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Union Pension Underfunding Time-Bomb Soars By 75% In One Year, Nears $400 Billion

Tyler Durden's picture


The shortfall in US labor union pension funds is huge and growing rapidly. The latest data, from 2009, from the PBGC showed that these multi-employer plans were 48% underfunded with $331bn of assets to support $686bn of liabilities - and it has hardly been a good ride for those asset values since then. Critically, as the FT notes today, recent changes by FASB has enabled Credit Suisse to estimate shortfalls more accurately and it paints an ugly picture. The critical difference between reality and what is being reported is the ability for firms to use actuarial 'facts' to discount liabilities or compound assets at a 7.5% annual growth rate - as opposed to the sad reality of a financially repressed investing environment where returns swing from +20% to -20% in a flash forcing all funds into market timers and not long-term buy-and-hold growth players. These multi-employer pension schemes cover over 10 million people concentrated in industries with highly unionized workforces such as construction, transport, retail and hospitality but of the shortfall only $43bn lies with firms of the S&P 500 - leaving the bulk of the burden on small- and medium-sized businesses once again. It seems the number and size of unfunded (implicitly government) liabilities continues to rise or does this force pensions to follow Ben's path and increase exposure to hedge funds (which are underperforming in this serene rally so far this year) in an effort to meet these hurdle rates? Either way it appears this under-appreciated drag on the real-economy as one after another small-, medium-, and large- (Safeway faces shortfalls larger than its market cap) businesses will need to eat into earnings to fund this shortfall.


Source: FT


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Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:06 | 2327780 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Sorry, Boomers, but you will never retire.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:15 | 2327817 SHEEPFUKKER

And neither will anybody else. 

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:28 | 2327844 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Guyz. Guyz. Gurlz.

Look, they don't plan to fix this thing. never. Cannot actually. It's a mathematical certainity, BUST.

This is all pre BUST fun and games. Squeeze the already miserable. 

Watching a fascinating documentary, Life of John D Rockerfeller. Standard Oil, THE oil company of any record really, till it was split up right!!!), monster. He was cold, christian bastard.

I think that energy pervaded oil forever. Cancerous, greedy, perpetually demanding growth (he took out massive loans to start his refinery).

America is built on Oil+Slaves. Now it's over.

We are just watchiing the "fighting over scraps" part.

I say let's be proactive at the Economic rug-pulling. Detach. 

Till then, we can watch this crazy verticalizing graphs and shrug in wonder at the audacity of it all. If you can, watch any clip of Senator Prescott Bush, recently of trading with the Enemy fame.

The swagger is telling. And this was then. In the 50's.



Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:31 | 2327859 Big Slick
Big Slick's picture

In a recent Chris Martenson self-interview (excellent listen... link below), Chris wondered why there is not more of a backlash against the policies of US Treasury and the Fed by the people responsible for pensions.  Perhaps the fact that only $43B of the $360B shortfall (a little over 10%) is from S&P500 companies means that those who should be the most concerned (i.e. mid and small company concerns) have too small a voice.  Those with the larger voice are in "better" shape (for now).  

This seems to be a broad trend.  Those being abused the most are small or scattered interests.  No bully pulpit.



Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:31 | 2327861 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

The Rise and the Rise of the Rockerfellers:


This is why, most of the world is in perpetual debt slavery. And this is the sanitized, History channel version at that.


Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:51 | 2327928 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

Need... More... Money.... Must... Have... All....

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 12:07 | 2328221 LongBalls
LongBalls's picture

They will create at much as they need. It's called the cashless society. No fear of any valuation if the sheep can't extract it right?

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 15:34 | 2329068 12ToothAssassin
12ToothAssassin's picture

My question in the "Must have it all" money game is: What exactly is the end game? Lets say that someone in fact got all the money in the entire world and 'won' the game.


Then what?

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 16:04 | 2329164 squib
squib's picture

The rest of the solar system. silly.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 19:34 | 2329725 LongBalls
LongBalls's picture

It's about population control. This is what cements their favor.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 21:49 | 2330086 Bobbyrib
Bobbyrib's picture

Tne Neo-Cons would fold up shop and retire?

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 17:36 | 2329428 neidermeyer
neidermeyer's picture

They'll just change the assumptions to indicate an expected 12% return on funds they hold.

 The funny thing is they will be underestimating the returns over a 6 year span ,, they won't double in 6 years ... after year 2 they'll double each quarter... We're all billionaires in Obama's world ... All hail Obama.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:28 | 2328067 kekekekekekeke
kekekekekekeke's picture

cool %]

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 17:03 | 2329326 MisterMousePotato
MisterMousePotato's picture

Replied to wrong person. Sorry.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 17:03 | 2329333 MisterMousePotato
MisterMousePotato's picture

You wrote: America is built on ... Slaves. Now it's over.

This is not true. This is a canard, generally of the left, and specifically of the race mongers.

In fact, America, both North and South, but especially the South, was utterly destroyed economically by the Civil War. The cotton was burned and gone. The cotton and rice fields burned and fallow. The money became worthless, etc. Economically, the country, especially the South, was reduced, economically, to a state resembling modern day Greece or Hungary.

Any wealth attributable to slavery was completely and utterly dissipated and destroyed by the War of Northern Aggression.

