Tag Archives: pensions

Bits and Pieces – 20170301, Wednesday

The Deep State: The effort to connect Trump with the evil Russians may have problems: Intel Committee Head: No Evidence Of Contact Between Trump Campaign, Russia.

Cycles: Here is some commentary on the debt super-cycle: The 100 Year Debt-Supercycle Is Coming To An End: “Facing Greatest Crisis In Human History”. It sounds apocalyptic. It will be.

Bits and Pieces: This is not good news for Canada in in the short to medium term: Have The Majors Given Up On Canada’s Oil Sands?

Iceland was the first and only country to jail bankers after the 2007-8 financial crisis. Now, Spain has followed suit: Former IMF Chief Sent To Jail As Spain Prosecutes 65 Elite Bankers in Enormous Corruption Scandal.

A couple of articles on the RAAI theme. Here is a robot with amazing agility: Meet Handle: The “Nightmare-Inducing” Robot From Boston Dynamics. I would suggest your best escape is through a rabbit hole or possibly up a long flight of stairs. Also consider: Minimum Wage Massacre: Wendy’s Unleashes 1,000 Robots To Counter Higher Labor Costs.

Martin Armstrong provides commentary on two issues that will emerge to prominence in 2017. The first is that of private pension plans that are essentially broke: Teamsters Local 707 Goes Bankrupt. The second is the US debt and deficit crisis: The Obama-Boehner Debt Crisis.

Flash Point: This Is YOUR Future

In his newsletter Outside the Box, John reprints work of others that he thinks may be valuable to his readers. In his latest letter, Ending the Era of Ponzi Finance, he reprints a work by Daniel Stelter of the Boston Consulting Group. As he notes:

We live in a world that is premised on economic structures that are now unsustainable, and that is a word we are going to hear used more and more this year.

The paper covers in extensive but understandable detail, the economic problems that face the West and pension plans in particular. We would have to reproduce the entire paper to do it justice. Instead we provide the link for you to read. You can ignore it. It’s about a world of pain coming in the next few years. You will experience your portion of the pain. You can’t escape it. You may be able to ameliorate it to some degree. If you can, you need to be thinking and strategizing about it now. Take this as a tsunami warning.

Addendum: 20130107

Here is another commentary on the issue in the US that has come to our attention: The ‘fiscal cliff’ was scary? Guess what’s coming next! Other states with large social entitlement programs have the same issue. You’re still screwed.

Flash Point: Policy Mistakes Leading to the Current Crisis

Niels Jensen writing in The Absolute Return Letter September 2012: How to Unscramble an Egg, lists policy mistakes made in the last decade and a half that have contributed to our current economic crisis. We have referenced this theme in our writings, recognizing Richard Duncan’s excellent discussion in his book The Corruption of Capitalism. Briefly, Jensen’s policy mistakes are:

  1. The repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act: This allowed the unfettered multiplication of credit by the investment banks.
  2. Permitting mercantilism: This created the massive imbalances in trade and capital flows.
  3. The European Monetary Union: The flawed fiscal structure of the EU has lead to the current debt crises.
  4. Austerity misunderstood: The application of austerity at the bottom of an economic cycle has only deepened it.
  5. Ignoring pension liabilities: The failure to address structural problems.
  6. A return to the gold standard: How the gold standard contributed to the problem (read Lords of Finance by Liaquat Ahamed and Barry Eichengreen’s piece from last year called A Critique of Pure Gold).

We list the above references to capture them for a possible future article that looks at policy mistakes and the Second Great Depression.

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