Hope for Retirees ?! and a Russian Poet’s “Love of Life on the Downside”

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1. HOPE!

Thanks to two WSJ OPED authors that assured me Boomers may have bigger nest eggs that some darned FED statistics suggest.

The link to this upbeat Golden Year article is: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304603704579329012635470796 [ this is the source of my nest egg image by the way ].

2. Loving Life on the Downslope – Thank you Pushkin!

Quoting from a recent WSJ article about a classic mid-life elegy (http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304325004579298622623826110)

“Pushkin bestows what is almost certainly among the shortest and most powerful inventory of life’s immutable treasures penned by a poet:

“I know there shall be enjoyments for me

Amid sorrows, cares and anxieties:

At times I again will be intoxicated by harmony,

Weep over my fantasy’s creation,

And perhaps on my sad sunset

Love will shine its farewell smile.” “

Enough said for now (as I’m looking downslope).

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President Lincoln’s Death – 150 years ago on Good Friday 1865

Following so closely the Lee Surrender @ Appomattox Court House;
President Lincoln’s fateful trip to Ford’s Theater for “An American Cousin” is remembered in these images:
Memories about our 16th President’s Assassination – 150 years ago.

Recall that Secretary of State Seward was also attacked on that sad Good Friday – luckily he survived his knife attack by a Booth co-conspirator. Vice President Andrew Johnson was also an intended target – yet his attacker did not follow through with his assignment.

Our first presidential assassination, national mourning, Reconstruction and tumultuous times ensued.

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Oy! Our Federal Debt may be worse than thought?!

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Is there a silver lining to this VERY, VERY dark cloud for our future?

“What’s the word for our fiscal situation? Stunning? Shocking? Desperate? In recent testimony before the Senate Budget Committee, Boston University Economics Professor Laurence Kotlikoff, in effect, told the Committee that all of these terms are pathetically inadequate to describe our true fiscal situation. In compelling testimony, Kotlikoff argues that the federal fiscal situation is much worse than the CBO estimates let on. The reason is that CBO’s debt estimates do not take into account the full financial obligations the government is committed to honor, especially for future payments of Social Security, Medicare, and interest on the debt…. Oy!
US unsustainable debtpath_chart

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Memorializing the Most Important Surrender in American History

Two officers and gentlemen – fellow West Pointers – called it quits after a great Civil War.
“Over the fifteen decades since the end of the Civil War, the “memory” of the war has become increasingly artificial given that nobody alive today has actual memories of the war. Broadly speaking, however, these “memories” fall into two categories: the realistic and the nostalgic. Those two types of memories were already visible in the 1860s as exemplified by simple sketches and unselfconscious romanticism.”

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Brookings Blog – Is there hope for our kids’ American Dreams?

American Dream???

American Dream???

Here’s the Brookings link:
href=”http://www.brookings.edu/research/podcasts/2015/04/robert-putnam-american-dream?utm_campaign=Brookings+Brief&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=16905719&_hsenc=p2ANqtz–uY9TBOux-9OvDS04ZgTMjPsc880vL4Gj2sI6aMC-_xgoEzmr2A7fYxReg4tFdCLkvLmLmuACJDdP-loNc6OUsJvAwHqORohH2fBGNSHbrKsoWCYw&_hsmi=16905719″

Fingers crossed!

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A Century of the Fed (Cato Institute article) – I reserve my judgment

A Roadmap to Monetary Policy Reforms

http://cato.us1.list-manage1.com/track/click u=98c97f42691d5de57bc944822&id=967da7a4ee&e=697678cc60

by Norbert Michel

We now have a 100-year history by which to judge the Federal Reserve’s performance. On balance, the Fed has not increased economic stability relative to the pre-Fed era. The Great Depression, the great stagflation, and the 2008 financial crisis have all occurred on the Fed’s watch. Even excluding the Great Depression, business cycles have not become appreciably milder, nor have recessions become less frequent or measurably shorter. Norbert Michel argues “The Fed has strayed so far from the classic prescription for a lender of last resort—to provide short-term funds to solvent institutions at penalty rates—it strains all reason to suggest that it has successfully fulfilled that function.” In the article, Michel puts forward a direction for policymakers to begin addressing these issues.

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I’m heading to the Getty to see JMW Turner works in May!

This gent (JMW Turner) is my second favorite painter – because of his many nautical works.
OK – if you ask – Thomas Eakins is my #1.
I won’t miss the Getty exhibit through May 24th (in LA).
turner

Here’s a Wall Street Journal link about JMW:
http://www.wsj.com/articles/a-work-with-a-legendary-creation-story-on-snow-stormsteam-boat-off-a-harbours-mouth-by-j-m-w-turner-1426871194?tesla=y.

Best,
DF

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Spring has sprung – musings

We’ll miss you, Leonard Nimoy.
As I battled pneumonia for part of March Madness, I used Nimoy’s “live long and prosper” to help me get past the yucky times.
And speaking of the Madness – my bracketology was hammered! So it goes.
Guess there is solace that NONE of 11.5 million brackets filed with ESPN were perfect – safety in numbers…

Speaking of safety – hopefully this personal financial “stress test” can help us Boomers assess how ready we are for retirement:
http://blogs.wsj.com/briefly/2015/03/11/5-tips-for-passing-a-personal-finance-stress-test/?KEYWORDS=stress.

So, LLAP – Boomers!

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