What is the value of the p-value?

Link: https://www.lucymcgowan.com/talk/north_carolina_translational_and_clinical_sciences_institute/

Slides: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1W51xBJOG7C37vHLJuBR4WT6NCJXQN0Iah-NKk9VCLxg/edit#slide=id.g12240d9f43a_0_0



The debate over the value and interpretation of p-value has endured since the time of its inception nearly 100 years ago. The use and interpretation of p-values vary by a host of factors, especially by discipline. These differences have proven to be a barrier when developing and implementing boundary-crossing clinical and translational science. The purpose of this panel discussion is to discuss misconceptions, debates, and alternatives to the p-value.

Author(s): Lucy D’Agostino McGowan

Publication Date: 26 April 2022

Publication Site: LucymcGowan.com

CalSTRS Plans to Redefine ‘Diverse Managers’ and ‘Emerging Managers,’ in Accordance With New California Law

Link: https://www.ai-cio.com/news/calstrs-plans-to-redefine-diverse-managers-and-emerging-managers-in-accordance-with-new-california-law/


The California State Teachers’ Retirement System is now planning to formally define the term “diverse manager” and adjust their definition of “emerging manager.” Though the two categories overlap, they are not identical.

The term “emerging manager” is based on the following criteria, according to CalSTRS: “the amount of assets under management; fund lifecycle of funds; firm legal structure; non-employee ownership percentage; and other various factors including track record, private placement memorandum.”

The term “diverse manager” will refer exclusively to the diversity of the firm’s ownership. The term will be defined in a tiered way such that if a firm is 25% to 49% owned by women, ethnic minorities, and/or LGBTQ individuals, it will be labeled as “substantially diverse.” A firm would be labeled as “majority diverse” if it is more than 50% owned by women, ethnic minorities, and/or LGBTQ people. Ethnic minorities include all non-white groups listed on the census.

Author(s): Anna Gordon

Publication Date: 4 May 2022

Publication Site: ai-CIO

US CMBS Loan Defaults Leveled Off in 2021 with Pandemic Recovery

Link: https://www.fitchratings.com/research/structured-finance/us-cmbs-loan-defaults-leveled-off-in-2021-with-pandemic-recovery-17-05-2022



US CMBS loan defaults declined significantly in 2021 compared with 2020, as the resumption of economic activity supported a recovery in asset performance and property cash flows from their pandemic lows, says Fitch Ratings in its US CMBS 2021 Loan Default Study. The total annual default rate for Fitch-rated CMBS transactions declined to 0.4% in 2021, down from 3.3% in 2020.

Author(s): Stephanie Duski, Melissa Che, Everett Bruer, Sarah Repucci

Publication Date: 17 May 2022

Publication Site: Fitch Ratings

How Much Private Equity Is Too Much for a Public Pension?

Link: https://www.ai-cio.com/in-focus/shop-talk/how-much-private-equity-is-too-much-for-a-public-pension/


Pension funds around the U.S. are upping their allocations to private equity after a year of record-breaking returns. According to data obtained from Preqin, the average public pension’s allotment to private equity increased to 8.9% in 2021. In contrast, the average allocation was just 6.5% in 2012.

New York City’s pensions are among those that may see an increased allocation to the asset class in their portfolios should a new law pass. Currently, New York State implements a “basket clause,” which prevents public pensions from investing above 25% of their total portfolios in investments considered higher risk, including real estate, infrastructure, hedge funds, international equities, and private equity. The proposed law would increase that allocation to 35% for all pension funds in the state. If the law passed, the boards of New York City’s five public pensions would vote on whether to increase the “basket” for their own pension funds.

New York City Interim CIO Michael Haddad, who is responsible for overseeing investments in the five pension plans across the city, says that while the change in the law isn’t targeted at private equity exclusively, it’s likely that the asset class would increase.

