Profits, Politics and the Ruin of Fannie & Freddie

Here is the first of three excerpts from "Guaranteed to Fail: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Debacle of Mortgage Finance," the compact, illuminating new book by four NYU Stern School of Business professors about the fatally flawed structure of the GSEs.

Research Roundup

We summarize four recent papers: 'Portfolios for Long-Term Investors,' 'What is the Value of Annuities?,' 'Public Economics and Inequality: Uncovering Our Social Nature,' and 'Financial and Total Wealth Inequality with Low Interest Rates.'

An Annuity’s ‘Moneyness’? There’s an App for That

How will variable annuity contract owners use their income benefits? That question is vital to annuity issuers and to fiduciary advisers with clients who own VAs. This Texas Dep't of Insurance actuary knows a product that can help them find out.

A Chip Off the Old Rock?

Bloomberg reported this week that Prudential is considering selling its retirement plan recordkeeping business. Prudential didn't confirm the report, but several industry insiders did. Low interest rates, high costs of IT makeovers, and sticky stable value fund guarantees are driving the move, RIJ was told.
Featured

When Herds Get Overconfident, Run for Cover

Steve Utkus of the Vanguard Retirement Research Center proposes a four-part model to explain the psychological dynamics behind the most recent financial bubble, and similar bubbles.
News

Events that may interest you

The Retirement Industry Conference is coming up soon, to be followed by several other events that RIJ readers might want to attend.

Did Income Inequality Cause the Crisis?

Those with surplus money naturally lend to those who need money. But, as two IMF experts show, disaster can occur when too much money is lent for consumption and the process goes on too long.

State pension reform may undermine Britain’s DB plans

Britain's plan to simplify the state pension to a single-tier plan could hurt private DB plans by ending "contracting-out," the practice of substituting contributions to a private plan for contributions to the second state plan.

The Bucket

Brief or late-breaking items from Janus, ING, AXA Equitable Life, Morningstar, eRollover, Curian Capital and TrimTabs.