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This past week featured the 2011 FPA NorCal regional conference. Pulling over 600 attendees, don't let the "regional" label fool you - the event is on par with any national financial planning conference! The opening general session event featured Neel Kashkari, currently a managing director with PIMCO, and former chief of the Trouble Asset Relief Program (TARP) for the Federal government. Here are the highlights... as captured on the #FPANorCal twitter hashtag!

MichaelKitces: Opening session for #FPANorCal starting shortly. Neel Kashkari, managing director at PIMCO & former manager of TARP! Economic outlook.

MichaelKitces: Conference opening remarks from amazing 2-time chair Sabrina Lowell at #FPANorCal

MichaelKitces: Awesome value-add for attending #FPANorCal - every attendee automatically gets conference CD with all (38!!) presentations - no extra cost!

MichaelKitces: Now to the podium - #FPANorCal platinum sponsor AssetDedication's @jbrentburns introducing PIMCO's Neel Kashkari.

jbrentburns: Introducing Neel Kashkari at #FPANorCal. He ran TARP following the '08 crisis. Should be insightful. Stay tuned.

MichaelKitces: Kashkari starts w/ charts of housing to discuss bubble - "nowhere were increasing valuations more apparent" - except to the Fed? #FPANorCal

MichaelKitces: "Look in the mirror folks. We've been adding to GDP by piling on debt for 30 years." -Kashkari #FPANorCal

MichaelKitces: "Our economy got fat. We had a heart attack. Emergency intervention helped, but we're still fat lying on a gurney." -Kashkari #FPANorCal

MichaelKitces: "3-5 year outlook - a bumpy journey and we're driving without a spare." -Kashkari #FPANorCal

MortgageNudge: Easy to drive GDP when you're adding debt; Hard to drive GDP when you're paying it down. Neel Kaskari #FPANorCal

MichaelKitces: Outlook: deleveraging, slower growth, sustained unemployment, reregulation, restrained globalization, more uncertainty. -Kashkari #FPANorCal

MichaelKitces: Developing economies will lead global growth. Get more comfortable invested outside the US. -Kashkari #FPANorCal

MichaelKitces: Invest in high quality as risk management in coming years (high quality companies, fiscally strong countries). -Kashkari #FPANorCal

MichaelKitces: Traditional patterns of indebtedness being reversed - emerging economies healthy & developed countries overleveraged. -Kashkari #FPANorCal

mkcorbin: Usually, developing countries are financial basketcases, now, the reverse is true. -Kashkari #FPANorCal

MichaelKitces: Incredible debt mountain chart - consumers just can't be long-term backbone for growing the economy in coming years. -Kashkari #FPANorCal

CarolynMcC: #FPANorCal Consumers will no longer drive economic growth. I think in the long term that will be a good thing

MichaelKitces: What should policymakers (not) do - don't try to reinflate the bubble, allow deleveraging adjustments to occur. -Kashkari #FPANorCal

MortgageNudge: Is US headed to be Japan? Unlike Japan, our working age population still growing. Kashkari #FPANorCal

MortgageNudge: But as % of total population, US working population is shrinking. Exacerbates entitlement stresses. Kashkari #FPANorCal

MichaelKitces: Policymakers should help expedite the adjustment - e.g., worker retraining programs. -Kashkari #FPANorCal

MichaelKitces: Policymakers should focus on US productive capacity - education, basic research, infrastructure, high skill immigration -Kashkari #FPANorCal

MichaelKitces: We need to give private sector confidence - fundamental tax reform, minimize regulatory uncertainty, control deficits. -Kashkari #FPANorCal

CarolynMcC: #FPANorCal Tax policy needs to change to encourage savings and income production. Totally right.

MichaelKitces: If we want people to spend responsibly and work more, why do we tax income but not consumption? -Kashkari #FPANorCal

MichaelKitces: Social Security is a problem, but health care cost growth even more problematic. -Kashkari #FPANorCal

MichaelKitces: Our political system is much better at fixing problems after they occur, than they are at taking steps to prevent them. -Kashkari #FPANorCal

MichaelKitces: Kashkari notes that passage of TARP in 2 weeks means we can make hard choices when we have to. -Kashkari #FPANorCal

CarolynMcC: Kashkari says that the US political system surprised him with the lightening speed Congress passed TARP. This is a good thing. #FPANorCal

MichaelKitces: CBO estimates 4% increase in Treasury rates is another $500bln in interest. That's 10x homeland security, 5x education. -Kashkari #FPANorCal

MichaelKitces: "I've shown you the data. There's a fiscal crisis coming if we don't act. If it happens, don't say didn't see it coming -Kashkari #FPANorCal

jbrentburns: Means testing, increasing retirement age are a couple of strategies to manage entitlement driven crisis. - Kashkari #FPANorCal

MichaelKitces: Everything has to be on the table (spending, taxes/revenue, etc) to solve the problem. We have to tackle this. -Kashkari #FPANorCal

MichaelKitces: Q&A beginning. #1 - we never act before a crisis. How can you be so optimistic? #FPANorCal

MichaelKitces: President hasn't really been engaged in deficit reduction (ignored his own def commission) but that may be changing. -Kashkari #FPANorCal

MichaelKitces: Q&A - is the debt ceiling fight for show or for real? Won't default on the debt, but turmoil may occur w/ gov shutdown. -Kashkari #FPANorCal

