Our Family of Companies
western & southern financial group
western & southern life
columbus life insurance company
eagle realty group
fort washington investment advisors
gerber life insurance
integrity life insurance company
lafayette life insurance company
national integrity life insurance company
touchstone investments
western & southern financial group distributors


For better or worse, policy influences markets. Learn how U.S. and global markets can be impacted by corporate tax rates, government regulation, the Federal Reserve and interest rates, inflation, tax reform legislation, trade policy, trade imbalances, and foreign policy.
Fed eagle

The Fed Needs to Articulate Its Framework on Inflation

Economists are questioning how to interpret incoming data and the macro framework for assessing the inflation outlook.
Economics, Policy
100 dollar bills

Lessons from the Collapse of Bretton Woods

When the international monetary system shifted from a fixed to a floating exchange-rate regime 50 years ago, it was a milestone event that marked the end of a prolonged period of low inflation, strong economic growth, and financial stability.
Economics, Policy
public infrastructure

Will a Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill Be Enacted?

The fate of the infrastructure bill will determine whether any part of President Biden’s agenda can be passed with bipartisan support.
mom multitasking

How Will We Know if Biden’s Agenda Succeeds or Fails?

As President Biden will find out, the easy part of governing is identifying worthy public needs; the hard part is paying for public programs and making sure they deliver on their objectives.
Policy, Economics
episode 2

Episode 02, Economic Liftoff & Potential Risks

Fort Washington veterans weigh in on the U.S. economy and highlight some of the important issues investors are facing today. 
Economics, Policy
oil pumps at sunset

Saudi Surprises Dominate the Oil Market Early in 2021. Is the Super Cycle the Next Surprise?

Positive news surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine rollout has led to a rally in oil prices, which were up 75% from November of 2020 through March of 2021. With questions about demand lingering, Saudi Arabia announced a surprise reduction in oil production. OPEC+ has stated that they support a reduction of global oil inventories, which is expected to provide a tailwind for oil markets going into the first half of 2021. Now, we wonder, is another commodity super cycle next?

Equities, Policy
income inequality

Tackling Income Inequality: Which Policies Will Make a Difference?

The Biden administration is tackling the issue of widening income inequality. Here’s his plan to alter the trend.
Policy, Economics
wind turbines

Biden’s Regulatory Policies: Three of the Most Impacted Areas

Our Senior Economic Advisor discusses three ways President Biden will reshape regulatory policy.
podcast image

Podcast: Positioning for 2021

With a new administration and new congressional leadership, how should investors consider positioning portfolios in 2021? 
Economics, Policy
white house

How the Biden Administration Plans To Tackle Income Inequality

One of the main objectives of the incoming administration is to counter growing income inequality in America. However, investors are likely to judge the Biden administration’s policies primarily by how they impact the U.S. economy overall.
Economics, Policy
small business reopening

The COVID Relief Bill: Why Compromise Is Back in Washington, D.C.

Congress crafts a plan providing much-needed relief for COVID-19. Several factors coalesced encouraging Congressional leaders to reach an agreement but it may be difficult to sustain the spirit of compromise.
Economics, Policy
presidential podium

Why Markets Seem Immune From Politics

The past four years have been one of the most politically-contentious periods in U.S. history. Yet, the U.S. stock market did not skip a beat. 
Markets, Policy
patriotic neighborhood

Beyond the Elections: Assessing Looming Policy Changes

With the most contentious election behind us, our Senior Economic Advisor provides a recap of the Trump administration and the key policy changes. Looking ahead, Nick assesses Biden's fiscal plan and discusses the intertwined effects of fiscal policy and Fed actions as well as U.S. trade policy and our relations with China.
video replay

Replay of the "Election Reflection" Webinar

Listen to a replay of the November 11th Beyond the Elections: Assessing Looming Policy Changes program with international economist and author Nicholas (Nick) P. Sargen, Ph.D.
Winding road

Navigating the 2020 Stretch Run & Looming Policy Changes

The U.S. economy made huge strides in recovering from business shutdowns but without the slowing of COVID-19 the economy is still not out of the woods. Our Senior Economic Advisor reflects on the third quarter, previews what’s on the horizon for the balance of 2020, and expands on possible changes in fiscal policy if Biden wins the November elections.
Markets, Policy
Voting Poll

Market Impact of Biden’s Fiscal Program

This article analyzes Joe Biden’s proposed fiscal plan and the potential impact on the stock and bond market. 
Markets, Policy
Federal Reserve

The Fed’s Switch to Average Inflation Targeting

A review of the Fed's monetary policy framework resulted in a new way to target inflation and a broader definition of full employment. Senior PM Dan Carter explains the new strategies and challenges they may present. 
stock market ticker

Why Biden’s Plan to Scrap the TCJA Leaves Markets Unfazed

Joe Biden intends to unwind key provisions of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act to finance new initiatives as promised during his campaign. Surprisingly, thus far, the stock market has not reacted even though Republicans have decried the proposal and polls show Biden with a decisive lead. This article explains why.
Markets, Policy
oil is down but not out oil refinery

