Category: Speculation

House and country? Part 1, Mystery

3 September, 2015 (09:50) | Apartments, Capital, Countries, Development, Economics, Global news, Historic preservation, Homeownership, Housing, Investment, London, Nations, Security, Speculation, Zoning | No comments

By: David A. Smith London is to the billionaire as the jungles of Sumatra are to the orangutan. – London mayor Boris Johnson The story of a house is the story of time, and changing fortunes of people, places, cities and nations.  Though a country can be no smaller than a single demesne, a house […]

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 | 1 comment

[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 […]