Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Hidden Pension Fiasco May Foment Another $1 Trillion Bailout



"Public pensions in the U.S. had total liabilities of $2.9 trillion as of Dec. 16, according to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. Their total assets are about 30 percent less than that, at $2 trillion.

With stock market losses this year, public pensions in the U.S. are now underfunded by more than $1 trillion."


Seems more and more obvious that targeting stock prices, rather than the LIBOR rate, would have been a much more effective policy for the Fed to pursue. It is incomprehensible that no one seems to see that.

Boosting stock prices would result in an immediate bounce in confidence, income and wealth for many households.

Japan and other nations are considering doing it. In the Panic of 1907 J.P. Morgan instructed bankers to do this and the crisis ended rather quickly.

3 comments:

cuOnTheOtherSide said...

A plan is in the making..



'Bad Bank' Funding Plan Starts to Get Fleshed Out

By DEBORAH SOLOMON and JON HILSENRATH
MARCH 3, 2009

Other investors, such as pension funds, could also participate. To encourage participation, the government would try to minimize risk for private investors, possibly by offering non-recourse loans.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123603913648314649.html?mod=article-outset-box

Mike Norman said...

This plan is amazing in how warped the fundamental "logic" is.

Pension funds--which are pools of the public's money and a significant part of its wealth--are being asked to "save" a banking system that exists entirely because government policy created it. (Guaranteed deposits, lifeline to Fed, regulated assets, etc.)

This fundamental lack of understanding has already led, or contributed to, the destruction of over $7 trillion of household wealth. Yet Geithner is now asking people to use what's left of that remaining savings to secure a system that the government built, and which it has the means to sustain on its own.

He says he will offer "guarantees" against losses. Isn’t that the same thing as saying the government will just keep the banks functioning in the capacity they were created for: acting as agents of the gov’t to provide credit to the private economy?? Seriously, what is this bizarre plea for private funds?

It's bad enough that Geithner is asking people to put their life savings into supporting a creation of the government that the government itself could sustain without any negative impact to the public. But when he gives profit guarantees to billionaires--many of whom were part of this problem or had been instrumental in targeting these very institutions for demise—the whole thing become incomprehensible, especially when one considers that this is a Democratic president and administration purportedly fighting for the middle class!

googleheim said...

based on my experience, if my bank's stock was supported by the fed and if my "pension" funds' stocks were supported also, then I would not be so worried and I could SPEND more money.

Problem is that doing this could make me more independent and less likely to join the herd to buy government treasuries.

So how do you get a exuberantly irrational independent folk to buy gov debt ?

Maybe the question is : are they not supporting stocks so that the USA citizens buy gov bond debt instead ?

Why not both ?