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Svyatoslav Stepanov
Svyatoslav Stepanov

Future Of Money: What Does The Future Hold For ...

In the past ten years since 2020, successful service providers in this area have been able to build an organization with the processes and technology required to offer financial services to their subscriber base. They secured and maintained their positions, because they understood how to respond to challenges driven by regulatory authorities like the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) and position new technologies like blockchain and other cryptocurrencies, new types of competitors and the need for new business models. They understood how the future of money and financial services were evolving and which role they would be able to take.

Future of Money: What Does the Future Hold for ...


These are digital instruments whose value is linked to that of a portfolio of low-risk assets (reserve assets) such as currencies or securities. Without appropriate, rigorous regulation, stablecoins too are unfit to perform the functions of money: as they are low-risk but not risk-free, they are particularly vulnerable to possible runs in the event that holders experience a loss of faith.[6]

The digital payments market could become more concentrated in the future owing to the expansion of the big tech firms, which have already shown a tendency to adopt anti-competitive behaviours.[40] Benefiting from their very large number of customers, network effects and economies of scale, these operators could obtain very large market shares.[41]

When we actively consider the possibilities of the future of money, it might provide us with a fresh perspective on our own personal financial circumstances. Maybe awareness of how money is evolving can help us make smarter and more forward-thinking financial decisions. Will our concept of money as we know it change entirely? We rounded up six key predictions on how currency and our relationship to it as humans are shifting.

As a result of changes to Social Security enacted in 1983, benefits are now expected to be payable in full on a timely basis until 2037, when the trust fund reserves are projected to become exhausted.1 At the point where the reserves are used up, continuing taxes are expected to be enough to pay 76 percent of scheduled benefits. Thus, the Congress will need to make changes to the scheduled benefits and revenue sources for the program in the future. The Social Security Board of Trustees project that changes equivalent to an immediate reduction in benefits of about 13 percent, or an immediate increase in the combined payroll tax rate from 12.4 percent to 14.4 percent, or some combination of these changes, would be sufficient to allow full payment of the scheduled benefits for the next 75 years.

This article describes the financial status of the Social Security program, including an analysis of the concepts of solvency and sustainability and the relationship of Social Security to the overall federal unified budget. The future is uncertain in many respects, and based on new information, projections of the financial status of the Social Security program vary somewhat over time. What is virtually certain is that the benefits that almost all Americans become entitled to and most depend on will be continued into the future with modifications deemed appropriate by their elected representatives in the Congress.

The longer-term analysis of the actuarial status of the Social Security trust funds provides the Congress with an essential early warning of future challenges and provides the time to make desired changes in a careful and thoughtful manner. Although legislative changes may sometimes appear to be decided at the last minute before a crisis, the long advance warning of financial challenges provided by the trustees in the annual reports has always promoted broad consideration of options for change that allow any eventual modification of the law to be based on sound analysis and consideration of a comprehensive view of possible changes and their effects.

Since the last major amendments to the Social Security program were enacted in 1983, the annual reports have presented a succession of developments in the actual experience of the economy and the program benefits that show a need for more change to address the future challenges we face. The 1983 Trustees Report indicated that the Social Security program was put into "actuarial balance" for the 75-year, long-range projection period. This meant that under the intermediate assumptions used in that report, representing the trustees' best estimate of future experience at that time, program financing was expected to be sufficient to pay scheduled benefits in full through 2057.2 However, that report also indicated that well before 2057, program cost would rise above the annual tax income to the program, requiring redemption of trust fund reserves to pay full benefits. The report also showed that these reserves would be approaching exhaustion in 2057, so that full scheduled benefits would not be payable starting shortly thereafter, without further change to the program. Thus, even at the enactment of the 1983 Amendments to the Social Security Act, it was known that further changes would be needed. The continuing projections in the annual reports since 1983 have borne out this projection and have resulted in extensive consideration of options.

When individuals look at the financial status of the Social Security program, they often ask, "Will I get my benefits?" Assuming no future change in the law, this question can be answered directly by focusing on the "solvency" of the Social Security trust funds. Solvency for the Social Security program is defined as the ability of the trust funds at any point in time to pay the full scheduled benefits in the law on a timely basis.

Because the ability of these programs to pay benefits is directly dependent on the availability of assets in their respective trust funds, the existence of assets over time in the future is the critical indicator of solvency. Taken from the 2009 Trustees Report, Chart 1 shows that under the trustees' intermediate assumptions (alternative II), the combined assets of the OASI and DI Trust Funds will soon peak at over 350 percent of the annual cost of the program, but will then decline, reaching exhaustion in 2037. The relatively more optimistic assumptions of the low-cost alternative I show solvency for the program throughout the 75-year projection period, while the relatively pessimistic high-cost alternative III assumptions show trust fund exhaustion even sooner than 2037. These alternative sets of assumptions are just one of several ways the trustees illustrate the uncertainty of long-range projections for the future.

Exhaustion of trust fund assets is projected to occur under the intermediate assumptions because program cost will begin to exceed the tax revenues dedicated to the trust funds in the future, requiring increasing amounts of net redemptions from the trust funds. The assumptions adopted for the 2009 Trustees Report resulted in projected "cash flow" shortfalls for the Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI: OASI and DI combined) program as a whole starting in 2016, when tax revenue alone was first expected to be insufficient to cover the annual cost of the program.4 Chart 2, taken from the 2009 Trustees Report, illustrates the nature of this relationship between dedicated tax income for the OASDI program and the projected cost of providing scheduled benefits.

However, the occurrence of a negative cash flow, when tax revenue alone is insufficient to pay full scheduled benefits, does not necessarily mean that the trust funds are moving toward exhaustion. In fact, in a perfectly pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) financing approach, with the assets in the trust fund maintained consistently at the level of a "contingency reserve" targeted at one year's cost for the program, the program might well be in a position of having negative cash flow on a permanent basis. This would occur when the interest rate on the trust fund assets is greater than the rate of growth in program cost. In this case, interest on the trust fund assets would be more than enough to grow the assets as fast as program cost, leaving some of the interest available to augment current tax revenue to meet current cost. Under the trustees' current intermediate assumptions, the long-term average real interest rate is assumed at 2.9 percent, and real growth of OASDI program cost (growth in excess of price inflation) is projected to average about 1.6 percent from 2030 to 2080. Thus, if program modifications are made to maintain a consistent level of trust fund assets in the future, interest on those assets would generally augment current tax income in the payment of scheduled benefits.

The concept of sustainability for the Social Security program has come to have two separate meanings. The first considers only the simple question of whether currently scheduled dedicated tax revenue is sufficient to adequately finance currently scheduled benefits in the law, without any modification to the law. The second considers whether the current structure of the program, with a defined benefit reflecting career-average earnings levels and a flat payroll tax up to a specified earnings level, is viable for the future.

The first, simpler concept of financial sustainability under current law is relatively easy to evaluate. As illustrated by the projections under the trustees' intermediate assumptions, modifications of benefits or tax revenue in the future will almost certainly be needed to avoid trust fund exhaustion. In the relatively near term, by 2020, the specific needs of the DI Trust Fund must be addressed. By 2037, the overall projected shortfall of scheduled financing must also be addressed. As indicated in the 2009 Trustees Report, the 75-year shortfall projected under intermediate assumptions for the OASDI program could be met with benefit reductions equivalent in value to a 13 percent immediate reduction in all benefits, an increase in revenue equivalent to an immediate increase in the combined (employee and employer) payroll tax rate from 12.4 percent to 14.4 percent, or a combination of these two approaches. 041b061a72


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