Monetary Policy: The Cost of QE3

Quantitative easing began and continues in front of a computer. If you had visited the Fed when QE1 was being implemented, you would have seen several people, daily, sitting in front of a computer, selecting securities and then buying them. Keeping…

Entitlements: A Baby Boomer Crisis?

The good news is that many of us are living longer. (Afterwards, we will look at the bad news.) A new study from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) tells us that in 2010 the average US woman…

Election Economics: Looking at the Millennials, Xers, Boomers, and Silents

Before tomorrow’s election, let’s take a look at the voting age gap. Absent since 1972, the young and the old again are voting differently.   The Silent Generation: The oldest slice of the population, the Silent Generation was born between 1928…

QE3 and the Baby Boomers

At the beginning of yesterday’s QE3 press conference, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke referred to the plight of savers. Similarly, during an August “Conversation With the Chairman,” Dr. Bernanke was asked, “What about the savers?” Both times, Dr. Bernanke had the…

Election Economics: Aging Challenges

If you lined up everyone in the United States by age, the middle person would be close to 37.1 years old. In 1850, the median age was 19, for 2000 close to 35 and by 2050, we expect that middle…

Aging Benefits

When you combine better health care with generous pensions you get (choose one): happy retirees happy politicians insufficiently funded national pension programs the eurozone the United States other   To select an answer let’s begin with 1935. Just passed, the…

A Social Security Collision

Ask a 56-year old and a 26-year old about Social Security and you will probably get very different answers.  In the NY Times, an unemployed 56 year old woman said: “My investments took a bath, then being out of work…

Population Pyramids

These graphics are wonderful! Shaped sort of like a triangle because the elderly population is so small, this population pyramid for Egypt illustrates a youth bulge of men and women who are 15 to 29. The “bulge” represents 28% of…

A Medicare Check-up

We could say that Medicare is currently a bit ill and the prognosis is not good. Last year it received some “medicine” through the Affordable Health Care Act but its caretakers, the Medicare trustees, question whether the treatment will work.…

How Much Should Grandma Pay?

When your Grandma gets her yearly physical, the doctor gets a check from the government. Did you ever wonder, though, who decides how much? Because she had to sign up for Medicare at 65, the market did not decide the…