Detroit defaulted on some debt on Friday and proposed most creditors receive just pennies on the dollar owed by the "insolvent" city in order to avoid the largest MUNICIPAL bankruptcy filing in U.S. history.
In a forceful opening salvo of negotiations with holders of as much as $18.5 billion of debt, Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr announced a moratorium on some principal and interest payments, including one due on Friday.
It is no surprise that pension funds in the US are significantly underfunded (median 72% funded). California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CALPERS), specifically, is about 26% short of meeting its long-term commitments. Like most major pension funds, it uses smoke-and-mirrors to avoid this yawning gap by smoothing over a long enough timeframe where 'hope' for growth in assets triumphs over the reality of liabilities (through a 'rolling' 15- or 30-year window - that therefore never comes due). However, under a new plan proposed by CALPERS' chief actuary, they will shorten the horizon from 15 to 5 years and aim for a specific date 30 years from now to be 100% funded (instead of a rolling hope-driven horizon). The impact of this, as Bloomberg reports, may mean California taxpayers MUNICIPAL pension contributions will rise as much as 50%. "This is clearly the right thing to do," notes the fund's CEO, "as it will reduce the risk of the system," though we suspect the 'system' may just get a little upset at having to face this 50% 'tax-hike'.
The Troika technical team was chased from their Greek offices on Tuesday by an angry mob of Muni workers (who proclaimed that "they got our labor rights and conditions back to the Middle Ages"). As KeepTalkingGreece notes, this is the third incident in 24 hours as since the team arrived they have had water bottle thrown at them as well as cars kicked and 'hurled coffees'. The clip below shows the Troika member looking rather anxious as he runs from the crowd (and NewsIt reported a female Troika member seeking refuge in a bookstore). It is not just the MUNICIPAL workers who are in fear though, as GreekReporter notes the unbelievable story of the re-appearance of a 'mysterious' CD containing the names of 2000 ultra-rich Greek Swiss-bank account-holders is now back in the hands of the Greek government as they press for bilateral taxation on those huge deposits. It seems rich and poor alike are not happy with the Troika's exposure of tax cheats across the desparate nation.
America is quickly approaching a catastrophic economic collapse. Before you dismiss this as hype or paranoia, take a few minutes to review the facts outlined on this page. The numbers don’t lie. At this point, the dollar crash is unavoidable… far from an exaggeration this is a mathematical certainty. As repelling as that sounds, it’s in your own best interest to learn just how bad the situation is.
According to the talking heads of mainstream press the economy is slowly recovering and the financial crisis is all but behind us. But we need a reality check. It’s time to stop being naive and start being more discerning. Instead of more false hope, we need the truth as bitter as it might sound… and the truth is, from our local MUNICIPALities, to our states to our federal government, we are broke… the truth is we can’t payback our debt without getting into even more debt… the truth is the housing crash of 2008 was just a small preview of what’s to come.
The latest estimates are found in a Wall Street Journal piece published Monday on all the lawyers piling up like brains-hungry zombies to file lawsuits against banks accused of manipulating Libor. The plaintiffs include small banks, like Berkshire Bank of New York, that claim they missed out on some sweet lending cash because rates were manipulated too low. They include state and local governments and other MUNICIPALities that say they lost money on interest-rate swaps because of Libor rigging. They include hedge funds and other investors who claim they were duped in trades with Libor manipulators.
The high-end estimate of the potential cost to the 16 banks being investigated in the Libor probe has risen to $176 billion, the WSJ writes, citing a July report by Australian firm Macquarie Research. Actually, the report (via zerohedge) suggested the banks might end up paying $88 billion in fines and settlements as a result of $176 billion in investor losses, but who's counting? Other estimates are a lot lower, including a Keefe, Bruyette & Woods estimate of $35 billion last month and a Morgan Stanley estimate of less than $8 billion.