Expert Forum on the US elections

16 Nov 2012

Location: Centre for Global Dialogue, Rüschlikon

About the event

Expert Forum on the US elections

The United States of America is not only the world's largest national economy at USD 15 trillion, but it is also the world's largest national insurance market, accounting for more than one-third of the global insurance market. Swiss Re has been writing business in the US since the early 1900s, having established its first physical presence in the US in 1948.

Swiss Re is a leader in the US reinsurance market with a market share of about 15%. Swiss Re Corporate Solutions offers innovative, high-quality insurance capacity to mid-sized and large multinational corporations in the US and around the globe.

The outcome of the upcoming elections in the US could have a dramatic impact on the US insurance market. For example, the fate of key provisions of President Obama's ground sweeping 2010 health care reform bill could be decided. However, beyond the domestic front, the outcome of the elections will largely influence US foreign policy. What will this mean for Europe? How could bilateral relations between US and Switzerland be affected?

Agenda

Friday, 16 November 2012

2:00pm       

Welcome
Brian Rogers, Senior Business Development Manager, Swiss Re Centre for Global Dialogue

2:05pm

Why the US is important for Swiss Re
Jayne Plunkett, Head Casualty Reinsurance, Member of Group Management Board, Swiss Re

2:15pm

US voter demographics and domestic policy expectations
Elaine Kamarck, Professor of Public Policy, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

3:00pm

Healthcare reform: the way forward post election
Sheila Burke, Faculty Research Fellow at the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy and a member of the faculty at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University

3:45pm

Coffee break

4:15pm

What can we expect on the US foreign policy front?
Andreas Wenger, Professor of International and Swiss Security Policy and Director of the Center for Security Studies at ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology)

5:00pm

The Swiss-American bilateral economic relationship
Martin Naville, CEO, Swiss American Chamber of Commerce

5:45pm

Panel discussion

Moderator:
Brian Rogers, Senior Business Development Manager, Swiss Re Centre for Global Dialogue

Panellists:
Sheila Burke, Faculty Research Fellow at the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy and a member of the faculty at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University

Elaine Kamarck, Professor of Public Policy, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

Martin Naville, CEO, Swiss American Chamber of Commerce

Jayne Plunkett, Head Casualty Reinsurance, Member of Group Management Board,
Swiss Re

Andreas Wenger, Professor of International and Swiss Security Policy and Director of the Center for Security Studies at ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology)

 

6:30pm

Closing

Speakers

Presentations

Why the US is important for Swiss Re
Jayne Plunkett, Head Casualty Reinsurance, Member of Group Management Board, Swiss Re

US voter demographics and domestic policy expectations
Elaine Kamarck, Professor of Public Policy, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

Healthcare reform: the way forward post election
Sheila Burke, Faculty Research Fellow at the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy and a member of the faculty at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University

What can we expect on the US foreign policy front?
Andreas Wenger, Professor of International and Swiss Security Policy and Director of the Center for Security Studies at ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology)

The Swiss-American bilateral economic relationship
Martin Naville, CEO, Swiss American Chamber of Commerce

Summary

The Swiss Re Centre for Global Dialogue recently hosted an expert forum on the US elections, which covered a range of topics including voter demographics, the Swiss-US bilateral economic relationship and the impact of the elections on foreign policy. To kick off the event, Jayne Plunkett, Head Casualty Reinsurance and Member of the Group Management Board, explained why the US market is important to Swiss Re. She noted that the US market accounts for more than 40% of Swiss Re's premium volume and that the US insurance market overall represents more than one-third of the total global market share. She also discussed how the US industry has responded in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

To provide some insight into how President Obama won the election, Elaine Kamarck, Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, presented on voter demographics. She stated that while the President received an overwhelming majority of the electoral votes in the Electoral College (332 for Obama versus 206 for Governor Romney), there was only a 2% margin in the popular vote. This suggests that the President is facing a deeply divided country and a deeply divided Congress.

Leading up to the election, the prevailing wisdom was that Obama faced an uphill battle to win re-election given the slow economic recovery and the growing number of fatalities from the war in Afghanistan. Nevertheless, Kamarck pointed out that he won in large part because of the strong support he received from groups such as the millennials, aged 18-29, which identify as Democrats by a margin of nearly 2 to 1. She also noted that the Republican's unpopular stance on immigration likely resulted in 69% of Latinos voting for the Democratic Party.

Read the whole summary.

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