Archive for the ‘Media’ Category

Nothing Bold on Horizon

Kudos to Steve Adubato for focusing on public pensions in New Jersey on his State of Affairs program, as in this week’s discussion with Alfred Doblin, Editorial Page Editor of The Record;
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Brickbats for the three-minute time limits and propagating pension newspeak:

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EA3: Pensionmania

406 – Current Events in Public Plan Funding Policy
April 04, 2017 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM

The Conference of Consulting Actuaries’ (CCA’s) Public Plans Community’s white paper “Actuarial Funding Policies and Practices for Public Pension Plans” has been a resource for actuaries for over two years. Many public sector retirement systems have implemented new funding policies based on actuarial principles similar to those in the white paper. Alternatively, an interpretation of financial economics on funding may look much more like private sector plan funding. Speakers discuss these different approaches, as well as how they may or may not align with the objectives of the plan sponsors.

In one corner, from parts unknown, it was Ed Bartholomew of Building Better Pensions espousing the Financial Economics position and his tag-team partner Bob North, former chief actuary for New York City where he pioneered the inclusion of  alternate liability values (MVABO) in NYC actuarial reports and CAFRs.

Opposing them are the Actuarial Realists who are working public plan actuaries: Paul Angelo from California and Sherry Chan, the current New York City chief actuary who took Bob North’s MVABO numbers out of the NYC actuarial reports.

Let’s get ready to rumble:

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Sad State of NJ Pension Coverage

Their second program aired today and, to their credit, the pension question was put to the two gubernatorial candidates who guested. However, all we got as an answer was the disquieting conclusion that both are clueless as to the real breadth and depth of the problem, a primary component of which includes the willful naiveté of those debating for solutions. For example, this absurdly inane comment:
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Perhaps Wisniewski means that most actuaries in the employ of New Jersey would sign off on defining 70% as full funding so that mini-contributions can continue but, per the American Academy of Actuaries, that there is even one actuary who will back up Wisniewski’s canard without substantial remuneration is a myth.
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Same Sad State of Affairs in NJ

A ‘public affairs’ program premiered today on New Jersey TV as sponsored by:
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From the latest available 990 filing for Caucus Educational Foundation on officer compensation:

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With those factors in place it was no wonder that the first interview with our presumptive next governor offered nothing of substance on either pensions or school funding but, for the record, here are the prevarications we have come to expect, if not demand, from these guys:

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Media Watchdogs?

The New York Times headline seemed interesting:

In New Jersey, Only a Few Media Watchdogs Are Left

But then it turned out NOT to be about why there is supposedly less oversight over journalists but rather implied a nonsensical link between having fewer people working on newspapers and somehow there being less coverage of important government actions.

Three points:

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Why Not Kill This Press?

As a parting gift to New Jerseyans Chris Christie is looking to do away with most newspapers by taking away the ad money local governments are obliged to pay them. The state’s largest newspaper, the Star Ledger which stands to lose millions of dollars, fought back with an editorial this morning that, ironically, made Christie’s point.

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Connecticut Yankee on Teacher Pensions

The Yankee Institute for Public Policy “develops and advances free-market, limited-government solutions in Connecticut” and today they focused on our blog entry on Teacher Pensions (for which I was interviewed) :

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