We work hard. We play hard. We train hard. That is the mantra among employees at The Principal this year. It is my personal challenge to them to take action to improve their physical fitness and, if they are already active, to take it to the next level.
The Road Race Challenge
For the second year in a row, I’ve challenged employees to run or walk a road race. It doesn’t matter if it’s 5K, 10K or a full-marathon. I want employees to experience the rewards of an active lifestyle.
More than 2,000 people around the globe took part in 2012. Nearly 2,100 have signed on so far this year. One of the best parts is that I get to run alongside them during periodic fun run/walks like the one pictured here. I will also run with employees in the IMT Des Moines Marathon races in October. Read more
Let me set the stage. The price of oil is up over 7.5% in the past month. We’re looking at the beginning of the end of quantitative easing in the United States and the consequent rise of interest rates. Escalating mortgage rates could frighten potential homeowners back into renting. We have a raging (as well as politicized) debate as to who should be our next Fed chair. Financial markets and currencies from many emerging economies are hitting the wall. The U.S. government is about to enter a protracted debt-ceiling debate. And, as if this is not enough, we now have a possible U.S. intervention in the Mideast that could rattle worldwide financial markets. The winds of war may breach any national border.
With this backdrop in mind, the question we must pose is this:
Setting aside the moral, ethical, and political conundrums of a U.S. intervention in Syria, how should we expect financial markets to react when conflict in the Mideast flares up? Read more
Okay, I didn’t exactly go toe-to-toe with Earvin (Magic) Johnson on the court, but I did face-off against him at the 2013 Milken Institute Global Conference. Let me explain…
It’s spring in Los Angeles and that can only mean one thing–it’s time for the much anticipated Global Conference. That’s how the Wall Street Journal described the event today–with 3500 people attending 140 sessions spread over 4 days. There are more than 600 speakers ranging from Al Gore to Tony Blair; Rupert Murdoch to Carlos Slim and Magic Johnson to Joe Torre. And the range of topics is just as broad–public policy topics like immigration reform and tax reform; healthcare issues and AIDS improvements to the future of Africa.
This was the tenth year for The Principal at the conference, although it was my first. The range of topics, the quality of the speakers and the encouragement for spirited discussion all serve to make this an eye-opening and educational event. Talk about getting out of your comfort zone!
The U.S. Treasury Department is going to need a new boss soon. Timothy Geithner has been fairly clear that four years as Secretary of the Treasury is quite enough for him. That means it’s speculation season and time to figure out who will fill the desk on Pennsylvania Avenue (the Treasury’s located at 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue – just next door to the White House) after Geithner tenders his resignation.
The two lucky “bachelors” in the Treasury Secretary Dating Game are Erskine Bowles and Jacob “Jack” Lew; these are about the only two names that anyone’s seriously throwing around. So let’s start sizing up our contestants.