Posts Tagged ‘state employees’

Schwarzenegger on Public Pensions and the Cost of the “Protected Class”

Schwarzenegger on Public Pensions and the Cost of the "Protected Class"

Courtesy of Mish

44014, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - Thursday August 26, 2010. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the 38th Governor of California, is spotted walking back to his convertible after having breakfast at Le Pain Quotidien in Brentwood. Arnold, who could be seen snacking on a treat, wore a white button up, blue trousers, a silver wallet chain and a large wrist watch. Photograph: Pedro Andrade/Kevin Perkins,  PacificCoastNews.com   + 1

Now that Schwarzenegger is a certifiable lame duck (dead duck may be a more appropriate term) Schwarzenegger sees fit to take on public unions in a major way. It’s too late now (for him) even as he speaks the truth.

Please consider Public Pensions and Our Fiscal Future by Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Recently some critics have accused me of bullying state employees. Headlines in California papers this month have been screaming "Gov assails state workers" and "Schwarzenegger threatens state workers."

I’m doing no such thing. State employees are hard-working and valuable contributors to our society. But here’s the plain truth: California simply cannot solve its budgetary problems without addressing government-employee compensation and benefits.

Thanks to huge unfunded pension and retirement health-care promises granted by past governments, and also to deceptive pension-fund accounting that understated liabilities and overstated future investment returns, California is now saddled with $550 billion of retirement debt.

The cost of servicing that debt has grown at a rate of more than 15% annually over the last decade. This year, retirement benefits—more than $6 billion—will exceed what the state is spending on higher education. Next year, retirement costs will rise another 15%. In fact, they are destined to grow so much faster than state revenues that they threaten to suck up the money for every other program in the state budget.

At the same time that government-employee costs have been climbing, the private-sector workers whose taxes pay for them have been hurting. Since 2007, one million private jobs have been lost in California. Median incomes of workers in the state’s private sector have stagnated for more than a decade. To make matters worse, the retirement accounts of those workers in California have declined. The average 401(k) is down nationally nearly 20% since 2007. Meanwhile, the defined benefit retirement plans of government employees—for which private-sector workers are on the hook—have risen in value.

Few Californians in the private sector have $1 million in savings, but that’s effectively the retirement account they guarantee to public employees who opt to retire at age 55 and are entitled to a monthly, inflation-protected check of $3,000 for the rest of their lives.

In 2003, just before I became governor, the state assembly even passed a law permitting government employees to purchase additional taxpayer-guaranteed, high-yielding


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New York Public Employees Game the Pension System with Excessive Overtime, Says AG

New York Public Employees Game the Pension System with Excessive Overtime, Says AG

Courtesy of Jr. Deputy Accountant 

Reuters:

Some New York public employees are spiking their pension benefits by working hundreds of hours of overtime as they near retirement, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said on Wednesday.

For example, a police officer with a history of zero overtime worked more than 800 hours of overtime in his last years on the job, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate said in a report.

The pension benefits that state and local employees qualify for often are partly determined by how much they earn in the last few years at work.

This use of overtime, called pension padding, hurts New Yorkers as each year their taxes contribute $2.5 billion to the state’s Common Retirement fund, Cuomo said.

It appears as though everyone is doing it and what’s to stop them?

Cuomo calls the practice fraud though we’re sort of sketchy on that word being used in this sense since it’s allowed and wide-spread, fraud generally being the sort of thing that just a handful of unscrupulous individuals engage in driven by rationalization, opportunity or motive. Then again, I guess the rationalization is that these public employees have earned it, the opportunity is more than there since everyone is doing it and the motive is the same as always, more money. Greed is a powerful motivator and in an environment absent of control, it’s not hard to see how something like this could go down on a massive scale.

"You have some people who work no overtime throughout their career and then the last year or the last couple of years, all of a sudden, do hundreds of hours of overtime just for purposes of increasing the salary and increasing the pension. That is not an agreed to cost. That is not what was fair and right. That’s a fraud and that’s what we’re looking at," said Cuomo.

Them’s fightin words, Mr AG, hope you’re ready to get bit by the big bad public worker bee brigade. 


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Phil's Favorites

Here's How the Fake Unemployment Number Was Created to Subdue Anger Against Wall Street

Courtesy of Pam Martens

Former Fed Chair Ben Bernanke

On February 3, 2015, Jim Clifton, the Chairman and CEO of the iconic 85-year old polling company, Gallup, penned an article for his company in which he called the reported unemployment number issued by the U.S. Government “The Big Lie.”

Wall Street On Parade has now discovered that a speech by former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and a statement made by the current Fed Chairman Jerome (Jay) Powell,  support the view that today’s repor...