Author(s): Anna Gordon

Publication Date: 10 May 2022

Publication Site: ai-CIO

New York pension money ‘held hostage’ by Vladimir Putin, Russia

Link: https://nypost.com/2022/05/14/ny-pension-money-held-hostage-by-vladimir-putin-russia/


New York employees and taxpayers are unwittingly financing Russian companies and the oligarch pals of Vladimir Putin with at least $519 million invested in assets now frozen by the war-mongering dictator, The Post has learned.

City and state pension systems have pledged to sell off the holdings in protest of Russia’s assault on Ukraine, but Moscow has prohibited foreign investors from dumping the stocks.

“Putin is a thug and he’s holding our money hostage,” said Gregory Floyd, a Teamsters union leader and trustee of the New York City Employee Retirement System, NYCERS.

New York City’s five pension systems – covering teachers, cops, firefighters and other city employees – have invested a total $284.5 million in 33 publicly traded Russian stocks, according to records released to The Post by city Comptroller Brad Lander’s office. 

On Feb. 25, the market value of the Russian assets was $185.9 million, nearly $100 million less than the purchase price, the latest available records show.

Author(s): Susan Edelman, Thomas Barrabi

Publication Date: 14 May 2022

Publication Site: NY Post

PSERS Considers Suing Aon for Miscalculating Returns

Link: https://www.ai-cio.com/news/psers-considers-suing-aon-for-miscalculating-returns/


At their board meeting last week, Pennsylvania’s Public School Employees’ Retirement System voted to hire law firm Blank Rome to help determine if it should sue Aon, an investment consultant the pension fund hired.

The potential suit concerns a calculation error Aon made that caused PSERS to inaccurately report its returns in December 2020. While initially the nine-year performance figure was reported to be 6.38%, a correction showed that it was in fact lower, and thus below the threshold needed to prevent increased contributions. When the miscalculation was revealed in March 2021, the pension fund’s beneficiaries were forced to increase their payments.

PSERS paid Aon $7.2 million for investment advice over the course of almost a decade. Currently, Aon is still employed by PSERS. Both the FBI and the SEC are investigating the miscalculation. PSERS is also under investigation for gifts given by Wall Street firms to PSERS employees.

Author(s): Anna Gordon

Publication Date: 16 May 2022

Publication Site: ai-CIO

The pandemic’s reported death toll will soon reach 1 million people in the United States.

Link: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/interactive/2022/how-many-people-died-covid-united-states-1-million-graphic/



The pandemic’s death toll in the United States will surpass 1 million people in the coming days. Conveying the meaning or the magnitude of this number is impossible. But 1 million deaths is the benchmark of an unprecedented American tragedy.

Consider this comparison: The population of D.C. is about 670,000 people. Try to imagine life without every person, in every building, on every street, in the nation’s capital. And then imagine another 330,000 people are gone.

To attempt to put the 1 million deaths in context, we plotted its damage over more than two years and compared the continuing death toll with the tolls from previous catastrophes in our history.

Author(s): Sergio Peçanha and Yan Wu

Publication Date: 12 May 2022

Publication Site: Washington Post

Public Pensions’ New Quandary: Coping With Geopolitical Turmoil

Link: https://www.governing.com/finance/public-pensions-new-quandary-coping-with-geopolitical-turmoil


Arguably, trustees and investment teams need a serious conversation with portfolio managers who are overweight in companies and countries that could foreseeably lose favor and stock exchange value. To ground that dialog, some form of risk analysis is required. One protocol could be as primitive as routinely identifying which major corporate equity and debt holdings in a system’s portfolio have cost and revenue exposure of more than 10 or 15 percent in such potentially at-risk regimes, and prodding managers to trim down those geopolitically vulnerable positions unless there is a clearly compelling undervaluation thesis. Another sensible approach would be to require underweighting of major companies relative to a benchmark index, based on their percentages of autocrat-nation revenues.

