The Heat of Negotiations

As we approach the dog days of summer, the world’s elected officials are pouring on the heat in political debates ranging from Euro debt to global trade agreements.

Greece and its creditors have been arguing over how much debt Greece must repay each year. The discord has led others in the European Union — even Great Britain — to question if the single currency experiment is worth the time and effort. Years after the global recession, unemployment remains high, the population is aging fast and Eastern Europe has not recovered as quickly as expected.

Bear in mind that the EU is comprised of 28 separate countries operating as a single free enterprise market. Perhaps it’s understandable that 28 nations, combining different languages, cultures and history, can’t come together easily in agreement.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Greek Drama: Why the Negotiations Risk Europe’s Future,” from Knowledge@Wharton, June 10, 2015.]

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Greece Gets Temporary Lifeline, Turns Hope to New Summit,” from The New York Times, June 19, 2015.]

But can you say the same about one country (the United States), composed of 50 states that all speak the same language and share basically the same history?

The gulf in our nation’s capital continues to be as deep and divisive as the vast oceans that separate us from the world’s other developed countries. The most recent debate on tap has been the odd web of global trade negotiation legislation in the U.S., featuring the Republicans aligned with the Obama administration in a rare coalition. And yet, this force has been blocked by a strong minority of Democrats with just enough collective power to put a wrench in negotiations.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “How Congress Voted on Trade,” from Govtrack, June 18, 2015.]

Then there is the ongoing campaign for fair wages, a forum currently being played out across multiple industries — both corporate and creative. The discrepancy between gender pay is certainly not a new debate, but has been thrust back into the spotlight in recent months by email hacks at Sony that revealed many blockbuster actresses are not compensated the same as their male counterparts. One study revealed that while in other industries women experience an average pay gap of 78 cents to a man’s dollar, in Hollywood the highest-paid actresses make just 40 cents for every dollar that the highest-paid actors make — a fact that gets lost amid multi-million dollar paychecks.

These news headlines have occurred simultaneously as local, state and federal government bodies debate the merits of increasing the minimum wage. And where fair pay is concerned, recent newsworthy lawsuits and settlements in the music industry have highlighted discrepancies among artists and between artists and streaming music distributors.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “The Gender Wage Gap Is Especially Terrible in Hollywood,” from, Feb. 23, 2015.]

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Navigating the Ripple Effects of a Higher Minimum Wage,” from Knowledge@Wharton, June 16, 2015.]

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “James Taylor: Streaming Businesses Should Pay Artists Half,” from ABC News, June 19, 2015.]

While the world debates bigger issues, we’re help to help you navigate the different ways to  potentially optimize your own assets, liabilities and retirement income. If we can help you sweat out the details of a retirement income plan for your unique situation, please give us a call.

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