Where’s the Scandal?

Did the New York Fed blunder when it bought the CDOs owned by big banks and insured by AIG? So far, the government hasn't done badly, says our guest author.

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.

In-Plan Income, the Mutual of Omaha Way

Mutual of Omaha, in a program led by retirement plans product leader Tim Bormann, offers a deferred income annuity option called the Lifetime Guaranteed Income Account to small and micro plan sponsors.

‘Annuitize Part and Invest the Difference’

Using Period Certain, Life or Joint Life with Period Certain, or Installment Refund payouts, retirees can often create income solutions that require less investment than required by GLWBs to produce the same level of income.

Quote of the Week

"The Committee will maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 0 to 0.25 percent... Economic conditions, including low rates of resource utilization, subdued inflation trends, and stable inflation expectations, are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels for the federal funds rate for an extended period." -- Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke.

Century Bonds Illiquid: Towers Watson

Geert-Jan Troost, an investment consultant at Towers Watson, said that while these bonds can serve as a "great" diversifier from a liability point of view, there were a number of issues to consider.

Great Ferment on the U.K. Retirement Scene

Within six months of retirement, workers in the U.K. should get two half-days off for retirement income counseling, and they should be provided with three competitive annuity quotes, says a major U.K. third-party administrator.

Become Your Future You, TIAA-CREF Ad Campaign Urges

Besides ad spots in every media, the campaign will feature videos that demystify such challenges as how to pursue your passions and still save, how not to run out of money, and how to make savings 'work harder.'

Lincoln Financial Group Acquires Treasury Warrants

The company paid $16.60 per warrant at an auction held by the Treasury. The warrants have an exercise price of $10.92 and expire on July 10, 2019. The transaction is expected to close today, September 22, 2010.

FRC and Blue Frog Ink Data Distribution Deal

Blue Frog, based in Pompano Beach, Fla., will supply specialized data on variable annuity contracts and riders to FRC for distribution to FRC clients. FRC will provide analytical tools for end-users to develop customized research.

The Bucket

Late-breaking items on AIG, Prudential, New York Life, Symetra Life, FRC, Blue Frog and more...