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William Byrnes (Texas A&M) tax & compliance articles

Posts Tagged ‘Goldman Sachs’

Goldman Sachs’ $3.15 billion Settlement with FHFA

Posted by William Byrnes on August 25, 2014


International Financial Law Prof Blog.  … Under the terms of the settlement, Goldman Sachs will pay $3.15 billion in connection with releases and the purchase of securities that were the subject of statutory claims in the lawsuit FHFA v. Goldman Sachs & Co., et al., in the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York …

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Pensions Turn to Death Bonds

Posted by William Byrnes on September 28, 2011


It’s a given that most of us want to extend our lives as long as possible. But our ever-increasing life spans can financially strain pension funds and others that are contingent upon us dying to keep their books balanced.

Pension funds face severe longevity risk. If pensioners live longer than expected, payouts from the funds could eclipse the estimated cost of keeping the funds stable. Worldwide, $17 trillion of pension funds – $23 trillion in assets – is exposed to longevity risk.

But the big banks—including Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, and Deustsche Bank—are coming to the rescue by packaging that longevity risk and selling it to investors; and they’re counting on investors being interested in gambling on death.

Read this complete analysis of the impact at AdvisorFX (sign up for a free trial subscription with full access to all of the planning libraries and client presentations if you are not already a subscriber).

For previous coverage of life insurance contracts in Advisor’s Journal, see IRS Guidance Provides Safe Harbor for Policies Maturing After Age 100 (CC 10-51).

For in-depth analysis of pension plans and other qualified employee plans, see Advisor’s Main Library: O – ERISA – FAQs.

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Pensions Turn to Death Bonds

Posted by William Byrnes on September 8, 2011


It’s a given that most of us want to continue living as long as possible.  Exercising, eating healthy, and taking every precaution available to extend the gift of life to its limits. Nevertheless, even living a longer life is not exempt from the foreseeable strains it creates financially. Increasing life spans can create problems for pension funds and others that depend on us dying to keep their books balanced.

Pension funds are exposed to severe longevity risk. If pensioners live longer than expected, payouts from the funds could exceed the estimated cost of keeping the funds solvent. Worldwide, $17 trillion of pension funds – $23 trillion in assets – is exposed to longevity risk.

But the big banks—including Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, and Deustsche Bank—are coming to the rescue by packaging that longevity risk and selling it to investors; and they’re counting on investors being interested in wagering on your death.

Read this complete analysis of the impact at AdvisorFX (sign up for a free trial subscription with full access to all of the planning libraries and client presentations if you are not already a subscriber).

For previous coverage of life insurance contracts in Advisor’s Journal, see IRS Guidance Provides Safe Harbor for Policies Maturing After Age 100 (CC 10-51).

For in-depth analysis of pension plans and other qualified employee plans, see Advisor’s Main Library: O – ERISA – FAQs.

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AIG Marked as Central Player in the Financial Crisis Blame Game

Posted by William Byrnes on March 15, 2011


According the FCIC report, in the late 90s, AIG leveraged its superior credit rating—its “most valuable asset”—to branch out beyond standard insurance products and become a major over-the-counter derivatives dealer. Through its subsidiary AIG Financial Products, AIG eventually amassed a derivatives portfolio with $2.7 trillion in notional value.

A significant portion of AIG’s derivatives business was devoted to credit default swaps (CDS’s) that “insured” debt held by financial firms and institutional investors. A CDS is a contract under which the party writing the CDS agrees to reimburse the party purchasing protection if there is a default on the underlying debt. In exchange, the party purchasing protection makes a series of payments to the issuer of the CDS—essentially premium payments.

AIG’s credit protection business grew rapidly, swelling from $20 billion in 2002 to $211 billion in 2005 and $533 billion in 2007.

Although insurance policies and CDS’s are similar, crucial differences between the two played a critical role in the crisis. An insurance company is obligated to set aside reserves to balance against potential losses; but a credit default swap, not being an insurance policy, is not subject to a reserve requirement. As a result, AIG was not required to put up collateral when it issued hundreds of billions in CDS’s. What the company did do, however, was promise to post collateral if its credit rating was downgraded.

Read the entire analysis by linking to AdvisorFX !  Sing up for the no obligation free trial – with full access to Advanced Underwriting Service, the Presentation Aids, Soft Skill Tools, Calculators, and Daily Journal.

 

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