Posts Tagged ‘budget’

Poor Planning On Your Part Doesn’t Not Constitute a Fiscal Emergency On My Part, California

Poor Planning On Your Part Doesn’t Not Constitute a Fiscal Emergency On My Part, California

Courtesy of Jr. Deputy Accountant 

While California legislators are busy patting themselves on the back for breaking the gridlock that set world records for the longest a state has gone without an official budget (the word "budget" in government accounting terms being a joke in and of itself), it is important to point out that their "solutions" are really just costly magic tricks that manipulate the accounting to create an illusion of a fix.

Case in point, the good old "sale leaseback" trick. 

LA Times:

The budget deficit would also be closed partly by selling an array of state properties and buildings, many of which the state will subsequently lease back . The sales are projected to generate more than $1 billion, the sources said.

Some of the deficit would be wiped out on paper but could quickly rematerialize. Legislators have said they will fill $1.4 billion of the budget gap by replacing the administration’s revenue projections with those of the state’s nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office, which are more optimistic.

Billions more of the deficit would be handled with expectations of financial help from Washington, but the state has no control over whether those funds will arrive. More than $3 billion more would be borrowed from other state funds.

To recap:

Using better numbers than the first set of numbers = $1.4 billion
Selling PP&E to be leased back = $1 billion upfront (doesn’t mention how much it will cost us in the long run to lease the crap back)
Handouts from Obama = a couple billion

So glad to see accounting fraud has been completely legitimized.


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David Walker With Jon Stewart: “There Is No Party Of Fiscal Responsibility In Washington.

David Walker With Jon Stewart: "There Is No Party Of Fiscal Responsibility In Washington." (Daily Show Video)

Courtesy of The Daily Bail 

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
David Walker
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Tea Party

 

Video:  David Walker with Jon Stewart

Originally aired in January, but it has never been posted here before.  Walker is the former Comptroller General of the Untied States and is now President of the Peterson Foundation.

  • "There is no party of fiscal responsibility in Washington."
  • "When the statutory budget controls expired in 2002, Washington lost total control.  Unfunded tax cuts, unfunded war costs, expansion of entitlement benefits.  And we are where we are today."

David Walker Says US Government Immorality Will Lead To Bankruptcy (60 Minutes)

David Walker: "The United States Is On The Same Path To Bankruptcy As Greece" (VIDEO)

Daily Bail Exclusive Interview With David Walker: "Young People Wake Up, Ignorance And Apathy Make For A Toxic Mix"

Movie Trailer For ‘I.O.U.S.A.’ America The Bankrupt

PBS Frontline Explores The National Debt: ‘$10 Trillion And Counting’


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Oregon Tax Revenue from Measure 66 is 50% Short of Predictions; Oregon Grants Unions 4.75% Pay Hike

Oregon Tax Revenue from Measure 66 is 50% Short of Predictions; Oregon Grants Unions 4.75% Pay Hike

Courtesy of Mish 

From the dysfunctional state of Oregon comes news that Measure 66fell about 50% short of its revenue predictions. Balance that with 4.75% pay hikes and it adds up with a continuing refusal by Oregon to address its problems.

Oregon Grants Unions 4.75% Pay Hike

5 percent pay increase for Oregon state union employees begins Wednesday

A step pay increase of nearly 5 percent for Oregon state workers represented by unions goes into effect Wednesday. The 4.75 percent increase will cost the state as much as $16 million through the end of the two-year budget period.

Measure 66 Falls Short

Oregon tax revenues from Measure 66 coming up short of predictions

Early indicators suggest the state won’t receive nearly as much as officials expected from a tax increase on wealthy Oregonians — raising questions of whether January’s bitterly fought election was worth it.

The latest numbers show Measure 66, which set higher tax rates on households making more than $250,000 a year, and on individual filers making half that, has brought in about $70 million in additional collections to date.

"We’re thinking we’re right around half of what we expected about this time," said Paul Warner, head of the Legislative Revenue Office.

Here’s the deal. Oregon raised taxes for the benefit of unions and now they have to raise taxes again because the state only got half as much revenue from the tax hike as expected. When does the madness stop?

I have written about Oregon a lot recently.

Dysfunctional Oregon

August 22, 2010: Dysfunctional Oregon

Sight unseen, I am willing to state that Oregon should get rid of all 64 state boards, no matter what they are supposed to do. Sight seen, it’s time Oregonian voters relegate Gov. Ted Kulongoski to the ash heap of history.

