• Tag Archives California
  • America’s Unfolding Pension Crisis

    News headlines are reporting daily on a pension crisis unfolding in the US. To understand how we got here, there are five major factors that led us to this point:
    Generous payouts Inadequate contributions Low interest rates Longer life spans Overly optimistic return assumptions Lawrence McQuillan detailed how all of these are converging together in one hot mess for America’s largest and most underfunded state when he wrote his must-read book, California Dreaming: Lessons on How to Resolve America’s Public Pension Crisis.
    As he said to us at the time, during a book interview with FS Insider, the money just isn’t there and now politicians are ‘scrambling’:

    This post was published at FinancialSense on 06/23/2017.


  • Total Return With Floating Rate Bonds

    News headlines are reporting daily on a pension crisis unfolding in the US. To understand how we got here, there are five major factors that led us to this point:
    Generous payouts Inadequate contributions Low interest rates Longer life spans Overly optimistic return assumptions Lawrence McQuillan detailed how all of these are converging together in one hot mess for America’s largest and most underfunded state when he wrote his must-read book, California Dreaming: Lessons on How to Resolve America’s Public Pension Crisis.
    As he said to us at the time, during a book interview with FS Insider, the money just isn’t there and now politicians are ‘scrambling’:

    This post was published at FinancialSense on 06/23/2017.


  • Caught on Video: Motorcyclist’s Road Rage Triggers Major Accident on CA Freeway

    An apparent road rage incident between the driver of a sedan and a motorcyclist quickly spiraled out of control in Santa Clarita, California, on Wednesday.
    Tim Morrison and Chris Traber were on their way to work when they saw the driver of a silver sedan cut in front of a motorcyclist on the 14 Freeway.
    The incident continued to escalate between the two motorists, so Traber decided to start recording on his cellphone, reports KTLA 5.
    In the video, the motorcyclist appears to try to kick the sedan on the right. In response, the sedan veers to the left and briefly collides with the motorcyclist before losing control and crashing into the highway divider wall.
    The momentum from the crash caused the sedan to lose control and veer toward the middle lane of the highway, where it collided with a white Cadillac pickup truck, causing the truck to overturn.


    This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on June 23, 2017.


  • San Francisco Bay Area Sheds Jobs and Workers

    Commercial and residential real estate bubbles choke the economy. The upper bounds of hype and craziness have been reached.
    The San Francisco Bay Area has seen an astounding jobs boom since the Great Recession. The tsunami of global liquidity that washed over it after the Great Recession, central-bank QE and zero-interest-rate policies that sent investors chasing blindly after risk, a blistering no-holds-barred startup bubble with the craziest valuations, one of the greatest stock market bubbles ever – whatever caused the boom, it created one of the craziest housing bubbles ever, a restaurant scene to dream of, traffic jams to have nightmares over, and hundreds of thousands of jobs. But it’s over.
    In May, employment in San Francisco dropped to 542,600 jobs, the lowest since June 2016, according to the data released on Friday by the California Employment Development Department. The employment peak was in December 2016 at 547,200.
    The labor force in the City fell to 557,600. That’s below March 2016! This confirms a slew of other data and anecdotal evidence: People and businesses are leaving. It’s too expensive. They’re voting with their feet.

    This post was published at Wolf Street by Wolf Richter ‘ Jun 17, 2017.


  • The Treasonous Secession Of Climate Confederacy States

    After President Trump rejected the Paris Climate treaty, which had never been ratified by the Senate, the European Union announced that it would work with a climate confederacy of secessionist US states.
    Scotland and Norway’s environmental ministers have mentioned a focus on individual American states. And the secessionist governments of California, New York and Washington have announced that they will unilaterally and illegally enter into a foreign treaty rejected by the President of the United States.
    The Constitution is very clear about this. ‘No state shall enter into any treaty.’ Governor Cuomo of New York has been equally clear. ‘New York State is committed to meeting the standards set forth in the Paris Accord regardless of Washington’s irresponsible actions.’
    Cuomo’s statement conveniently comes in French, Chinese and Russian translations.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 16, 2017.


