A Good Job to Have in America: CEO of Health Insurer

❝ Do you ever wonder if you’re in the right industry, but the wrong profession?

Even though many major health insurance companies, like Aetna and UnitedHealth, are continuing to pull out of exchanges, most have seen their stocks nearly double since the Affordable Care Act was signed in 2010. Their executives have also cashed in with annual compensations that have been climbing alongside their companies’ stocks.

Here’s what the high-rollers of health insurance get paid. We looked at publicly-traded companies, which have to reveal executive compensation in annual proxy statements submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Total compensation includes salary, bonus, stock and options (valued at grant date), incentives, and other benefits.

❝ Centene’s Michael Neidorff was the highest paid CEO, making $22 million in 2016. During a three-year period from 2014 through 2016, he made $62 million.

Like other health insurance CEOs, his $1.5 million-dollar salary only represented a small fraction of his income. Most of his compensation came in the form of stock awards — around $13 million worth each year.

Centene’s stock performed the best among these companies, nearly doubling over three years. A booming stock means Neidorff takes home even more than what’s reported to the SEC.

RTFA to see who owns the biggest pies. Ah, compassionate conservatism.

Our Fake President and China’s Codependency Trap

❝ Seemingly at odds with the world, US President Donald Trump has once again raised the possibility of a trade conflict with China. On August 14, he instructed the US Trade Representative to commence investigating Chinese infringement of intellectual property rights. By framing this effort under Section 301 of the US Trade Act of 1974, the Trump administration could impose high and widespread tariffs on Chinese imports.

This is hardly an inconsequential development. While there may well be merit to the allegations…punitive action would have serious consequences for US businesses and consumers. Like it or not, that is an inevitable result of the deeply entrenched codependent relationship between the world’s two largest economies.

❝ In a codependent human relationship, when one party alters the terms of engagement, the other feels scorned and invariably responds in kind. The same can be expected of economies and their leaders. That means in a trade conflict, it is important to think about reciprocity – specifically, China’s response to an American action. In fact, that was precisely the point made by China’s Ministry of Commerce in its official response to Trump’s gambit. China, the ministry vowed, would “take all appropriate measures to resolutely safeguard its legitimate rights.”

❝ …Three economic consequences stand out.

First, imposing tariffs on imports of Chinese goods and services would be the functional equivalent of a tax hike on American consumers…

Second, trade actions against China could lead to higher US interest rates…

Third, with growth in US domestic demand still depressed, American companies need to rely more on external demand. Yet the Trump administration seems all but oblivious to this component of the growth calculus…

Stephen Roach is the United States’ leading economic expert on China Trade – IMHO. His decades of experience in place on behalf of Morgan Stanley, his research and analysis over time are with few peers. His knowledge of the topic towers over the twerp who is our fake president and most of his second or third tier pimps-as-advisors.

RTFA for the details of this outline.

Supreme Court turns away California gun case — state limits on concealed weapons stands

❝ The Supreme Court has rejected a major 2nd Amendment challenge to California’s strict limits on carrying concealed guns in public.

The justices by a 7-2 vote turned away an appeal from gun rights advocates who contended that most law-abiding gun owners in San Diego, Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay area were being wrongly denied permits to carry a weapon when they leave home.

The justices let stand a ruling from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals which held last year that the “2nd Amendment does not preserve or protect a right of a member of the general public to carry concealed firearms in public.”…

Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch earned their love from the NRA lobby.

❝ It is the latest of several actions by the court that suggest that although the Constitution protects an individual right to “bear arms,” the scope of that right is quite limited.

RTFA for the gory details. In truth, most gun owners – and that includes me – agree with rulings like this one and support gun safety over the nutballism of Trump types and pimps for the gun industry like the NRA.