Saturday, February 18, 2012

You Thought Solyndra Was Bad? There's More On the Way

All as a result of mans effect on global warming, thanks Rob for the article. Aivars Lode
 2/16/2012 @ 11:06AM |14,191 views

You Thought Solyndra Was Bad? There's More On the Way

You thought Solyndra’s green energy taxpayer rip-off was something? Well there are plenty more equally colorful crony catastrophes where that came from. I’ll mention just a few that haven’t gotten much attention.
Of the stimulus grants so far, more than 80 percent have gone to wind farms (covering up to 30% of all project costs). A Meadow Lake wind development project in Indiana that is owned and operated by Horizon Wind Energy received $276 million. Horizon is a wholly owned subsidiary of EDP Renovaveis, a Portuguese company. The turbines are manufactured by Vestas in Denmark, and are mounted atop 350 foot towers imported from Vietnam. EDP and Horizon also own and operate the Blackstone wind farm in Illinois that received a $171 million grant.
When it comes to breezy U.S. wind shenanigans, Robert Bryce, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, believes that General Electric’s Shepherd Flat project in northern Oregon is worst in blowing lots of taxpayer resources. Not only did the Energy Department give GE and their partners a $1.6 billion loan guarantee, but as soon as the turbines start running, the Treasury Department will ante up an additional $490 million cash grant.
According to plan, an important intent of this charity is to create 35 permanent new “green energy jobs”. Focusing upon just the $490 million cash grant alone, some skeptics may question whether the taxpayer cost of $16.3 million for each of those jobs might be just a little bit steep.
The Shepherd Flat deal is so lucrative for investors that even some of President Obama’s top advisors including former energy policy czar Carol Browning and economic advisor Larry Summers thought it was lousy. Their October 2010 memo observed that the project backers had “little skin in the game” while the government would be providing “a significant subsidy (65+ percent).” The memo went on to say that while the sponsor’s contribution amounted to only about 11 percent of the total cost, they would receive an “estimated return on equity of 30 percent.” It also explained that the carbon dioxide reductions associated with the project “…would have to be valued at $130 per ton for CO2 for the climate benefits to equal the subsidies…more than six times the primary estimate used by the government in evaluating rules.”
Here’s another one for our Left Coast friends. Idaho Winds LLC which represents eight wind farms has hatched a plan to take advantage of California’s carbon cap-and-trade lunacy. They have petitioned the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to approve the sale of renewable energy credits to a third party. Idaho Winds would then immediately buy the power back, leaving just the credits which the third party would sell to a California utility. So in essence, no energy would actually be sold…just California credits for wind power sold in another state.
The shell game is driven by laws in California and other western states requiring that renewable sources provide a certain percentage of the state’s energy use, and providing that each unit a utility buys or produces receives credit. A loopy loophole allows California utilities to “unbundle” the energy and energy credits following an initial purchase, and then just buy the credits. Idaho doesn’t have such a law, so its utilities don’t need the credits. If allowed by FERC, it will enable Idaho to literally create energy credits out of thin air and sell them to California utilities that pass on those costs to their unlucky customers.
Our U.S. Navy is spending lots of our green to go green too. They recently committed $12 million to purchase 450,000 gallons of biofuel at about $26.75 per gallon in order to offset requirements for standard JP-5 aircraft jet fuel that costs less than $3 per gallon. The good news is that the total fuel price will be only about five times more (rather than 9 times) after it is mixed with the standard stuff.
But then again, the real cost to American taxpayers is more than that. The biofuel is being produced through a contract with Dynamic Fuels, a partnership of three firms including Solazyme which previously received $27.7 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (stimulus money) to build its biorefinery. Coincidentally, T.J. Glauthier, a Solazyme strategic advisor, served on the Obama White House transition team where he focused on Recovery Act energy issues.
And get this…that green fuel purchased with green tax money will be consumed in naval air exercises near Hawaii next summer by…now get ready for this…the “Great Green Fleet Carrier Strike Force”.

