A Sense that the Worst Is Over

At the IRI annual conference in this quaint colonial village, the annuity industry shared a sense that, after several hellish years, the worst may be over.

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

The Fed Trap

The Fed's assumption that the so-called “wealth effect”—when asset appreciation spurs real economic activity—will hasten a true post-crisis recovery isn't producing the desired results, writes the former Morgan Stanley chief economist.

What’s Up, Heterodox?

Heterodox economics, though valid and perhaps even more intellectually honest than orthodox economics, has lost its political battles, and that has made all the difference.
News

U.S. paper assets are $198 trillion: Fed flow of funds report

The net worth of households and nonprofits rose $1.4 trillion to $81.5 trillion during the second quarter of 2014. The value of directly and indirectly held corporate equities increased $1.0 trillion and the value of real estate expanded $230 billion.