Any and all wealth thereafter obviously had nothing to do with slavery.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 19:10 | 2329666 Buck Johnson
Buck Johnson's picture

Your correct, we are fighting over the scraps.  People never ask themselves why is so much of our security designed to watch americans and detain them?  And it's because when the day comes when the checks don't go out and the banks are closed and hyperinflation is setting in, people will go insane.  They need these precautions in order to protect the elite from the masses that will demand answers.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:24 | 2328046 aerojet
aerojet's picture

We should be encouraging those people to smoke, and drink more and buy really fast sports cars and motorcycles.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:29 | 2328071 kekekekekekeke
kekekekekekeke's picture

taking more 'scripts and shoveling crap in yr mouth is so much easier tho

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 18:13 | 2329511 kill switch
kill switch's picture


Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:19 | 2327825 No Bid
No Bid's picture

according to our glorious leader the massive drop in the labor participation rate is from boomers retiring.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:50 | 2327924 Vampyroteuthis ...
Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

Boomers spent (mostly wasted) their retirement, their children's inheritance and their grandchildren's inheritance. Why should they have a retirement? If they want any reasonable quality of life when they are too old to work, the Boomers are going to have to turn over the reins of industry and business to Gen X & Y.

Narcissism has no ends.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 12:24 | 2328300 banksterhater
banksterhater's picture

Boomers proved they are the multigenerational ASSHOLES.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 15:34 | 2329075 12ToothAssassin
12ToothAssassin's picture

"Hypocrasy knows no bounds" 

- Doc Holliday in Tombstone

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:25 | 2328051 aerojet
aerojet's picture

It may well be--I know of quite a few people who have retired recently.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:21 | 2327834 4realmoney
4realmoney's picture


Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:52 | 2327936 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

They'll just raise the retirement age to 120 years and all is fixed!

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 15:30 | 2329052 Kayman
Kayman's picture

120 years today is the equivalent of the 65 years, when public pensions first started. So... old is new again...

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:27 | 2327847 JPM Hater001
JPM Hater001's picture

They wont have to worry about retiring...They will probably be killed in the riots.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:45 | 2327912 GeezerGeek
GeezerGeek's picture

Are you saying that those boomers who avoided getting killed in Viet Nam as young men will now get a chance to die on the streets of some American city? Rather like a set of bookends, for those who know what bookends are.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:52 | 2327932 Vampyroteuthis ...
Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

Most of the Boomers who are destroying the economy were the wealthy, spoiled lot who never went to Vietnam. There are nooses waiting for these individuals.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:01 | 2327963 Ralph Spoilsport
Ralph Spoilsport's picture

I bet you can't even tie a good noose.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 15:37 | 2329077 12ToothAssassin
12ToothAssassin's picture

I can tie a good noose in less than a minute guaranteed. Im practiced in the art.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 18:02 | 2329484 JW n FL
JW n FL's picture



I cant tie shit! but I got Gas!! and LOVE a GOOD FIRE!! they can run around on fire! it will make for a great video.. take 5 or 6 of them.. put them in a fenced area.. pour gas all over them and see who wins the race!

What is it that Mr CNBC always says? BOOYAH!

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 20:03 | 2329790 neidermeyer
neidermeyer's picture

Noose? Why bother ... just get some of those giant 36" long plastic cable ties and give it a good yank... Then you can take others suggestions about FIRE ... get a twofer!

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 12:27 | 2328316 banksterhater
banksterhater's picture

WRONG. They invented debt & consume and took it to the extreme. I have no sympathy for the greedy idiots.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:58 | 2327956 Ralph Spoilsport
Ralph Spoilsport's picture

Yeah GeezerGeek, the current Gestalt on ZH dictates that all the financial problems in the US are caused by the Boomers.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:08 | 2327977 FubarNation
FubarNation's picture

Retirement is a fairly new 'concept' for the planet.  It makes one wonder if the scam will hold up for another generation or not.


Me thinks it is over.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:26 | 2328058 aerojet
aerojet's picture

The more time passes, the more I realize that retirement is a "sold to you" concept to make money for banksters. 

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 12:41 | 2328371 Marco
Marco's picture

Self funded retirement outside of the family unit is a new concept ... retirement not so much. we stopped sending them out into the wilderness a while ago already. It's not a scam either, the pretense of perpetual economic growth was a scam ... not the inherent idea of saving for your retirement.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:32 | 2328086 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

If the Boomers don't retire, when will you get that corner office?

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 19:24 | 2329694 Just Observing
Just Observing's picture

Hate to burst your bubble, Lennon, but we just have, wife 60.  Between her State pension, and my social security, we have plenty.  If she sees her SS, we'll simply have more money than we know what to do with......

BUT, let's assume all of that goes away.....and I have plan B for that distinct possibility.

House/land is paid for. Property tax/insurance less than 2k/yr.  Bought a new car (cash) last year, and my truck, 2007, is paid for.  No water/sewer bills (private system), power company actually pays us for our solar production ( enough that it offsets the small propane bill...wood is our primary source of heat ) raise most of our own food including beef, chicken/eggs, pork, catfish, and a large garden every year. Got YEARS of home canned and commercial foods stored away.

Got a guy paying us 1500/mo on a 15yr mortgage for property we sold him, ( and just sock away right now), got 100+k in local banks (non-IRA), and sitting on over 200oz gold and 6,000oz silver.  (500k+ today's melt price)

SO, while I'd agree, the average "boomer" is up shit creek without a paddle, it certainly isn't the case at my house.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 21:55 | 2330103 Bobbyrib
Bobbyrib's picture

Congrats on being one of the only people in your generation to plan for retirement.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 19:33 | 2329720 WillyGroper
WillyGroper's picture

this one just did & early to boot. saw the paradigm shift during Bonzo's reign & planned accordingly. no one can tell the future, but if it's based on the thievery i've witnessted since the 80's, i'll take my chances while there's still a pension to get.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:06 | 2327782 vmromk
vmromk's picture



To shit on Bernanke's head and wipe my ass with his beard.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:35 | 2327880 sessinpo
sessinpo's picture

vmromk          2327782



To shit on Bernanke's head and wipe my ass with his beard.



