MoneyPalooza Monstrosity — The Return: Multiemployer Bailout

Link: https://marypatcampbell.substack.com/p/moneypalooza-monstrosity-the-return

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Now, you can say that they are just about to add $2 trillion to the federal debt, so what’s $2 trillion more? (and yes, people will be saying that – we shall see how much that money printer can go BRRRRRR)

In my own opinion, the standard measures for DB pension shortfalls greatly underestimate the cash flows needed, given this time of extremely low interest rates. But still, let’s pretend.

The public pension bailout would be at least 20 times the amount of a MEP bailout. Just because you bailout a set of pensions that would have pulled down a federal guarantee fund (the PBGC) does not mean you’re going to bailout other pensions that are much bigger and that you never guaranteed in the first place.

Author(s): Mary Pat Campbell

Publication Date: 3 March 2021

Publication Site: STUMP on Substack

Mortality with Meep: the Society of Actuaries Studies 2020 Excess Mortality, Life Expectancy Rebuttal, and More

Link: https://marypatcampbell.substack.com/p/mortality-with-meep-the-society-of

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The first big improvement in the U.S. was in child mortality in the early 20th century — public health measures helped all ages, but the youngest the most. Then antibiotics and more and more vaccines improved mortality across the board, with children and young adults getting the most benefits. Improved auto safety and more stringent drunk driving laws helped all ages, but young adults the most (because they were the most idiotic drivers). We’ve seen improvements in middle age into old age due to reduced smoking and improved medical treatments — people who used to get their first heart attack in their 50s now see their first heart attack in their 70s… and it’s a lot less fatal now. And we’ve had amazing improvement in mortality at older ages.

It is very tempting to write a book about all the mortality trends we’ve got going on. The CDC has the data. They’ve issued reports on it. But few people really want to think about death. I’ll add it to my ever-expanding list of project ideas… (hey, Actuarial News was an idea for me for over a year… and now it’s here!)

Author(s): Mary Pat Campbell

Publication Date: 1 March 2021

Publication Site: STUMP on Substack

GameStop Follies: The Long and the Short of It

Link: https://marypatcampbell.substack.com/p/gamestop-follies-the-long-and-the

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Activist short-sellers are different in the types of actions they advocate. These are people who are shorting the stock, and are arguing the current market value for the shares is too high. They may claim something is stinky about the financial reporting of results, and that regulators should audit the books. They may point out that management is engaged in some value-destroying activity that shareholders were unaware of. The activist shorts aren’t trying to destroy value — they claim that the true economic value was already much lower than the stock price would indicate, and that’s because the information the market has about the company is just plain wrong.

They’re being activists not because of altruism, obviously, but that the faster the market prices adjust to what they think the true value is, the less they’re exposed to the risk of getting squeezed out of their short position before they can profit.

Author(s): Mary Pat Campbell

Publication Date: 25 February 2021

Publication Site: STUMP at Substack

Mortality with Meep: Digging into CDC report on mortality in the first half of 2020

Link: https://marypatcampbell.substack.com/p/mortality-with-meep-digging-into

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It is better to provide death rates by age ranges for year-to-year comparisons.

When you calculate a period life expectancy, you’re incorporating the mortality rates for all the ages above the current age, and it doesn’t really capture how specific age ranges were affected. I can use these life expectancies to make estimates about the death rates, but I’m not going to – I’m trying to keep the calculations simple so that other people can follow my spreadsheets and check what I’m doing.

With age-adjusted death rates, you can capture overall mortality levels, but again, you don’t know which age ranges were affected the most.

I believe period life expectancy is used for these types of reports because people are more comfortable thinking about number of years to live, or age at death, than they are thinking about rates.

Author(s): Mary Pat Campbell

Publication Date: 22 February 2021

Publication Site: STUMP

COVID Mortality: New York, Nursing Homes, and Cuomo

Link: https://marypatcampbell.substack.com/p/covid-mortality-new-york-nursing

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I am very angry about all of this. That’s why I haven’t actually been posting about it that much.

