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Laurence J. Kotlikoff
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Laurence Kotlikoff is running for President on the www.americanselect.org platform. His campaign website is www.kotlikoff2012.org.

Laurence Kotlikoff is a William Fairfield Warren Professor at Boston University, a Professor of Economics at Boston University, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Fellow of the Econometric Society, a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and President of Economic Security Planning, Inc., a company specializing in financial planning software.

He has written 15 books (The Clash of Generations with Scott Burns was just published) and hundreds of professional articles and columns on a broad range of economic issues.

Professor Kotlikoff received his B.A. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania in 1973 and his Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University in 1977.

From 1977 through 1983 he served on the faculties of economics of the University of California, Los Angeles and Yale University. In 1981-82 Professor Kotlikoff was a Senior Economist with the President's Council of Economic Advisers.

Professor Kotlikoff is author or co-author of14 books and hundreds of professional journal articles. His most recent books are Jimmy Stewart Is Dead (forthcoming February 22, 2010, John Wiley and Sons, Spend ‘Til the End, co-authored with Scott Burns, Simon & Schuster, The Healthcare Fix (MIT Press), and The Coming Generational Storm (co-authored with Scott Burns, MIT Press).

Professor Kotlikoff publishes extensively in newspapers, and magazines on issues of financial reform, personal finance, taxes, Social Security, healthcare, deficits, generational accounting, pensions, saving, and insurance.

Professor Kotlikoff has served as a consultant to the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Harvard Institute for International Development, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Swedish Ministry of Finance, the Norwegian Ministry of Finance, the Bank of Italy, the Bank of Japan, the Bank of England, the Government of Russia, the Government of Ukraine, the Government of Bolivia, the Government of Bulgaria, the Treasury of New Zealand, the Office of Management and Budget, the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Labor, the Joint Committee on Taxation, The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, The American Council of Life Insurance, Merrill Lynch, Fidelity Investments, AT&T, AON Corp., and other major U.S. corporations.

He has provided expert testimony on numerous occasions to committees of Congress including the Senate Finance Committee, the House Ways and Means Committee, and the Joint Economic Committee.

Entries by Laurence J. Kotlikoff

The Huge SIPC Risk Your Broker Isn't Disclosing

(0) Comments | Posted July 17, 2014 | 2:00 PM

Your broker has a duty to disclose all risks from investing with him and his company. He also has an obligation to tell the truth. If he misleads you, including failing to disclose a major risk to your investment, you can sue him personally.

There is one huge investment risk...

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Why No One Should Use Brokerage Accounts (UPDATE)

(0) Comments | Posted June 19, 2014 | 2:23 PM

Financial fraud, in its multiple forms, is a plague that can be temporarily suppressed, but not eradicated. Some of the worst financial actors were exposed in the Great Recession. But every day brings fresh reports of gross misconduct on Wall Streets at home and abroad.

The fact that our regulators,...

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Will the Rich Always Get Richer?

(9) Comments | Posted May 19, 2014 | 5:39 PM

Extreme private wealth inequality is a fact of economic life in most countries. The U.S. is a prime example. The top 1 percent of wealth holders own almost 40 percent of all wealth. And the top 10 percent hold almost 90 percent.

What should we make of this?

Thomas Piketty's...

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Oh, and By the Way, Our Government Is Totally Broke!

(0) Comments | Posted October 9, 2013 | 1:09 PM

As our politicians engage in their food fight over extending the debt ceiling, we the public should bear in mind the huge problem this obsessive focus on official debt is concealing. Our country is flat broke -- and not because of its official debts, i.e., what's been put on the...

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Financial Integrity, the First Requirement for the Fed

(22) Comments | Posted August 12, 2013 | 9:25 AM

The current debate over the Fed Chairmanship displays the ethical emptiness at the top of U.S. political and financial power. We have just had a near-death experience in the world economy thanks to the unprincipled behavior on Wall Street. You might think that financial integrity would therefore loom large in...

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Gay Couples Can Now Cash In On Social Security By Getting Married

(2) Comments | Posted June 27, 2013 | 4:20 PM

The Supreme Court's decision to sustain gay marriage in states where it is legal and to extend federal benefits to gay married partners by declaring the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional represents an enormous advance for our country. No one has a monopoly on language, and if gay people...

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Why the Government Needs to Budget Over the Infinite Horizon

(14) Comments | Posted June 16, 2013 | 5:17 PM

How far into the future should governments budget?

Economic theory has a clear and rigid answer. But it's not one economists like to give -- for two reasons. First, it's not one people easily comprehend. Second, it's not one that politicians, whose attention most economists covet, like to hear.

The...