You know that is really disgusting. Aren't you afraid of what might be hiding in his beard?

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:11 | 2327994 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Two Bernankes.  One Cup.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:08 | 2327790 Financial Cold ...
Financial Cold Fusion's picture

Keep yields slammed to juice other asset classes and this is what you get.  Unfortunately, equities and commodities aren't the bulk of what many of these pension funds own.  Good luck finding a way to "grow" you way out of this...

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:08 | 2327791 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

And, boom goes the dynamite?  Same as it ever was, the pedulum will swing.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:30 | 2327853 JPM Hater001
JPM Hater001's picture

I hope it doesnt hit me...

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:10 | 2327795 misterc
misterc's picture

No Pension for YOU!

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:13 | 2327802 justanothernerd
justanothernerd's picture

How businesses must think about this: there's a lot of unemployment, so if I don't give benefits, what will my employees do, quit?


The social contract is broken, and no one wants to fix it. Obama fans: legislating the social contract won't work. People who want to break the rules and find ways around them will, and legislating all means to get around rules will be catastrophic -- it's the desire to fuck over your fellow man that needs to be fixed.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:25 | 2327841 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

The social contract will fix itself but you must prosecute fraud and restore the rule of law first.  Why is there no leadership anywhere?  Simple, there have not been any fucking consequences for those who drive their company or country into a ditch and profit from it.  Make the fucking sharholders bailout companies that fail just fucking once, and see how many heads roll.  The social contract is broken because the corporate world has been socializing the fucking losses for 30+ years.

Leaders (both public and corporate) are all too happy to take credit during good times, but fucking run and hide or run to the taxpayer when they make bad calls.  Fuck them.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:40 | 2327902 stirners_ghost
stirners_ghost's picture

Social Contract, or How To Sell Compulsory Vassalage To the Unwashed Masses

You drank the kool-aid. I never signed any such "contract", and don't accept the terms.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:48 | 2327922 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Read between the lines moron.  I am a proponent of only one truth;  That Nature and the laws of physics make no promises regarding your survival.   In the absence of any rule of law, you will have to work every day to insure your wealth, prosperity, and life in general.  Want to see the future of the world, think India and Pakistan, everywhere. 


Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:57 | 2327947 CH1
CH1's picture

Read between the lines moron.

Ah, more insults! That'll make me believe in your social contract!

LOL... take it to the schoolyard. (Where you should have left it, a long time ago.)

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:46 | 2328119 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

The robber barons want to take "it" to the matresses, fine with me. Because, despite anyone's good intentions that is where we are now all headed.

Fine with me, last I checked, people like to eat.  That is the business we are in and right now I can tell you this business is getting considerably more local.  Again, fine with me.  Everyone talking about the demise of fiat around the world, but does anyone really think there will be a "nice" response the next time China wants another 100 tons of soybeans and the producers demand payment in gold?  Bloody sheep.  Deal with honest people locally, it is the only way you can insure some level of protection from fraud.  The moral hazard has long since (30+ years) been released.  My anger (like many others) stems from the ability of the fraud to grow exponentially and yet the system continues un abated.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 18:14 | 2329522 JW n FL
JW n FL's picture




The robber barons want to take "it" to the matresses, fine with me. Because, despite anyone's good intentions that is where we are now all headed.

Fine with me, last I checked, people like to eat. That is the business we are in and right now I can tell you this business is getting considerably more local. Again, fine with me. Everyone talking about the demise of fiat around the world, but does anyone really think there will be a "nice" response the next time China wants another 100 tons of soybeans and the producers demand payment in gold? Bloody sheep. Deal with honest people locally, it is the only way you can insure some level of protection from fraud. The moral hazard has long since (30+ years) been released. My anger (like many others) stems from the ability of the fraud to grow exponentially and yet the system continues un abated.

Do you know your Farmer, by his first name?

Do you know your Banker, by his first name?

The Know Your Farmer Alliance (KYFA) has been promoting local sustainability since before Sensible Simplicity got started. Here's their news of June 10,2009:

Did you notice the volunteer work parties to help local small farmsteaders?

Ivy, they posted this at the same time we were talking about them on Wednesday. Synchronicity!

For local sustainability in a broader sense which includes Know Your Banker as well as Know Your Farmer, see by Catherine Austin Fitts. She promotes the health and survival of communities and natural living equity, as opposed to the centralized powers that be converting us all to financial equity. Here's her formulae for Coming Clean:

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:29 | 2328076 aerojet
aerojet's picture

Ugh, brutal, no?  You get hurt on the job, you're out and some other serf gets a turn at the wheel (not the steering wheel, unfortunately).  We made progress for awhile, but the greedy ruined it--the age of robber barons returned.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:40 | 2328122 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

You got it, plus one for your sir.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:54 | 2327942 CH1
CH1's picture

Social Contract, or How To Sell Compulsory Vassalage To the Unwashed Masses

Fully agreed!

"Social Contract" is slavery. I reject it outright.

I trade and cooperate, voluntarily, with people I choose. Full stop.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 12:50 | 2328406 Marco
Marco's picture

Are you an anarchist? If so I can respect your opinion.

Respecting property rights descended of the theft of land from Indians and countless others is also a social contract though ... Rothbardian blinders not withstanding.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 21:58 | 2330118 Bobbyrib
Bobbyrib's picture

Sounds like "socialism" to me. /sarcasm.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:33 | 2328094 Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture

Yes...and more employees may "Go Galt" on the system if the social safety nets like SSI, Unemployment Benefits, and even employer-deductable Health Care go by the wayside.

Thing is, it's funny that you guys mention the employers doing their part to match and pay their share for pensioners......but this is only for the union folk. 

