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Archive for October 11th, 2008

Signs of the Times

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Indications of economic weakness:
bankers change their names,
while gas prices drop back below $3.

bumper sticker [] - vagblanc

Written by macheide

11 October 2008 at 11:28 pm

Posted in vagblanc

Aftermath Pension Metric – Draft 1

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As observed earlier this week, the unique markets we’ve witnessed this month ought not be characterized as generating a pension crisis. That having been expressed as my opinion, I could have chosen no better month to launch a measure I’ve been proposing for nearly a quarter of a century: what I’ll call the Aftermath Pension Metric.

In upcoming posts, I’ll provide greater description of what this metric represents and how to read it. For now, take it as an approximation of the funded status for defined benefit pension plans sponsored by the S&P 500. Which for this past several weeks has dropped, of course largely due to the stock market crash, partially offset by an increase in corporate bond rates. Over the coming months and beyond, I have extensive plans for numerous revisions refining and improving this measure; but I expect even the most complex version of the Metric to display pretty much what this first draft shows, dropping below 100% funded status and in 10 days losing more ground than it took all of 2007 to build –

  10/9/2008   91.61
  10/8/2008   93.92
  10/7/2008   93.47
  10/6/2008   95.21
  10/3/2008   97.34
  10/2/2008   98.28
  10/1/2008   99.88
  9/30/2008   100.02

(Remember, as I’ve previously observed, posts such as this represent efforts of my favorite pastime. My formal work does not involve any of this, and none of it represents any position or comment that should in any way be attributed to my employer. Likewise, as always, it represents general personal impressions and should not be treated or used as formal professional advice.)

actuary cat feed subscribe to aftermath’s άctuary category

bumper sticker [] - actuary

Written by macheide

11 October 2008 at 3:17 pm

Posted in άctuary

Brewed Crude

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Take long enough to get moving on a holiday weekend’s Saturday morning, until after any normal person is already on the second cup of the day, and you’ll find a pot already brewed up by someone else up in the house before you. Then again, there’s nothing quite like mixing up your own cup to suit this morning’s particular twists of bedhead.

Kinda like that spreadsheet enhancement I’ve started working through. Been almost a quarter century now since I first started working out the concept, preparing the early data and routines, then for the next two decades beating my head against a brick wall trying to interest anyone else in collaborating on the idea. But take long enough, and eventually some pot of something goes getting itself brewed out there, crude as it is. And again, there’s just nothing quite like creating the measure yourself if you want to give it the character it deserves.

bumper sticker [] - coffee

Written by macheide

11 October 2008 at 9:35 am

Posted in coffee