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-- The grains sector is now a tale of two markets – one defined by excessively tight old crop inventories and the other defined by buoyant expectations for a recordbreaking new crop harvest this fall. Read more in the latest Quarterly Rural Economic Review.

-- An economic success story is playing out south of the U.S. border. Mexico's economy is expected to grow by as much as 3.5 percent this year, and exports have climbed to all-time highs. Yet, Mexico still faces challenges on the path to greater prosperity. Read more about a Mexico in transition in the latest edition of OUTLOOK.

-- Within a few months, the bulk of sweeping health care reform law signed by President Obama in 2010 is set to take effect. Health care providers, insurance companies, businesses and state and local governments are scrambling to prepare for huge changes. Read the latest issue of Outlook to find out if everyone will be ready.

-- Under new leadership, expectations in China are high that social and economic reform is forthcoming. But reform won’t be quick, nor will it come easy, according to Ian Bremmer and Nicholas Consonery with the Eurasia Group.  Read about a China in transition, in CoBank’s latest issue of Outlook.

-- American policymakers have adopted a host of measures to combat the economic malaise of the past few years, from fiscal stimulus and extremely loose monetary policy to tighter regulation of banks and other companies. The results have been mixed at best. Read CoBank's latest issue of Outlook, A Taxing Problem, to hear from Harvard University professor Mihir Desai on how to fix the U.S. corporate tax code.

-- In it's latest finanical results, CoBank  reported a net income of $853.9 million for 2012, up 21 percent from $706.6 million in 2011. Capital and liquidity levels remained strong and 2012 patronage distributions to customers will total a record $425.0 million.

-- CoBank has announced a $5 million fund to support more than 30 land grant universities in agricultural research and education. The contribution will support a broad range of programs including academic research, scholarships for students, cooerpative education and leadership development.

-- In a conversation with author Vivek Wadhwa, the January issue of Outlook explores how increasing global competition and restrictive immigration policies could be driving entrepreneurs out of the U.S.

-- Can U.S. companies keep more manufacturing jobs at home? Two Harvard business professors suggest that companies are looking at manufacturing from the wrong angle. The September issue of Outlook explores the need for a manufacturing renaissance.

-- CoBank is launching new initiatives to assist agricultural borrowers and others impacted by the 2012 drought, including a $1 million gift to support hunger-relief programs.

-- India has one of the world's fastest-growing economies yet still has more than 600 million people living in poverty. Two experts weigh in on the future of the country in the August issue of Outlook.

-- CoBank again has been named one of the world's safest banks, according to Global Finance magazine.

-- CoBank's net income rose almost 40 percent in the second quarter of 2012 to $252.4 million, according to the bank's recently released financial results.

-- The July issue of Outlook explores two critical issues: the looming "fiscal cliff" and the Federal Reserve's highly interventionist approach when it comes to buying U.S. debt.

-- CoBank and four of its affiliated Farm Credit associations recently pledged $130,000 in support of Colorado wildfire and disaster relief. The contribution to the Red Cross is one of the largest commitments received by the agency since severe fires hit the Front Range region in early June.

-- CoBank recently announced a new $3 million charitable matching grant program designed to benefit cooperatives and the charitable groups they support throughout rural America.

-- Even though China and Japan are Asia's two biggest economies, they're heading down very different paths. Two experts weigh in on the future of the two countries in the June issue of Outlook.

-- As gas prices remain high across the country, CoBank asked energy expert Jerry Taylor to weigh in on the future of energy costs in the United States for the May issue of Outlook.

-- CoBank's merger with U.S. AgBank on January 1, 2012, helped increase average loan volume as well as net interest income, net income and certain other key measures of financial performance, according to CoBank's first quarter financial results. The positive impact from the merger more than offset a year-over-year decline in agribusiness lending, caused by lower average prices for grains and other commodities and reduced inventory financing requirements at agricultural cooperatives.

-- By most key measures, the U.S. economy is still struggling. But physicist-turned-technology consultant Mark Mills argues there is a coming tech boom that could change everything. In the April issue of Outlook, Mills says the tech revolution will drive profound cultural change and economic growth in ways and amounts we can only begin to understand today.

-- Access to quality health care is vital to the prosperity of rural communications. CoBank, through its innovative Agricultural and Rural Communities (ARC) bond program and Growing Rural America Initiative, recently helped finance a new hospital clinic in Limon, a town of about 1,800 people on Colorado's eastern plains. 

-- Many experts are concerned over sovereign debt issues across the globe but noted finance expert Alex Pollock says in the March issue of Outlook that history is littered with soveriegn debt defaults by developed nations and that history offers us some lessons for today.
 
-- The U.S. Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments on the legal challenge to the federal health care law. In last month's Outlook, economist Robert Graboyes contended the law will do nothing to quell rising health care costs and will discourage job growth. For a balance of perspectives, we interviewed Henry J. Aaron, a supporter of the law commonly known as Obamacare, for the March issue.

-- Few issues in recent years have been as heavily debated or as highly contentious as health care reform. And for good reason. The issue affects every American, and its impact on the economy is huge. Economist Robert Graboyes, senior fellow for health and economics at the NFIB Research Foundation, argues in the February issue of Outlook that Americans are only beginning to understand the profound impacts it will have on business and the health care delivery system in this country.

-- Full-year earnings for 2011 and net interest income reached record highs for CoBank, and loan quality improved throughout the year. The bank’s overall levels of capital and liquidity remained strong, as well.

-- CoBank announced that it's giving $2.5 million to help establish a world-class commodities center at the University of Colorado Denver.

-- Policymakers in the U.S., Europe and other developed regions are struggling to control their borders and slow illegal immigration. Developing countries, meanwhile, worry about their most educated, skilled and ambitious citizens leaving to seek a better life elsewhere. But Robert Guest, business editor of The Economist, argues in the January issue of Outlook that the free flow of people and ideas is, on balance, highly beneficial. Migration and more open borders, he says, fuel the exchange of ideas and make nations smarter, more innovative and competitive.

-- CoBank's Knowledge Exchange Division has released its first "Quarterly U.S. Rural Economic Review" which will focus on major industry trends in rural America.

--  CoBank has announced that it has successfully completed its merger with Wichita-based U.S. AgBank. The merger, which formally closed on January 1, 2012, creates an $85 billion financial services institution that serves as a leading source of credit to the U.S. rural economy. The combined bank’s customer base includes agricultural cooperatives and rural power, water and communications service providers in all 50 states.

-- After more than 60 years of unprecedented postwar peace and prosperity, Europe finds itself on the edge of an economic cliff. Can the continent’s common currency, the euro, and its common sense of financial destiny and purpose, survive? There are lots of opinions on the future of the Eurozone. See what respect economist Judy Shelton had to say in the December issue of Outlook.

-- Have you heard about the Shale Revolution? Not only is it changing the country's overall energy portfolio, but it could unleash an industrial renaissance in the United States, energy analyst Robert Bryce contends. Check out the November issue of Outlook for more.

-- Third quarter financial reports are out and CoBank, a leading cooperative bank serving agribusinesses and rural infrastructure providers throughout the United States, announced that quarterly net income rose 29 percent to $169.9 million, compared with $132.0 million in the third quarter of 2010. Net interest income for the quarter was $252.0 million, compared with $226.3 million a year ago.

-- How safe is our food supply? Considering that Americans have more than a billion "eating events" each day, there are surprisingly few problems, economic and agricultural historian Peter A. Coclanis argues in the October issue of Outlook.

 

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