Allison Schrager, senior fellow at The Manhattan Institute and author of “An Economist Walks Into A Brothel,” sits down with Ramsey Smith of ALEX.fyi to discuss potential solutions to the global retirement crisis. Schrager argues that retirees are taking on too much risk with their portfolios by over-allocating to risky assets. She also explains why retirees are under-allocating to long-duration bonds. Smith and Schrager muse whether the idea of “retirement” should itself be reimagined and shed light on the current pension-related political conflagrations in France and Chile. Filmed on February 5, 2020, in New York.
The oldest millennials have already begun to turn forty – amid a backdrop of dismal yields and a black hole of unfunded pension liabilities, is cryptocurrency the key to understanding their seemingly grim retirement paradox? As part of our continuing coverage of the pension crisis, CoinShare’s Meltem Demirors sits down with Real Vision’s Ash Bennington to discuss the role that Bitcoin and other digital assets will play in our collective financial future. In this wide-ranging conversation, Demirors and Bennington explore the broader context of digitization of the global economy, inequality, and the rapidly shifting landscape of political, economic, and social change. Filmed on February 3, 2020, in New York.
If you’ve heard of tontines, chances are what you know is colored by stories of century old death pools plagued by murder and deceit. It probably even makes sense to you that this product with almost five centuries of history fell out of favor in the early 1900's. But what if the reason why tontines lost their popularity had nothing to do with the murder-inducing incentive structure of tontines and, in fact, had more to do with the abhorrent behavior of insurance companies? Dean McClelland, CEO and Founder of TontineTrust, sits down with Real Vision’s Max Wiethe to explore the problems plaguing public and private retirement solutions, the rise and fall of tontines as an insurance product and funding mechanism, and the technological advances McClelland is incorporating into his modern tontine that he proposes as a viable alternative to private annuities and public pension structures. Filmed on January 28, 2020 in New York.
Public Employee "Plunder" and California's Perfect Storm
Steve Greenhut, Western region director at R Street Institute and author of “Plunder: How Public Employee Unions are Raiding Treasuries, Controlling Our Lives and Bankrupting the Nation,” joins Mike Green of Logica Capital Advisers to discuss his coverage of the political paralysis that surrounds the issue of pensions in California. He guides Mike on a deep-dive into the gargantuan public employee compensation complex and how that complex bleeds into every other aspect of California government spending. He argues that public employees have forced state and local governments into a corner wherein they cannot maintain their obligations because of the massive burden of pension disbursements and employee compensation. Due to a lack of transparency, pension assumptions based on guesswork, and legal precedent overturning democratic decisions, Greenhut says that the perfect storm that will surely “surprise” Californian politicians has been plain to see for longer than a decade. Filmed on February 6, 2020 in Sacramento, California.
California State Senator, John Moorlach, joins Real Vision to discuss California’s looming pension crisis. Senator Moorlach explains to Mike Green of Logica Capital Advisers why CalPERS, or the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, is so massively underfunded. He discusses how the system has flooded into the equity market and made promises to its pensioners that it cannot possibly keep. Filmed on February 6, 2020, in Sacramento, California.
Why have pension funds misjudged reality for decades – and how can you profit from this mispriced risk? Konstantin Boehmer of MacKenzie Investments walks viewers through the four major design flaws that are built into pension systems worldwide. He argues that pension fund managers have overestimated their ability to generate investment returns, and have pursued desperate measures by taking on too much risk in order to compensate for these faulty return expectations. Boehmer explains how the mismatch between retirees’ goals and pension fund managers’ incentives has distorted the market, and suggests a few ways to protect yourself from the pensions crisis looming on the horizon. Filmed on January 13, 2020, in Toronto.
Neil Howe, author of “The Fourth Turning: What the Cycles of History Tell Us About America’s Next Rendezvous with Destiny” and managing director of demography at Hedgeye, joins Real Vision’s Ed Harrison to discuss the demographic forces shaping the coming retirement crisis and the future of America. As one of the world’s foremost demographers, Howe breaks down the collective personality of generations – what he calls “generational archetypes” – and explains why he’s optimistic about the future relationship between Baby Boomers and Millennials. Filmed on February 4, 2020 in Washington, D.C.
Real Vision CEO, Raoul Pal, examines via Skype the recent turmoil with an international cadre of outspoken experts: monetary economist George Selgin, George Goncalves of The Bond Strategist, Scott Skyrm, executive vice president at Curvature Securities, and Dr. Z. Barton Wang of Barton Research. Join Raoul on this voyage of discovery as he discusses repo and more with some of the sharpest minds in finance. Filmed on January 31, 2020, in Grand Cayman.
Billionaire real estate investor Jeff Greene built his fortune with a lifetime of hustle and no partners. In this interview with Raoul Pal, Greene explains how he transformed himself from a traveling circus ticket salesman to an investment titan putting on billion-dollar credit default swap trades. What began as a hedge turned into the trade of a lifetime when Greene astutely observed that shorting mortgage backed securities was a no-doubter in his first foray with derivatives. Greene also touches on his unique career path, his market outlook for a handful of asset classes, and the philanthropic endeavors that now dominate his focus. Filmed on January 23, in West Palm Beach, Florida.
What Happens When "Dry Powder" Meets Liquid Markets?
Why is it that equity returns are at record-highs – and yet beating the market is harder than ever? Josh Wolfe, co-founder and managing partner at Lux Capital, sits down with Mike Green, chief strategist and portfolio manager at Logica Capital Advisers, to explore this question. After Wolfe discusses a few of his recent successful venture exits, the pair discusses how excessive liquidity is making it harder to deploy capital, a process Green calls "alpha-degradation." Other topics include Tesla, Bloomberg, and the "first-mover disadvantage." Filmed on January 23, 2020, in New York.
Etienne de Marsac, Head of Absolute Return at Sunny Asset Management, joins Real Vision's Roger Hirst to argue why he believes that central banks have created an "everything bubble." With risks rising in all corners of the market, central banks have made a fragile web that they cannot help but continue spinning. De Marsac provides his insights on what factors could catalyze a market breakdown, how central banks could begin correcting the global imbalances they have created, and what trades he is making in this risk-on environment. Filmed on January 22, 2020, in London.
Maziar Minovi, CEO of Eurasia Group, joins Real Vision to discuss the biggest geopolitical threats to global stability that he sees on the horizon. He analyzes the ongoing decoupling of the US-China trade relationship and argues that the severing of technological protocols could inflict the most lasting damage. Minovi explains why he believes the rising cynicism of the American voter to be the greatest risk to global stability. Filmed on January 22, 2020, in New York.