It goes like this.  For years the pundits and Jeremiahs have been complaining that once we people at the leading edge of the Boomer generation start to retire there will not be enough people active in the economy to do the jobs that need doing to keep up productivity and so all sorts of ways will have to be devised to keep us in the work-force.  Various options have been tried but for the most part we have all shown plenty of evidence that we are out of here in the next few years, or at the very least we will be working less hours.

In reality, the only way to ensure that people who do not have a great love of their jobs stay in the workforce is to make it impossible for them to live comfortably after retirement.  Now governments would be in all sorts of trouble if they did this legislatively but, as capitalist theory will tell you, the markets have the answer to all of life’s ills. 

So you create/engineer a major meltdown in the world stock markets, make all of our pension funds, investments etc that were built up over 40+ years to finance our retirements pretty well worthless.

And lo, we have to put off retirement for another five or ten years.

Problem solved.  It’s theft on a grand scale but it works.

But what, you say, about those people already in retirement who have no income other than their pensions?  Well, they will either starve in the proverbial garret or jump off a cliff – thereby solving the other bogey of the future economy that they have been bleating about for so long – the famous ‘demographic time bomb’ that is supposedly going to crash the healthcare system.

Two problems solved with one quick market adjustment.

Then when we boomers have done our duty and stuck our heads in the gas oven, the kiddies who we educated and who are supposed to be funding our pensions can come out of their bunkers, stocks go up again, the market gets fat once more and the next generation get rich at our expense.

Works for me as an explanation.