Overoptimism Oregon Style

August 18, 2010: Oregon Wins Blue Ribbon for Unfounded Optimism; Everything "Weaker than Expected"

In July of 2009 state revenue projections were $222.8 million to the plus side. Now just one year later, smack in the midst of a "recovery", a $577.2 million June 2010 deficit is too optimistic by as much as another $500 million.

Congratulations of sorts go to Oregon for winning the blue ribbon for unfounded optimism.

Oregon has already cut state spending by


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Time for a New, New Deal?

What are people thinking? 

It is interesting to see so many of the same people calling for a "double dip" recession while at the same time railing against government spending.  The US Government is spending $3.5Tn this year.  Admittedly that's $1.5Tn more than they have, but it's quite a lot of money no matter how you look at it.  Conservative, born-again deficit hawks (they were born-again the day Obama was elected) will tell you the solution is to cut taxes and let corporations trickle their wealth down on the bottom 99%, well over 20% of whom are unemployed or under-employed.

The Big Lie being told by the right is that we can solve our problems by cutting spending and (ROFL) lowering taxes.  Let's put lowering taxes over to the side and look at cutting spending.  By far, our single biggest discretionary line item is Defense, at $782Bn a year.  The sum total of all other discretionary spending is only $437Bn so cutting 100% of non-defense discretionary government spending would knock not even 1/3 off our $1.5Tn debt. 

What exactly would be included if we make all or part of those $437Bn in cutbacks?  Here's a great chart from Wallstats on Death and Taxes, which I think every deficit hawk should buy the poster of (6 square feet) and put in their office with red lines through all the programs they can do without.  Try it, it's fun – see how much money you can save!

 

Of course, let's keep in mind that the $1.5Tn the government spends directly employs 2.7M people and millions more indirectly so, for every person you cut, make sure you add back $20,000 a year for unemployment benefits and administration (or are we going to throw them all on the street?).  So that's, unfortunately, $20Bn spent for every million jobs you destroy.  Gosh, this game gets complicated, doesn't it?  Here's a nice chart you can throw darts at and see how many of these guys you can kick to the curb by Christmas because that'll fix the economy, won't it?  Don't worry, I'm sure none of them are your customers because surely you don't deal with THOSE kind of people: 

So we cut, for argument's sake, 50% of our $437Bn discretionary budget and that leaves $1.1Tn to cut out of our $782Bn defense…
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Reagan insider: ‘GOP destroyed U.S. economy’

Reagan insider: ‘GOP destroyed U.S. economy’

Commentary: How: Gold. Tax cuts. Debts. Wars. Fat Cats. Class gap. No fiscal discipline

Courtesy of Paul B Farrell, JD, PhD at Wall Street WARZONE

Originally published at MarketWatch  

ARROYO GRANDE, Calif. (MarketWatch) — "How my G.O.P. destroyed the U.S. economy." Yes, that is exactly what David Stockman, President Ronald Reagan’s director of the Office of Management and Budget, wrote in a recent New York Times op-ed piece, "Four Deformations of the Apocalypse."

Get it? Not "destroying." The GOP has already "destroyed" the U.S. economy, setting up an "American Apocalypse."

Jobs recovery could take years

In the wake of Friday’s disappointing jobs report, Neal Lipschutz and Phil Izzo discuss new predictions that it could be many years before the nation’s unemployment rate reaches pre-recession levels.

Yes, Stockman is equally damning of the Democrats’ Keynesian policies. But what this indictment by a party insider — someone so close to the development of the Reaganomics ideology — says about America, helps all of us better understand how America’s toxic partisan-politics "holy war" is destroying not just the economy and capitalism, but the America dream. And unless this war stops soon, both parties will succeed in their collective death wish.

But why focus on Stockman’s message? It’s already lost in the 24/7 news cycle. Why? We need some introspection. Ask yourself: How did the great nation of America lose its moral compass and drift so far off course, to where our very survival is threatened?

We’ve arrived at a historic turning point as a nation that no longer needs outside enemies to destroy us, we are committing suicide. Democracy. Capitalism. The American dream. All dying. Why? Because of the economic decisions of the GOP the past


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EXTEND & PRETEND: Stage I Comes to an End!

EXTEND & PRETEND: Stage I Comes to an End!

The Dog Ate my Report Card

Courtesy of Gordon T. Long 

Both came to an end at the same time: the administration’s policy to Extend & Pretend has run out of time as has the patience of the US electorate with the government’s Keynesian economic policy responses. Desperate last gasp attempts are to be fully expected, but any chance of success is rapidly diminishing.

