Jeremy Grantham, who has been rather vocal in his condemnation of the Fed recently, and has been rather lukewarm in his endorsement of equities as an asset class, has released an updated (as of Oct 31) estimate for 7 Year returns by asset class. And it has bad news for pension funds which have a rather high bogey of about 8% per year. If Grantham is correct the 'new normal' (which is really the normal normal but with the cheap credit spigot taken away due to a new deleveraging regime) also means that pension fund actuarial models have to be scrapped as they will likely not be able to attain the kinds of returns needed to keep them solvent based on capital appreciation expectations. Where Grantham sees the best return potential is in international and emerging equities, presumably on the assumption that decoupling will take place. On the other hand, many are increasingly seeing the possibility of a China topping as a major risk factor. While Grantham is bearish on small cap US equities and sees just a modest outperformance of large caps, what he hates the most are all bonds, where in four out of five categories he see a negative 7 year return. Perhaps it is time for a Rosie-Grantham round table.