If you think I have been annoyed by lack of attention to detail in COVID data, I am absolutely livid over the falsification of very key data, especially since it has been blatant since April 2020.

It is difficult to be appropriately analytical when one has such an emotional reaction to the messing about with data. I’ve had this happen at ma prior employer, when I realized my numbers were being messed with, and yes, falsifying data is one of the things that will make me blow my top.

Author(s): Mary Pat Campbell

Publication Date: 13 February 2021

Publication Site: STUMP

Mortality with Meep: On The Congressional Body of Old Folks and Deaths in Office

Link: https://marypatcampbell.substack.com/p/mortality-with-meep-on-the-congressional

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The next fact should tickle the interest of one of my friends who likes to keep stoopid stats (his term) about all sorts of things: with the death of John McCain, every state except Utah has had a senator die while in office.

Isn’t that exciting?

Author(s): Mary Pat Campbell

Publication Date: 8 February 2021

Publication Site: STUMP

Critics Decry GASB Standards That Allow Governments to Hide Debt

Link: https://townhall.com/columnists/johnnykampis/2021/02/05/critics-decry-gasb-standards-that-allow-governments-to-hide-debt-n2584229

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The Chicago-based Truth in Accounting (TIA), a financial watchdog, is fighting the efforts of the Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB) to enshrine a system of accounting into place the group says allows governments to paint a misleading picture of taxpayer debt.

GASB’s “Project 3-20: Recognition of Financial Statement Elements,” has seen its share of blowback from concerned parties. The concept would allow governments to continue their standard of cash-based accounting, which allows bureaucrats to prepare financial reports that show expenses only when the money is paid, not when the debt is incurred. TIA argues that this allows governments to show a rosier picture of taxpayer debt than what’s reality, helping government officials to kick the can down the road.

Author(s): Johnny Kampis

Publication Date: 5 February 2021

Publication Site: Townhall

GameStop Frenzy Lessons: Don’t Bet the Milk Money

Link: https://marypatcampbell.substack.com/p/gamestop-frenzy-lessons-dont-bet

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The failures we hear about are when staid institutions that have existed for centuries have done something incredibly risky, leading to serious consequences.

When it comes to institutional money management…. this kind of speculation is not really in keeping with professional standards, depending on the institution.

We may find that some institutions were betting the milk money by putting too much of their cash in very risky investment strategies. But really, only if they have to absorb the losses. Perhaps various players will save Melvin Capital et. al. You never know.

Author(s): Mary Pat Campbell

Publication Date: 6 February 2021

Publication Site: STUMP

Mortality with Meep: Pennsylvania, Illinois, Ohio, Georgia, North Carolina, and Michigan by Race/Ethnicity and Week

Link: https://marypatcampbell.substack.com/p/mortality-with-meep-pennsylvania

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Overall, excess mortality (in a relative sense) for Hispanics is about three times than that seen by non-Hispanic Whites, and non-Hispanic Blacks have excess mortality about twice that of non-Hispanic Whites.

Note that New York City by itself has a very large amount of excess mortality. You can see why New York, as an area, reacted very drastically last year. When I saw the mortality spike coming from the city last year, I was just fine staying at home… because I could. The trade-offs have been relatively easy for me to see.

But it hasn’t been quite so extreme elsewhere.

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Author: Mary Pat Campbell

Publication Date: 1 February 2021

Publication Site: STUMP

Mortality with Meep: Excess Mortality in California, Texas, and Florida by Race/Ethnicity

Link: https://marypatcampbell.substack.com/p/mortality-with-meep-excess-mortality-8e2

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For Hispanics, it’s two thirds, with most of it coming from California (23%), then Texas (21%), then Florida (10%). New York City accounts for 9%, and then the rest of New York state for 3%.

UPDATE: Checking out the Hispanic population by state, these percentages are a little in line with national distribution — California (26% of U.S. Hispanic population), Texas (19%), Florida (9%), New York (including NYC — 6%). The most disproportionate effect comes from New York City.

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Author: Mary Pat Campbell

Publication Date: 31 January 2021

Publication Site: STUMP