Category: Cities

With any luck you’ll die soon: Part 5, A study in obfuscation

2 September, 2015 (10:00) | Actuaries, Bankruptcy, Cities, Doublethink, Illinois, Investment, Municipal bankruptcy, Pension funds, Principal-agent risk, Real estate taxes, Speculation, US News | No comments

[Continued from yesterday’s Part 4 and the preceding Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.] By: David A. Smith ‘Everyone is cured sooner or later.’ As the preceding parts have shown, catastrophe being a precondition to fundamental financial reform, the biggest adjustment to be made following the mess of the Great Recession will not be […]

With any luck you’ll die soon: Part 4, Misleading the village board

1 September, 2015 (10:00) | Actuaries, Bankruptcy, Cities, Doublethink, Illinois, Investment, Municipal bankruptcy, Pension funds, Principal-agent risk, Real estate taxes, Speculation, US News | No comments

[Continued from yesterday’s Part 3 and the preceding Part 1 and Part 2.] By: David A. Smith ‘But don’t give up hope.’ The pension-fund doublethink takeover described in earlier parts would have triumphed indefinitely, but for two events: the collapse of asset values in 2008 which dragged financial failure and financial chicanery into the light, […]

With any luck you’ll die soon: Part 3, Providing cover for elected officials

31 August, 2015 (10:00) | Actuaries, Bankruptcy, Cities, Doublethink, Illinois, Investment, Municipal bankruptcy, Pension funds, Principal-agent risk, Real estate taxes, Speculation, US News | 1 comment

[Continued from yesterday’s Part 2 and the preceding Part 1.] By: David A. Smith ‘You are a difficult case.’ By now our exploration of yet another piece of the doublethink canon – the role of actuaries in understating future pension-fund obligations (and overstating expected future contributions by new participants) has revealed that the takeover, like […]

With any luck you’ll die soon: Part 2, Misunderstood or unread

28 August, 2015 (10:00) | Actuaries, Bankruptcy, Cities, Doublethink, Illinois, Investment, Municipal bankruptcy, Pension funds, Principal-agent risk, Real estate taxes, Speculation, US News | No comments

[Continued from yesterday’s Part 1.] By: David A. Smith ‘It might be a long time,’ said O’Brien. Yesterday’s post opened yet another chapter in the continuing unraveling of the pension-fund doublethink belief system, by focusing on the role of actuaries in understating the cost of future retirement annuities by overstating the rate at which the beneficiaries […]

With any luck you’ll die soon: Part 1, Not dying on schedule

27 August, 2015 (10:00) | Actuaries, Bankruptcy, Cities, Doublethink, Illinois, Investment, Municipal bankruptcy, Pension funds, Principal-agent risk, Real estate taxes, Speculation, US News | No comments

By: David A. Smith ‘Tell me,’ he said, ‘how soon will they shoot me?’ The longer a retiree lives, the more he or she should save for retirement, so if you’d like to save less today, plan on dying sooner tomorrow? “I’m not scared of dying?” Principal sources used in this post The Wall Street […]