  • CNN Commentator Calls Republicans Racist And Sexist For Interrupting Kamala Harris

    Below is a perfect example of why civilized political discourse is no longer possible in the United States.
    Twice in the past two weeks, first with deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and then again yesterday with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the freshman Senator from California, Kamala Harris, chose to pursue an aggressive series of questions that many have interpreted simply as an effort to patronize, mock and/or embarrass witnesses before the Senate Intelligence Committee.
    But the questions asked by Harris, are not the real issue. She has the right, and frankly the obligation, to ask tough and probing questions.
    The issue is that after asking those tough/probing questions Harris seems to have forgotten that witnesses are supposed to be given an opportunity to respond. Moreover, when witnesses are not allowed to respond, it’s the duty of the committee chair, who happens to be Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) in the case of the Senate Intelligence Committee, to maintain order and assure that “questioning” of a witness doesn’t morph into “badgering” of a witness.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 14, 2017.


  • Governor Jerry Brown of California Advocates the Overthrow of USA

    Governor Jerry Brown of California is committing Treason Against the United States. He is leading a confederacy against the Federal Government and should stand trial, but of course that would be controversial. After Trump rejected the Paris Climate treaty, which had never been ratified by the Senate, the European Union announced that it would work with a climate confederacy of secessionist states in the USA. This is clearly Treason and all Federal funds should be cut off from the secessionist governments of California, New York and Washington, who have unilaterally and completely illegally entered into a foreign treaty rejecting the President of the United States on the Paris Accord.
    U. S. Constitution – Article 1 Section 10 Article 1 – The Legislative Branch
    Section 10 – Powers Prohibited of States No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.

    This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Jun 14, 2017.


  • Deputy AG Rosenstein: Trump Can’t Fire Special Counsel Mueller

    As noted earlier, on Monday evening Christopher Ruddy, chief executive of the conservative news site and TV network Newsmax, caused a media uproar when he said during an interview on “PBS NewsHour” that Trump is thinking about firing special counsel Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating Russian election interference.
    As NBC noted last night, it is open to question how reliable Ruddy’s comments are. “He is often described as a close friend of Trump’s, and reporters spotted him leaving the White House on Monday. But a source familiar with the visit told NBC News that any meeting Ruddy was to have had with the president was postponed. Still, his remarks prompted this reply on Twitter from Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, who said the committee would simply reappoint Mueller and then advised the president: “Don’t waste our time.”

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 13, 2017.


  • Land of the grown adults living at home: 5 reasons why California will continue to have millions of Millennials living at home.

    California has millions of young adults living at home with parents because they are unable to venture out into an expensive rental or a dilapidated crap shack costing close to $1 million. It is interesting to see many articles written by baby boomers sporting beer guts and how Millennials are ‘destroying’ many industries like chain restaurants (i.e., TGIFs, Buffalo Wild Wings, etc) or retail stores (i.e., Sears, K-Mart, etc), or are simply not buying homes. Of course Millennials have different habits. And getting stuck with an absurd 30-year mortgage on a dump is not a big aspiration for many. They are more into health and wellness, life experiences, and many are delaying marriage. So why do they need a home? The data is backing all of this up of course contrary to the house humpers that continue to sing the praises of $1 million crap shacks. California is in a major rental revolution. And Millennials will continue to live at home in mass for a few reasons.

    This post was published at Doctor Housing Bubble on June 10, 2017.


  • CALIFORNIA’S TAX PLAN FOR SINGLE-PAYER HEALTHCARE IS A DISASTER FOR RESIDENTS

    The tax increases required to implement California’s expensive government takeover of healthcare would cripple the state’s economy. Unable to make enough to cover the massive costs with an income tax hike of 15%, California would need to also jack up the sales tax rates across the state, and that would make the cost of living unbearable for most – and it still wouldn’t be enough to fund the single-payer healthcare plan.
    After detailing California’s single payer healthcare plan, it was mentioned that the state still has no plan to fund this government takeover. Anyone who knows anything about economics understands that not only is taxation theft, but the higher the taxes, the harder it is to get by on a daily basis. SHTFPlan already detailed that life in Los Angeles is difficult, and the numbers of homeless have proven that. Additional taxes would simply add to that crisis. For those who have trouble putting two and two together, Los Angeles is in California.
    According to Reason, the state of California’s single-payer health care proposal would eliminate premiums, deductibles, and co-pays for residents of the state, but would require massive tax increases. Those tax hikes would need to include the creation of a new, more complex version of a sales tax that would drive up the cost of living or doing business there.

    This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on JUNE 7, 2017.


