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  #11  
Old 07-13-2018, 06:58 PM
Dr T Non-Fan Dr T Non-Fan is offline
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Originally Posted by campbell View Post
I will see what I can do.
http://www.actuarialoutpost.com/actu...d.php?t=298304

http://www.actuarialoutpost.com/actu...d.php?t=201160

http://www.actuarialoutpost.com/actu...d.php?t=201460

http://www.actuarialoutpost.com/actu...d.php?t=105104
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Last edited by Dr T Non-Fan; 07-13-2018 at 07:07 PM..
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  #12  
Old 07-13-2018, 10:26 PM
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RIP I enjoyed listening to the recording of his MIT talk and liked contrasting his views and posts with those of the higher ups when I was working in pensions as it gave me a good perspective from both sides
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Old 07-13-2018, 10:49 PM
Alberto Dominguez Alberto Dominguez is offline
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I just read this in the WSJ. I am so sad to learn this. More than a great actuary, he was a great man. I will miss my friend.

ETA for those who are unaware, Jeremy’s body of work is available at http://users.erols.com/jeremygold/papers.html
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Old 07-14-2018, 01:16 AM
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RIP

We have so few public personalities. He certainly was one. Even if one thought he was incorrect in his premise, his concern was that the profession was failing to uphold its responsibilities owed to the public - and that angle of concern is admirable.
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  #15  
Old 07-14-2018, 07:47 AM
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I created a new thread for his "greatest hits", though I'm not limiting it to his AO posts.

http://www.actuarialoutpost.com/actu...d.php?t=333778
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  #16  
Old 07-14-2018, 08:07 AM
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NYT obituary by Mary Williams Walsh:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/13/b...ies-at-75.html

Quote:
Jeremy Gold, Actuary Who Warned of Pension Crisis, Dies at 75
Spoiler:
Jeremy Gold, an actuary who more than 25 years ago warned of the financial debacles now slowly playing out among the cities and states that sponsor pension plans for their teachers, police officers, bus drivers and other workers, died on July 6 in Manhattan. He was 75.

The cause was myelodysplastic syndrome and leukemia, his son, Jonathan, said.

In 1985, Mr. Gold became one of the first American actuaries to work on Wall Street, straying from the profession’s typical career track in insurance and consulting.

It was the heyday of the corporate raid, when high rollers like Carl Icahn and T. Boone Pickens were buying up companies, firing the managers, turning everything upside down and reveling in the shareholder value they claimed to have created.

Often, the raiders went after companies with pension funds, which happened to be Mr. Gold’s métier. They said the funds held far more money than they needed, grabbed what they said was the surplus and used it to finance their takeovers. When the dust settled, the money was gone, and workers’ hopes for a decent retirement were dashed.



The raids inspired books, movies, Broadway productions like Ayad Akhtar’s “Junk” and, eventually, a federal law slapping a punitive tax on any raider who looted a pension fund again.

But for Mr. Gold, they raised big questions about the advice actuaries gave employers on how to run their pension plans.



Why did the raiders keep finding overstuffed pensions to exploit? Could actuarial practices be making employers vulnerable? What if it was not just a few wrong numbers here and there, but a bedrock flaw in the actuarial standards that could lead to a systemic disaster?

Mr. Gold eventually concluded that the standards were indeed dangerously flawed, and embarked on a 30-year mission, as he put it, “to save my profession.”

Pension mishaps, he knew, would be devastating as baby boomers aged and retired, because the amounts of money involved would be vast. Much like lawyers and accountants, actuaries have a professional duty to protect the public and to serve the greater good. If instead they were putting their clients in harm’s way, even unintentionally, he thought, the public would eventually catch on, actuaries would be blamed, and the whole profession could go down in a cascade of ignominy and lawsuits.



If the problem lay in weak actuarial standards, he concluded, the solution would be tighter standards.

More than 30 years later, the tightened standards are still mostly on the drawing board, and change has come too slowly to avoid painful reckonings in places like Detroit, Puerto Rico, Stockton, Calif., and perhaps, soon, Chicago — or to prevent the looming collapse of big pension plans for retired Teamsters and coal miners.

But the fact that stricter standards are being considered at all is testament to Mr. Gold’s conviction that actuarial science was broken, and his refusal to stop saying so.

“Within the actuarial profession, Jeremy has done more than anyone to move this forward,” said Ed Bartholomew, a former chief financial officer of the Inter-American Development Bank, who led a reform of the bank’s pension management following the recent financial crisis.

Mr. Bartholomew, now an independent consultant, said he thought work on new actuarial standards was “going in the right direction.”

“For that,” he said, “I give credit to Jeremy, who has been pushing these ideas for 20 years.”

