Saturday, May 14, 2011

The public pensions' funding gap: three questions/ three solutions

I read an interesting article recently by Jack Rasmus, entitled, “The Truth Behind the Public Pensions’ Funding Gap.”  Rasmus is also the author of Epic Recession: Prelude to Global Depression.  He claims that the pension funding gap is the result of several causes that include the recession and resulting unemployment; escalating healthcare costs; pension “contribution holidays” since the mid-1990s [In Illinois, "contribution holidays" have been going on for decades]; “the employment of fraudulent actuarial assumptions about rates of returns” [In Illinois, “the employment of fraudulent actuarial assumptions about rates of returns” have been going on for decades]; an anticipation of hiring more public employees that did not happen; the Pension Protection Act which “allowed pension funds to make loans to hedge funds and private equity firms,” which also allowed speculation in subprime mortgages, foreign exchange, financial derivatives, and  interest rate swapping.  In summary, banks, pension-funds’ managers, pension-payment holidays, and legislators [especially in Illinois] who allowed it to happen have caused the financial catastrophe.
Given this marauding and predatory state of affairs, Rasmus’ asks three questions: “Why not make those who created the pension funding gap pay—the hedge funds, banks, insurance companies, other financial institutions that were responsible for the massive investment losses, the pension fund managers who negligently risked workers’ pensions and the [lying and thieving] politicians who created the problems” pay for a state's unfunded liability?
Moreover, why not make “the Federal Reserve provide direct loans to the pension funds at the same cost of 0.25% that the Federal Reserve has provided loans to other financial institutions these past two years? After all, pension funds are also financial institutions, and Federal Reserve loans won’t add a cent to the federal or state budget deficits as an added plus.”
Finally, Rasmus states this supposition: “[The] Federal Reserve provided $9 trillion to banks during the recent crisis [CEO bonuses were also paid out of OUR money], of which $1 trillion was loaned to foreign non-US banks!  If the Federal Reserve can loan $1 trillion to foreign bankers and their wealthy bondholders and investors, why can’t it do so to protect the retirement of millions of U.S. workers in the public sector—who are the victims, not the criminals responsible for the public pensions crisis?”

1 comment:

  1. This is as valid today (May 14, 2018) as it was when it was written in 2011.
    There is no crazy conspiracy theory behind what has happened since then. It isn't even an actual conspiracy since the plan is neither secretive or illegal. It is the long term plan of the oligarchs who actually run America and the corruption called government.