The biggest problem facing Illinois is the public pension fund problem. I don’t care what the ‘official’ number is for the degree to which it is underfunded. I can guarantee that even without marking-to-real-market the illiquid investments like private equity funds, derivatives, commercial real estate trusts and other assets that do not have truly visible markets, collectively the public pension system in Illinois is at least 60-70% underfunded. Then apply a realistic assumed actuarial rate of return on assets, which would be lower than the current assumption (likely 7.5% ad infinitum) and the underfunding goes to 80%. The problem is unsolvable without a complete and drastic restructuring.
I was in a Lyft ride today and the driver happened to be from the northwest suburban area of Chicago. There’s a lot bad things happening in that State that are not reported in the mainstream media. All road public road work has been halted except toll roads. The gun violence has worked its way from the South Side up through downtown into the Gold Coast neighborhood and is winding its way north.
This post was published at Investment Research Dynamics on July 11, 2017.