Longevity and the Financiers

The Financial Times takes a look at changes afoot in the financial industries most affected by growth in longevity - those who have in effect, inadvertently or otherwise, bet against such a thing coming to pass. "Some are cynical about whether the longevity market will ever come to life - or at least on a meaningful scale. ... some banks are already testing schemes: Deutsche Bank is considering creating bonds using the cash flows from life insurance portfolios. It believes that it will receive a credit rating for these instruments soon, which should allow trading to start this year. Several other banks are experimenting with bonds and derivatives linked to longevity risk. ... Sooner or later, the City of London will find a better way to count deaths: the financial incentives to get this right are huge. And once a timely death index emerges, the first fully-fledged longevity bond will appear, 'almost certainly over the next year.'" We shouldn't feel sorry for those investors about to lose money betting against longevity; they'll benefit themselves from additional years of life. What is money compared to being alive, healthy, and thus possessed the opportunity to recover from loss through hard work? Longer heathy lives are no disaster - it means more production, more savings, and a greater, more vibrant economy all round.

Link: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/f7a24c26-c3ac-11db-9047-000b5df10621.html

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