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  #81  
Old 12-11-2014, 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Happy Extinction View Post
My question is how does this affect a practicing actuary.

I'm translating your answer as it doesn't.
Don't mean to diminish or scorn the question, but the answer is something of a tautology: different practicing actuaries are affected differently.

And all answers would be, per force, somewhat speculative as there are different ways of combining the organizations... Some ways will have a bigger impact than others.
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  #82  
Old 12-11-2014, 10:53 PM
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In my own opinion, the worst result for actuarial orgs is to become more and more irrelevant to the areas they work in.

The specific, single activity of the SOA scraping a CAS database in contravention of its Terms of Use is very small beer.

The larger issue of the SOA wasting resources on an area they don't have expertise in, while other areas wither, can have negative effects in the very long haul. (and then there's the problem of unnecessarily creating hostility from the other orgs)

The CAS has less in the way of resources, and has its own problems outside the SOA. The Academy has its own relevance issues in certain areas. And it has even less resources than either the SOA or CAS.
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  #83  
Old 12-11-2014, 11:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Basso View Post
your question was somewhat naïve.
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Originally Posted by campbell View Post
Nope. Practicing actuaries just become more and more of a joke.

Enjoy.
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Originally Posted by Trigger View Post
Don't mean to diminish or scorn the question, but the answer is something of a tautology:
Despite the pretentious semi-answers I'll try one more time with a more pointed question just because I have had a cocktail or three.

I'm a very well paid CAS member. Will this affect me in any way in the next 20-30 years? The answer seems to be no. If that were not the case I would become very involved in actuarial politics.

It's an honest question.
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  #84  
Old 12-11-2014, 11:43 PM
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Stan Khury is a wonderful writer with amazing prescience. Back when he wrote his "wild hog" story, I was a pretty senior SOA volunteer -- not yet on the Board, to which I was elected in 2001 -- and I was outraged that Stan could make such accusations against our innocent leaders. I railed against the CAS's paranoia. None of that was ever going to happen! Well, I was wrong. It took a while, but I was still wrong. Brad Smith's speech came as a complete surprise to me; he gave nobody any warning -- ever -- certainly not when he ran for president. Contrast that to my very transparent statements in 2001, 2004 and 2006 ("cooperation, not merger..."). I must, in effect, brag that my time on the SOA Board ended in 2010, before any of this latest nonsense began. I had nothing to do with it -- and no warning.
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I gather that the SOA leadership has been seemingly everywhere trying to gain recognition for its new GI track: NAIC, AAA, visiting company chief actuaries, traveling abroad beating the drum plus God only knows where else.

The interesting part is that so far it is a complete fizzle. Certainly the exam numbers are a fizzle. Just a handful of people are taking the SOA GI exams. And very few CAS members have added the SOA initials to their name.

All of this must be costing the SOA a fortune, with very little return. I figure they must be spending at least $500,000 per year on this project (at two full time actuaries, salaries plus benefits, support staff, plus quarters and rations) in exchange for very few dollars on the revenue side. They have been at this for three years, so my guess is that the investment thus far is nearly $2 million. Never mind the loss of goodwill and welcome around the profession in the US and in the International Actuarial Association circles.

Ridiculous. There does not seem to be any accountability to the members.

When will the SOA membership really push for accountability? At least some accounting of the pluses and minuses thus far of this venture?
Your analysis is correct, as far as it goes, though I have reason to believe that you understated the direct costs a bit. On the other hand, the SOA now keeps all the profits from the preliminary exams, having unilaterally terminated the previous partnership that gave one-third to the CAS. But you miss at least one important point: The SOA is a very rich organization that can afford to squander funds on dubious ventures like this one (and the earlier CERA, which seems to have fallen rather flat). What SOA does not have in abundance is time. Each of us gets 24 hours in a day. To the extent that the SOA spends that precious time warring with the CAS and the AAA, other worthwhile efforts get neglected. That's the real problem here. As an SOA member for 40 years, I wish that my organization were doing other things than generating all of this discord -- with no favorable outcome realistically possible.
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Originally Posted by Happy Extinction View Post
Despite the pretentious semi-answers I'll try one more time with a more pointed question just because I have had a cocktail or three.