If you are non-union, you are probably offered a pension plan, but they probably won't match it.  My employer won't, and I had to waste 30 minuts of my time to call up the investment house to setup the plan to CANCEL I basicaly was initally entered without my consent.

I'm sure that initial quota kickback does wonders for the CEO's pension fund....... 

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:12 | 2327803 non_anon
non_anon's picture

should've invested in gold

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:33 | 2327873 Quinvarius
Quinvarius's picture

Still can, but won't until the very end.  This is the nature of groupthink.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 21:59 | 2330122 Bobbyrib
Bobbyrib's picture

I think there will be a good opportunity to do so within the next two years. If/when the market tanks gold will go down with it (to a certain extent).

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:14 | 2327804 Northeaster
Northeaster's picture

"The shortfall in US labor union pension funds is huge and growing rapidly" -

What could possibly go wrong here:

Here, CBA's rule supreme, and remember, full medical coverage and "Other Post-Employment Benefits" follow them until the day they die. In Massachusetts expected returns are 8.25%.


YoY 50k increases in residents relying on SNAP benefits to live, as of today, near 1 in 6 in my state. Have no fear though, because the economy IS getting better.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 12:54 | 2328431 Marco
Marco's picture

That's on the state pension side ... on the private pension side in the meantime we have increasing leverage hiding the deteriorating balance sheets.

State (pension) plans are overpaying, private (pension) plans are run fraudulently ... the US in a nutshell.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 22:03 | 2330137 Bobbyrib
Bobbyrib's picture

Actually, here in the shit state of New Jersey we have not been funding our pension system for years. They will either have to raise taxes even more, or default on our pensions. We have been kicking the can down the road for years. Christie is no different in regards to pensions than Corzine, McGrevey, or Whitman. He now is looking into cutting the income tax rather than cut property taxes (I currently don't own property and probably never will in this state), or fund the pension system.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:14 | 2327813 butchee
butchee's picture

There is no safeway

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:41 | 2327903 wang (not verified)
Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:17 | 2327821 youngman
youngman's picture

I know I will never get any Social security I guess the Pension boys can now feel the same way...they are not going to get theirs either

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:17 | 2327822 presk_eel_pundit
presk_eel_pundit's picture

Good thing this isn't 2009 anymore!

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:18 | 2327823 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture


Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:20 | 2327826 mayhem_korner
mayhem_korner's picture



Haircuts all around, folks.

Wonder what the rate of change of the liability has been since this data.  If union contracts have held up at all in terms of wage increases, then the obligation has likely grown - and the number of payers into the system likely has fallen given retirements and layoffs.  Just guessin', but it hasn't likely gotten any better even if equities have (temporarily) risen from 2009.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 14:43 | 2328869 mick_richfield
mick_richfield's picture

I don't think we should call an event a 'haircut' when it reduces your height by 60 percent.



Mon, 04/09/2012 - 17:13 | 2329373 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

The french only did 15 inch haircuts in 1789 and it was already pretty messy... Nice clean cut or not...

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:19 | 2327830 adr
adr's picture

Hmmm, wow paying someone a salary that is no longer working for you isn't working out. WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT.

Pensions require unlimited rapid future growth to remain viable. Sooner or later pensions were going to crash the entire system just like every other economic vampire that has been created over the past 100 years. You can't steal money from the future forever.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:23 | 2327836 ultraticum
ultraticum's picture

The desire for an easy retirement paid for by somebody else - which theirs will inevitably be - has no bounds . . . especially among the greatest worst generation, the entitlement baby boomers.  I hate to break the news, but counterparty risk combined with pension fund return chart-ware can only end badly.  But the real joy won't be experienced by free people until the SS and Medicare intergenerational transfer schemes breath their last dying breath, which will happen about the time the peak number of boomers simultaneously puts in for their piece of the ill-gotten public purse.  Reality is a bitch, but it can't happen soon enough.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:36 | 2327885 Kayman
Kayman's picture


While some boomers, especially those on government funding, may fit your very narrow view, let me remind you that your grandparents generation lived, in no small part, by spending the money collected from the boomers.

If, as you imply, you are not a boomer, then I fully agree that your generation should not and cannot fund a pension and healthcare system designed on exponential growth.

Our financial criminals have not yet caught the play, that the vig has outgrown the growth of real capital.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:33 | 2328095 aerojet
aerojet's picture

It only worked because the Boomer generation was bigger than the one before it.  You simply can't have a smaller workforce paying in to the retirement system and funding all the retirees--when it was 3:1 or whatever, it worked out (or appeared to) but now that it has become 2:1 or less, the ratios just dont' work--everything is being strangled because of pension obligations as there is no money left to simply run things day to day. 

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:04 | 2327966 GeezerGeek
GeezerGeek's picture

I'm a boomer who recently began collecting SS and 'participating' in Medicare.

If I had been given the option of staying in SS or getting my (and my employers' matching contributions) money to put into some sort of mandatory retirement fund (think Roth IRA) I would gladly have done so. That way I would have a significant amount of money to leave my wife should I die soon. As it is, she'd get $255 to bury me. That's not even enough to rent a boat and dump my body in the ocean alongside the PMs I already dumped there. SS is not only an intergenerational transfer based on Ponzi economics, its structure transfers significant amounts of wealth from those groups - either the poor or certain minorities - with statistically shorter lifespans.

I suppose I'd better get all the healthcare I can before Medicare implodes, so I'll be as healthy as possible when the implosion occurs.