Do you suppose their mascot will be the Jolly Green Giant? (Ho-Ho-Ho.)
How much are you willing to pay for a plug-in hybrid electric car? A Chevy Volt with a $41,000 sticker price maybe? Would you buy one of those if someone else threw in a $7,500 cash-back incentive; and an additional $5,000 if you live in California? Okay, okay… what if the real vehicle production cost amounted to thousands of dollars more, and someone else chipped in the difference?
Well someone already is, whether you buy one or not. Any guess who that might be? Look in the mirror for a clue.
Subject to meeting various employment and other milestones, U.S. taxpayers will kick in about $3 billion in federal and state loans, rebates, grants and tax credits towards Volt production. This includes $2.4 billion from the federal government, plus $690.4 million from the state of Michigan.
Some of these contributions will go to GM directly, while others will flow through companies that supply Volt parts to them. For example, the Department of Energy awarded a $105.9 million grant to GM’s Brownstone plant that assembles the batteries, and its Hamtramck assembly plant received nearly the same amount in state credits to construct facilities for electric drive systems.
Delphi Automotive Systems, a former GM division, received $89.3 million to expand manufacturing facilities for electric drive power components, and Compact Power, a company that supplies Volt batteries, has been awarded up to $100 million in refundable battery credits through a combination of tax breaks and cash subsidies.
But even with spectacular deals like these, GM has so far only managed to sell about 8,000 of their vaunted Obamacars. And despite another big gift we gave them in the form of a huge TARP bailout, the prognosis doesn’t look good at all. Volt’s lack of spark promises to be yet another in a long series of Obama green program fizzles.

Risk on the Rise: Yield Chasers Rush Into Alternatives

As discussed many times in this blog individuals and funds will realize they need to be in investments that are transparent with dividend type yields. Thanks Rob for the article . Aivars Lode

Milton Ezrati, Tony Davidow, IndexIQ, Fred Alger contemplate risk vs. reward

One day in late January at the Investment Management Consultants Association’s annual New York conference, Lord Abbett market strategist Milton Ezrati got a big laugh from the audience of nearly 1,000 financial advisors when he recalled a recent visit to the Occupy Wall Street encampment in Zuccotti Park.
Milton Ezrati, Lord, Abbett & Co. market strategistAs he watched the swirl of placard-carrying protestors chanting in the park, Ezrati (left) realized the ideas that drove them to demonstrate were more complicated than he had originally imagined. This thought came to him, he said, when he saw one obviously savvy protestor bearing a sign that carried this punch line: “Stop Correlation.”
Over the course of 2011, advisors have watched in frustration as the value of investments ranging from large-cap U.S. stocks to emerging markets stocks to oil to gold have been rising and falling in tandem. This high degree of cross-asset correlation reduces portfolio diversification as it increases volatility.
“Given continued uncertainty in European and U.S. markets, investors expecting heightened market volatility in 2012 should expect correlation extremes to persist,” says Factor Advisors, a New York-based asset management firm, in a market report titled “2011: A Year of Correlation Extremes.”
Correlation Drives Advisors to Alternatives
Cross-asset correlation reduces portfolio diversification as it increases volatility, says Factor Advisors.Correlation, coupled with the U.S. bond market’s zero-yield environment, has driven advisors into riskier alternative investing. Indeed, since the Federal Reserve announced that it will keep its benchmark interest rate near zero until 2014, advisors often find themselves moving into higher risk territory due to client demand.
Bradley Teets, a certified financial planner in Punta Gorda, Fla., noted in a recent market commentary that retirees who previously earned 5% to 6% on conservative investments could expect income of about $5,000 or more annually for each $100,000 in savings.
“Now, if they earn 0.5% on savings, they have new income and cash flow of $500 to $600 annually if they are lucky and search out the best interest rates for their money,” Teets wrote. “Savers needing more income will be forced to bear more risk to chase yield from alternative investments.”
Traditionally, alternative investments such as hedge funds, derivatives, commodities, international currencies and managed futures have been held by institutional investors or high-net-worth individuals. But as high correlation persists, alternatives have been gaining in popularity with a wider range of investors and advisors.
Steve Enos, a principal and founder of San Francisco-based Cypress Wealth Advisors, says that more of his HNW clients are investing in alternatives such as master limited partnerships and real estate investment trusts to improve income.

