A Cure for the ACA

“It will be repealed and replaced and we’ll know […] that’s what I do, I do a good job”, so were the words President-Elect Trump spoke during a 60 Minutes interview on November 13th. Elected on a platform which promised to repeal the Affordable Care Act (henceforth “ACA”), Donald Trump benefited from a wave of right-wing populism aimed primarily at the bureaucracy of the Washington Elite. To that end, Obamacare came to embody all which Trump vowed to fight in his mission to “Drain the Swamp”: a government program which sought to benefit public welfare through compulsory payments but which failed to live up to its initial promises of widespread prosperity. Even worse for its proponents, Obamacare premiums rose in nearly every state in past October, continuing a sad trend seen throughout the 44th President’s two terms which has seen coverage costs rise by nearly 50% since 2008. Though hundreds of analyses have already been undertaken as to why Obamacare has fallen short on its KEEP READING >>

Controlling Supply Controls Demand: Yeezy and Supreme

  In 2014, Adidas announced the historical collaboration with Kanye West that brought “Yeezy Season” to fruition. Since then, every announcement of a new boot has led to social media crazes and weeks of the phrase “Sold Out” posted on the Adidas website. Consumers line up for days to get the newest Yeezy gear not because they want to be among the first to own the gear: they might just be some of the few that get to own it. The Yeezy line limits its production purposely, enabling it to charge relatively high prices and enjoy consumer demand that far outstrips supply. The Kanye-Adidas collaboration line starts at $210 (if you can get an item at a store). Since many people cannot get them, the “Adidas Yeezy Boost 750” has a resale value of $2,993, putting these shoes at an even higher price than the Kanye-Louis Vuitton collection of 2009. Chris Kyvetos, owner of a successful sneaker-shop in Australia, gives testimony to this incredible demand: “If you're a sneakerhead, then KEEP READING >>

A Republican Plan for Family Care?

By: Mitchell Mikinski In mid-September of last year, Donald Trump did something surprising for a Republican presidential nominee: he unveiled a paid family leave program, crafted and created by his oldest daughter, Ivanka Trump. It was a landmark about-face for a party that has championed first and foremost business goals for the better part of half a century. It also came in the course of an election year that saw his campaign marred by accusations of sexism, while simultaneously having to run against a ticket topped by a woman who already had a more robust version of the same plan. The roots of these policies stem from more than just political pressure and competition in 2016. Indeed, paid family leave has been a present in America since 2002, when California  created its own program. However, since then, the policy has struggled to catch on across the country.Currently only 5 states have laws on the books that mandate paid family leave. Of those, only 3 have fully implemented KEEP READING >>

The Future of Marijuana on Campus

Marijuana legalization has been a divisive issue in the United States for decades, yet it appears to have finally turned the corner.  While marijuana is still prohibited under federal law, Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington - and last week, California, Nevada and Massachusetts - have all legalized the recreational usage of marijuana and the commercial sale of marijuana with a license.   Foreign countries are also easing their stances on marijuana.  Canada is poised to legalize the drug in spring 2017, opening itself up to a $5 billion-dollar industry.   For college students, marijuana legalization may seem like a dream come true.  In 2015, daily marijuana usage on college campuses reached its highest percentage since 1980, even as the consumption of alcohol, narcotics, and amphetamines declined.  Moreover, the rapid growth and diffusion of small dispensaries in states that have legalized marijuana has removed barriers to access.  Colorado, for example, has over 900 licensed KEEP READING >>

The Cost of Buying an Election

Money and politics have always been contentious topics and that fact only becomes more true when you put the two together. Over the past few years, we have seen  spending in the political arena grow rapidly, reaching astronomical level and generating much debate. These conversations inevitably turn to the topic of  wealthy individuals and corporations that pour millions into both supporting candidates through super PACs as well pushing for their agendas through good old-fashioned lobbying. But does this investment actually result in a significant return, whether in votes for candidates or in profit opportunities for firms? It is a universally accepted fact that political spending has risen rapidly. The cost of running for Congress has increased “more than 500 percent since 1984,” a rate which beats even the exponentially rising cost of college. Looking at the exploding figures, it is easy to see why so many people jump to the conclusion that more money equals more votes. After all, KEEP READING >>

Thinking About the New York Wage Hike

Exciting news for college students who fear their prospects in the job market: Governor Cuomo recently signed a budget bill that raises the minimum wage in New York City to $15 an hour by 2019. The campaign for a $15 wage started in New York City when 200 fast food workers walked away from their registers to protest their paltry wages in 2012. The workers’ campaign, known as Fast Food Forward, gained momentum by expanding their walk-out protests across the nation. Although these demands were met with incredulous disbelief, in the past four years, four major cities have enacted a $15 minimum wage and many have increased their wages toward that level. The path to 15 was sparked in cities like Seattle and Los Angeles, and now has moved beyond cities to state-wide legislation. California narrowly beat New York to be the first state to pass a minimum wage of $15 which will be phased in by 2022 for most businesses and 2023 for businesses with fewer than 26 employees. New York similarly KEEP READING >>

America’s Inferno: A Journey Into the 8 Circles of Monetary Policy

In the wake of the Great Recession, the U.S. Federal Reserve decided that enough was enough. Instead of allowing individual and institutional investors to blindly speculate on the direction of American monetary policy, the Fed chose to enact a series of verbal assurances, serving as a “forward guide” for interest rates in the future. The hope was that by promising interest rate raises or decreases under very precise labor and inflationary conditions, markets would be dissuaded from intense volatility over Treasury prices. In recent years, for example, the Fed has set a long-term inflation goal of 2% before considering more significant rate rises. For the last decade, the Fed’s policy of “forward guidance” has proven elucidating with regards to the concerns and predictions of Bernanke’s, and now Yellen’s, board. But, with developments such as the massive decrease in energy prices in the last year, an incongruence between FOMC promises and global market realities are sharpening. In KEEP READING >>

Glass-Steagall Act and the 2016 Presidential Race: The Great Misperception

An obscure Depression-era financial law has taken central stage in the debates of the 2016 presidential race. The 1999 repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, which had imposed a regulatory separation between commercial banking and investment banking, is blamed by many for the financial crisis of 2008-09. Invocation of this law has become synonymous with “breaking up big banks” or ending “too big to fail”: an argument preached by populist candidates on the left and the right. Such demands on the basis of the repeal of Glass-Steagall are ungrounded in history, and serve largely as a romantic morality tale touted by candidates for popular appeal. Republicans and Democrats have embraced similar populist rhetorics against Big Banks underpinned by a misguided understanding of Glass-Steagall. “Crony capitalism,” “a corrupt system,” and “excessive risk-taking” are evoked by the left and right as implicit symptoms of its repeal. Glass-Steagall has become symbolic of a populist narrative of the KEEP READING >>

The Death of the Hedge Fund Industry

In a world where top graduates are increasingly pursuing opportunities in technology over financial positions on Wall Street, hedge funds are still the kings of a thinning hill. A survey of 116 institutional investors conducted last spring by NN Investment Partners found that 52% of respondents favored investment in hedge funds, “well ahead of the second most popular option, private equity.” Data from Preqin indicate that the assets in the 10 largest institutional investors in hedge funds increased by almost 10% over the last year. Yet, even as hedge funds “continue to grow despite numerous challenges,” issues of regulation, liquidity, investor concern, and general market performance may be premonitory of challenges still to come. Before we examine the future of the hedge fund industry, it is important to understand the functional roles that hedge funds provide to society. Unlike mutual funds, hedge funds are able to invest in almost any asset, opening the door to alternative KEEP READING >>