While America Aged: How Pension Debts Ruined General Motors, Stopped the NYC Subways, Bankrupted San Diego, and Loom as the Next Financial Crisis

While America Aged: How Pension Debts Ruined General Motors, Stopped the NYC Subways, Bankrupted San Diego, and Loom as the Next Financial Crisis


By (author) Roger Lowenstein

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  • Publisher: Penguin Books
  • Format: Paperback | 274 pages
  • Dimensions: 139mm x 213mm x 16mm | 227g
  • Publication date: 28 April 2009
  • Publication City/Country: New York, NY
  • ISBN 10: 0143115383
  • ISBN 13: 9780143115380
  • Sales rank: 318,091

Product description

The retirement crisis facing America-and the road map for a way out-from "The New York Times" bestselling author of "Origins of the Crash" In the last several decades, corporations and local governments made ruinous pension and healthcare promises to American workers. With these now coming due, they threaten to destroy twenty-first- century America's hopes for a comfortable retirement. With his trademark narrative panache, bestselling author Roger Lowenstein analyzes three fascinating case studies-General Motors, the New York City subway system, and the city of San Diego-each an object lesson and a compelling historical saga that illuminates how the pension crisis developed. Cumulative retirement deficits are approaching $1 trillion, and Lowenstein warns that these are only the first. Retirement pensions will continue to be a critical issue as the country ages, and While America Aged is the urgent call to action and prescription for reform.

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Author information

Roger Lowenstein, author of the bestselling "Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist" and "When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of Long-term Capital Management," reported for the "Wall Street Journal" for more than a decade and wrote the Journal's stock market column "Heard on the Street" and also its "Intrinsic Value" column. He now contributes articles and reviews to the Journal and the "New York Times Magazine" and is a columnist for "SmartMoney Magazine." He lives in Westfield, New Jersey.

Review quote

" Financial journalist Roger Lowenstein uses the stories of three deeply encumbered institutions . . . as examples not only of the way most individual Americans conduct their personal finances, but also of how the country as a whole has long lived beyond its means. . . . Gripping." -Phillip Longman, "The Washington Post"

Table of contents

While America AgedIntroduction Part One: Who Owns General Motors? 1. Walter Reuther and the Treaty of Detroit 2. The Anti-Reuther Part Two: The Public Freight 3. An Entitled Class 4. On Strike! Part Three: Debacle in San Diego 5. Finest City 6. Pension Plot 7. The Bill Comes Due Conclusion: The Way Out Acknowledgments Notes Index