To all of you who have a job in the U.S., keep paying those payroll taxes. To all you younger voters, if you don't vote to dump those who support these programs then you're a fool and collectively deserve what you get.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:35 | 2328103 aerojet
aerojet's picture

What you fail to understand is that it doesn't matter whether it was SS or a mandatory fund, the outcome will still be the same.  There is no yield left to chase!  The "fund" was still plundered to run government day to day and pay for wars and other useless shyte.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:16 | 2328021 knightowl77
knightowl77's picture

Over the course of my employed life I earned a pension....I gave up raises and other benefits for that guarantee....Everytime our contract came up, we would ask for for 6 or 7% pay raise over the course of a 3 year contract, and our employer might offer 4% and they might pay an additional 2% of the employee's contribution to the pension...which often they did not pay, but they credited it to my/our account(s)....

Hindsight is 20/20 and knowing what I know now, I and many others would've insisted on the raise and not some future guarantee. Based on what we knew in the 70's, 80's and 90's it seemed like a win-win for the employer and the employee....

Even as late as 2004 I never heard anyone mention that these pensions might go bust. It was not something talked about or thought about. Today that mindset looks foolish, and so it is

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:38 | 2328116 aerojet
aerojet's picture

Yup, that's how the bullshit was rammed tightly up everyone's ass--they bought everyone for a promise.  Look to your left, look to your right, if you can't spot the sucker, guess what? I learned this hard lesson in the late 90s watching everyone work for free for "stock options."  I did not partake.



Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:24 | 2327843 IveBeenHad
IveBeenHad's picture

Oh how fun and inherently volatile pension accounting is under US GAAP.  One data point I looked at was CAT's pension disclosure and they had about $3.6B ($5.40/share) "Current year acturial loss" which is charged directly to equity (reducing book value) but does not hit the P&L.  The charge is basically a function of the change in assumptions primarily the discount rate used to present value projected future obligations, the expected rate of salary increases, and expected return on assets.  

Its all hocus pocus and it is very difficult to normalize the picture when comparing firms with pension obligations.  I would stick to just looking at "expected" nominal cash outlays which are usually provided in a seperate table when doing your fair value analysis.   And remember pensions are just another unsecured creditor of the company so most (good) analysts include the obligation in gearing ratios.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:31 | 2327862 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

elastic accounting for elastic fiatsco$

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:34 | 2327879 ItsDanger
ItsDanger's picture

As long as its fully disclosed, you can make your own adjustments.  Thats normal these days for changes to assumptions given the ZIRP and increase in life expectancies.   Bottom line, is the liquidity position of the plan.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:42 | 2327904 Kayman
Kayman's picture

Look up Catalyst Paper.  Their retirees are taking a haircut down to the stub of their neck, while the New York boys are made whole. It sure is handy to be near the New York branch of the Fed.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:47 | 2327920 Carl Spackler
Carl Spackler's picture

...just another unsecured creditor of the company...

Precisely, and we have bankruptcy law to deal with these matters.

The bigger issue was always why these companies maintained defined benefit plans and eold all the risk. 

The defined contribution plan passes the risk to the employee and eliminates the time bomb effect, keeps the economics more stable, and keeps the federal government from creating even more time bombs and problems.


Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:27 | 2327846 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

casino buddy was in the merchantMarine outa nyc;  world-class bullshitter, as you might imagine

hits 65, files.  and files. and files. and files.

i would see him and hear another 1/2 hour of correspondence and questions;  he'd copied, notarized, faxed, and mailed everything X4!   i kept telling him:  they don't have the money!  when they get the money they'll approve you

almost a year, they started sending him his little checks

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:58 | 2327952 Augustus
Augustus's picture

These multi-employer union funds are run by the unions.  Employers have fulfilled their obligations when they make the contributions to the fund on the behalf of the union employee.  The employers are not on the hook for the shortfall or mismanagement, IIRC.  I suspe.ct your assessment is correct though.  The fund doesn't have the money.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:28 | 2327849 mayhem_korner
Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:52 | 2327935 Red Raspberry
Red Raspberry's picture

I have a neighbor who is a barber for the Illinois Veterans Administration. He makes $80k a year.  His pension payout will be more than I grossed working my pitiful 44 hour a week job.....

If he gets it that is.  Illinois can tax us to 100% and not make the payments.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:20 | 2328029 GeezerGeek
GeezerGeek's picture

Sounds like he was actually giving people a real haircut. That kind of government job is great if you can get one. Almost as good as being a banker, getting bailouts and bonuses at the same time.

More seriously, my father was a fireman in NJ  - both before WW II and after - up to 1964, at which point he retired to get a job in private industry. (Firemen back then were exempt from Social Security, so he wanted to accrue SS benefits too.) When he died in 1997 his pension payment from the State of NJ exceeded his highest wage earnings as a fireman. It was a great deal for him, not so great for NJ in general. I left NJ long ago and have no idea if they can still afford that sort of payout. Regardless, this is a good example of why the country needs sound money. That pension I mentioned rose because of all the COLA adjustments.



Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:41 | 2328128 aerojet
aerojet's picture

Something is very out of whack when a union barber makes $80K/yr.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:29 | 2327852 agNau
agNau's picture


For exactly one hour......


Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:30 | 2327856 Rainman
Rainman's picture

Per Moody's, the aerospace and defense industries are among the worst for pension deficits. Fed budget cuts are coming, so expect a worsening pension deficit situation for this pair.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:44 | 2327900 dwdollar
dwdollar's picture

Something tells me the drone builders will have special guarantees when the riots start. We wouldn't want those poor little engineers to get apey like their brethren on the streets...

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:30 | 2327860 Catullus
Catullus's picture

Sort of the same story for anyone "investing" in stocks over the past 12 years. Buy and hold has gone no where for over a decade to the point where the assumed rate of return was so far beyond reality that it had to accounted for in a different way.

Quick: if you take a 35% loss in a year, what does your return need to be in the next to get you back to 7% positive over a two year period? This "ramp the equity markets" scheme is never going to work.

