Allison Schrager is an economist, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, contributing editor at City Journal, and co-founder of LifeCycle Finance Partners, LLC, a risk advisory firm. She is the author of An Economist Walks into a Brothel: And Other Unexpected Places to Understand Risk. She is the host of the podcast Risk Talking where she interviews leading economists, business journalists, and historians, exploring their work in an effort to understand what’s happening in the marketplace today.
Allison diversified her career by working in finance, policy, and media. She led retirement product innovation at Dimensional Fund Advisors and consulted to international organizations, including the OECD and IMF.
She has been a regular contributor to the Economist, Reuters, and Bloomberg Businessweek. Her writing has also appeared in Playboy, Wired, National Review and Foreign Affairs. She has an undergraduate degree from the University of Edinburgh and a PhD in economics from Columbia University. She lives in New York City.
ECONOMIC OUTLOOK, DEMOGRAPHICS, HIGHER INFLATION AND DEGLOBALIZATION
We are entering a new economic era, for the last 40 years more globalization and a growing global population contributed to both growth and low inflation. But there is reason to believe things will be different going forward. More than 25% of the world's population will be over age 65, many of them retired. The pace of globalization is expected to slow down too. This may contribute to higher inflation and interest rates, and a different economic order. How can we expect the economy to function when so many people are out of the labor force and what does that mean for growth and innovation? What can we do to prepare and should we be worried? This talk offers a unique economic outlook that draws on trends in macro, finance, and technology.
BE THE MASTER OF YOUR DOMAIN: HOW TO TAKE RISKS IN A CHANGING ECONOMY
We get many conflicting messages about risk. We are told to avoid risk, other times we need to embrace risk head-on. We hear less about how to take smart, calculated risks. When we do this we can get more out of our lives and minimize the odds the worst will happen. There is a science to taking risk, it comes from the study of financial markets. The lessons from financial economics can help us feel more comfortable taking risks in any aspect of our lives: in business, in our personal lives, how to make sense of politics and economics, or even what to have for dinner tonight.
The message of this talk is how to take the wisdom (and mistakes) from financial economics to take a more methodical approach to the risks we face. Allison draws on her financial expertise and time in the field with unusual risk takers.
THE FUTURE OF RETIREMENT FINANCE
In the last 40 years, many countries around the world changed how their citizens saved and invested. Individuals could no longer entirely rely on the government or the employer for income in retirement. This coincided with a long, persistent decline in interest rates which made saving for retirement risker and pensions more expensive and difficult to manage.
Now the first generation with significant defined contribution assets are starting to retire. There are many short-comings in our current retirement system that will become more apparent in a high inflation and rising rate environment. This environment will pose challenges for both individual savers and defined benefit pension managers and put strain on the current retirement system. How can we do better for people and manage this new source of risk?