Ron Insana provides entertaining, non-stop commentary

AFSA’s first ever Law & Compliance conference closed last week with Ron Insana offering his unique perspectives on the economy, Washington and the global geo-political challenges facing the United States. Insana is a contributor to CNBC and MSNBC.

Insana recalled his time in the infancy of business news on cable TV in the early 1980s when networks like CNN and ESPN were starting. He had just graduated from UCLA’s film school program. He landed with the Financial News Network on cable TV as a producer in June 1984.The co-anchors, he said, had the tough task of being on the air eight hours a day and making sense of highly specialized business news coming from Wall Street and the stock exchanges.

“The anchors had to make business news understandable, explain why markets mattered to everyone and fill eight hours a day doing it,” Insana said.One day both anchors called in sick and Insana, then the show’s producer, jumped in front of the camera and into the anchor’s chair and never left. That was in April 1985.

He says the U.S economy is in good shape but faces risks of a “runaway global economy that is completely outside of Wall Street.” But, he said, unemployment at 4.1 per cent is the lowest in 17 years and jobless claims are the lowest in 45 years. The U.S. is producing 10.4 billion barrels of oil a day, equal to Saudi Arabia. Plus, the U.S. is the largest producer of natural gas in the world. He said the U.S. has 6.1 million open jobs and the shortages are highest among teachers and nurses.

He said even though the stock market is at record highs, the value of the dollar is going down which is causing the “rest of the world to see U.S. bonds as less attractive.”He said the Trump Administration has “misperceptions about trade deals like the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) which was signed just weeks ago and did not include the United States.” “China is now moving into Africa and Latin America as a trade partner,” he said. “NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) resulted in $300 billion in trade when it was signed in 1993 and now is worth about $1 trillion in trade.” Despite what he says about the U.S. and trade deals, Insana remains very bullish on the U.S.

“Don’t sell the U.S. short,” he said. “We are the leaders in technology, the economy, and stock market,” he said. “We have the world’s largest economy at $20 trillion while China is a $12-$13 trillion. He said as a result of the new U.S. tax code enacted in December, the country will benefit from $250 billion in one-time tax dollars coming back to the US economy from U.S. companies who relocated overseas to avoid the former U.S. corporate tax rate.