Lucky for us we have a pension guarantee safety net so that it can all be dumped on the public balance sheet. In a world where increased govt spending is additive to GDP, the increase in pension defaults should have growing by an additional 6% GDP per year.

Ergo, defaults are bullish.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:24 | 2328045 GeezerGeek
GeezerGeek's picture

Sounds like the same reasoning - if that's an appropriate term - Nancy Pelosi used when claiming that extended unemployment benefits were good for the economy. What she didn't add is that being allowed to participate in insider trading worked much better for her.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:42 | 2328132 aerojet
aerojet's picture

Well, buying and selling doesn't work, either, so what's left?  I'm thinking of writing a bot...

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:31 | 2327864 the PTB
the PTB's picture

One wonders about the accuracy of these figures.  May I suggest the following links as a primer about budget reporting and corporations: No. 10, I think has some info on pension CAFRs.

Look for Corporation Nation.  It is long, but very thorough. 

Also, has lots of info about pension funds all of which must file CAFRs.  For examle, CalSTRS for the year ended 2009 had over 118B, yes billion, in its fund.  Check it out.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:32 | 2327869 Normalcy Bias
Normalcy Bias's picture

Don't fret serfs, The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) will be there to backstop every pension with the equivalent of Zimbabwe Dollars!

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:38 | 2327888 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture



Funding pension plans properly would involve:

1.  Morals

2.  Ethics

3.  Money

(Those working folks have been Corzined!)

And in other news; stocks slide 1% as Gold goes up 1%.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:37 | 2327889 babylon15
babylon15's picture

Why do you think "buy and hold" would solve any of this?  I'm really curious.  From Wikipedia:

"Ida Mare Fuller (September 6, 1874 – January 31, 1975) was the first American to receive a monthly benefit Social Security check.  She received monthly Social Security checks until her death in 1975 at age 100. By the time of her death, Fuller had collected $22,888.92 from Social Security monthly benefits, compared to her contributions of $24.75 to the system."


Trading is zero sum, but so is buy and hold.  The early investors get all the profits and the late investors get the losses.  Guess where we are today?

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:36 | 2328104 GeezerGeek
GeezerGeek's picture

Buy and hold actually worked reasonably well from 1973 to 1998 based on experience in my family. A portfolio of good stocks rose from around $23K to well over $250K excluding dividends. That was more than the rate of inflation, and netted more than gold. I don't think the market manipulation was as pervasive or extensive back then. Saying trading is zero sum ignores the value of stocks in regard to dividends. From a fundamental viewpoint, a company that can expand its dividend payouts can have its stock go up in value based on the dividend yield relative to competing interest rates.

I doubt that, in today's highly manipulated markets, such a strategy is going to be very rewarding. Still, some of us do need to chase dividends because CDs have such low returns.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:38 | 2327890 three chord sloth
three chord sloth's picture

Y'know what I wanna see? I wanna see a comparison between the funding levels of the rank-and-file's pensions vs. the funding levels of their union's officers. I bet the officer's funds are up near 100%.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 12:46 | 2328392 Metalredneck
Metalredneck's picture

Having been in the United Stealworker's Union, I must agree.  I saw stuff there that turned my stomach.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:40 | 2327899 irie1029
irie1029's picture

Romney will fix it...  

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:42 | 2327906 wang (not verified)
wang's picture

Leo was ahead of his time, too bad he shat in the ZH nest

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:46 | 2327916 darkpool2
darkpool2's picture

No sane business is going to slave away for zero returns just so it can fund pensions for prior employees. There will be more stragegic bankruptcies and restructurings. Look employees, time you got the memo, if you dont provide for yourselves and your retirement, then suffer the consequences. 8 billion competitors dont give a shit whether you can afford to play golf in retirement !

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:50 | 2327926 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

There is still money Geithner can confiscate! YES HE CAN!!!

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:52 | 2327933 whoopsing
whoopsing's picture

The unions are actively trying to fix this! If you are a member of a construction union in NYC and are 'caught' working for a non-union contractor within it's 'jurisdiction' (even though the union has no work to offer) you will lose your pension. Liability? What liability?...Its all about the workers though......

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 12:05 | 2328217 aerojet
aerojet's picture

This is nothing new--unions have worked hard to disqualify members for decades.  My dad fought hard to stay in his union and keep his pension.  It's a racket--they know that the more peopel they can get to pay into the pension plan whom they never have to actually pay for, the better it is for the few who either know the whole thing is a scam that won't work, or they are misusing the funds via various "investment" schemes that involve cronyism.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:55 | 2327945 yogibear
yogibear's picture

Public union pensioners know they can keep pushing the politicians to continue raising property taxes to support their huge pensions and benefits. Many states have it in their constitutions. Unions keep pushing until taxpayers revolt.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:09 | 2327989 rsnoble
rsnoble's picture

Some states are actively seeking to outlaw property tax. And rightfully so.  If things were working like they were supposed to then fine, but when the real world is getting screwed over these people are just going to have to join the party.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:02 | 2327965 youngman
youngman's picture

And most of these Pensions have a 8% annual return forcasted forever...Bernanke destroyed that...its now 2-3%....that for 4-5 years will crash many of these pensions...

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:07 | 2327976 Cyclerider
Cyclerider's picture

Let's see...

Should we pay our bills or stick it to future generations?


Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:15 | 2328015 rsnoble
rsnoble's picture

I was union for years, been getting 'critical status' updates on the pension since around 2007.  If you call the union reps they claim 'everything is good, the stock market keeps going up'. Sorry assholes, the math doesn't add up. We have 30% unemployment now compared to 2007. Are they expecting 20%+ returns? No, they lie like any othe business does to keep from losing members and dues.

