Monthly Archives: February 2017

Turkey’s İşbank Forges Payments Deal With PPRO Offering China’s Alipay

By Roger Aitken, Contributor Işbank, Turkey’s biggest private bank, has struck a deal with PPRO Group, one of the fastest growing fintech companies in Europe, enabling the bank to offer e-commerce merchants local alternative payment methods around the world – including China’s Alipay – as well as to 20-plus other countries. …read more

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Trump urges insurers to work together to ‘save Americans from Obamacare’

By Carolyn Y. Johnson and Juliet Eilperin

This story has been updated.

President Trump met with major health insurers Monday morning, in the midst of intensifying public pressure to preserve the law and political divisions over how to best dismantle and replace President Obama’s signature domestic policy achievement, the Affordable Care Act.

The meeting included leaders from Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, Humana, UnitedHealth Group, Aetna, Anthem, Kaiser Permanente and the industry lobbying group, America’s Health Insurance Plans.

“We must work together to save Americans from Obamacare,” Trump said in his public remarks before the meeting began. He criticized the Affordable Care Act for creating minimal health coverage requirements that restricted the types of plans insurers could sell.

“Obamacare forced providers to limit the plan options they offered to patients and caused them to drive prices way up,” Trump said. “Now a third of U.S. counties are down to one insurer, and the insurers are fleeing. You people know that better than anybody.”

Trump gave few details about the new plan, which he promised would increase competition and decrease costs. He said that the replacement would allow insurers to sell plans across state lines and include increased flexibility for states. He also called for expanded health savings accounts, tax-exempt financial accounts used to pay for medical expenses. He said there would be a smooth transition.

In remarks to the National Governors Association before the meeting with insurers, Trump said that the plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act would give states the flexibility they need to make health care work. He also said the politically wise thing for Republicans would …read more

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Donald Trump is about to make a mockery of Wall Street

By Matt O’Brien

(Michael Nagle/Bloomberg News)

President Trump has a unique talent: convincing people he won’t rip them off.

There’s just one problem. Whether you’re talking about his bondholders or his shareholders or his contractors or the students at his university, it’s fair to say that Trump has a long record of disappointing everyone who puts their trust in him. It’s the same schtick every time. He promises to make “every dream you ever dreamed … come true” — that’s what he said during the campaign — but that is the case only if all your dreams involve getting less money than you thought you would or getting a degree that isn’t worth a thing.

And now Wall Street is finding that out.

It started on election night. Trump’s shocking win had sent markets into a tailspin — would he start a trade war or an actual war or who knows what else? — before they started to wonder whether he’d really be so bad for them. At which point he said the magic words: “We’re going to rebuild our infrastructure.” Of course, that was something he’d talked about quite a bit during the campaign, but a lot of things he’d talked about were, well, contradictory. It was hard to tell what Trump simply thought was a good tweet, and what he also thought was a good policy. So the fact that rebuilding our “highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, schools, hospitals” was the first thing he mentioned in his victory speech seemed to suggest that it would be a major priority, which a few days later he said would run upward of $1 trillion in what Wall Street now hoped would be an administration filled with tax cuts, deregulation and stimulus (oh, my!).

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Survival tips for Sebastian Gorka, PhD

By Daniel W. Drezner Sebastian Gorka has an interesting job in the White House. He is a self-proclaimed “irregular warfare strategist,” so one might think he would be working at the National Security Council. As it turns out, he’s not, but rather a deputy to strategist Stephen K. Bannon and part of his Strategic Initiatives Group. He believes that […] …read more

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Financial markets love Trump. Are they checked out or do they know something the rest of us don’t?

By Jared Bernstein Two very different dynamics are afoot: 1) The stock market’s on a tear, up 11 percent since the election (12 percent including dividend payouts, compared with about 0 over the comparable period before the election). CEOs parade out of meetings with President Trump, gleeful as they promulgate endorsements of the new president, who clearly makes […] …read more

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