MortgageNudge: US won't default, but gov't must prioritize spending. Gov't shutdowns possibility; may be catalyst for change. Kashkari #FPANorCal

jbrentburns: Managing the debt ceiling is a shell game. Default is untenable, but shutting down the govt could provide will. Kashkari #FPANorCal

MichaelKitces: Soc Sec change will only impact distant future retirees. So basically, we'll make our children pay. -Kashkari #FPANorCal

MichaelKitces: Q&A - still too big to fail? Yes, Congress focusing on resolution authority - only helps 1 failure in stable system. -Kashkari #FPANorCal

jbrentburns: In a crisis, the risk of contagion in financial institutions is real. Kashkari #FPANorCal

MichaelKitces: I'm concerned about systemwide crises & contagion - we can handle a major failure within a stable system. -Kashkari #FPANorCal

MichaelKitces: We don't need massive spending cuts today. We need cuts that result in massive spending changes over time. -Kashkari #FPANorCal

jbrentburns: Politically tenable spending cuts will have to move out into the future. Also won't negatively impact economy now. Kashkari #FPANorCal

MichaelKitces: Was the answer to the equity premium puzzle the fact that we were continuously adding debt to the economy? -Kashkari #FPANorCal

MichaelKitces: QE2 end well telegraphed, but Fed has still been buying 80% of issuance. There will be buyers, but higher yields. -Kashkari #FPANorCal

MichaelKitces: Would be very surprised if QE3 follows QE2 - Washington is hearing message about less gov't interference in economy. -Kashkari #FPANorCal

MichaelKitces: Slack alone not relief from inflation. Deficits, QE2, growing emerging economies are all inflationary. I'm concerned. -Kashkari #FPANorCal

jbrentburns: Q&A are TIPS a successful experiment. Kashkari says yes. #FPANorCal

MichaelKitces: If Greece defaults other peripheral countries will have to restructure too; Ireland/Portugal lenders panic they're next -Kashkari #FPANorCal

MichaelKitces: A Greek default is inevitable. Their economy has more debt than can be outgrown or sustained. -Kashkari #FPANorCal

MichaelKitces: Greece will default. The key is how to do it in a manner that doesn't trigger contagion or Euro crisis. -Kashkari #FPANorCal

CarolynMcC: Implication if Greece defaults? Other countries will have to restructure or fall like dominoes. Kashkari #FPANorCal

MichaelKitces: Our BEST scenario is a muddle through weak scenario while we get our US house in order. -Kashkari #FPANorCal

CarolynMcC: The euro is more important politically than it is financially Kashkari. #FPANorCal

CarolynMcC: It is hard to be one wise person in a country of fools. Kashkari #FPANorCal

MichaelKitces: When you have a nationwide delusion like housing, it's impossible for 1 wise person to stop it. We'd just cast 'em out. -Kashkari #FPANorCal

MichaelKitces: Q to Kashkari - what's the next bubble. His serious response - "look at the valuations of some social media companies." -Kashkari #FPANorCal

MichaelKitces: Don't see commodities bubble coming b/c of economic damage rising comm prices cause. May be some price pain though. -Kashkari #FPANorCal

MichaelKitces: Most of Wall Street has no idea how close they came to losing everything. -Kashkari #FPANorCal

jbrentburns: Kashkari says most Wall Street execs have no idea how close they were to collapse without govt intervention. #FPANorCal

MichaelKitces: "Wall Street would not exist today were it not for the actions of the taxpayers." -Kashkari #FPANorCal //Not everyone thinks that's good?

MichaelKitces: Game isn't rigged in the US. But high skills are increasingly disproportionately rewarded. The solution is education. -Kashkari #FPANorCal

MichaelKitces: Kashkari's Washington experience as TARP chief gives him interesting perspective. #FPANorCal

MichaelKitces: No country can afford to give absolute best health care to every citizen in their country. Must be some allocation. -Kashkari #FPANorCal

MichaelKitces: Until politician can say "sometimes we can't all get everything we want" & not be voted out, change is difficult. -Kashkari #FPANorCal

MichaelKitces: Kashkari believes history will reflect well on Geitner, Bernanke, etc. Some lessons learned, but we averted disaster. -Kashkari #FPANorCal

CarolynMcC: We need to have an honest conversation about healthcare in this county. Kashkari #FPANorCal I address this in my session tomorrow.

jbrentburns: Politicians are too scared to take on health care. - Kashkari #FPANorCal.

MichaelKitces: Kashkari wraps up. First breakout starting in half an hour. #FPANorCal

If you enjoy this kind of content and want more, be sure to follow some of the active Twitter users who are broadcasting conferences, including Tech guru @BillWinterberg and yours truly, @MichaelKitces. Stay tuned for more conference live-Tweeting experiences throughout the year, and some follow-up posts to this one for further highlights of the FPA NorCal conference! And let us know what you think!


Michael E. Kitces

I write about financial planning strategies and practice management ideas, and have created several businesses to help people implement them.

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Out and About

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015

*Expanding the Framework of Safe Withdrawal Rates @ Private Event

Saturday, July 18th, 2015

*Future of Financial Planning in the Digital Age @ Private Event

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

*Generating Alpha Tax with Effective Asset Location *Social Security Benefits Planning For Couples @ MetLife Annual Symposium

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