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Policy Issues

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  • Regulating Robo Advisors: Old Policy Goals, New Challenges July 24 Regulating Robo Advisors: Old Policy Goals, New Challenges

    Financial “robo advice”—an automated service that ranks or matches consumers to financial products—has gained significant attention in the investment industry and on the Hill, but there has not yet been a consensus on how to regulate these new services. Robo advisors often are on par with and can exceed the standards of human advices, but they don’t fit into the category of fiduciary, and therefore won’t be held to the same regulatory standard that humans advisors are. Nonetheless, they are subject to systemic risks and the potential for abuses that can hurt consumers. Professors Tom Baker and Benedict Dellaert offer a regulatory trajectory to follow as the technology of robo advisors continues to develop and expand.

  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Olivia S. Mitchell July 23 Are Annuities Part of a Smart Retirement Plan?

    “This really has a very strong benefit for a variety of people. These things are really cheap and you get great protection.”

    Professor Olivia Mitchell discusses how lifetime annuities can be an important part of a retirement plan.

  • Image: Mojave Afton Canyon. Source: Wikimedia Commons. July 23 The Price of Water in the Desert: Public Interests and Private Ventures

    The proposed Cadiz Water Project is an example of how business interests, environmental policy, and political power are fundamentally intertwined in a way that underlies many decisions made in Washington. Sometimes called the “Cadiz Valley Groundwater Storage Project,” or alternatively, the “Cadiz Water Conveyance Project,” this private water infrastructure project has become increasingly controversial in recent months as the Bureau of Land Management under President Trump has come closer to giving the project the green light.

  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Kevin Werbach July 23 How Blockchain Affects Our Trust in Institutions

    “Once people are able to manage their identity, other possibilities open up. People will be able to band together in virtual countries and set their own rules.”

    Faculty Affiliate Kevin Werbach comments on how blockchain technology is changing systems of trust and the institutions on which that is based.

  •    Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Scott E. Harrington  July 23 How Will the Senate ACA-Repeal Bill Change Healthcare?

    “If you do things to lower costs you may have to pay the money back.”

    Professor Scott Harrington comments on the Senate Obamacare repeal bill and how it would affect the Medical Loss Ratio.

  • Salaries have gone up for low-income earners. July 22 Income Rises for Low-Income Earners as GDP Growth Revised Up

    Yesterday, Senator John McCain announced that he was diagnosed with brain cancer. His absence will loom large in the Senate, both as a leader and in crucial votes to come. As the labor market continues to tighten, low-income earners are seeing large salary increases. GDP is also improving, with the NY Fed raising expectations for the indicator.