Q&A: The Bull and Bear Case for Ethereum

 

Question: What is a digital currency actually backed with as there are no assets within a digital currency? 

 

Answer: Cryptoassets are—to quote a recent Bank for International Settlements’ (BIS’) consultative document on the topic—“private digital assets that depend primarily on cryptography and distributed ledger or similar technology.” So the world’s central bankers agree they are assets. 

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Benefit Bonds: What You Should Consider

The issue of funding an increasing pension liability is a lingering concern for many trustees and state officials. As employee contribution rates continue to increase, discount rates are declining, and municipal contributions are under pressure due to competing priorities, many plans struggle to properly manage and continue to provide benefits to employees.

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Board Diversity: The Time for Change is Now, Will Shareholders Step Up?

Much ink has been spilled, much breath expended, and many hands have been wrung over the last decade on the lack of diversity in corporate boardrooms. That chorus only intensified over the last year as protests over racial inequity poured out into the streets of cities across the country.

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A JOLT of Inflation From the Labor Market?

Recent economic reports have prompted fears that prices in the U.S. are about to take off. Concerns that pandemic-related supply bottlenecks, combined with increased consumer demand due to unprecedented fiscal and monetary stimulus, would lead to an undesirable jump in inflation seem to be, at least preliminarily, materializing. While increasing costs have been widespread, the greatest opportunity for sustained price increases lies in the labor market and the possibility of a wage-price spiral.

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The Unbearable Lightness of Low Rates

  • In this report we examine the impact of low rates on banks and what can they do about it. We also plan to follow up this publication with examining impact of low rates on insurance and asset management.

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Austin Fire Fighters Relief & Retirement Fund Seeks Fund Administrator

JOB ADVERTISEMENT: Our client, Austin Fire Fighters Relief & Retirement Fund (AFRS), a single employer defined benefit pension plan provides service retirement, death, disability and termination benefits for eligible members and their survivors, is seeking a Fund Administrator  

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Real Estate's Relationship to Inflation

With material inflation returning for the first time in years, investors are tasked with defending their portfolios against its erosive effects. Often, this has been done via investment in real estate, long touted as an effective hedging strategy in periods of rising prices, though why this has persisted as part of the investing canon bears repeating given the current environment.

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Nearly 290 Attend TEXPERS' Educational Forum in San Antonio

 

In a state very much open for business after a more than a year of social distancing during a pandemic, nearly 290 people headed "Back to the Future" to get some insight into how the pension management industry might look in a post-pandemic world during TEXPERS' 2021 Summer Educational Forum, Aug. 29-31, in San Antonio, Texas.

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Inflation—Joining the Dots: Shifting Priorities Open the Door to Higher Inflation

What You Need to Know

As the world starts to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, a range of factors are converging to create a new inflationary era. Crucially, the policy regime is changing, driven by the need to respond to emerging social and environmental challenges and help manage record peacetime debt levels. These developments reinforce longer-term structural changes that are ending the long period of disinflation that the developed world enjoyed from 1980 to 2020. Such secular trends include the reversal of positive demographics and the start of de-globalization. How did we get to this juncture? What can we learn from previous inflationary episodes? And what are the chances of a different outcome this time?

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Long View on China

The rise of China’s digital champions has been an engine of innovation and growth and a compelling investment opportunity over the past years.

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Legislative Happenings

 

The state's 87th regular legislative session got underway on Jan. 4, 2021 and adjourned May 31, 2021. A special session is currently underway. TEXPERS, along with the association's Legislative Committee and legislative consultant, is monitoring the session, especially for any actions regarding public employee pensions. TEXPERS staff will regularly update this blog page with the latest happenings that may be of interest to trustees and administrators of public employee retirement systems.

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Virtual Public Forum to Preview Updates to Congressional Website

Part of the job of administrators and trustees of public employee retirement systems is to keep up with legislation that could impact the benefits of their fund's active and retired members. The Library of Congress will hold a public forum next month to update the public on the latest improvements to Congress.gov, the official source for federal legislative information. 

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TESRS Announces CFO Job Search

The Texas Emergency Services Retirement System is seeking an experienced accounting professional to join the agency as Chief Financial Officer, according to a news release the TESRS submitted on July 27, 2021. 

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Registration is Now Open for TEXPERS' 2021 Summer Educational Forum

"Back to the Future" is the theme of the Texas Association of Public Employee Retirement Systems' 2021 Summer Educational Forum, set for Aug. 29-31 in San Antonio, Texas. 

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How to Request Time Off to Attend TEXPERS 2021 Summer Educational Forum

The state of Texas doesn't simply encourage professional development for public employee pension trustees and administrators; it mandates it.

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Learn Why the Asset Class is Often Overlooked

Often an overlooked asset class, we believe that CLO equity deserves strong consideration as a strategic allocation given its attractive historical return profile, time-tested proven structure, and potential diversification benefits the asset class can provide a broader portfolio.

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A Complementary Source for Additional Yield

  • Although institutional investors’ allocation to publicly traded investment grade (IG) bonds is essential for liquidity and stability, yields today are historically low. The typical corporate pension fund, for example, with a fixed income allocation of close to 50%1 and long-term performance goals averaging 6.5%,1 faces a wide return gap to be filled.2

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Should EM Investors be Worried About Tapering?

Although the Fed looks likely to tighten policy sooner than previously expected, the 2013 “taper tantrum” should be avoided. But tapering will still have a variety of implications for emerging markets.

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Exploring Consumer Trends: Whitepaper

Emerging markets offer attractive investment opportunities, supported by favorable economic fundamentals and a rapidly expanding middle class. But classic consumption patterns appear to be evolving, and this could have implications for emerging markets investors.

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European Bank Valuations are at a 33-year Low

With European bank valuations at a 33-year low, let's examine why this may be this best time to invest with the right strategy.

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