Ultimately at a fiduciary level, if a pension fund’s total worst-case exposure to all earnings and income derived from autocratic nations is an insignificant fraction of its total portfolio, the composite risk is probably not worth losing sleep over, on purely financial grounds. But politics could still enter the theater stage for pension boards that ignore this issue.

Pension consultants and risk advisers have a new role to play in this dialog. ESG investing is now under fire, so a healthy ESG+G discussion is especially timely. If nothing else, informed advisers can help investment teams and trustees identify where their portfolios might contain a blind-side risk that hasn’t received enough attention.

Author(s): Girard Miller

Publication Date: 10 May 2022

Publication Site: Governing

Central States Fall

Link: https://burypensions.wordpress.com/2022/05/09/central-states-fall/



All 1,298 pages of the Central States, Southeast and Southwest Areas Pension Fund bailout application is on the SFA website but, for me, it is these two pages that tell the tale of the fall of this and many other union pension plans.


Funded ratio: 21.91%

Unfunded Liabilities as of 1/1/20: $43,878,930,013

Asset Value (Market) as of 12/31/20: $10,409,490,502

Contributions 2020 (MB): $662,009,633

Contributions 2020 (H): $406,600,320

Payouts 2020: $2,842,184,040

Expenses 2019: $53,552,2071

Author(s): John Bury

Publication Date: 9 May 2022

Publication Site: burypensions

COVID-19 Deaths Cause More Than $700M in Q1 Claims

Link: https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2022/05/09/covid-19-deaths-continue-to-hit-life-insurers-hard/


Reinsurance Group of America — a Chesterfield, Missouri-based reinsurer — said its U.S. COVID-19 individual life claims fell to $260 million in the latest quarter, from $340 million a year earlier.

“Our U.S. individual mortality results are very consistent with what we are seeing in the general population this quarter,” Jonathan Porter, RGA’s global chief risk officer, said Friday, during a conference call with securities analysts. “We saw a reduction in our claim cost per 10,000 general population deaths as compared to the third quarter and fourth quarter of 2021. This improvement, we believe, is in part due to the lower proportion of deaths in working ages.”

Here’s what happened to U.S. COVID-19 claim statistics at some other life insurers, including some that are known mainly for group life:

MetLife: $230 million in world group life claims this quarter, down from $280 million a year earlier.

Hartford Financial: $96 million before taxes this quarter, down from $185 million a year earlier.

Unum: 1,400 deaths at an average of $55,000, or $77 million, down from 1,725 deaths at an average of $65,000, or $112 million, a year earlier.

Lincoln Financial: $53 million in group life claim claims and $18 million in group disability claims this quarter, down from $83 million in group life claims and $7 million in group disability claims a year earlier.

Voya: $35 million in group life claims this quarter, up from $29 million a year earlier.

Primerica: $16 million in life claims this quarter, down from $21 million a year earlier.

Author(s): Allison Bell

Publication Date: 9 May 2022

Publication Site: Think Advisor

Few Retirees Leave Workforce Gradually: EBRI

Link: https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2022/05/02/few-retirees-leave-workforce-gradually-ebri/


The 32nd EBRI survey found 7 in 10 workers were at least somewhat confident they would live comfortably in retirement.

Half of workers plan to retire at 65 or later, while current retirees left the workforce at a median age of 62.

Large shares of workers say they don’t understand managed accounts, ESG investments or target date funds.

Author(s): Ginger Szala

Publication Date: 2 May 2022

Publication Site: Think Advisor

The Fed’s Preferred Measure of Inflation Jumps to 6.6%, a 40-Year High

Link: https://mishtalk.com/economics/the-feds-preferred-measure-of-inflation-jumps-to-6-6-a-40-year-high



The PCE price index for March increased 6.6 percent from one year ago, reflecting increases in both goods and services. 

Energy prices increased 33.9 percent

Food prices increased 9.2 percent. 

Excluding food and energy, the PCE price index for March increased 5.2 percent from one year ago.

Author(s): Mike Shedlock

Publication Date: 30 April 2022

Publication Site: Mish Talk