Oil Is Down... But Not Out in the Tail End of the Age of Abundance (Part 1)

OPEC is being reborn, and despite the tremendous drop in demand for oil and oil products, long-term fundamentals for oil have improved as the price of the commodity has collapsed. Allocating to high quality oil-exposed equities is beginning to look like a compelling opportunity for long-term investors.
Equities, Policy
oil is down but not out oil refinery

Oil Is Down... But Not Out in the Tail End of the Age of Abundance (Part 2)

OPEC is being reborn, and despite the tremendous drop in demand for oil and oil products, long-term fundamentals for oil have improved as the price of the commodity has collapsed. Allocating to high quality oil-exposed equities is beginning to look like a compelling opportunity for long-term investors.
Equities, Policy
closed cafe

How Will Small Businesses Withstand the Pandemic?

Small businesses have been significantly affected by the lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. The federal government has prioritized these businesses, passing a second bill supplementing the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). However, opinions on PPP vary. In the first quarter, many larger cap stocks outperformed small cap stocks, but small caps have shown signs of recovery.
Markets, Policy, Equities
Federal Reserve building

U.S. Monetary Policy & Market Expectations

The U.S. stock market’s surge since October has been linked to the Fed’s balance sheet expansion, but the main driver is expectations that the global economy will improve. The coronavirus scare is posing a test that will likely be temporary.
Policy, Markets
Stock ticker over skyline

Limited Policy Options for Global Weakness

While investors seem confident that policy easing by central banks will be effective in countering global weakness, economists are much less sanguine. 
boxing ring an example of us china trade conflict

Round #3 of the U.S.-China Trade Conflict

The tariff hikes announced this month is the third round of the trade war that began last year. 
Shipping containers with US and China flags

U.S. – China Showdown: A Key Test for U.S. Trade Policy

U.S. trade policy now appears headed for a showdown with China, as the administration is set to announce duties on an additional $200 billion of Chinese imports.
Assessing the economic impact

Assessing the Economic Impact of Deregulation

One of the most controversial issues in public policy relates to the role of government regulation of the economy.
Flags of our countries - does foreign policy matter

Does Foreign Policy Matter to Markets?

Two developments, the G-7 meeting in Canada and the historic summit between President Trump and Kim Jong Un, have dominated the news in recent days. Yet, global markets have not reacted to either development.
Shipping container - US China trade conflict

U.S. – China Trade Conflict: What’s At Stake?

Following unusual calm in 2017, market volatility has increased this year primarily for two reasons. 
treasury department

Assessing Treasury Yields: The Shape of Things to Come

The Treasury bond market has come under scrutiny as the 10-year yield pierced 3% last week, while the yield curve has flattened considerably over the past year.
factory line US trade policy in flux

U.S. Trade Policy in Flux

Trade policy issues have moved front and center in the wake of President Trump’s announcement to impose duties on imports of steel and aluminum.
US trade policy and the dollar

U.S. Trade Policy & the Dollar

The U.S. dollar has come under pressure this year after steadying in late 2017, even though economic data have been supportive and the Fed is expected to raise interest rates several times.
What's down on inflation

What’s Down on Inflation?

Inflation continues to be elusive even as growth in the economy, domestic and global, marches towards normalization.
Anticipating the biggest tax changes in generations

Anticipating the Biggest Tax Changes in a Generation

With the passage of a Senate version of a tax bill that is close to the House bill, the stage is set for the biggest overhaul of the U.S. tax code since the Reagan era.
manufacturing jobs imbalanced

Trade Imbalances & Manufacturing: A Macro View

One of the hallmarks of Donald Trump’s theme of America First is the need to restore lost jobs in manufacturing owing to unfair foreign competition.
The Federal Reserve building

The Fed Begins to Shrink Its Balance Sheet

The Federal Reserve is expected to announce it will begin to shrink its balance sheet over the next few years at this month’s FOMC meeting.
podium preparing for corporate tax cuts

Corporate Tax Cuts Versus Tax Reform Revisited

As part of “the largest tax cut in history” the Trump Administration is proposing to lower the corporate tax rate.
US Capitol Building

Healthcare, the Budget & Tax Reform

Controversial Trump Administration policies will be key to investors’ forecast for U.S. markets.
Sunset in Shanghai

China - U.S. Tensions Diminish…For Now

Notwithstanding adverse political news at home, the Trump rally has continued amid favorable economic news and investor optimism about pending corporate and personal income tax cuts.
president trumps controversial trade policy

President Trump's Controversial Trade Policy

Donald Trump ran for office on restoring lost jobs in manufacturing by renegotiating trade deals and imposing tariffs on imports from countries that are deemed to hurt American workers. Now that he is President, market participants are focusing on what he will do.