As the coronavirus pandemic approaches the end of a second year, the United States stands on the cusp of surpassing 800,000 deaths from the virus, and no group has suffered more than older Americans. All along, older people have been known to be more vulnerable, but the scale of loss is only now coming into full view.
Seventy-five percent of people who have died of the virus in the United States — or about 600,000 of the nearly 800,000 who have perished so far — have been 65 or older. One in 100 older Americans has died from the virus. For people younger than 65, that ratio is closer to 1 in 1,400.
After the first known coronavirus death in the United States in February 2020, the virus’s death toll in this country reached 100,000 people in only three months. The pace of deaths slowed throughout summer 2020, then quickened throughout the fall and winter, and then slowed again this spring and summer.
Throughout the summer, most people dying from the virus were concentrated in the South. But the most recent 100,000 deaths — beginning in early October — have spread out across the nation, in a broad belt across the middle of the country from Pennsylvania to Texas, the Mountain West and Michigan.
These most recent 100,000 deaths, too, have all occurred in less than 11 weeks, a sign that the pace of deaths is moving more quickly once again — faster than at any time other than last winter’s surge.
By now, Covid-19 has become the third leading cause of death among Americans 65 and older, after heart disease and cancer. It is responsible for about 13 percent of all deaths in that age group since the beginning of 2020, more than diabetes, accidents, Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
Author(s): Julie Bosman, Amy Harmon and Albert Sun
This research evaluates the current state and future outlook of emerging technologies on the actuarial profession over a three-year horizon. For the purpose of this report, a technology is considered to be a practical application of knowledge (as opposed to a specific vendor) and is considered emerging when the use of the particular technology is not already widespread across the actuarial profession. This report looks to evaluate prospective tools that actuaries can use across all aspects and domains of work spanning Life and Annuities, Health, P&C, and Pensions in relation to insurance risk. We researched and grouped similar technologies together for ease of reading and understanding. As a result, we identified the six following technology groups:
Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence
Business Intelligence Tools and Report Generators
Extract-Transform-Load (ETL) / Data Integration and Low-Code Automation Platforms
Collaboration and Connected Data
Data Governance and Sharing
Digital Process Discovery (Process Mining / Task Mining)
Nicole Cervi, Deloitte Arthur da Silva, FSA, ACIA, Deloitte Paul Downes, FIA, FCIA, Deloitte Marwah Khalid, Deloitte Chenyi Liu, Deloitte Prakash Rajgopal, Deloitte Jean-Yves Rioux, FSA, CERA, FCIA, Deloitte Thomas Smith, Deloitte Yvonne Zhang, FSA, FCIA, Deloitte
Publication Date: October 2021
Publication Site: Society of Actuaries, SOA Research Institute
The Covid-19 pandemic last year drove the biggest increase in death benefits paid by U.S. life insurers since the 1918 influenza epidemic, an industry trade group said.
Death-benefit payments rose 15.4% in 2020 to $90.43 billion, mostly due to the pandemic, according to the American Council of Life Insurers. In 1918, payments surged 41%.
The hit to the insurance industry was less than expected early in the pandemic because many of the victims were older people who typically have smaller policies. The industry paid out $78.36 billion in 2019, and payouts have typically increased modestly each year.
In the 1918 flu pandemic, the number of U.S. deaths reached about 675,000, with mortality high in people younger than 5 years old, 20 to 40 years old, and 65 years and older, according to the CDC’s website.
The ACLI’s data show two other years, both in the 1920s, when year-over-year increases topped 15%, when there also were influenza epidemics, said Andrew Melnyk, the ACLI’s vice president of research and chief economist.
The financial press has gone into a round of hand-wringing over CalPERS’ efforts to chase higher returns in a systematically low-return market, now by planning to borrow at the CalPERS level on top of the leverage employed in many of its investment strategies, in particular private equity and real estate.
