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Archive for November 29th, 2008

Ta Ta, ChaCha

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Except for that strange 3-day vacation Sheeba recently took, she’s been crashing quite frequently this month. And on maybe one out of every 40-50 crashes – which means about about once every week – the crash gobbles all my browser cookies. Meaning I have to go back and unlock every single one of the various rooms I play in. Which means I have to haul out all my skeleton keys.

But [insert yet another Sheeba crash at this point in drafting this post] noodlenoggin that I am, I haven’t been making my passwords as memorable as I used to since turning into a security-conscious g-man. Yet although there remain scattered pieces of me chained to obsolete accounts that can never again be re-opened, luckily most of my current haunts will simply e-mail me a new password upon request, not even fussing at me for having to do so as frequently as I do.

Except for ChaCha, which just begs for me to mouth the words, “Don’t go there.” I was charmed at first, yes, even proselytized, then even considered putting a little spare time into serving as a ChaCha guide. Only then starting to admit to myself that I’d only really had a passing crush, certainly nowhere near any sort of devotion or love.

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Written by macheide

29 November 2008 at 12:07 pm

Posted in reprobate

FYE 9/30/2008 Pension Funded Status

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For S&P 500 companies with fiscal years ending September 30, the aggregate PBO funded status of global defined benefit pension plans as of the end of the 2008 fiscal year declined from the 2007 peak almost back to the 2006 level, as represented by the solid red line on this chart. As estimated using APM methodologies, the funded status for those same companies has declined further during the two months since their 2008 fiscal year ended, back down to 2004-2005 levels, as represented by the dotted red line.

The particular subset of companies with September 30 fiscal yearends has generally had an aggregate PBO funded status about 10 percentage points below that of S&P 500 companies with other fiscal yearends. This has nothing to do with the timing of the yearend itself, just that the particular set of companies with the 9/30 FYE happen to be among the companies with less well funded pension plans as compared with the rest of the S&P 500 universe. For comparison, the blue line on this chart shows the aggregate pension funded status of global defined benefit plans for S&P 500 companies with December 31 fiscal yearends, showing results for years 2003 through 2007. For all S&P 500 companies, including 9/30 FYE companies, the APM estimates the aggregate funded status to be about 85% at the end of November 2008.

(Remember, as I’ve previously disclaimed, 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.)

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Written by macheide

29 November 2008 at 6:45 am

Posted in άctuary


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I haven’t been sleeping very much the past several nights. Can’t drift back off after waking about 3am, usually been giving up and getting up to work or read by 4am. Haven’t been finding afternoon naps within reach, except for a very brief one right after Thanksgiving dinner. But then am nodding off earlier than usual in the evenings. Enough days like that, and the whole cycle will shift, like some personal multi-hour version of daylight savings time.

Today, I’ll be checking a powerpoint presentation Nat wants me to review. But will do that on Susan‘s red Vaio laptop. After behaving for three crashfree days in response to being thrown on the floor, Sheeba has been backsliding, so once again can’t be relied upon.

Today I’ll finish decorating the foyer “Hallmark” tree, then maybe experiment quilting a slideshow on it. We need to finish up the week’s pool work, and I might trim a little in the yard while outside. We won’t be going to the UH-Rice Bayou Bowl, but will quite likely watch it on television. And I think we’re meeting Nat afterward for dinner up on that side of town.

In between, I’ll keep decorating the edges around here, probably with an eye toward graphing out some of the other data I’ve collected from S&P 500 companies with September 30 fiscal yearends.

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Written by macheide

29 November 2008 at 6:23 am

Posted in bedhead