The paradox of unity and division: an unprecedented political landscape leads to high policy uncertainty

Regulation and supervision
/ Insurance and Asset Management

Insurance Governance Leadership Network, February 2017

The recent US election gave Republicans control of the presidency and both houses of Congress for the first time in a decade. Some pundits have suggested that this consolidation of power will clear the way for a pro-business Republican agenda. Others, including IGLN network participants, have cautioned that a clear agenda has not yet emerged from Republicans across the branches of government, and that even with control of the legislature, Republicans might not be able to act freely in the face of stiff opposition. One director drew specific attention to the tension between President Trump’s populist and pro-business rhetoric: “Who will preside? The populist so many voted for, or the man who ran on business experience? Which president will govern?”

On December 6, 2016, IGLN participants met in New York to exchange views on the changing US political landscape and the potential effects on US commercial markets and the insurance sector. This ViewPoints synthesizes key insights emerging from the meeting and related discussions and centers on four themes:

  • The incoming administration defies prediction

  • Congress, the president, and federal agencies will move to reduce regulation in key areas 

  • Stiff opposition may limit movement on domestic policy issues

  • Significant policy developments loom for insurers