Monday, November 22, 2004

The Perfect Monetary Storm II: Pension

After the Medicare/Social Security payments and combined trade & fiscal deficits are done wrecking the economy, another major strand of the safety net will prove rotten ...

"as part of the corporate abdication of responsibility that's gone hand-in-hand with the mania (and a similar abdication of responsibility on the part of the Fed), I think many of these pension plans will not be able to withstand a 30%-to-40% drop in the stock market, which I still expect to see at some point.

Fatuous assumptions fatten earnings

Of course, most chieftains in corporate America don't want to employ a safer, sounder asset mix that would be less vulnerable to stock-market problems because it would be more expensive. With the present low level of interest rates, the actuarial assumptions they'd likely have to use would require them to make higher contributions. What the heck do they care about whether the pension plan will be solvent down the road? They just want to contribute the least amount of money to their plans so that their earnings look as good as possible.

Retirement won't be a problem for the chiefs."

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