Fed minutes hint at asset reduction | CBO: AHCA would cut deficit, increase uninsured rate | Basel to standardize capital output floor
May 26, 2017
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Fed minutes hint at asset reduction
The Federal Open Market Committee has outlined a plan to reduce the Federal Reserve's $4.5 trillion balance sheet, including gradual tapering of mortgage-backed securities. JPMorgan Chase economist Michael Feroli says the process could start as early as September.
Reuters (5/25),  Financial Times (tiered subscription model) (5/25) 
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National News
CBO: AHCA would cut deficit, increase uninsured rate
CBO: AHCA would cut deficit, increase uninsured rate
(Alex Wong/Getty Images)
The House's American Health Care Act now being reviewed by the Senate would leave 23 million more US residents without insurance by 2026 than would be under existing law, though allowing states to opt out of mandating essential benefits coverage would encourage some employers to continue offering coverage, according to the Congressional Budget Office. If adopted as-is by the Senate, the AHCA would reduce the federal deficit by $119 billion by 2026, and though premiums for some consumers would be lower than they are now, they would be higher for people with existing health conditions, the CBO said.
The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (5/24),  The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (5/24),  The Hill (5/24) 
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Financial and Tax Update
Basel to standardize capital output floor
The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision will set an aggregate floor on banks' internal regulatory capital models, instead of individual floors for certain risks, Secretary General William Coen says. This decision aims to allow banks more flexibility in modeling risks for each portfolio, although the final floor calibration has yet to be agreed and might be a source of contention.
Risk (subscription required) (5/25),  Reuters (5/25) 
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Single bitcoin worth nearly double an ounce of gold
A single bitcoin is priced at about $2,450, nearly twice as much as an ounce of gold, as the cryptocurrency frenzy continues. The situation is prompting concerns about a possible bitcoin bubble.
Bloomberg (5/25) 
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Employment Focus
GOP again sets sights on microunions
Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., has reintroduced the Representation Fairness Restoration Act, which would overturn the National Labor Relations Board's Specialty Healthcare decision allowing subsets of workers in the same facility to organize independent of other employees. Rep. Francis Rooney, R-Fla., has filed a companion bill in the House.
Bloomberg BNA (free content) (5/25) 
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Supreme Court and Federal Court Watch
4th Circuit upholds freeze on travel ban
A revised executive order banning travel to the US from certain Muslim-majority nations "drips with religious intolerance, animus and discrimination," according to the US Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, which refused to lift a freeze on the ban. An appeal to the Supreme Court is expected, with Attorney General Jeff Sessions saying the administration "strongly disagrees" with the ruling.
Bloomberg (5/25) 
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Professional and Business Development
How to reduce the stress facing employees
In many cases, employees feel more stress than their managers do, research suggests. Leaders can help employees deal with stress in several ways, such as by providing clarity, being fair and showing appreciation for good work, writes Karen Firestone, CEO of Aureus Asset Management.
Harvard Business Review online (tiered subscription model) (5/23) 
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Your hobbies can become valuable new skills
Personal hobbies can help professionals foster career skills such as the ability to network with others, according to recent research. By using your cooking skills to host gatherings, learning a foreign language or playing recreational sports, you can bolster leadership skills and expand your network, among other benefits.
U.S. News & World Report (5/23) 
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PLI News
Free Friday Discusses Privacy Concerns and Responding to a Government Investigation
When faced with a government investigation, whether resulting from a data breach or privacy concerns, appropriate steps need to be taken. Free Friday discusses action steps in Responding to the Investigation, taken from Government Investigations 2017. Topics include responding to notice of an investigation, compliance obligations created by the notice, what should be done to locate electronic information in response to a demand, how to produce electronic information and more.
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Laches No Defense to Patent Infringement During Statute of Limitations
Nothing to see here. Move along. To the surprise of no one (except maybe Justice Breyer), the United States Supreme Court recently decided that the defense of laches is not available for patent infringement claims brought within the statute of limitations. But wait ... they didn't decide whether the defense of equitable estoppel would apply. So, while we're waiting for the other shoe to drop, you can catch up on the story so far on PLI's Patent Law Practice Center.
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Lawyer Life
Selling Cuba's Holguin Province
Holguin Province in Cuba has several selling points for vacationers, such as being home to several all-inclusive resorts and many species of birds. The province also offers archaeological sites, eco-parks and the Romerias de Mayo festival.
Travel Market Report (5/19) 
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Bangkok as a family vacation spot
Selling Bangkok as a family vacation spot
(Christophe Archambault/Getty Images)
Bangkok is an exciting and welcoming place to visit with young children, and families can enjoy getting hands-on with the local culture through guided tours or their own exploration of the city. Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market is a great place for boat tours, tasty cuisine and child-friendly craft activities.
TravelAge West (5/21) 
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Editor's Note
SmartBrief will not publish Monday
In observance of Memorial Day in the US, SmartBrief will not publish Monday. Publication will resume Tuesday.
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The real fountain of youth is hidden in the imagination you draw upon to face everyday challenges.
Sophia Loren,
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