From Dublin to Paris to Budapest to inside those brown UPS trucks delivering holiday packages, it has been a tough few weeks for savers and retirees.
Moves by the Irish, French and Hungarian governments, and by the famous delivery company, showed that in the post-crisis world retirees, present and future, will be paying much of the price and taking on more of the risk.
This goes beyond merely cutting back on pension benefits, rising to actual appropriation of supposedly long-term retirement assets to help fund short term emergencies.
Let’s start with Ireland, which is kicking in 10 billion euros from its National Pensions Reserve Fund into an 85 billion euro package of support for its banks.
Trust me, this does not reduce the risk profile of the NPRF, which was set up as a sovereign wealth fund to help pay for state retirement benefits.