These normally deferential publications are correct to be worried. Not only is this sort of leverage on leverage dangerous because it can generate meltdowns and fire sales, amplifying damage and potentially creating systemic stresses, but the debt picture at CalPERS is even worse than these accounts they depicted. They failed to factor in yet another layer of borrowing at private equity funds and some real estate funds called subscription line financing, which we’ll describe shortly.
CalPERS tells other less obvious fibs, such as trying to depict private equity as so critical to success that it need to put more money on that number on the roulette wheel. Remember, the name of the game in investment-land isn’t absolute performance but risk adjusted performance. Not only has private equity not generated the additional returns to compensate for its extra risk at least as long as we’ve been kicking those tires (since 2012), academic experts such as Ludovic Phalippou, Richard Ennis and Eileen Appelbaum have concluded private equity has not even beaten stocks since the financial crisis.
Let us stress that unlike German investors, who have a pretty good handle on all the leverage bets in their investment portfolios and thus can make a solid estimate of how much risk they are adding via borrowing across all their investments, CalPERS is flying blind with respect to private equity. It does not have access to the balance sheets of the portfolio companies in its various private equity funds.
And while having balance sheet would be a considerable improvement over what is has now, it doesn’t give the whole picture. CalPERS would also need to factor in operating leverage. When I was a kid at Goldman, whenever we analyzed leverage (as in all the time), we had to dig into the footnotes of financial statements, find out the amount of operating lease payments, and capitalize them, as in gross up the annual lease payments to an equivalent amount of borrowing so we could look at different companies on a more comparable basis.
There are three possible answers to the question of who pays for social expenses. First, governments can pay by taxing their citizens to fund social programs. Second, employers can pay by using corporate revenues to provide employment-related benefits. Third, individuals and families can pay out of pocket, rely on unpaid labor from friends and relatives, or make do without.
For much of the twentieth century, the United States had a workable answer to the “Who pays?” question that drew on a mix of all three sources. Government provided certain social benefits like Social Security, Medicare, and public education. Aided by government tax incentives, many employers offered a wide range of benefits like health insurance and pensions, creating what political scientist Jacob Hacker refers to as a “public-private welfare regime.” And with one-third of the labor force unionized, and even nonunion employers pressured to match union-scale wages and benefits, many workers earned enough to support their families and handle the social expenses not covered by government- and employer-based programs.
For its part, government social spending has been uneven. Large universal programs like Medicare and Social Security have proven resistant to most retrenchment efforts, and Obamacare included a major expansion of Medicaid — though this was blocked in some Republican-dominated states. Meanwhile, more means-tested programstargeting low-income Americans have proven more vulnerable. In a context where employers have sharply cut back their commitment to providing social benefits, and individuals and their families are faced with stagnating wages, government’s response has proven inadequate.
The New York State Common Retirement Fund (Fund) will invest $2 billion in an index focused on reducing the risks of climate change and capitalizing on the opportunities arising from the transition to a low-carbon economy, State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, trustee of the fund, announced today. This is part of the Comptroller’s Climate Action Plan announced in 2019 and his goal for the Fund of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040.
The Fund will allocate $2 billion within its internally managed public equity portfolio to FTSE Russell’s Russell 1000 TPI Climate Transition Index (CTI) in connection with the Fund’s Sustainable Investment & Climate Solutions (SICS) program.
Author(s): Thomas DiNapoli
Publication Date: 9 Dec 2021
Publication Site: Office of the NY State Comptroller
In 2021, 20 countries made changes to their statutory corporate income tax rates. Three countries—Bangladesh, Argentina, and Gibraltar—increased their top corporate tax rates, while 17 countries—including Chile, Tunisia, and France—reduced their corporate tax rates.
Comoros (50 percent), Puerto Rico (37.5 percent), and Suriname (36 percent) are the jurisdictions with the highest corporate tax rates in the world, while Barbados (5.5 percent), Uzbekistan (7.5 percent), and Turkmenistan (8 percent) levy the lowest corporate rates. Fifteen jurisdictions do not impose corporate tax.
The worldwide average statutory corporate income tax rate, measured across 180 jurisdictions, is 23.54 percent. When weighted by GDP, the average statutory rate is 25.44 percent.