  • More Solar Jobs Is a Curse, Not a Blessing

    Citing U. S. Department of Energy data, the New York Times recently reported that the solar industry employs far more Americans than wind or coal: 374,000 in solar versus 100,000 in wind and 160,000 in coal mining and coal-fired power generation. Only the natural gas sector employs more people: 398,000 workers in gas production, electricity generation, home heating and petrochemicals.
    This is supposed to be a good thing, according to the Times. It shows how important solar power has become in taking people out of unemployment lines and giving them productive jobs, the paper suggests.
    Indeed, the article notes, California had the highest rate of solar power jobs per capita in 2016, thanks to its ‘robust renewable energy standards and installation incentives’ (ie, mandates and subsidies).
    In reality, it’s not a good thing at all, and certainly not a positive trend. In fact, as Climate Depot and the Washington Examiner point out – citing an American Enterprise Institute study – the job numbers actually underscore how wasteful, inefficient and unproductive solar power actually is.

    This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on May 6, 2017.


  • $75,560: The Cost Of Housing A Prisoner For One Year In California

    Californians have grown accustomed over the years to massively overpaying for public services and infrastructure projects. In fact, one has to look no further than Jerry Brown’s two largest, ongoing pet projects, including the infamous ‘High Speed Rail‘ and ‘Delta Tunnels‘, for a couple of examples of California’s complete obsession with wasting taxpayer money.
    That said, the cost of providing the best healthcare money can buy and luxurious accommodations to the state’s 130,000 prisoners is starting to move beyond outrageous, even by California standards. As the AP points out today, Jerry Brown’s new budget allocates a staggering $75,560 to cover the cost of housing each resident of California’s state prison system for a single year.
    The spending plan includes a record $11.4 billion for the corrections department while also predicting that there will be 11,500 fewer inmates in four years after voters in November approved earlier releases for many prisoners.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 5, 2017.


  • Beware the Muni Bond Bubble

    Municipal Bonds are in trouble in Europe as well as the United States. The local level cannot print money, nor are they ever capable of managing their economies. The general view is when short, just raise taxes. Everything comes to an end and we are looking at the end of a Muni-Bond Bubble. The strongest possible recommendation is get out before it is too late. Sure, not every municipality or state/province is in trouble – YET! Once the muni bond bubble bursts, there will be a contagion so even the ones that are not yet insolvent will tip over.
    In the States, sell California and New England. The higher the tax rate, the deeper their debt will fall. Connecticut, for example, is hopeless as is New Jersey, New York, and just about all New England States. I was flying home from Hong Kong and upon landing in Newark, the next leg was back to Florida. I sat next to a woman from Connecticut who was going to visit her brother. She had a 1950s house 1600 square feet with taxes over $8,000 and could no longer afford to stay there for retirement. She was leaving as most people these days in what I call the Great Migration.

    This post was published at Armstrong Economics on May 30, 2017.


  • Treat Yo Self! Unfunded Government Pensions $23.2 TRILLION As Of 2015 (Global Pension Shortfall Of Nearly Half A Quadrillion Expected By 2050

    This is a syndicated repost courtesy of Confounded Interest. To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.
    Politicians love to promise generous retirement benefits to government employees (mostly in exchange for being elected). Benefits that they know cannot be fully honored in the long-run. The same applies to government debt – they keep borrowing knowing it is unsustainable (and then offer the childish explanation that ‘we can always print the money’ to pay government obligations). The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that Federal Debt Held by the Publc (as a percentage of GDP) will grow to 150% by 2047.
    I can imagine that most elected officials in Congress are saying ‘we’ll fix the debt problem AFTER I leave Congress.’
    But the Federal debt fiasco almost pales in comparison to the public pension inferno. Not to mention California’s push towards a single-payer healthcare system that would cost $400 billion … per year (BIGGER than California’s budget).

    This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on May 30, 2017.


  • “How Does This Ever End?” An Interview With Lacy Hunt

    The US economy is struggling with too much debt at every level. A debt jubilee isn’t going to solve it; and shifting demographics will likely make it worse. So, is America headed for two decades of lost growth like Japan? Dr. Lacy Hunt, who was interviewed by Erik Townsend on the latter’s MacroVoices podcast, considers the endgame for the US economy… Well, we could get lucky, Hunt says.
    “The US economy could experience a modern equivalent of the California gold rush. In the 1820’s and 1830’s, we took on a lot of debt to finance the early canals, steamship lines railroads – it was over-investment, over consumption. The panic year was 1838. Martin Van Buren was president, he didn’t know what was going on. By this, the country languished very badly for 11 years, and then gold was discovered it California, led to a huge surge in national income, people were very careful how they spent their income.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 29, 2017.


