Heiner Flassbeck: Gambling for retirement

After the great financial crisis of 2008/2009, everyone was wiser for a moment. Gambling, as we knew after the bad experiences of that time, is dangerous in principle. It is particularly dangerous if you don’t even gamble with your own money, but go into debt to try your luck in the casinos of this world. So you take on debts for which you have to pay fixed interest, and hope to gamble so successfully with the sum then available that you can not only pay the interest, but also make a profit because the return achieved exceeds the interest. With this wonderful profit, so the hope, one can then enjoy one’s retirement in peace.

Can there be anything more absurd? No, not really, unless this action is not taken by simple-minded private individuals, but by the state. But that is exactly what the German Federal Minister of Finance is planning. Because of demographic worries, he wants to create a pension invested in stocks whose capital will initially come from government debt. Later, citizens will certainly be made to pay into this fund in some way, so that the whole nation can gamble together a really stable and secure pension in the long term, regardless of demographics.

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