Fed Policy Increases Willingness to Take on Risk
“If the Fed is going to keep rates low, you can’t keep your assets in a money market account, so you have to put it out where there’s some risk,” Enos said. “What clients are asking for is more return or more income, especially as bonds mature where they were getting 4%, 5% or 6 % yields and they’re now looking to reinvest at 2%, 3% or maybe 4%. It’s a tough quandary.”
Ideally, alternatives should dampen portfolio volatility when markets go down, but they should also retain upside potential when markets go up, according to Adam Patti, CEO of New York-based exchange traded fund firm IndexIQ.
While many investors would be happy to simply move their money into cash, it’s not such a great option these days because CDs and money market funds aren’t even keeping pace with inflation, said Patti, whose firm designs ETFs that replicate hedge funds.
“The better option is to have a good asset allocation strategy that includes diversification. The problem, of course, is that retail investors haven’t had access to education,” he said. “For example, many people still think hedge funds are designed to shoot the lights out with performance. But they’re called hedge funds because they’re designed to hedge, not produce 100% returns.”
Davidow Sees Advisor Desire to Hedge Volatility
“More and more advisors are looking for ways to insulate their clients from those choppy movements,” said Tony Davidow, managing director and portfolio strategist with Guggenheim Investments (and an IndexIQ veteran). “Due to the market volatility, advisors are interested in alternatives. We see it as the democratization of alternatives.”
In a paper on currency alternatives, Davidow advocates foreign exchange as an alternative investment, saying forex has historically shown low correlation to traditional investments while providing a way to diversify cash.
“The forex market is the largest, most liquid market in the world, and it’s the most efficient market in the world,” Davidow said in a phone interview. “It’s easy to access for the big boys, but being able to buy our currency shares ETF democratizes the average advisor’s access.”
To be sure, many new alternative products have come to the fore in the last year as yields have languished. Cerulli reports that alternative investment strategies are leading new product development plans geared for the U.S. retail third-party channel.
“I’d emphasize the word ‘new,’” said IndexIQ’s Patti. “Many of these fund companies struggle to outperform their benchmarks with traditional long-only strategies, let alone alternatives. How in god’s name are they going to succeed with a long-short strategy?”
One such fund, the Alger Dynamic Opportunities Fund (SPEDX), marked its inception date on Nov. 2, 2009 and has $22.7 million of total fund assets as of Dec. 31, 2011. The fund manages volatility of a sector, industry, or individual security through short sales, options or other derivatives.
The front end load is relatively high, at 5.25%, as is the expense ratio, at 3.30%, while the fund’s lifetime performance is 3.61%. But SPEDX portfolio manager Greg Adams said investors in his fund can reap the benefits of long-short risk typically found in hedge funds while enjoying the liquidity and transparency of the mutual fund marketplace.
“People get concerned about long-short when hedge fund risk is leveraged, but this is a product that does not get involved in significant amounts of leverage,” Adams said.

Regulation and Education
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) on Jan. 31 released its 2012 regulatory and examination “watch list,” which said the regulator will be zeroing in on products that aren’t suitable for some investors. Among the products on the list are alternatives such as non-traded REITs, complex exchange traded products, structured products and private placements.
According to AdvisorOne’s story about the list, FINRA said the “challenging economic environment can lead individual retail investors to be susceptible to recommendations to chase yields without necessarily understanding the risk-versus-reward tradeoffs.”
With currencies just one example of the alternatives available to yield-chasing investors, yet another opportunity has opened up in the space: the need for education.
Altegris, a subsidiary of Genworth Financial Inc., on Feb. 1 announced a new website, Altegris Academy, with interactive tools to help advisors build portfolios using alternative investments. Future updates to Altegris Academy will include an Advisor Continuing Education Center offering CE courses and credit.
Given what the markets have gone through over the past few years and the continuing search for yield, alternatives are an inevitable choice for many. And investors are focused on downside protection and risk management above overall returns, noted David Vincent, vice president of alternative product sales at Alger.
“You have this surge of new products from companies coming out into the market,” Vincent said. “You have to be skeptical and do your own due diligence, which can be daunting for investors. It’s an exciting time for investors to be in the space because there are so many opportunities and a scary time because there are so many opportunities. This is going to be a big educational year for people.”
Read a War of Borrowers Against Savers news analysis at       

The Real Story On Global Warming

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 A lot of books coming out on the topic. I am not sure if they are politically motivated however they contain data that I have observed and questioned myself. Aivars Lode

Unstoppable Global Warming
by S. Fred Singer

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In this New York Times bestseller, S. Fred Singer and co-author Dennis T. Avery closely examine historic data from two millennia of recorded history — combined with the natural physical records found in ice cores, seabed sediment, cave stalagmites, and tree rings — to reveal that the 1,500-year solar-driven cycle has always controlled the earth's climate, and remains the driving force in the current warming trend.

