Friday, December 12, 2014

The Sarcasm Report v.199

September 20, 2013
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Rising rates pushing early retirement

Allow me to summarize this article by removing most of the filler words, forming a new paragraph structure, and altering the punctuation a bit to convey the overall intent of the message. Think of it as the Cliff Notes version.

Pension! Low interest rates! Pension! Rising interest rates! Sizable increase in rates! Interest rates are low! If interest rates go up, pension! Rates still near historic lows! Expected to rise! Pension! If rates go higher, retire sooner!

Higher interest rate projections! Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.! Pension! Rising interest rates! Retirement! Retiring earlier! Retiring before rates rise even further! Pension!

Interest rates are lowest! Pension! Rising rates! Pension! Pension! Pension! Rising interest rates! Rising interest rates! Pensions! When interest rates are higher, pension! Rising interest rates! Increase in interest rates! Pension! Pension! Rates go up!

You'd like more details? Are you sure? Don't feel you are getting enough sarcasm per dollar spent? Hey, I aim to please!

"But if interest rates go up to 5, 6 or 7 percent, the monthly annuity payment can look a lot more attractive than a lump sum payout."

And if monkeys fly out of my bottom, and they clean up real well under running water, then these monkeys can look a lot more attractive than any other lumps that might come out. I swear they will! Look for them soon! During my next monkeyscopy!

Enough sarcasm?

"Many who were considering retiring are jumping at the chance to do so before rates rise even further," he said. "Most participants who have a pension benefit where they are allowed to take a lump sum understand the time to take the lump sum is when interest rates are lowest."

Forehead. Desk. Whack. Whack. Whack. For the love of all that's holy, just finish me off now. Use a bat! Swing hard! My forehead cannot take much more sarcasm!

Thanks to rising interest rates used to calculate the cost of future payment to retirees, General Motors reported in its 2012 annual report that each 1 percent increase in interest rates cuts $8.76 billion from the present value of its pension obligation.
If a 1 percent increase can reduce the pension obligations by that much, then let's go looking for that 1 percent! Please brace for the sarcastic grand finale! You know it's coming!

Look! Thanks to rising interest rates, there it is! A full 1 percent! Oh, wait. That's a decrease. I wonder what that does.

You know what really bums me out about all of this? This could have been saved for my 200th sarcasm report. What an epic event that could have been, but I wasted it. Now I have to wait for something even more sarcastic to come along? Is that even possible? Oh well, let's try to make the best of a bad situation.

Party like it's 199!

Source Data:
St. Louis Fed: Custom Chart
U.S. Treasury: Daily Treasury Yield Curve Rates


Rob Dawg said...

I was actually watching for your 200th.

Anyway CR is at like 20,000 inadvertent sarcasm posts about now. It is getting hard to watch. Not only the top pst distortions but the comments that are plain old not true. Painful.

Stagflationary Mark said...

Rob Dawg,

The 200th is going to have to be very special. Might need to be patient! :)

It is hard to watch. I dropped into the comments a few days ago and opted to exit after reading just a few.

The duration of my visits there is falling to new lows.

For what it is worth, I do read his posts, much like I read news sources in general. Perhaps that's what he really wants?

He never has shown much of an inclination to discuss many of our long-term structural problems though. He's always focused on the short-term cyclical stuff that everyone else seems to be. Even the housing bust was just another cycle to him, or so I think.