U.S. Hegemony, Global Flashpoints, and Military Spending
Global volatility and the U.S. retreat. The Obama administration’s proposed 2015 military budget will bring the number of U.S. army soldiers to the lowest level since the end of World War II, abandoning a longstanding doctrine that the military should be prepared to fight two wars simultaneously. This is happening at the same time that regional tensions in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia are rising — along with the aspirations of non-western countries such as Russia and China to exercise dominance in their own spheres. We see these trends presenting a backdrop of greater global instability and volatility as the Pax Americana is rolled back.
What does this mean for the global economy and investors?
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Regenerative Medicine’s Promise
Stem cell research has come of age, although it may not yet be investable. Other biotechnologies also offer the promise of restoring the body’s organs and systems to their youthful vigor. Researchers in Edinburgh have succeeded in rebooting the immune system of geriatric mice by stimulating the thymus with a chemotherapy drug.
Is time to invest in this technology?
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We hope you have found our weekly global market commentary useful in keeping you informed about the global macro landscape and navigating the complexity of the financial markets.
Guild Investment Management has been managing the wealth of many affluent investors since 1971.
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Multi-employer Pensions Face a Breaking Point
Many pension plans that were adversely affected by the financial crisis have begun to return to health as their portfolios have risen over the past several years. However, one significant group of funds are not doing as well, and their beneficiaries are threatened with cuts that they thought would never be possible. These are multi-employer pensions, in which many companies pool their resources to create a single fund.
About 10 million Americans are covered by these funds. Many have already failed, and others are on the brink of failure. For a variety of reasons, these plans were thought to be completely bullet-proof. For one thing, they’re insured by a Federal agency, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). Theoretically, that agency should make up any shortfall needed to pay beneficiaries if plans fail.
The problem is that so many plans have failed that the PBGC’s funds are going to be exhausted. In 2013, a report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) noted that liabilities from failed funds grew from $1.8 billion to $7 billion between 2008 and 2012. The report noted that the PBGC itself would fail by 2023 if steps were not taken to address the issues. If the PBGC failed, then the beneficiaries of failed plans would simply get nothing…
This means that individuals will have to take that much more care to ensure the security of their own assets, and to make sure they are placed in competent hands. Through this newsletter, we at Guild try to provide you with the timely information that will help you protect your assets from volatility and grow them in accordance with your needs and plans. Our investment advising services strive to do the same for our clients. Please feel free to give us a call at (310) 826-8600 or email any inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org
Guild Basic Needs IndexTM
In this week’s market summary we discuss:
What is in store for the European markets?
- The United States
What are our thoughts about U.S. stocks?
Who are the buyers of Gold?
When do we think oil will bottom?
- We also made a new recommendation for our Gold Subscribers yesterday.
In Last Week’s Global Market Commentary, We Also Discussed:
- Robotics: New Applications, Mass Technologies
- FBI Joins Other Agencies in Scrutinizing High Frequency Trading
- Hot New Issues — Is This a Warning to the Market?
- Workforce Expands in the First Quarter