Monday, December 08, 2008

Death and taxes ...

This is an excellent presentation by Governor Jens Thomsen of the National Bank of Denmark, on how to hedge and invest in an environment where average life expectancy rises by over 5 hours every day. He proposes that governments should issue more ultra-long term bonds to create a hedging substrate for that time horizon. 

What Thomsen does not address, however, is the challenge to such instruments arising from an investment environment with massively higher government debt, as it is foreseeable in many countries. The temptation to apply the inflation tax to reduce such debt may be overwhelming, which is why such ultra-long bonds should be issued with an inflation protection.

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