Whether an unimpressed and insufficiently loyal army general, a fleeing cabinet budget chief or G20 peers going the austerity route, all are non-confidence votes for the Obama administration’s present policies. A day after the courts slapped down President Obama’s six month gulf drilling moratorium, the markets were unpatriotically signaling a classic head and shoulders topping pattern. With an employment rebound still a non-starter, President Obama as expected was found to be asking for yet another $50B in unemployment extensions and state budget assistance to avoid teacher layoffs. However, the gig is up: the policy of Extend and Pretend has no time left on the shot clock nor for another round of unemployment benefit extensions. A congress that is now clearly frightened of what it sees looming in the fall midterm elections is running for cover on any further spending initiatives. The US electorate has been sending an unmistakable message in all elections nationwide.

The housing market is rolling over as fully expected and predicted by almost everyone except the White House and its lap-dog press corp. Noted analyst Meredith Whitney says a double dip in housing is a ‘no brainer’ with the government’s HAMP program clearly a bust as one third of participants are now dropping out. The leading economic indicator (ECRI) has abruptly turned lower, signaling the economy is slowing rapidly without the $1T per month stimulus addiction, which has kept the extend and pretend economy on life support.

The gulf oil spill that was initially stated as 1000 barrels per day has been revised upwards faster than the oil can reach the surface. It now appears to be north of 100,000 barrels per day. A 100 percent miss is about in line with the miss on how many jobs the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) was going to create.  Also, it appears the administration can’t even get its hands around the basics of administration management during any crisis event.  Teleprompter politics…
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California Approaches “Fiscal Meltdown”; Schwarzenegger Declares Fiscal Emergency; Fort Worth Texas Ponders Scrapping Defined Benefit Pension Plans

California Approaches "Fiscal Meltdown"; Schwarzenegger Declares Fiscal Emergency; Fort Worth Texas Ponders Scrapping Defined Benefit Pension Plans

California is broke Courtesy of Mish 

Governor Schwarzenegger has once again furloughed workers, declaring California is in a fiscal emergency. Excuse me for asking but when has California ever not been in a state of fiscal emergency?

Bloomberg reports Schwarzenegger Orders Furloughs Amid California Budget Impasse

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger ordered more than 150,000 state workers to take three days of mandatory unpaid time off to conserve cash.

The executive order, effective Aug. 1, stipulates that the furloughs will end when a budget for the fiscal year that began July 1 is enacted, the governor’s press secretary, Aaron McLear, said in an e-mail. It comes after government workers endured furloughs over almost 12 months that ended June 30.

California began its fiscal year without a spending plan after Schwarzenegger and Democrats remained deadlocked over how to fill a $19.1 billion deficit. Controller John Chiang has warned he may again need to issue IOUs to pay bills if the impasse continues into September.

“Every day of delay brings California closer to a fiscal meltdown,” Schwarzenegger said in a statement today. “Our cash situation leaves me no choice but to once again furlough state workers until the Legislature produces a budget I can sign.”

Fiscal Emergency California Style

The Business Spectator reports California state of fiscal emergency: Schwarzenegger

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency over the state’s finances yesterday, raising pressure on lawmakers to negotiate a state budget that is more than a month overdue and will need to close a $US19 billion ($A21.3 billion) shortfall.

The deficit is 22 per cent of the $US85 billion general fund budget the governor signed last July for the fiscal year that ended in June, highlighting how the steep drop in California’s revenue due to recession, the housing slump, financial market turmoil and high unemployment have slashed its all-important personal income tax collection.

In the declaration, Schwarzenegger ordered three days off without pay per month beginning in August for tens of thousands of state employees to preserve the state’s cash to pay its debt, and for essential services.

California’s budget is five weeks overdue, joining New York among big states with spending plans yet to be approved, and Schwarzenegger and top lawmakers are at an impasse over how to balance the state’s books.


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The State of California Will Gladly Pay You Tuesday for a Hamburger Today

The State of California Will Gladly Pay You Tuesday for a Hamburger Today

Courtesy of Jr. Deputy Accountant 

State Controller John Chiang is serious about getting a budget together or else IOUs it shall be:

"Failure to find consensus on an honestly-balanced budget is not an option. Every passing day of political paralysis leads us closer to a completely avoidable fiscal meltdown that will plunge the State’s credit ratings into junk status, slow the State’s economic recovery and force us to again issue IOUs to innocent Californians."

The Controller said that without a budget in place, his latest cash projections show the State’s cash will go into the red by the end of October. To ensure the State meets payment obligations protected by the California Constitution and federal law, the Controller could be forced to begin issuing IOUs in August or September to conserve cash to get us through the fall.

With a budget in place, K-12 schools could have avoided a $2.5 billion payment deferral scheduled for October. Without a budget, the Controller may be forced to accelerate that payment delay to September, depriving schools of needed funds as students return to classrooms.

