Shit Approaches Fan

I have been writing about the problems with corporate pension funds. This Dow Jones Newswire story just appeared online, Most Pensions Funds Suffer Shortfalls

And it will be worse that you hear about. This appears in the story,

The median expected rate of return on pension assets for S&P companies in 2001 was 9.2 percent, according to Credit Suisse First Boston Corp. analyst David Zion, the author of a well-regarded study on pension underfunding.

Zion said numbers for 2002 aren’t yet available, and predicted the median rate for 2003 will be 8.5 percent.

In other words, they’re in as much trouble as they are in, and that is with them reporting expected earnings of 8.5 percent on their funds next year. Yes, that’s right, they’re saying their funds will increase 8.5% in 2003. Part of why they are in this trouble is they reported “expected” increases of 9.2% in 2001, which, of course, didn’t happen. Imagine how bad the books would look if they were reporting realistic returns on their pension fund investments!