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Giant ponzi scheme uncovered

In the wake of the alleged $50bn Madoff and $8bn Stanford ponzi schemes, I have to announce that I have uncovered one that’s a tad larger.

A ponzi scheme is defined as one where current withdrawals are funded by current receipts. So it would seem that the UK central and local government pension schemes with unfunded liabilities of £750bn is indeed a ponzi scheme. In fact so worried about this are they, the UK government has apparently taken legal advice on the possibility of reneging on these massive liabilities. UK politicians in the form of Westminster MPs are of course beneficiaries of these copper-bottomed, gilt-edged, feather-bedded arrangements, so there is no real possibility of default.

As long as our politicians benefit from these generous arrangements, there is no real incentive for them to preserve the interests of those in funded and often un-guaranteed schemes. That would be the majority of us, by my reckoning.

The sooner unfunded, guaranteed pension arrangements are phased out, the better.

And don’t get me started on the liabilities lurking in the UK state pension scheme…

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Comments: (2)

Sriram Natarajan
Sriram Natarajan - Credit Risk Fraud Cards Professional - Gurgaon 13 March, 2009, 12:15Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Well, now it looks like all social security and pension schemes are Madoff / Ponzi schemes. All 'welfare' governments collect money from the latest entrants (young generation) and pass it on to the earlier members (pensioners). But the moot point is whether it is better to be a welfare government or leaving your citizens to fend for themselves - as most third world countries do. Imagine what effect all the job cuts would have if countries like UK and US don't have social security schemes.

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 16 March, 2009, 22:05Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

I argued for a while, last 9 months, that salaries and pensions in a public and para-public institutions should be capped.

Even worse, they can't even pretend to offer good value for the money - FSA was a nice bystander, nothing more. Lost details? just ask how many times. Etc...