2011 June | timiacono.com

Unfortunately, there is far more of this going on these days than many people would like to believe – a cartoon like this unheard of  a decade or two ago – as the Great Recession looks more and more like a Little Depression everyday, taking a toll on every living generation.

From the Drew Sheneman archive at Tribune Media Services.

Tagged with:  

I don’t know what the figures are for school teachers in the U.S. (though, I’d bet that they’re not too much different in many states), but recently calculated equivalent “pension pots” for public sector employees in the U.K. show just how big a gap there is in the retirement prospects between the public and private sector. This Telegraph story provides all the stunning details that, for private sector workers, might be difficult to read.

Unions representing the 750,000 employees involved in the strike say their members are being unfairly treated. But Treasury figures released today expose how public sector retirement funds dwarf their private sector counterparts.

The calculations show that a mid-ranking teacher on £32,000 a year will receive a final salary pension that is the equivalent of having built up a £500,000 pension pot.

This is 20 times higher than the average private sector scheme, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics. Private sector workers would have to save more than 20 per cent of their salaries for 40 years – more than £500 a month for a similarly paid person — to amass the same amount in a defined contribution pension.

A well-paid London headmaster will retire with a pension scheme worth £1.5  million, the Treasury figures show. A chief constable retiring at the standard age of 55 would have a scheme worth more than £3 million.

My guess is that California’s public retirement system (that now includes 9,111 members in the not-so-exclusive $100K Club) would put the British pensioners to shame.

Tagged with:  

America’s Confidence Deficit

The Conference Board reported that consumer confidence dropped to a seven month low on worries over high unemployment and dim prospects for wages, even though gas prices have been falling steadily from the highs in the spring. Here are two other measures of fading confidence from Gallup – on the economy and banks from earlier in the week.

The budget deficit is, of course, important, but maybe policy makers should focus more on the growing “confidence deficit” as a means of boosting the U.S. economy. Recent history has shown that inflating an asset bubble is the surest way to improve the American mood over the short term, getting the masses out there spending more money, and, since we haven’t seemed to care much about the long-term in recent decades, instead of talking about slashing Medicare and raising taxes, the folks in Washington should give some serious thought to policy options that would give us all one more good financial bubble.

Tagged with:  

Thursday Morning Links

Greek MPs face second austerity vote – BBC
Here’s What Greek Austerity Will Look Like – NetNet
German Banks, Government Agree on Greek Plan – Bloomberg
In Deficit Plan, Taxes Must Rise, President Warns – NY Times
Geithner Letter Responding to Republicans on Debt Limit – WSJ
S&P to deeply cut U.S. ratings if debt payment missed – Reuters
Change To Inflation Measurement On Table As Part Of Budget Talks – Nasdaq
Tracing America’s “Too Big To Fail” Crisis: An Infographic – EconMatters
Forget Europe, China Sending ‘Disturbing Signals’: Strategist – CNBC
Goldman Sachs Prepares to Cut Jobs – DealBook
The Post-Foreclosure Wait – NY Times

Oil near $95 amid hopes for Greek debt resolution – AP
Gold eases as Greek optimism offsets dollar lift – Reuters
Exposing the Demonizers of Shale Gas – Real Clear Markets
New Investment Strategy: Preparing for End Times – DealBook
Treasury bond yields surge after weak demand at debt auction – LA Times
U.K. Pound Falls to Lowest in 15 Months as Confidence Declines – Bloomberg
Comparing gold indices and ratios: HUI, XAU, XGD, GDX and CDNX – Mineweb
90 Analysts Who Foresee $5,000 Gold – Resource Investor
Lifting Gold’s Veil of Secrecy – Motley Fool
China’s Diesel Smile – Gregor

What’s Happening to the US Economy? – Project Syndicate
Bad habits plague economic forecasts – Financial Post
I.M.F. Offers a Different Take on U.S. Growth – NY Times
Christine Lagarde And The Demand For Dollars – Baseline Scenario
ECB flags July rate rise as inflation stays high – Reuters
Despite Fears, Owning Home Retains Allure, Poll Shows – NY Times
Canada housing prices could fall 25%, research firm warns – Financial Post
Housing slump to last 3 or 4 more years – O.C. Register
QE2 leaving mixed legacy as economic recovery lags – Washington Post
Fed’s Raskin: The Latest Unemployment Report Was ‘Bleak’ – iMarketNews
America’s unique hatred of finance reform – Salon


What’s not surprising about this CNBC poll is that more Americans are more pessimistic about the U.S. economy, but, what is surprising is how they’ve defined “wealthy”.

Nearly two-thirds of the nation (63 percent) is pessimistic about the current state of the economy and its future, with just 6 percent optimistic about both. The attitudes of wealthier Americans—those with incomes greater than $75,000 or more than $50,000 invested in the stock market—are now in line or even more downbeat than the nation as a whole.

Just 26 percent of Americans with incomes above $75,000 believe the economy will get better in the next year, four points below the national average. In December, it was five points above. For the first time in the survey’s five-year history less than half of those with $50,000 or more in stocks think it’s a good time to invest in the market.

Over the next year, most Americans think home prices will fall and wages will drop as they spend less, save less, and drive less while the number of these “wealthy” individuals using credit cards to help make ends meet almost doubled from 12 percent to 20 percent.

Tagged with:  
Page 1 of 20123451020...Last »
© 2010-2011 The Mess That Greenspan Made