But even as Mr. Gold won converts, he antagonized many colleagues, who believed the traditional actuarial methods were sound and thought he was harming the profession’s credibility.

He also earned the enmity of union officials, who thought his campaign threatened their members’ benefits. In fact, Mr. Gold was a lifelong liberal Democrat, the son of high school English teachers who knew firsthand the value of traditional pensions.




He came to his understanding of the pitfalls in actuarial science during his work on Wall Street in the 1980s. It wasn’t just the corporate raids; the 1980s were also a time of groundbreaking theoretical advances in financial economics, a specialty that concentrates on trading, pricing, hedging and risk.

From his vantage point as the head of Morgan Stanley’s pension division, Mr. Gold could see the lessons of financial economics being applied to everything around him — except pensions.

Financial economists were concerned with accurately measuring the cost of transactions that would happen in the future. Actuaries were focused on estimating pension costs and then spreading out the cost as smoothly as possible over time. Their clients wanted slow, steady funding schedules that would pay for their workers’ benefits over the years without surging every time the markets soured or interest rates spiked.

That meant actuaries were not terribly concerned about up-to-the-minute asset values, or measuring pension obligations the way the markets would. Their numbers made sense to them, but not to anyone else. They often told clients to make bigger contributions than current market conditions called for, knowing it would result in excess funding, which would fill the hole later on when the markets changed.

That was why the raiders of the 1980s found troves of pension money that seemed to be just sitting there, waiting to be captured.

Confusion about actuarial numbers also helps explain why so many state and local governments promised valuable pensions without understanding how much it would cost to pay them.

In 1995 Mr. Gold applied to the doctoral program at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, saying he wanted to research how pension finance had come to be so muddled.




“I would look to the principles of modern finance for guidance in the design of a more rational pension finance of the future,” he wrote.

By the time he emerged with a doctorate in financial economics, the big stock run-up of the 1990s was ending and the rich pension surpluses of the 1980s had disappeared. The baby boomers were retiring, the markets were gyrating, companies were trying to get out of the pension business, and state and local pension plans were struggling.

Those conditions intensified the opposition to Mr. Gold’s calls for sweeping change, but they made him all the more certain that change was needed.

Mr. Gold was born in Brooklyn on Nov. 28, 1942, to Sarah and Edward Gold, and grew up on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. He was accepted at M.I.T. at 16 but flunked out after three years as a math major. He ultimately received a bachelor’s degree from Pace College (now Pace University). Before joining Morgan Stanley he worked at the consulting firms Alexander & Alexander and Buck Consultants.

His two marriages ended in divorce. In addition to his son, he is survived by a brother, Jonathan, and a granddaughter.



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  #17  
Old 07-14-2018, 08:09 AM
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Wirepoints:
http://www.wirepoints.com/r-i-p-jeremy-gold/

Quote:
A 'Nonlinear' Life: R.I.P., Jeremy Gold
Spoiler:
Jeremy Gold lost his long fight with leukemia earlier this month.

Regular readers here will recognize his name from national pension stories and his occasional comments on this site. He was the leading figure in the effort to bring more honesty to actuarial reporting on pensions.

I didn’t know Jeremy aside from a few email exchanges, but that was enough to see that he was whip smart and totally devoted to his cause. Both the New York Times and Wall Street Journal have nice stories about his life.

One actuary I know who worked closely with him told me his life was “nonlinear.” (Actuaries talk that way, you know.) That sounds right. A child of the sixties, he initially flunked out of MIT, favoring instead the game of pool and a red sports car, according to the Wall Street Journal.

He eventually returned to math, at which he excelled, ultimately becoming an actuary and applying it in a successful career on Wall Street at Morgan Stanley.

But his life turned again, and he devoted his last two decades to a crusade for reform in the world of actuaries and pensions of which he had been part. He earned a doctorate from Wharton while in his fifties. His application there included the stated goal of “improving pension actuarial practice through research and intelligent criticism.”

“Where are the screaming actuaries yelling in these burning theaters?” he asked in a 2015 speech.

Much of his work focused on the matter of pension discount rates — the rates of returned pensions assume in reporting their health — which are often manipulated and usually inflated to hide problems. Think about that as you see Chicago bragging about the progress it has supposedly made on its pensions. We will have a story out on that soon.

It’s a shame he didn’t live to see his crusade fully completed, but his impact was huge. He’s the one who broke the table, as they say in the game of pool that he loved.

