Putting together a blog cavalcade was an interesting task – and one that took a fair bit longer than I expected. Not, I might add, because it was a painful one, but because there was so much to read and so much that I had not covered - focussing as I do on banking with the occasional foray into insurance along with the occasional amateur foray into economics.
The quantity of posts on health that were submitted was interesting. Living in Australia the issue of health insurance is not a big one. The idea of being bound to an employer’s health plan is an interesting one, so the issues that arise from this – in particular where the employer has to choose a plan caused me to think carefully. While this post read a little like an advertisement for “Best Doctors” I did have to stop and think.
Being a little late, as I am, in posting this at least let me look at the latest stff out there. One post from the Cav’s organiser (Henry Stern) just popped up with a question about the US health system and where it is headed. Given how much you guys in the States are paying I am not surprised you are looking at alternatives, but, to (hopefully correctly) paraphrase where Henry is going, just because you need a change and that what is proposed is a change does not necessarily mean that the change that is proposed should be adopted.
To go with the slightly Australian flavour, though I should note a recent controversy over here – whether midwives should be able to attend home births and be covered by insurance for doing so. To me, it flows on to the question in the next section – whether perceptions of risk become the guiding methodology, rather than the facts of the matter. This is backed up by a piece from Colorado on home births.
I found this post, while short, on risk response to be interesting – why do we sometimes respond to risk in an illogical way, taking the “safe route” rather than the one that is more likely to give the desired outcome? Perceptions of risk are often, but not always, wildly different to the actuality.
One of the warnings I received on agreeing to do the Cav was against posts on credit cards. Sorry – but I will have to make one exception. This one talks about the popularity of credit card default insurance - and why you probably do not need it. This has always been my perception of this type of insurance, so I thought it should be added to.
The TARP bailout has been fairly big news all around the world, with the US government pumping huge funds into the banks. I have always been a skeptic on this sort of action, but some hard data can cause me to rethink. I am not persuaded as yet, though.
One possible option for the future was canvassed on BankWatch - make the banks a lot safer than the current ones. I am not sure exactly how to enforce it, but it is a good thought.
To get through all this, some general advice is sometimes handy – this post gives some very general advice on possible strategies. I particularly liked the last one on sorting out an exit strategy. It is always a good idea to have a backstop. More advice comes from the Digerati Life – and again, the last one is the money quote. If you are thinking of trading it is worth a read.
I can’t leave without giving a little plug to one of my favourite bloggers in Kenya – Bankelele. His series on the use of mobile phones to make payments in Kenya has been very interesting.
Given this is a risk cavalcade, I was surprised that there was so little (read: nothing) on general or life insurance submitted. Other than health insurance, there does not seem to be a lot out there. Perhaps readers can direct me to some useful ones in comments? Perhaps a brief look at an alternative may help.
To sum up – thanks to Hank for the oppotunity to do this. It was certainly interesting.