They lost me 4 years ago and ill never have any part with a stupid fucking union again.  I never in my life seen so many scared for their job suckasses. Fuck that shit. I do my own gig now. 

Unions need to die, someone needs to enforce workplace rules.  Unfort for the workers it appears unions will die, and the rules won't be enforced.

Things will just have to get to the point of revolt.

Oh..........and praise the lord some states are finally fighting property taxes!!  This bullshit of "pay or we sell your house" needs to stop.  If im ever in that situation im gona burn the motherfucker to the ground. Here's your fkn pile of ash assholes!  It's not fair that the real world is getting slaughtered and these whores refuse to join the depression and will just sell your ass off on the courthouse steps to keep what they have. I'm honestly flabergasted no one has been shot over this yet.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 12:08 | 2328232 aerojet
aerojet's picture

I am, too. Seems like Corzine should have had an unfortunate but fatal accident already.  Property taxes mean that you somehow have to have income, you have no redoubt to fall back to if everything goes to shit, you still have to rely on their system.  See how they get you?

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:20 | 2328033 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture

Ah - the smell of no pension check in the morning.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:32 | 2328084 americanspirit
americanspirit's picture

Where does the idea of retirement come from anyway? If you don't have work you love and are more than happy to keep doing until you can't do anymore, then find other work. Are you keeping your shit job just to survive? How well are you surviving working for shit, eating shit, and feeling like shit? As Dylan said, you gotta serve someone (clue - other than yourself.) BTW I'm 71 and do work I love 6 days a week. Don't make much but don't need much. I'm my own boss, have a great family, a place to live, a garden, good friends, and still reasonably healthy. I have no expectations of society other than civility between people so all you young folks who are pissed at the older generation better realize that you are thinking in stereotypes and that class/generational warfare only serves one group. Guess who. Also kiddos - a lot sooner than you think you're going to be geezers, so stop looking around for someone to blame and get busy fixing what's broke while you still have the time and energy. As for me I think I'll take a nap. 

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:43 | 2328129 rsnoble
rsnoble's picture

Thanks for the motivation. That's what im working towards. The "shity" situation you describe just wasn't working for me. LOL. Unfort im gona have to lighten up on the drinking and whip my ass into shape. I'm not too far gone yet but being a 'typical' citizen has certainly taken it's toll.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:54 | 2328163 GeezerGeek
GeezerGeek's picture

Your problem - and it's one I share with you - is that you grew up at a time when people did not expect everything to be handed to them on a silver platter. You were forced to find a way to make life work for you and you succeeded. I'm several years younger, but when I compare the Zeitgeist of the 1960s (no, not the sex-drugs-rock-and-roll culture) with that of the current era I'm dismayed. The prospects for youth today are nowhere nearly as bright as they were for us. We chose a great time to be born.

Still, a great observation.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 12:10 | 2328235 aerojet
aerojet's picture

Eh, I got no beef with folks your age.  It's the ones just behind you that fucked everything up by being too greedy and too consumptive.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:33 | 2328090 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

these are not not public union pensions....thus they can go under , so nothing to see here, move on people (and keep paying those property taxes !!)

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:58 | 2328183 GeezerGeek
GeezerGeek's picture

Running a public pension was no safeguard for the State of Indiana. They took a bath on Chrysler bonds when Obama ignored the law and nationalized the company. Having to actually honor the bonds would have interfered with rewarding his buddies in the UAW leadership.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 12:35 | 2328342 yogibear
yogibear's picture

The property tax payer is an infinite public pension ATM. Just keep up the pension COLA payments and generous health benefits. If your a public pensioner collection $120,000/yr or more you gotta love how your union members storm the state capitals demanding the state legislatures keep on raising taxes and keep your gravy-train going! 

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 12:45 | 2328387 thismonkeydoesn...
thismonkeydoesnotdance's picture

let me premise this post by stating, without ZH, i would be in the dark, munching on grass, bleating away.... but on the flipside, what can we do? what can i do? this mess is like tring to understand astrophysics when i never finished high school and opened a small business... my math is alright but not that good! im done asking who or why at this point.... its just "when?" when is this house of cards going to crumble? and in what fashion? uuuugh. its like that show hoarders.... under every pile of shit is another dead cat.....

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 15:24 | 2329032 g speed
g speed's picture

the house of cards is and has been falling.  This is a huge house of cards and the bottom is long gone--the upper stories haven't felt the shock yet but the base is nonexistant. The fall is slow and you will be able to adjust along the way--

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 12:56 | 2328436 Dingleberry
Dingleberry's picture

you'll get your pensions...just not as much nominally. But the bigger hit will be what it buys you. Think healthcare. Think food. Think energy. You thought you were retired.  Welcome to REALITY.  And ZIRP. And NEGATIVE YIELDS.  THANKS BEN!!!  Shudda took better care of yourselves, and not gotten obese like you did with your gluttony. Shudda not bought that RV and Hummer and boat. Shudda not bought that McMansion, with insane property taxes to boot.  Shudda not got divorced (multiple times). Shudda.....(fill in the blanks).  The damage is done.  And it's permanent.  And you're broke.  All I can say is...."Back to work...bitchez"!!

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 13:02 | 2328460 Bartanist
Bartanist's picture

Seems like the bankers figured out how to create revolution under the guise of "saving the system". They make it impossible for pension funds to earn enough to pay the benefits that are promised, but the excuse is that interest rates need to be low in order for employment to come back.

