Thanks to a great client like CoBank - which is the largest agricultural and rural infrastructure lender in the U.S. - I've been able to interview some very important thought leaders and scholars, including U.S. Senator Christopher Dodd, Fed Board Governor Randall Koszner, esteemed economist and author Burton Malkiel and many others. With the exception of CoBank's broadband book, for which I wrote the executive summary and edited the interviews, I sourced all of the interviewees and wrote these articles based on personal telephone conversations.

Broadband Partnerships: A Key to High-Speed Success for Rural Electric Co-ops

CoBank’s Electric Distribution Broadband team is proud to present this collection of interviews with industry experts and rural electric cooperatives about forging mutually beneficial partnerships to bring broadband service to rural communities. We hope these interviews serve as a guide for any electric co-op considering options for entering a broadband project.

LIBOR vs. SOFR: A New Benchmark Interest Rate and What it Means for Lenders and Borrowers

CoBank and the rest of the Farm Credit System are closely monitoring the rollout of SOFR and providing input to policymakers regarding its eventual adoption. The information below, provided by CoBank Senior Vice President & Treasurer Tim Steidle, is intended to provide CoBank customers, Farm Credit partners and other stakeholders with background information about LIBOR vs. SOFR and what is expected to happen over the next few years.

"Brexit" and the U.S. Ag Economy

OUTLOOK recently spoke with Dan Glickman, U.S. secretary of agriculture from March 1995 until January 2001, to better understand Brexit’s potential fallout, especially on America’s food producers and exporters. Contrary to some other viewpoints, Glickman believes the vote is not catastrophic. A strong proponent of free trade and global trade agreements, he views the Brexit decision as a reflection of a populist economic anxiety that extends into the U.S.

The U.S. Economy at Mid-Year: Plodding Along

For perspective on the economy’s performance and what it means for rural America, OUTLOOK turned to Joseph Glauber, Senior Research Fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute in Washington, D.C. From 2008 to 2014, Dr. Glauber was chief economist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, where he was responsible for agricultural forecasts and projections, and oversaw climate, energy and regulatory issues.

The Power of the U.S. Dollar

A strong dollar is a mixed bag: It makes foreign goods cheaper for Americans to buy and helps hold down inflation, but it also harms exports of U.S. agricultural products and other goods purchased overseas. To get a complete picture, OUTLOOK interviewed Eswar Prasad, Tolani Senior Professor of Trade Policy at Cornell University and author of “The Dollar Trap: How the U.S. Dollar Tightened Its Grip on Global Finance.”