I'm a very well paid CAS member. Will this affect me in any way in the next 20-30 years? The answer seems to be no. If that were not the case I would become very involved in actuarial politics.

It's an honest question.
You are merely complacent. If SOA had succeeded in destroying the CAS (and the AAA, let's not forget), then you would see the effects. You don't see any now because of the CAS's resilience and the SOA's ham-handedness. Don't count on either one continuing indefinitely.

Bruce
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  #85  
Old 12-12-2014, 12:07 AM
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.You are merely complacent. If SOA had succeeded in destroying the CAS (and the AAA, let's not forget), then you would see the effects.
OK so I am complacent in addition to being naive. And tautological.

I've got that.

Let's assume I am also stupid.

Somebody explain it to me like a child.
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  #86  
Old 12-12-2014, 12:26 AM
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What are you missing? SOA snatched the CAS's intellectual property, its income from preliminary exams and is trying to take its members! The only reason that isn't affecting you is basically that CAS members aren't taking the bait.

Bruce
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  #87  
Old 12-12-2014, 12:45 AM
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Originally Posted by bdschobel View Post
What are you missing? SOA snatched the CAS's intellectual property, its income from preliminary exams and is trying to take its members! The only reason that isn't affecting you is basically that CAS members aren't taking the bait.

Bruce
Spot on! Well stated!
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  #88  
Old 12-12-2014, 01:32 AM
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Originally Posted by bdschobel View Post
What are you missing? SOA snatched the CAS's intellectual property, its income from preliminary exams and is trying to take its members! The only reason that isn't affecting you is basically that CAS members aren't taking the bait.

Bruce
It's not just that CAS members aren't taking the bait. It is that a vast majority of employers of CAS members are not taking the bait. That is the biggest reason. First, they are not going to support SOA exams. Second, they are not going to want to pay for SOA dues.

When it comes time for their actuarial students to take exams, they will still be taking CAS exams just like they have in the past.

The CAS is also very smart in just granting credit for the first two exams if they passed the SOA ones. I think the SOA was hoping that by removing the CAS from the preliminary exams that actuaries would be forced to take the SOA route. However, if a student is hired by a P&C company, he/she would not have lost any credit and can then go the CAS route.

I work in a P&C department doing health. My FSA benefits me in that respect, but I actually am having my one actuarial student in the U.S. take CAS exams and not SOA exams. I felt he would have more career options within the company.
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  #89  
Old 12-12-2014, 01:43 AM
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That's a good point. The opposition of employers is going to be fatal to this endeavor.

Bruce
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  #90  
Old 12-12-2014, 03:28 AM
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It's not just that CAS members aren't taking the bait. It is that a vast majority of employers of CAS members are not taking the bait. That is the biggest reason. First, they are not going to support SOA exams. Second, they are not going to want to pay for SOA dues.

When it comes time for their actuarial students to take exams, they will still be taking CAS exams just like they have in the past.

The CAS is also very smart in just granting credit for the first two exams if they passed the SOA ones. I think the SOA was hoping that by removing the CAS from the preliminary exams that actuaries would be forced to take the SOA route. However, if a student is hired by a P&C company, he/she would not have lost any credit and can then go the CAS route.

I work in a P&C department doing health. My FSA benefits me in that respect, but I actually am having my one actuarial student in the U.S. take CAS exams and not SOA exams. I felt he would have more career options within the company.
Well said. There is already ample evidence attesting to the veracity of what you say. Just one recent example: one very large employer of casualty actuaries, upon the SOA announcing its entry into GI, changed its dues paying policy to the effect that SOA dues are not reimbursable. There are many more.
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