Tag Archives: Federal Reserve

Why You Should Celebrate Social Security’s Birthday on Aug. 14

Social Security’s 77th birthday comes up on Tues., August 14. The Alliance for Retired American is planning events all over the country to celebrate (see details below!). As well it might – Social Security’s benefit checks keep 20 million people out of poverty every year and are helping to prop up consumer spending while the rest of us dig ourselves out of debt. Some people, however, would prefer you stayed home.

I recently spoke with a prominent, U.S.-based money manager for an unrelated project. First, he lambasted the Federal Reserve for keeping interest rates too low, “monetizing the debt,” and preventing a much needed dose of government austerity. Then he told me why Continue reading Why You Should Celebrate Social Security’s Birthday on Aug. 14

Cutting Social Security: The Moral Equivalent of TARP

That seems to be the message that Neel Kashkari, who served as financial bailout czar in the waning years of the Bush Administration, was trying to convey in an op-ed in today’s Washington Post.

TARP was “deeply unpopular.” It “betray[ed] our sense of fairness.” But once “people could feel the crisis,” it was clear that “we all had to sacrifice” to stop the 2008 financial-sector meltdown. With Social Security, it’s the same thing, says Kashkari, a former Goldman Sachs banker and now a managing director at bond-market giant PIMCO.

Cutting entitlements would “again betray our sense of fairness.” But “the promises our country has made over the past few decades, combined with changing demographics and rising costs, have put us on a path to national insolvency.” We must get past our “’me-too’ mentality” and “think beyond what is in our own immediate self-interest.”

Who does he mean by “we”? And who is Kashkari, a former Goldman Sachs banker, to lecture the public about civic virtue? Continue reading Cutting Social Security: The Moral Equivalent of TARP