Further delays in enacting a budget will wreak havoc on the State’s already-shaky credit ratings. Standard & Poor this spring noted that California’s economy is stabilizing, but, "In our view, a significant risk to the state’s fiscal situation – and credit – is that if the state fails to reach a budget agreement in a timely manner, a severe shortage of financial liquidity could result with significant implications to state operations….Given that the absence of a budget agreement precludes the state from tapping the capital markets for a cash flow borrowing, we believe that in a protracted budget negotiation stalemate, the state’s relative credit quality could weaken."

hahahahahaha LOL, you hear that, California? Our relative credit quality could weaken. Quick, hit the deck, they’re going to cut our credit cards!

With all due respect to Mr Chiang as we all know he has one of the worst jobs in the state (at least that guy selling oranges at the 280 Ocean Ave off-ramp has product to sell), he did get the memo that we’re already considered a credit risk, right? As in worst credit rating in the entire United States, tyvm. You need not wonder why. 


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California Declares State Of Emergency Over State Finances, Or Arnie Is An Austrian After All (For The Wonks)

California Declares State Of Emergency Over State Finances, Or Arnie Is An Austrian After All (For The Wonks)

Total RecallCourtesy of Tyler Durden

Quite possibly this has something to do with the fact that Arnie just had a very vivid Total Recall from the future in which California had filed Chapter 66 (a brand new invention in honor of the famous route), mere months after he had decided to institute the latest round of furloughs and once again paying using IOUs.

From Reuters:

Increasing pressure on lawmakers to negotiate a state budget that closes a $19 billion shortfall, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency over the state’s finances on Wednesday.

In the declaration, Schwarzenegger ordered three furlough days per month beginning in August for thousands of state employees to preserve the state’s cash to pay the state’s debt obligations and for essential services.

California’s budget is several weeks overdue and Schwarzenegger and top lawmakers are at impasse over how to balance the state’s books. Analysts say it could be several more weeks before the Republican governor and leaders of the Democrat-led legislature reach an agreement, a delay that may threaten to lower the state’s already weak credit rating, now hovering just a few notches above "junk" status.


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Leadership To Bits In New Must-Read Essay

Leadership To Bits In New Must-Read Essay

Courtesy of Joe Weisenthal at Clusterstock 

georgesoros thinking tbiBefore you leave the office! Do check out George Soros’ just-released essay in the New York Review of Books on the crisis and the euro. Even if you disagree with his argument — which is basically that Germany has been to blame at every time — he does bring original insights to the table regarding recent history.

Why has Germany been to blame? Here’s the core.

Germany now wants to treat the Maastricht Treaty as the scripture that has to be obeyed without any modifications. This is not understandable, because it is in conflict with the incremental method by which the European Union was built. Something has gone fundamentally wrong in Germany’s attitude toward the European Union.

He goes on, citing Germany’s budget cutting, and the inevitable deflationary spiral that will occur when everyone is doing austerity at the same time.

And he notes that European monetary policy is essentially a sprocket wrench that only goes in one direction. Due to German anti-inflation paranoia, the ECB only is prepared to fight inflation. Deflation will never be considered an enemy.

Here’s Soros at his most poetic:

To be sure, Germany cannot be blamed for wanting a strong currency and a balanced budget. But it can be blamed for imposing its predilection on other countries that have different needs and preferences—like Procrustes, who forced other people to lie in his bed and stretched them or cut off their legs to make them fit. The Procrustes bed being inflicted on the eurozone is called deflation.

Read the whole thing > 


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Kimble Charting Solutions

Bank Tank Part II Could Start Here, Says Joe Friday

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

This chart looks at the Bank Index (BKX) over the past 25-years on a monthly basis, reflecting that currently, the 9-year trend in the index remains up.

The index may have created a double top this year, at the same level the financial crisis started unfolding back in 2007.

This index has created a bearish divergence in 2018 when compared to the S&P 500. This divergence has it testing 9-year rising support at (1).

As mentioned earlier, the trend in the banking index remains up and support is support until broken.

Joe Friday Just ...



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Insider Scoop

Economic Data Scheduled For Friday

Courtesy of Benzinga.

  • Data on retail sales for November will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET.
  • Data on industrial production for November will be released at 9:15 a.m. ET.
  • The flash Composite Purchasing Managers' Index for December is schedule for release at 9:45 a.m. ET.
  • Data on business inventories for October will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET.
  • The Baker Hughes North American rig count report for the recent week is schedule for release at 1:00 p.m. ET.