*Mark Glennon is founder and executive editor of Wirepoints.
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  #18  
Old 07-14-2018, 10:20 AM
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wsj:
https://www.wsj.com/articles/jeremy-...s&page=1&pos=1
Quote:
Jeremy Gold Shook Up Pension World With Warnings About Risks

The brusque actuary said funds underestimated liabilities

Jeremy Gold became an actuarial gadfly, spreading his message to professional standards boards, pension officials and congressional committees
Spoiler:
By Heather Gillers
July 13, 2018 10:30 a.m. ET

In the sedate world of actuarial science, Jeremy Gold was a bomb thrower. He regularly accused public-pension-fund managers of taking too much risk and underestimating their liabilities to current and future retirees.

“Where are the screaming actuaries yelling in these burning theaters?” he asked in a 2015 speech at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He cited the pension shortfall faced by state and local governments, usually pegged today at between $1.6 trillion and $4 trillion. Some governments ran up those debts by paying less than actuaries recommended.

Others made payments endorsed by actuaries based on projected returns that never arrived. “Actuaries should have been the cops here…applying science while all around them were doing politics,” Mr. Gold said.

He was a wild child of the 1960s who flunked out of college before getting his act together. He became “a maverick with a message…that we need to face up to the wreckage that public pensions face,” said Olivia Mitchell, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and an expert on pensions. “His work changed the way the profession thinks about retirement systems.”

Mr. Gold died July 6 in New York of myelodysplastic syndrome, which developed into leukemia. He was 75.

Jeremy Edward Gold was born Nov. 28, 1942, in New York City and grew up on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The son of two high school English teachers, Mr. Gold attended Stuyvesant High School and at 16 was accepted to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he majored in math.

He never graduated from MIT and left with failing grades three years later. His study of mathematics had taken a back seat to working on his pool game, friends and family members said. His sister-in-law recalled a red sports car and a SoHo loft where the television was always on. A photo from the time shows Mr. Gold with a mass of long, curly hair in front of a Volkswagen bus. “I think there was a lot of cross-country driving,” said his son, Jon Gold.

Mr. Gold eventually completed a degree in business administration at Pace University in 1969. He spent two decades as an actuary, eventually ending up at Morgan Stanley in the late 1980s as one of Wall Street’s earliest pension actuaries. He noticed that as interest rates climbed in the 1970s and 1980s, many pension funds raised their expectations about what they hoped to earn on their investments. But as interest rates began to fall, those expected rates of return often remained high.

Tweaking rates of return can drastically change estimates of pension-plan obligations. That’s why estimates of the nation’s total public-pension debt load vary by trillions of dollars.

Mr. Gold came to believe that his fellow actuaries were allowing their pension-plan clients to underestimate their pension liabilities and underfund their plans. At age 53, he applied to the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School with the goal of “improving pension actuarial practice through research and intelligent criticism,” he said in the 2015 speech. In the application for his doctoral program, before listing his accomplishments on Wall Street and a stint testifying before Congress, he acknowledged his advanced age and undistinguished departure from MIT. “I hope that the various positives below will outweigh these negatives,” he wrote.

In 2000, Mr. Gold earned a doctorate from Wharton, where he studied pension finance, and began a career as an actuarial gadfly, bringing his message to professional standards boards, pension officials and congressional committees.

He argued that since public pensions represent an ironclad promise to workers, plan sponsors tallying up future liabilities should use a low, risk-free rate to calculate them, regardless of how the money is actually invested. That would result in significantly higher annual pension costs for governments, cutting into money available for salaries and services, and stoking campaigns to curtail pension benefits. But Mr. Gold said banking on rosy returns from more speculative assets like stocks or real estate sticks the next generation with the risk and—if those investments underperform—with the bill.

His logic won accolades in academia and played less well among pension officials. One 2007 presentation to the National Council on Teacher Retirement included a bulleted list titled, “Who should hate me first?”

Two decades after Mr. Gold began his crusade, his influence has crept into the public pension mainstream. Analysts at Moody’s Investors Service in 2013 stopped using the pension liability estimates government actuaries had signed off on and began calculating the debts themselves. The Governmental Accounting Standards Board three years ago began dictating that cities and states with especially large pension liabilities had to incorporate a more conservative rate into their liability estimates. But major public pension plans continue to bank on hoped-for returns: The average rate they used to calculate liabilities in 2017 was 7.38%, according to the Public Plans Database. The same year, the 30-year Treasury peaked at 3.2%.

In addition to his son Jon, Mr. Gold is survived by a brother, a granddaughter, two nephews and a daughter-in-law.

Write to Heather Gillers at heather.gillers@wsj.com
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  #19  
Old 07-15-2018, 03:04 PM
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pulling stuff together from the threads:
http://stump.marypat.org/article/103...arial-memorial
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Old 07-16-2018, 01:33 PM
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Guy got his PhD at the age of ~58. Baller
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