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.
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U.S. spends $3.4 trillion in 11 months

Federal outlays through August totaled $3.4 trillion, up 2% from the same period last year. Receipts in the first 11 months totaled $2.2 trillion, up $126 billion from the same period last year. (Federal fiscal year ends Sept. 30, 2012.)

The Bucket

Brief or late-breaking items from New York Life, Phoenix Companies, Strategic Insight, BlackRock, DST Systems Inc., AXA Equitable Life, and Principal Financial.

Fed pledges action until economy shows gains

The Fed also acknowledged its limits. “Monetary policy, particularly in the current circumstances, cannot cure all economic ills,” the Fed chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, said at a news conference.