Posted-In: Economic DataNews Economics ...



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Phil's Favorites

The PhilStockWorld.com Weekly Trading Webinar - 12-12-18

For LIVE access on Wednesday afternoons, join us at Phil's Stock World – click here.

Major Topics:

00:00:22 Checking on Indexes Charts
00:12:49 EME
00:17:32 Euro Stocks
00:19:29 NLY
00:25:34 Compound Rate Calculator
00:35:48 Going through watchlist charts
00:42:07 FDX
00:47:00 Long Term Portfolio
00:48:38 Short Term Portfolio - MSFT
00:50:58 CELG

Phil's Weekly Trading Webinars provide a great opportunity to learn what we do at PSW. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and vie...



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Zero Hedge

China Retail Sales, Industrial Production Growth Plummet In November

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

With yuan unable to sustain its PBOC-inspired squeeze higher and currency volatility at three-year highs, hopes remained high that some stability can be reasserted in China's macro-economic data tonight. Those hopes have been dashed.

However, policymakers face two challenges...

Internally, policymakers’ efforts to constrain the growth of shadow banking and reduce financial risks worked almost too well. Fi...



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Biotech

Those designer babies everyone is freaking out about - it's not likely to happen

Reminder: We're available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

Those designer babies everyone is freaking out about – it's not likely to happen

Babies to order. Andrew crotty/Shutterstock.com

Courtesy A Cecile JW Janssens, Emory University

When Adam Nash was still an embryo, living in a dish in the lab, scientists tested his DNA to make sure it was free of ...



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Members' Corner

Blue Wave with Cheri Jacobus (Q&A II, Updated)

By Ilene at Phil's Stock World

Cheri Jacobus is a widely known political consultant, pundit, writer and outspoken former Republican and frequent guest on CNN, MSNBC, FOX News, CBS.com, CNBC and C-Span. Cheri shares her thoughts on the political landscape with us in a follow up to our August interview.

Updated 12-10-18

Ilene: What do you think about Michael Cohen's claim that the Trump Organization's discussions with high-level Russian officials about a deal for Trump Tower Moscow continued into June 2016?

...

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Digital Currencies

How low will Bitcoin now go? The history of price bubbles provides some clues

 

How low will Bitcoin now go? The history of price bubbles provides some clues

The Bitcoin bubble is perhaps the most extreme speculative bubble since the late 19th century. Shutterstock

Courtesy of Lee Smales, University of Western Australia

Nearly 170 years before the invention of Bitcoin, the journalist Charles Mackay noted the way whole communities could “fix their minds upon one object and go mad in its pursuit”. Millions of people, he wrote, “become simultaneously impressed with one delusion, and run after it, till their attention is caught by some new folly more captivating than the first”.

His book ...



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Chart School

Weekly Market Recap Dec 09, 2018

Courtesy of Blain.

Bears are certainly showing the type of strength we haven’t seen in a long time.   A week ago at this time futures were surging on news of a “truce” for 90 days between China and the U.S. in their trade spat.  But the charts were still not saying lovely things despite a major rally the week prior.   And by Tuesday, darkness had descended back on the indexes, with another gut punch Friday.    A lot of emphasis was put on a long term Treasury yield dropping below a shorter term Treasury.

On Monday, the yield on five year government debt slid below the yield on three year debt, a phenomenon which has p...



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Mapping The Market

Trump: "I Won't Be Here" When It Blows Up

By Jean-Luc

Maybe we should simply try him for treason right now:

Trump on Coming Debt Crisis: ‘I Won’t Be Here’ When It Blows Up

The president thinks the balancing of the nation’s books is going to, ultimately, be a future president’s problem.

By Asawin Suebsaeng and Lachlan Markay, Daily Beast

The friction came to a head in early 2017 when senior officials offered Trump charts and graphics laying out the numbers and showing a “hockey stick” spike in the nationa...



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ValueWalk

Vilas Fund Up 55% In Q3; 3Q18 Letter: A Bull Market In Bearish Forecasts

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

The Vilas Fund, LP letter for the third quarter ended September 30, 2018; titled, “A Bull Market in Bearish Forecasts.”

Ever since the financial crisis, there has been a huge fascination with predictions of the next “big crash” right around the next corner. Whether it is Greece, Italy, Chinese debt, the “overvalued” stock market, the Shiller Ratio, Puerto Rico, underfunded pensions in Illinois and New Jersey, the Fed (both for QE a few years ago and now for removing QE), rising interest rates, Federal budget deficits, peaking profit margins, etc...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 2017

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...



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Promotions

Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"

 

 

Here's a free ebook for you to check out! 

Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.

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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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