Asia has the lowest regional average rate, at 19.62 percent, while Africa has the highest regional average statutory rate, at 27.97 percent. However, when weighted for GDP, Europe has the lowest regional average rate at 23.97 percent and South America has the highest at 31.03 percent.
The average top corporate rate among EU27 countries is 21.30 percent, 23.04 percent among OECD countries, and 69 percent in the G7.
The worldwide average statutory corporate tax rate has consistently decreased since 1980, with the largest decline occurring in the early 2000s.
The average statutory corporate tax rate has declined in every region since 1980.
Two new studies show that drivers 70 and over tend to drive older, smaller vehicles that are not equipped with important safety features. The first study compared the vehicles driven by 1.5 million crash-involved Florida drivers ages 35-54 and 70 and older over 2014-18. The second surveyed 900 drivers in those age groups from various states about the factors that influenced their most recent vehicle purchase.
“Persuading older drivers to take another look at the vehicles they’re driving could reduce crash fatalities substantially,” says Jessica Cicchino, IIHS vice president of research and a co-author of both studies. “One big challenge is that, for those on a fixed income, cost often overrides other concerns.”
The study of Florida crashes found that drivers in their 70s and older were significantly more likely to be driving vehicles that were at least 16 years old than drivers ages 35-54. The older drivers were also substantially less likely to be driving vehicles less than 3 years old.
There’s a new effort underway in Trenton to reopen New Jersey’s pension system to politicians.
State Sen. Joe Cryan (D-Union) introduced legislation Monday that would allow politicians who held pensionable public jobs before they were elected to a public office to re-enroll in the system from which they‘ve been barred for almost 14 years.
The bill, introduced in the midst of the lame duck session, would partially reverse a pension reform law enacted during former Gov. Jon Corzine’s administration. Under that law, officials elected after July 1, 2007, were not enrolled in the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS), but shifted instead to a less-generous retirement plan similar to a 401(k).
The average age of cars on the road keeps going up, and as these cars get older they are becoming less suited to the drivers most likely to own them. A new study from the IIHS says that older drivers are at much greater risk of getting hurt or killed in their so-called “retirement cars.”
According to the study, drivers 70 and over are sticking with their older cars, which lack modern safety features. As driver age goes up, so does the likelihood of death in accidents by some pretty staggering figures. Drivers who are over 75 are four times as likely to die in a side-impact crash, and three times as likely to die in a frontal crash than drivers who are middle-aged, per the IIHS.
Move over, League of Legends. Does anyone even care about Overwatch? No, the real future of esports is spreadsheets and Microsoft Excel. Don’t believe us? Then tune in to ESPN3 or YouTube this weekend to find out.
No, this isn’t a joke. The Financial Modeling World Cup will be held this weekend entirely in Microsoft Excel. And the finals (the quarterfinals, semifinals, and the final match) will all be broadcast live as they happen at 9 AM PT. Everyone’s playing for a total prize of $10,000 — funded by Microsoft, of course.
This is the website for the book “Fundamentals of Data Visualization,” published by O’Reilly Media, Inc. The website contains the complete author manuscript before final copy-editing and other quality control. If you would like to order an official hardcopy or ebook, you can do so at various resellers, including Amazon,Barnes and Noble,Google Play, or Powells.
The book is meant as a guide to making visualizations that accurately reflect the data, tell a story, and look professional. It has grown out of my experience of working with students and postdocs in my laboratory on thousands of data visualizations. Over the years, I have noticed that the same issues arise over and over. I have attempted to collect my accumulated knowledge from these interactions in the form of this book.
The entire book is written in R Markdown, using RStudio as my text editor and the bookdown package to turn a collection of markdown documents into a coherent whole. The book’s source code is hosted on GitHub, at https://github.com/clauswilke/dataviz. If you notice typos or other issues, feel free to open an issue on GitHub or submit a pull request. If you do the latter, in your commit message, please add the sentence “I assign the copyright of this contribution to Claus O. Wilke,” so that I can maintain the option of publishing this book in other forms.