It was easy to miss this little tidbit. If Rick Santelli hadn't mentioned it on CNBC I doubt anyone would have caught it. Of course it will be sold as the benevolent government trying to help the poor citizens.
Lawmakers have proposed changes, and the Obama administration will seek ways to promote conversion of 401(k) accounts after their average value fell in the past three years alongside a 46 percent drop in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.
The U.S. Treasury and Labor Departments will ask for public comment as soon as next week on ways to promote the conversion of 401(k) savings and Individual Retirement Accounts into annuities or other steady payment streams, according to Assistant Labor Secretary Phyllis C. Borzi and Deputy Assistant Treasury Secretary Mark Iwry, who are leading the effort.
It's just the government trying to help you out, right? They just want to move our money to safer investment vehicles, like Treasuries. Or more likely its the government looking to help themselves out.
If you want a roadmap of how this can turn out, just look to the Southern Hemisphere of 2008.
Here is a warning to us all. The Argentine state is taking control of the country’s privately-managed pension funds in a drastic move to raise cash.
My fear is that governments in the US, Britain, and Europe will display similar reflexes. Indeed, they have already done so. The forced-feeding of banks with fresh capital – whether they want it or not – and the seizure of the Fannie/Freddie mortgage giants before they were in fact in trouble (in order to prevent a Chinese buying strike of US bonds and prevent a spike in US mortgage rates), shows that private property can be co-opted – or eliminated – with little due process if that is required to serve the collective welfare. This is a slippery slope.
I'm going to write more on this later.