The Group of 20 industrialized nations wrapped up their meeting in Toronto promising to have their government deficits by 2013 and “stabilize” debt loads by 2016, signaling to domestic political audiences and international markets that they’re serious about reducing stimulus spending. But economics Professor Laurence Kotlikoff, author of “Jimmy Stewart is Dead” about the future of the banking industry, says the G-20 missed the mark by not focusing on the critical future problems of paying pensions and health care benefits.
“Had the G-20 agreed to do long-term fiscal gap accounting and to develop policies that eliminated those fiscal gaps, it would have done something real. What’s it’s really done is agreed to delay making the critical policy changes needed to avoid insolvency.”
Contact Laurence Kotlikoff, 617-353-4002, email@example.com
Boston-based State Street Corporation has been sued by the California attorney general for “unconscionable fraud” against that state’s largest public-worker pension funds. Law Professor Tamar Frankel, an authority on securities law and author of “Trust and Honesty: America’s Business Culture at a Crossroad,” says the big questions are how will State Street act in the future.
“Will State Street try to change the way it does business and settle for lower profits and lower executive compensation and lower share prices? Or will there be another way in which the management will try to make up the shortfall?”
Contact Tamar Frankel, 617-353-3773, firstname.lastname@example.org
Congress holds a hearing today on improving consumer financial literacy under the new regulatory system. School of Management Professor Zvi Bodie, a widely recognized authority on personal finance, recommends in a Washington Post commentary some concrete steps to improve consumer financial literacy and suggests a new standard of prudence for investment advisors.
“Instead of focusing on the probability of ‘success’ in meeting some assumed target level of assets by an assumed target date, fiduciaries should be required to address the potential severity of a failure to meet a minimum standard of living in old age.”
Contact Zvi Bodie, 617-353-4160, email@example.com
Reports are surfacing that big banks are using life-insurance policies to help pay bonuses, pensions, and deferred compensation owed to their executives — with the banks as the beneficiaries. While not illegal, critics complain that the banks get tax breaks for funding such quasi-pensions, then profit when the executives die. School of Management Professor Fred Foulkes, director of the Human Resources Policy Institute and an expert on executive compensation, can offer insight into this novel tactic.
Contact Fred Foulkes, 617-353-4281, firstname.lastname@example.org
The following Boston University professors are available to comment on the various aspects of the financial crisis:
School of Management Professor Mark Williams, an expert on risk management and former Federal Reserve Bank examiner who teaches in the school’s Finance Department.
School of Management Professor James Post, an expert on corporate governance and business ethics. He teaches a course called “Corporate Governance, Accountability, and Ethics.” He is the author of “Business and Society: Corporate Strategy, Public Policy, Ethics” (McGraw-Hill).
School of Management Professor Zvi Bodie, a widely recognized expert on pension finance, social security reform.
School of Management Professor Scott Stewart, an investment management expert and former Fidelity funds manager.
School of Law Professor Cornelius Hurley, director of the school’s Morin Center for Banking and Financial Law. He is former chief counsel to the Fed Board of Governors.
School of Law Professor Tamar Frankel, an authority on securities law, corporate governance, and legal ethics. She is the author of “Trust and Honesty: America’s Business Culture at a Crossroad” (Oxford U. Press) and “Securitization” (2nd ed. 2006).
School of Law Professor Charles Whitehead, a securities law expert. He spent 20 years as an in-house counsel in international securities and banking.