[discount_rates_problem] [purpose_v_best_estimate] [reflecting_reality]

How can actuaries reflect reality? There is, of course, one uniquely correct view of the long-term future but we don't know what it is, so that assumptions are needed about when, in which direction, how far and for how long. While there may be no such thing as a free lunch over time, all the rest is merely commentary.

If there is a long-term, then it can imply different restraints because we can't simultaneously aim “long” and “short” with the same assets (without paying a premium). Actuaries used to be taught that being “broadly right” is better than being “precisely wrong” but that seems no longer to be fashionable.

Crucially, risk quantification is very poorly captured by scalars assessed via discounting, especially since liquidity problems are not identifiable in advance.