  • Really Bad Ideas, Part 2: Giving Up Without Admitting It

    Doing the right thing is hard for both individuals and their governments. Name the goal – maintaining a healthy weight, paying off high-interest credit cards, keeping debt-to-GDP at reasonable levels, whatever – and with each missed deadline or broken promise success recedes further into the distance. And the temptation grows to just give up and pretend that the goal never really mattered.
    This is happening everywhere. In the US, state and local pension plans are underfunded to the point of becoming a political (not just a long-term financial) issue. And governments, confronted with the resulting set of unpalatable options, are surrendering without admitting it. In California, for instance, the governor is proposing to fund part of its several hundred billion dollar pension liability by, believe it or not, borrowing more money:
    California Proposes $6 Billion Boost to CalPERS
    (Chief Investment Officer) – California Gov. Jerry Brown’s revised state budget proposes a $6 billion supplemental payment to The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), which he says will save the state $11 billion over the next two decades.

    This post was published at DollarCollapse on MAY 26, 2017.


  • US Pension Crisis Picking Up Full Speed

    The Pension Crisis is serious and is the catalyst that will bring everything down. Nearly 600 State & Local governments are now in the hole and has reached nearly $1.2 trillion of unfunded pension liabilities in FY 2014. This reflects total pension liabilities of $4.798 trillion and total pension assets (or fiduciary net position) of $3.607 trillion. This staggering number is nearly 25% of the annual GDP and accounts for roughly 97% of all public pension funds in the United States. California is raising taxes to cover the short-fall for now, but this is going nowhere fast. Government pensions are what destroyed the Roman Empire and history is going to repeat.

    This post was published at Armstrong Economics on May 25, 2017.


  • Outrage Ensues As Rambling Maxine Waters Has Her Mic Cut By Democratic Party

    African American Caucus leaders are outraged today and wondering whether racism played a role in the attempted silencing of Maxine Waters as he microphone was cut at speech before the California Democratic Party African American Caucus. From the LA Times:
    The head of the California Democratic Party African American Caucus said Monday he was working with state party officials to determine who was responsible for cutting off the sound to U. S. Rep. Maxine Waters’ microphone as she spoke to the group at the party’s convention on Saturday.
    “This is a very unusual situation, and we are collectively trying to figure out a path forward to address what happened and make sure these things do not happen in the future,” Caucus Chairman Darren Parker said.
    Of course, in reality, Waters’ mic was cut because the Caucus meeting extended well beyond its scheduled end time per a contract with their audio vendor…but those are just silly facts.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 23, 2017.


  • SINGLE PAYER HEALTH CARE WOULD COST CALIFORNIANS $400 BILLION

    Single-payer healthcare is gaining a lot of traction lately, especially in liberal strongholds like California. Last week we detailed how New York’s idea for single-payer healthcare could quadruple the citizen’s tax burden in the state, but it’s even worse in California.
    A single-payer health care system in California (a communist’s dream cause among the state’s progressive flank) would cost $400 billion annually, according to a legislative analysis released on Monday. ‘Annually’ means that that $400 billion would be needed every year, not just the year of implementation. That number is more than four times the low estimated cost of New York’s plan. But that cost is likely to be a low estimate as well, considering the government never actually gets their numbers right. They always underestimate to lessen the blow to those whose livelihoods will be stolen to pay for this monstrosity. ‘Get the government involved in healthcare,’ they said. ‘It will be fun,’ they said.

    This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on MAY 23, 2017.


  • The Tens Of Millions Of Forgotten Americans That The U.S. Economy Has Left Behind

    The evidence that the middle class in America is dying continues to mount. As you will see below, nearly half the country would be unable ‘to cover an unexpected $400 expense’, and about two-thirds of the population lives paycheck to paycheck at least part of the time. Of course the economy has not been doing that well overall in recent years. Barack Obama was the only president in all of U. S. history not to have a single year when the economy grew by at least 3 percent, and U. S. GDP growth during the first quarter of 2017 was an anemic 0.7 percent. During the Obama era, it is true that wealthy enclaves in New York, northern California and Washington D. C. did thrive, but meanwhile most of the rest of the country has been left behind.
    Today, there are approximately 205 million working age Americans, and close to half of them have no financial cushion whatsoever. In fact, a new survey conducted by the Federal Reserve has found that 44 percent of Americans do not even have enough money ‘to cover an unexpected $400 expense’…

    This post was published at The Economic Collapse Blog on May 21st, 2017.