Health Insurance and Investment Risk

Getting sick creates risk over two dimensions. First, you risk getting sick which of course decreases your utility. Second, getting sick impacts you financially as (i) medical procedures are often expensive and (ii) if you can’t work due to your illness your income may fall. With respect to financial risk, health insurance may provide a…

All stocks are vaccine stocks

In a world with COVID-19, what factors are most influential to a company’s stock price? Are company specific or macroeconomic factors most important? It turns out, the speed of health care innovation in fighting COVID-19 may be the biggest single factor influencing all stock market prices. Barrons: General Electric stock was racing higher Tuesday, but…

When does diversification increase risk?

Why did the financial crisis occur?  One reason may be due to too much institutional diversification.  George Sugihara explains how even when individual institutions diversify, system-wide risk can increase exponentially. “Leading up to the crash, there was a marked increase in homogeneity among institutions, both in their revenue-generating strategies as well as in their risk-management strategies, thus…

Markets in Everything: Bin Laden edition

Here’s how the killing of Osama Bin Laden may affect: Stock markets. Share prices rise. Commodity markets. Oil prices fall. Election markets.  Obama to get re-elected? Artists’ First Response.  A Bin Laden folk song? Healthcare Economist’s Receipt of Spam.  I’ve received an above average number of  unsolicited emails today regarding how Bin Laden’s death will affect…