As a result, trillions of dollars spent on reducing fossil fuel use would have no effect on today's rising temperatures — and the public policy key is adaptation, not fruitless attempts at prevention. Further, they offer convincing evidence that civilization's most successful eras have coincided with the cycle's warmest peaks. With the added benefit of modern technology, humanity can not only survive global climate change, but thrive. Read more.

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The Politically Incorrect Guide™ to Global Warming and Environmentalism
by Christopher Horner

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For decades, environmentalism has been the Left's best excuse for increasing government control over our actions in ways both large and small. Now, in The Politically Incorrect Guide™ to Global Warming and Environmentalism, Christopher C. Horner tears the cover off the Left's manipulation of environmental issues for political purposes — and lays out incontrovertible evidence for the fact that catastrophic man-made global warming is just more Chicken-Little hysteria, not actual science.

He reveals the full anti-American, anti-capitalist, and anti-human agenda of today's environmentalists, dubbing them "green on the outside, red to the core." He details how they use strong-arm legal tactics — and worse — against those who dare to point out the weakness of their arguments for global warming. Along the way, he explodes ten top global warming myths, and exposes the lies that the environmental lobby routinely tells to make its case and impose initiatives such as the Kyoto Protocol on an unwilling American public. Read more.

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Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Ruin Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them
by Steven Milloy

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We all want a healthy planet — but we don't need to live in a Green nanny state to have one. And yet our government is adopting increasingly coercive policies to force the Greens' idea of environmental virtue on us. Now, in this stunning exposé, Steven Milloy details how a great Green tsunami is heading our way, threatening to wash away our standard of living and many of our liberties.

The Greens, he says, bombard us with an endless list of "dos" and "don'ts": Take colder showers. Turn the heat down. Use less air conditioning. Dry your clothes on a clothesline. Drive small, fuel efficient vehicles or stop driving altogether. And the Greens' moral hectoring is just beginning. Green ideologues are bursting with an impatient zeal to begin dictating, through force of law, our diet, home energy usage, the size of our homes, how far we can travel, and even how many children we can have. Read more.

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The Really Inconvenient Truths: Seven Environmental Catastrophes Liberals Don't Want You to Know About -- Because They Helped Cause Them
by Iain Murray

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Did you know that estrogen from birth control and "morning after" pills is causing male fish across America to develop female sex organs? Or that ethanol, the liberals' favorite fuel, is destroying the world's rainforests — and could cause global food shortages? Or how about this: We hear a lot about AIDS in Africa, but the number one killer of children in much of Africa is malaria — and guess which environmentalist heroine was responsible for banning the pesticide that used to have malaria under control?

In The Really Inconvenient Truths, Iain Murray reveals how liberal environmentalists have actually made the planet worse, while old-fashioned property rights, unpopular hunters, and the innovative engine of capitalism have made it better. Read more.

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The Real Global Warming Disaster: Is the Obsession with Climate Change Turning Out to be the Most Costly Scientific Blunder in History?
by Christopher Booker

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Thanks to global warming, the world may be heading towards an unprecedented catastrophe — but not the one predicted by the likes of Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore. The real catastrophe, reveals Christopher Booker, will be economic — as global warming hysteria persuades politicians to land us with what promises to be the biggest bill in history.

Booker interweaves the science of global warming with that of its growing political consequences, showing how just when the politicians are threatening to change our Western way of life beyond recognition, the scientific evidence behind the global warming theory is being challenged like never before. Read more.

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Climate Coup: Global Warming's Invasion of Our Government and Our Lives
By Patrick Michaels

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Despite its uncertain scientific foundations, "global warming" has permeated and often distorted virtually every area of life and public policy in America -- from science to business, education, trade, law, and foreign policy. Public schools frighten children with apocalyptic climate scenarios. Poor countries shake down rich ones in the name of climate "justice." Lawmakers try to impose tariffs and sanctions on nations that don't agree with their environmental preconceptions.

Even our military uses it as "threat multiplier" to enhance its budget. Most ominously, the courts are now compelling the federal government to impose massive restrictions on the amount of energy we can use and the way we can use it. Now, Climate Coup details the pervasive threat global warming alarmism poses to almost every aspect of society. Read more.

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The Deniers
by Lawrence Solomon

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Al Gore and his media allies claim the only scientists who dispute the alarmist view on global warming are corrupt crackpots and "deniers", comparable to neo-Nazis who deny the Holocaust. Now internationally renowned environmentalist author Lawrence Solomon calmly and methodically debunks Gore's outrageous charges, showing in one 'headline' case after another that the scientists who dispute Gore's doomsday scenarios have far more credibility than those who support Gore's theories.

