crisis – which was caused, one will recall, by a tumultuous system of housing finance — that wasn’t addressed in the Dodd-Frank Act was our government-sponsored system of housing finance. On Thursday, Federal Reserve Governor Jay Powell will address the uncertain foundation on which the housing sector rests in an address and conversation with the American Enterprise Institute. Separately, Fed Governor Stanley Fisher will give an address Thursday night, though the Fed web site doesn’t say where.
  • The Supreme Court’s October term finished up last week with a flurry of rulings, but what do they mean? On Thursday, the Heritage Foundation examines the most recent decisions at “Scholars & Scribes Review the Rulings: The Supreme Court’s 2016-2017 Term.” A day earlier, on Wednesday, the Federalist Society zeroes in on one of those decisions, Maslenjak v. United States, an immigration case that it reversed and sent back to the lower court.
  • President Trump has not yet confronted a crisis involving China, but one will undoubtedly occur before his term is up, perhaps in the form of economic relations, military presence or Asia-Pacific influence. On Thursday the Center for Strategic and International Studies launches its report on “Managing U.S.-China Relations: American and Chinese Perspectives,” featuring panels on military and regional affairs, economics, global governance and domestic politics.
  • Not that any such confrontation will come to that, but it’s always good to keep in mind what kinds of war powers the Constitution grants to the President and to Congress, and the extent to which those founding principles still have application to the modern era. On Friday, the Federalist Society probes “The Constitutional War Powers of the Executive and Legislative Branches.”
    Edward Wyatt is a senior vice president at Sphere Consulting LLC, which he joined in May 2015 following a 20-year career as a reporter and correspondent for The New York Times. He works with public affairs clients in the financial services, technology, and industrial sectors.

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