Here’s an agenda item for the Group of 20 major nations’ economic meeting later this week: agree that you all need to raise retirement ages and make sure you pick a high number.
How about 72?
Retirement age might seem a small and arcane issue when the powerful from the G20 nations grapple with such macro notions as how to sustain nascent economic recoveries while simultaneously developing plans to eventually return to fiscal sanity.
But retirement age is part of the long-term answer to the second part of that delicate equation. And, among the host of changes in the social contract between citizens and governments that will be necessary because many countries simply don’t have enough money to keep it up, retirement age increases rank among the most palatable choices.
As she discussed Friday her concerns about the credit-default swaps market, especially when it involves sovereign debt, France’s finance minister, Christine Lagarde, turned a well-worn market notion on its head.
“Now it’s all OTC,” Lagarde said of CDS trading, “which I call ‘under’ rather than ‘over’ the counter.”
In a lunch interview with The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones Newswires on Friday, Lagarde said she was particularly concerned with the lack of clarity around CDS trading, especially CDS on sovereign debt. The latter she described as a narrow and illiquid market.
Posted by Rick Stine
on February 10, 2010
, European Union
Much has been written about the Euro zone efforts (especially Germany and France) to help Greece deal with its budget deficits and heavy debt load. Concerns about Greece have roiled world financia markets. Now, the German publication Spiegel Online has an article that indicates Greece’s problems could be worse than expected because of some complicated derivatives it was playing around with. The foreign exchange swaps through Goldman Sachs, the article says, had the effect of loaning more money to Greece, which means its debt and deficit are larger than originally thought. Click here to see the article.