These men who expose Gore's claims as absurd hold top positions at the most prestigious scientific institutes in the world. Their work is cited and acclaimed throughout the scientific community. No wonder Gore and his allies want to pretend they don't exist. Read more.

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Red Hot Lies: How Global Warming Alarmists Use Threats, Fraud, and Deception to Keep You Misinformed
by Christopher Horner

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In pursuing their anti-energy, anti-capitalist, and pro-government agenda, global warming alarmists resort to dirty tricks, smear campaigns, and outright lies, abandoning scientific standards, journalistic integrity, and the old-fashioned notions of free speech and open debate.

In Red Hot Lies, bestselling author Christopher Horner — himself the target of Greenpeace dirty tricks and alarmist smears — exposes the dark underbelly of the environmental movement. Power-hungry politicians blacklist scientists who reject global warming alarmism. U.S. senators threaten companies that fund climate change dissenters.

Mainstream media outlets openly reject the notion of "balance." The occasional unguarded scientist candidly admits the need to twist the facts to paint an uglier picture in order to keep the faucet of government money flowing. In the name of "saving the planet," anything goes. But why the nasty tactics? Why the cover ups, lies, and intimidation? Because Al Gore and his ilk want to use big government at the local, state, federal, and global level to run your life, and they can brook no opposition. Read more.

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An Appeal to Reason: A Cool Look at Global Warming
by Nigel Lawson

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In the 1960s we were warned that the population explosion would lead to mass global starvation. In the '70s we were warned that the planet was running out of natural resources — and when the planet's temperature, which had been gently rising for some 400 years, appeared to be falling again, scientists warned of a "New Ice Age." Considering the failure of these dire predictions to come true, writes British author Nigel Lawson, a little more skepticism about the latest planetary scare is in order: it is time, he says, to take a cool look at global warming.

Lawson reveals that the conventional wisdom on the subject is suspect on a number of grounds, that global warming is not the devastating threat to the planet it is widely alleged to be, and that the remedy that is currently being proposed, which is in any event politically unattainable, would be worse that the threat it is supposed to avert. Read more.

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Cool It
by Bjorn Lomborg

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Al Gore says global warming is nothing short of a "planetary emergency" demanding elaborate and expensive actions that will cost hundreds of billions of dollars. But is the hysteria surrounding global warming rational? And would the solutions Gore has in mind make things better for mankind — or worse?

Now, in Cool It, noted environmental expert Bjorn Lomborg draws on extensive studies and analysis to debunk numerous popular myths that are causing people to panic (and Al Gore to win prizes). Lomborg — named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people in 2004 — does believe that global warming is occurring, but not to the degree, or at the pace, that alarmists like Al Gore would have us believe. Nor are the consequences all bad — in fact, some are, and will be, very good, not only for our species but for others. The key, he believes, is to assess the facts and approach whatever problems need to be addressed in a rational way — which means not wasting all our energy and resources on Chicken Little hysteria when there are more pressing problems facing the world. Read more.

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by John Berlau

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Rachael Carson's Silent Spring advice actually killed millions of birds? Trees cause more "air pollution" than cars? In Eco-Freaks, John Berlau shatters long-standing environmental myths with startling facts, and exposes the many ways that shortsighted environmentalism — often based on pseudo-science or outright falsehoods — has actually helped amplify the dangers of natural disasters, and destroyed the health, lives and property of millions of people.

As Berlau writes, "Environmentalists have promoted all sorts of doomsday scenarios about population explosions and massive cancer crises from pesticides that have been shown to be false. But now, because we have done away with so many useful products based on those scares, we are in danger of an old-fashion doomsday returning, because we've lost what protected us from the wrath of nature. Indeed, as we will see throughout this book, public health hazards caused by environmental policies are already on the scene." Read more.

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Re-Thinking Green: Alternatives to Environmental Bureaucracy
by Robert Higgs; Carl P. Close

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The huge bureaucracy created by the rise in environmental regulation since the 1970s has created more waste and failure than innovation and success, say the contributors to this eye-opening book.

Re-Thinking Green: Alternatives to Environmental Bureaucracy exposes the myths that have contributed to failed environmental policies and proposes bold alternatives that recognize the power of free-market approaches and the drawbacks of regulatory processes.

