General Motors, the US carmaker, has made a negative 3 per cent return on its $67.3bn fund.This decline was credible given the fall in stock market returns.
The decline is likely to further exacerbate the $9.1bn shortfall in GM's US pension fund and a further $3.61bn hole in its non-US pension obligations.
GM's admission that its 10 per cent target for future returns may be unrealistic. According to an internal study at GM, each percentage point reduction in the assumption would knock $700m off annual pre-tax profits.
GM, moreover, also faces significant post-retirement healthcare liabilities. The underfunded status of its retiree benefits plan was put at $47.5bn at the end of 2001.
The assumption of a 9.5 per cent return in the pension fund of Ford Motor, GM's arch-rival, has also been questioned.
The company balance sheet liabilities have driven much of its strategy recently, as it uses heavy discounting and zero per cent finance deals to attract buyers and generate cash.
The discovery of the submarine has unveiled a few "inconsistencies." For example, how can one explain the fact that the sub was found where it needed to be searched for from the start?
When on a state visit to Singapore, Russian President Vladimir Putin promised to revisit the discussion of the 1956 Declaration between the USSR and Japan regarding the issue of the peace treaty with Japan
The TurkStream, which runs along the bottom of the Black Sea from Russia's Anapa to Turkey, will consist of two lines, each with a capacity of 15.75 billion cubic meters of gas a year