If we can see it, then it is clear that they knew the effects their actions would have before they started.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 13:52 | 2328649 roadhazard
roadhazard's picture

I'll bet a bunch of Boomer's wish they had a do over and aborted some of what turned out to be their whiny, bitchy, slacker kids.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 18:17 | 2329524 kill switch
kill switch's picture

OT,  We are so fucked,,,

A Thought Possibly Not Unique to Fred

April 5, 2012

Our current poster for successful racial policy is, as all the world probably knows, the shooting of the improbably named Travon Martin, black, by an Hispanic improbably named Zimmerman. The death has been improbably termed, by professional blacks, “genocide.” Whatever happened to dictionaries, I wonder.

Perhaps the worst thing about the case is the appalling English it revealed, “He dont be doing nothing aint right he just….” Usually the brighter and more literate of a group spend time on the internet. Heaven help us. These inarticulate mutterings devoid of punctuation or any grasp of the structure of the language illustrate what we know but ignore: We are screwed. In 2012, in a technological society that sends space craft to Mars, we have millions of illiterates, or close enough that it doesn’t make any difference.

This, not genocide, is the worst thing afflicting blacks. Years back I walked a foot beat with a cop on Capitol Hill. The cop started chatting with a black kid of maybe eleven. He suggested mildly that the boy ought to be home reading instead of hanging out on the street. “I ain’t read no boo-oo-ook,” said the child with infinite scorn. Exactly.

Also visible in the prop-wash of the shooting is the seething, unreasoning hatred for whites. Of course not all blacks hate whites equally, or at all. If you are white, the black economist next door probably doesn’t hate you and wants for his children what you want for yours. Well and good. But I can show you parts, many parts, of Washington or Chicago or Los Angeles where, if you are white, you wouldn’t last an hour after the sun went down.

The web groans under furious denunciations of Zimmerman as a racist, cracker, redneck thug, bigot. Various blacks vow revenge. The characteristic self-pity and sense of victimhood run in full flood without a trace of thought. If Jesse Jackson has been quoted correctly, he said, “blacks are under attack” and “targeting, arresting, convicting blacks and ultimately killing us is big business.” Oh sure. Jackson, no fool, knows better, but plies his trade. 

Practically speaking, it doesn’t matter what happened to Trayvon. Millions of blacks are going to believe that an innocent upstanding young black kid was murdered by a racist white because he as black. The view is visceral, irrational, unconcerned with facts, and based on the bedrock of the understanding of blacks: We are victims of Whitey.

The facts are that racial attacks by blacks against whites, against Asians, are far, far more common than attacks by whites or Asians against blacks. A glance at the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports, or the National Crime Victimization Survey, makes this obvious. Every cop knows it. I suspect that almost everyone knows it, though many don’t want to say it.

Where does this lead?

A symptom of the underlying corruption of American society is that in matters racial neither the government nor the media are impartial. Both (if one regards media and government as separate entities) carefully bury horrific crimes by blacks against whites and Asians while amplifying any crime, real or imagined, by whites against blacks. This has gone on so long that whites in general must be aware of it.

But what effect does this highly directed coverage have on blacks of no education? On those who can’t read or who read so poorly that they don’t? In eight years as police reporter for the Washington Times, I went into many homes of urban blacks who had called the cops. I do not recall ever seeing a book. We are speaking of a people whose only source of information is television.

Which tells them over and over that innocent blacks are being killed, beaten, jailed, and falsely accused. Disposed to self-pity and more emotional than reasoning, they readily accept this message. It comes often from prominent blacks who maintain their power by ridiculous warnings of genocide and the like.

In all the outpourings of fury from blacks over the shooting, I have not encountered the slightest appreciation that it might have been a matter of self-defense. Not the slightest recognition that blacks indeed commit a great deal of violent crime and that whites might reasonably be wary of hooded young black males. The races are on utterly different pages.

Where does this leave us? The racial impasse is just that, an impasse, and not getting better. The hatred is deep and wide-spread. Television encourages it.

The very names of blacks reflect a profound distaste for European civilization, a desire for separate societies. Trayvon, Lateesha, Keeshawn—these all form part of an insuperable wall erected against a polity that blacks don’t like and don’t understand.

The divide extends to the White House. Obama said nothing unreasonable about the shooting, only that the country needed to get to the bottom of it. But he says nothing of the constant series of beatings and killings of whites by blacks. Various commentators have called him the first post-racial president. No. He is the first black president.

The policy of integration and the cult of diversity haven’t worked. Over and over the hatred boils up and underlines the immiscibility of black and white. OJ, Rodney King, Travon, the Duke case, Towana Brawley, all the gang. Racial crimes against whites are buried, but now show up on Drudge in cell-phone videos. The races are not melding culturally. We have hate crime laws, unidirectional as they are, because we have hate crimes. We have to have laws forcing togetherness because we don’t want togetherness.

Societies work best when they have a uniform culture. The next best thing is a dominant culture to which small numbers of people of similar culture must accommodate themselves. We see this in America with the Chinese, who are studious, industrious, abide by the laws, and do not set themselves in opposition to the ambient European ethos. They are few enough, similar enough, and quiet enough that it works.

But blacks are too many, too different, and too culturally raucous. Some syncretism occurs around the edges, yet even the middle classes of the two races mix seldom and somewhat awkwardly.

I do not see how things can change. The sprawling black regions of the cities are so homogeneous, so big, and so isolated from the white world, television aside, as not to be susceptible to outside influence. Whites do not go in, and blacks do not come out. A steady-state model of the universe, so to speak.

We are screwed.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 18:22 | 2329534 malek
malek's picture

Looks like Safeway's pension "plan" is to declare bancruptcy in good time?

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 18:24 | 2329542 market analist
market analist's picture

Nonsense. You guys are looking at it all wrong.... Nobody will own their home in the future, just as much as nobody owns it today. Plus retirement will be looked after by FEMA. Don't worry! It will all be fine. Hell you've got Obama for president.

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