Examining some of today's most hotly debated environmental issues — including oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), global warming, endangered species, land use, and air quality — Re-Thinking Green show how environmental quality can be enhanced more effectively by relying less on government agencies that are increasingly bureaucratized and unaccountable, and more on environmental entrepreneurship and the strict enforcement of private-property rights. Read more.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Draft White Paper details European Commission's plans for pensions

The news here is that those relying on a pension will have to work a little longer. MMM anyone guess where I saw this before?

5 hours ago
EUROPE – The European Commission has reiterated its desire to reinforce second and third-pillar pensions and said it will support EU member states' efforts to raise legal retirement ages.
According to a leaked draft of the White Paper on pensions, the Commission also aims to develop a "code of good practice" for European occupational schemes, addressing issues of employee coverage as well as measures of risk-sharing.
The draft, circulated by the Commission last week, said: "[The White Paper] aims to gear EU policy instruments towards offering better support to pension reform efforts in the member states and proposes a set of mutually reinforcing initiatives, ranging from legislation over financial incentives to policy coordination and monitoring progress towards shared objectives within the integrated and comprehensive Europe 2020 framework."
The Commission also reiterated its intention to offer financial support to member states and social partners wishing to share information with other countries or international organisations on the implementation of pension reforms and new retirement policies.
This would occur through the Commission's PROGRESS programme and the future Programme for Social Change and Innovation – which both facilitate mutual learning and policy development.
In a previous leaked draft version seen by IPE in November last year, the Commission already said it would encourage member states to implement wide-ranging pension reforms by providing financial support for any initiatives.
In the new draft version, the Commission goes even further. The Brussels-based institution lists a range of measures it hopes to implement, while stressing that the EU has no powers to legislate on the design of pension systems in the member states.
Among the measures proposed, the Commission said it would ask the Social Protection Committee (SPC) and the Advisory Committee on equal opportunities between women and men to identify and recommend best practice in reducing the gender gap in pensions – including promotion of equal pay, minimum pension entitlements, care credits and pension rights splitting at divorce.
One person acquainted with the drafting of the White Paper pointed out: "If a country allows women to retire at age 60 and men to retire at age 65, the state adds at least 20% to its public pension bill."
The Commission said it aimed to promote joint work by the SPC and the Employment Committee (EMCO) on gender-specific obstacles.
It will also call on social partners to develop ways of adapting workplace and labour market practices.
"This will include career management – notably regarding strenuous jobs – so as to facilitate longer working lives for women and men," it said, adding that the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions and the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work would provide "expert advice" at EU level.
Building on its proposal for the European Social Fund (ESF) in the 2014-20 programming period, the Commission said it would also encourage member states to make use of the ESF to support active and healthy ageing, including the reconciliation of work and family life.
It said it would monitor whether programmes backed by the fund effectively supported the reform needs identified in this area by the White Paper under the Country Specific Recommendations heading.
As part of its plan to develop complementary private retirement savings, the Commission is seeking to invite the SPC to review good practice with regard to individual pension statements.
According to the Commission, this would encourage member states to provide better information to individuals for their retirement planning and decisions on how much to save through supplementary pension schemes.
Regarding the second pillar, the Commission repeated its intention to develop a code of good practice for occupational pension schemes, addressing issues such as the payout phase, risk-sharing and mitigation, cost-effectiveness, shock absorption and ways of avoiding pro-cyclicality in investments.
With respect to cross-border activity, the Commission said it would promote the development of pension-tracking services, allowing people to keep track of entitlements acquired in different jobs.
The draft said: "[The Commission] will consider, in the context of the revision of the IORP directive and the proposal for a portability directive, how the provision of the required information for pensions tracking can be ensured, and it will support a pilot project on cross-border tracking."
One of the main issues for the development of cross-border pension vehicles, according to the Commission and pension providers, remains tax obstacles to cross-border mobility and cross-border investments.
The Commission said it aimed to investigate tax rules and would initiate – where necessary – infringement procedures.
The person familiar with the matter, however, insisted that, even though the IORP directive was mentioned in the report, the White Paper was not about taking the elements of the IORP review, as this specific regulation already had its own agenda.
The source explained that the delay in the White Paper publication had mainly been due to the changes brought up by the member states since the Green Paper consultation.
He said: "The publication of the White Paper had to be delayed in order to fully take on board all the new instruments and then suggest European level measures to support member states to implementing these country-specific recommendations."
The Commission is expected to publish the final version of the White Paper some time this week.