What I’m Reading: A Friday Link Roundup, “It’s Worse Than You Think” Edition

The Pension Crisis is Worse Than You Think – Seeking Alpha
The article’s author outlines why the current pension system in the US is completely and unarguably unsustainable – and why we probably have less than a decade before pension funds run out.

Why oil prices can’t rise very high, for very long – Our Finite World
This piece may sound good at first, but it’s not. Many of Gail’s posts about the price of oil concern themselves with trying to get it into her readers heads that low oil prices are bad – really bad – as counterintuitive as that seems. Here, it’s a simple case of supply and demand: the cost of production climbs every year, while spending power remains stagnant at best. This makes even a fixed price for oil unaffordable over the long-term for consumers, and unsustainable for producers who need to turn a profit in order to keep the drills drilling. In short, Gail often says, this means that there is no price that works anymore.

At the Fed, the Scene Is Being Set for Financial Disaster – The Nation
Nomi Prins speculates that we’re quietly headed for another crisis a la the 2008 market collapse. Trump is leveraging all the wrong people (for a healthy economy) in the Federal Reserve lineup as the GOP aims to loosen restrictions across the financial board. Meanwhile, the stock market is already beginning to show signs of stress this year. Best fasten your seatbelt, folks. (Here’s two more pieces pointing toward this from CNBC.)

U.K. Productivity Worst Since Industrial Revolutoin, BOE Says – Bloomberg
“Total factor productivity since 2007 was the worst since the late eighteenth century, around the time of the industrial revolution, according to a Bank of England blog post Wednesday.”