Image: Courtesy of MGM
JP Morgan’s Michael Cembalest gives a chilling analogy to America’s future: the 1976 film Logan’s Run.
In the film, a world with insufficient resources maintains its equilibrium by killing everyone over the age of 30 (in the original book, the age was 21). The narrative revolves around how people are tracked through imprints in their hands, and how the protagonist tries to escape. Itâ€™s just a movie, but it taps into American fears about who makes these choices, and how they make them. With 30% of Medicare expenses taking place in the last year of life, and with government healthcare spending outstripping education spending by 10x over the last 50 years, this issue will be very hard to sort out.
JP Morgan’s chief investment officer, Cembalest says entitlement costs are unsustainable: “The United States (its politicians and its citizens) have jointly created a leviathan of entitlement obligations which are 10 times the real cost of all its wars since the American Revolution.”
He points to charts like these:
Long-term America must reform entitlements or face revolt in the treasury market.
Cembalest recommends “shorter-duration G7 government bond holdings, non-dollar assets and portfolios positioned for volatile markets (hedge funds, distressed assets and credit as a complement to equities).”