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Banking & Financial Services Issues

Central Basin’s secret $2.7 million fund broke law

March 25, 2014 J,

The troubled Central Basin Municipal Water District violated the state’s open meeting laws when it created a $2.7-million fund in virtual secrecy, an investigation by the agency’s attorneys concluded. The fund, created for a groundwater storage project, was managed without public hearings or notifications, and records related to it were among those subpoenaed by federal [...]

Public Pension Shortfalls Are Everyone’s Problem

August 12, 2013 J,

The pension liabilities that helped bankrupt Detroit have cast a harsh light on similar problemsin Chicago and other large American cities, adding urgency to the question of who should close the shortfall. This is a challenge that public-sector workers and retirees shouldn’t bear on their own. The public pension problem is by now well known. Detroit’s emergency manager [...]

Great article on the current financial crisis. “California and Bust” by Michael Lewis

October 10, 2011 J

On August 5, 2011, moments after the U.S. government watched a rating agency lower its credit rating for the first time in American history, the market for U.S. Treasury bonds soared. Four days later, the interest rates paid by the U.S. government on its new 10-year bonds were plummeting on their way to record lows. The price of gold rose right alongside the price of U.S. Treasury bonds, but the prices of virtually all stocks and other bonds in rich Western countries went into a free fall. The net effect of a major U.S. rating agency’s saying that the U.S. government was less likely than before to repay its debts was to lower the cost of borrowing for the U.S. government and to raise it for everyone else. This told you a lot of what you needed to know about the ability of the U.S. government to live beyond its means: it had, for the moment, a blank check.


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