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Archive for the ‘pension obligations’ Category

Parking in Chicago: Two Minutes for Two Bits

Posted by Larry Doyle on June 25th, 2013 8:35 AM |

Do you ever get to the point when you think your life is one large windshield and every bird in the world has taken a liking to you?

Let’s take a break from trying to decipher the nuances and obfuscations in all too many statements emanating from the Federal Reserve system and focus on simple matters of everyday life.

To do just that, let’s navigate to the Windy City and the state of Illinois and revisit a chilling comment left here the other day by a regular reader: (more…)

California Dreamin’ … Now a Pension Nightmare

Posted by Larry Doyle on April 22nd, 2013 8:01 AM |

“California’s the place you gotta be . . .  swimmin’ pools . . . movie stars…”

The hillbillies profiled in a favorite show from my youth presented plenty of comic material. Regrettably, there is now little that is funny about the state of California’s fiscal quandary or that of many other states that have allowed  — if not promoted — the rackets run in and throughout the state, cities, and towns to crush the dreams of hard working taxpayers saddled with enormous burdens.

While California may have the largest problem (it is not even close), current research exposes the worst states in terms of funding their pensions: Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky, and Rhode Island.

What states are actually displaying a high degree of fiscal propriety in terms of funding their pensions?  (more…)

Weekend Read: The Pension Fund That Ate California

Posted by Larry Doyle on February 16th, 2013 9:38 AM |

If anybody still has any confidence in the manner in which our nation’s largest state has been run, this is a MUST READ. Steven Malanga of City Journal writes of how California has methodically gone about screwing its future generations.

CalPERS’s corruption, insider dealing, and politicized investments have overwhelmed taxpayers with debt.

After spending years dogged by unpaid debts, California labor leader Charles Valdes filed for bankruptcy in the 1990s—twice. At the same time, he held one of the most influential positions in the American financial system: chair of the investment committee for the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, or CalPERS, the nation’s largest pension fund for government workers.

Valdes left the board in 2010 and now faces scrutiny for accepting gifts from another former board member, Alfred Villalobos—who, the state alleges, spent tens of thousands of dollars trying to influence how the fund invested its assets. Questioned by investigators about his dealings with Villalobos, Valdes invoked the Fifth Amendment 126 times. (more…)

California Pension Payouts Increase 73% in 2 Years

Posted by Larry Doyle on June 21st, 2012 8:54 AM |

How does one define a “racket?”

Well, in a takeoff of a similar question regarding pornography, I am not sure exactly how I might define a “racket” but I believe I would know one when I see it.

So, where should we look to see a racket at work? California and specifically the public pension system in the Golden State. A few weeks back I highlighted what I believe will be “civil wars” over public pension reforms in our country.

A primary battleground on this front will be the hard left-leaning people’s republic on our left coast. Is there any real surprise that California finds itself in such a fiscal mess? Not really.

How bad is the situation in California? (more…)

America’s Second Civil War : Public Pension Reforms

Posted by Larry Doyle on June 12th, 2012 9:14 AM |

Do you hear that echo in the distance? What is that sound we have been hearing since the 2010 Congressional elections and still do today?

I strongly believe the din — which many political, financial and media heavyweights would discount if not outright deny — is a raging undercurrent of civil unrest among the heretofore silent majority.

What is the issue and whom are the silent majority targeting? Public pension costs and the cabal of political and union operatives who have jointly fleeced the American taxpayer for far too long.

Americans have had enough. (more…)

California Pen$ion Nightmare Wor$en$

Posted by Larry Doyle on May 9th, 2012 7:04 AM |

What is the best part of a nightmare?

When you wake up and it is over.

The folks in California do not have that luxury as they get to live the nightmare that defines their public pension system everyday. In fact, the nightmare is getting scarier. How so?

The “not so exclusive” California $100,000 Club continues to experience explosive growth. Let’s check in on this club which since last we checked a year ago has seen close to a 25% increase in size.  (more…)

California’s $100,000 Club’s Explosive Growth

Posted by Larry Doyle on June 2nd, 2011 8:15 AM |

While many clubs in our nation continue to suffer from declining membership rolls, there is one “club” experiencing explosive growth. What makes the entrance into this club so special is the ability of the members to curry favor with those controlling the purse strings. Smell a little funny? Just a little? See the real entrance into this club is effectively a circuitous system of ‘payoffs’ and ‘kickbacks’ with the ultimate costs borne by average American citizens.

What club is this?  (more…)

“Fix Pensions and We Won’t Have to Fire Teachers”

Posted by Larry Doyle on May 9th, 2011 9:36 AM |

You do not need to read Sense on Cents to know that many of the states in our union are drowning amidst a sea of future pension obligations. While state treasurers and legislators are all too often inclined to play financial games and utilize smoke and mirrors to disguise the burden of these pension obligations, the absolute figures are so astronomical and will require a meaningful restructuring. Might that happen? Would public employees actually swallow a very real revaluation of their pension benefits?

Marcia Fritz, the head of the California Foundation for Fiscal Responsibility, is calling for her state to do just that. Ms. Fritz recently released a statement entitled, Fix Pensions and We Won’t Have to Fire Teachers,

California taxpayers would save billions of dollars that would flow to public schools, community colleges and universities if state and local public employees retired with benefits comparable to those provided to employees of Silicon Valley’s top companies. Teachers’ jobs would be saved and school programs spared. (more…)

“States of Denial” or “Do Pensioners Have Even Greater Rights Than Bondholders?”

Posted by Larry Doyle on October 18th, 2010 6:54 AM |

Do we just need to get through the next year or two in order to regain our feet?  Really? Do not think that Fed chair Ben Bernanke is not fully aware of what lies ahead on our economic landscape as he hopes and prays for an economic revival. However, as he contemplates the perils of more quantitative easing the stranglehold of future pension obligations continues to put deflationary pressures on our economy. No surprise why Ben and most of his Fed colleagues are bound and determined to create inflation in an attempt to monetize our national debts. For greater focus on the state pension obligations, let’s review a fabulous commentary recently published by The Economist entitled, A Gold-Plated Burden,

CHUCK REED is the Democratic mayor of San Jose, California. You might expect him to be an ally of public-sector workers, a powerful lobby in the Golden State. But last month, at a hearing on pension reform held by the Little Hoover Commission, which monitors the state’s government, Mr Reed lamented his crippling public-pensions bill. “City payments for retirement benefits have tripled over the last ten years even though our workforce has declined dramatically, and we have billions of dollars in unfunded liabilities that the taxpayers must pay,” he said. (more…)

New Jersey’s State Pension? Fuhgeddaboutit!!

Posted by Larry Doyle on August 19th, 2010 7:35 AM |

In a state that has a reputation for putting the ‘organized’ in ‘organized activities,’ is anybody surprised that New Jersey has been charged with misrepresenting the health of its state pensions? (The state has already settled). How do you think politicians get elected? Line the pockets of the unions with lavish pensions and perks, then stick it to future generations. This scam has been played for years. What’s new now?

The Wall Street Journal provides further details on this story in reporting, SEC Sues New Jersey as States’ Finances Stir Fears:

The Securities and Exchange Commission, in its first securities-fraud case against a state, accused New Jersey of misleading investors about the health of its two largest state pensions while selling billions of dollars in bonds.

State authorities settled the case without admitting or denying wrongdoing.

While it singled out New Jersey, the SEC is conducting several investigations into what other states disclosed about their weakened finances. (more…)






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