KPA Policy Papers

KPA Advisory Services regularly provides its perspective regarding key issues facing the pension industry through the publication of policy papers, either alone or in collaboration with other experts in the pensions field.

August 15, 2016

Mohamed El-Erian's 'Titanic' Analogy For The Global Retirement System: Too Simplistic To Be Useful

Keith Ambachtsheer

In a weekend Bloomberg News article “The Titanic Risks of the Retirement System”, the Chair of President Obama’s Global Development Council (and former PIMCO CEO) told readers that he attended a performance of the musical Titanic in London recently. Mr. El-Erian writes that the story could end up describing “the fate of the global retirement system”. 

Just as Mr. El-Erian had his Titanic moment as he left the theatre, I had a different one after reading his article. Mine was to recall Albert Einstein’s famous dictum: “Make things as simple as possible….but no simpler”. It struck me that the article failed the Einstein test for at least three reasons.


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