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Not All Social Security Advice Is Good Advice

(2) Comments | Posted May 7, 2013 | 4:06 PM

Recently a financial planner sent me a Social Security plan based on a program (I'll call it program X to protect the not-so-innocent) that he had licensed. The plan was for 60-year-old George and 56-year-old Mary Bailey. The planner asked me to compare the recommendations from my company's Social Security...

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Krugman's Four Dangerous Fiscal Fables

(34) Comments | Posted March 27, 2013 | 4:54 PM

There are four dangerous fiscal fables afloat. The first is that taxes can be cut to raise revenues and lower the deficit. The second is that spending can be raised to raise revenues and lower the deficit. The third is that the deficit can be financed by printing money with...

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Cyprus -- The Nightmare Scenario

(21) Comments | Posted March 24, 2013 | 7:14 PM

Ralph Nader, America's great consumer advocate, used four words -- Unsafe at Any Speed -- to describe the Corvair, General Motor's death car of the 1960s. The Corvair's engine was placed in the middle of the car, which made it flip from a nice forward path to a crazy spin...

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The Real Sequestration -- Our Children's Future

(3) Comments | Posted March 1, 2013 | 9:46 AM

The storyline of the week is the terrible spending cuts about to be visited on our poor defenseless country by hapless politicians with no regard for the country's economic welfare. The truth is much different and far darker.

The hue and cry about the fiscal cliff is, in fact,...

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Social Security's Huge Incentive to Keep Working

(3) Comments | Posted February 13, 2013 | 11:23 AM

I just turned 62, but feel 42 and, according to my kids, act like 12. I have a great job, perhaps the best job in the world. I'm an economics professor and get to teach, consult, write, advise governments, and run my personal finance software company. Each of these "jobs"...

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The Treasury Has Already Minted Two Trillion Dollar Coins

(4) Comments | Posted January 22, 2013 | 1:45 PM

No doubt, you've heard about the latest irresponsible fiscal/monetary proposal to be floated by members of Congress and the erstwhile economist, Paul Krugman, whose lunch was just eaten by Jon Stewart.

It entails having the Treasury avoid the federal debt limit by handing the Federal Reserve a single $1...

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The Hysterical Economy

(0) Comments | Posted December 11, 2012 | 2:41 PM

You're an employer. Every day you hear "the economy's going over a fiscal cliff. Tax hikes and spending cuts totaling $600 billion will kill the economy." Everyone's saying it -- the politicians, the media, the economists, the Fed, the CBO, the IMF. It must be true.

...

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Mr. Draghi's Dangerous Confidence Game

(0) Comments | Posted November 8, 2012 | 11:50 PM

European Central Bank (ECB) Chairman Draghi has a very big agenda. Armed with only a printing press, he's pledging to directly bail out the GIIPS (Greece, Italy, Ireland, Portugal and Spain) and indirectly bail out their economies.

As EU finance ministers meet this week, they would do well to...

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Ten Social Security's Nasty Gotchas

(0) Comments | Posted September 20, 2012 | 11:04 PM

Hidden deep within the 2,728 rules in Social Security's Handbook and the thousands upon thousands of explanations of those rules contained in its Program Operating Manual System are a number of very nasty Catch 22s. My company's software program -- Maximize My Social Security -- was developed to...

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Paul Ryan Shows Romney Is Serious About Protecting Our Children

(0) Comments | Posted August 11, 2012 | 2:40 PM

Mitt Romney's choice of Paul Ryan for VP shows he's serious about protecting our children from the ongoing fiscal child abuse that six decades of Republican and Democratic administrations have taken turns practicing.

Paul is a friend of mine. We've spent time discussing healthcare, banking reform, macroeconomics, and the international...

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Thomas Jefferson Is Rolling In his Grave -- a Rant On Social Security's Complexity

(1) Comments | Posted August 6, 2012 | 7:24 AM

I recently wrote a column called "38 Social Security Secrets All Baby Boomers and Millions of Current Recipients Need to Know." In a companion column -- "When Should I Take Social Security -- a 'Simple' Social Security Benefit Formula," I presented a 'simple' formula for the benefits of a husband...

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'Somebody Gave You Some Help' -- Echo of JFK

(9) Comments | Posted July 25, 2012 | 2:30 PM

When I was a young boy, I heard President Kennedy on TV say "Life is unfair." when asked in a press conference about a serviceman stationed at length in Antartic.

The three words struck me and stuck with me. A few years ago, when the three words crept back into...

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When Should I Take Social Security -- a "Simple" Formula

(0) Comments | Posted July 18, 2012 | 4:30 PM

Some 78 million baby boomers are poised to make one of their most important financial decisions of their lives, namely when to take Social Security benefits. Deciding is no picnic. As my recent column indicated, Social Security's provisions are unbelievably complicated.

So, this morning, I said to myself, "Gee, I...

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