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Zero Hedge

China Growth Slows To 29 Year Low In 2019 Despite Q4 Rebound

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

With phase-one talks completed in October (and signed this week), tonight's Q4 GDP and December smorgasbord of data is being keenly watched by the market for any signs that China's massive credit stimulus has actually done any good at all.

Ahead of tonight's key China data dump, State Grid, China's largest utility company, has warned the rate of economic growth in the country could plunge to 4% within the next four years, according to internal forecasts.

"We were upbeat about China...



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Insider Scoop

10 Biggest Price Target Changes For Friday

Courtesy of Benzinga

  • Citigroup lifted Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) price target from $145 to $170. Caterpillar closed at $147.87 on Thursday.
  • UBS cut Twitter Inc (NYSE: TWTR) price target from $37 to $35. Twitter shares closed at $34.19 on Thursday.
  • Morgan Stanley boosted the price target for Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE: YUM) from $113 to $118. Yum! Brands closed at $102.16 on Thursday.
  • Jefferies lifted the price target on Ventas, Inc. (NYSE: ...


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Kimble Charting Solutions

Tesla About To Run Out Of Energy Here? Short-Term Peak Possible?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Tesla (TSLA) has been screaming higher of late, as very impressive gains have taken place.

Is Tesla about to run out of energy/take a break/experience some selling pressure? A unique price setup is in play, that bulls might want want to be aware of.

This chart applies Fibonacci to the 2016 lows and 2017 highs at each (1). The impressive rally of late has it testing its 161% extension level, based upon those price points.

At the same time, it is hitting its 161% extension level, it finds itself at the top of a 7-year rising channel, with momentum hitting the highest ...



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Chart School

Gold Gann Angle Update

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

The new year of 2020 has gold is poised to break out higher. Why is gold going higher? Maybe the FED's economists can explain .... or not.

Maybe these could be on the list:

- FED repo hundreds of billions a day.
- ECB made up tools to keep the European banks solvent.
- A sugar high stock market with Apple Inc and Microsoft looking like Bitcoin 2017.
- The US bond market is NOT confirming a strong stock market.
- Corporate profits have flat lined for 3 years while stocks soared each year.
- Knowing an US election year needs stimulus, and a lower US dollar is a first choice.
- China deal, will have a currency element to make it easier to do business. Lower US dollar.



Gold Gann Angle ...

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Lee's Free Thinking

Why Blaming the Repo Market is Like Blaming the Australian Bush Fires

 

Why Blaming the Repo Market is Like Blaming the Australian Bush Fires

Courtesy of  

The repo market problem isn’t the problem. It’s a sideshow, a diversion, and a joke. It’s a symptom of the problem.

Today, I got a note from Liquidity Trader subscriber David, a professional investor, and it got me to thinking. Here’s what David wrote:

Lee,

The ‘experts’ I hear from keep saying that once 300B more in reserves have ...



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The Technical Traders

Is The Energy Sector Setting Up Another Great Entry?

Courtesy of Technical Traders

Another wild week for oil traders with missiles flying and huge overnight price swings in crude. As we recently pointed out within our current Oil research article, Oil and the Energy sector may be setting up for another great trade.  We recently commented on how the supply/demand situation for oil has changed over the past 20+ years. 

With US oil production near highs and a sh...



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Digital Currencies

Cryptos Have Surged Since Soleimani Death, Bitcoin Tops $8,000

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Bitcoin is up over 15% since the assassination of Iran General Soleimani...

Source: Bloomberg

...topping $8,000 for the first time since before Thanksgiving...

Source: Bloomberg

Testing its key 100-day moving-average for the first time since October...

...



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Members' Corner

Tobin Smith: Foxocracy, the 2020 Election, and the Stock Market

 

For decades, Fox News has been spreading false information and hooking its audience into an angry, xenophobic and paranoid worldview. It's no mystery that Fox was instrumental in the 2016 election -- but how did it do it? How did it gain so much influence? Tobin Smith, CEO of Transformity Research, Inc. and former Fox News contributor and talk show host, explores this phenomenon and discusses Fox News’ emotionally predatory and partisan propaganda media strategies and tactics in his new book, ...



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Biotech

Why telling people with diabetes to use Walmart insulin can be dangerous advice

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

 

Why telling people with diabetes to use Walmart insulin can be dangerous advice

A vial of insulin. Prices for the drug, crucial for those with diabetes, have soared in recent years. Oleksandr Nagaiets/Shutterstock.com

Courtesy of Jeffrey Bennett, Vanderbilt University

About 7.4 million people ...



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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:

...

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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.

Some other great content in this free eBook includes:

 

·       How 2017 Will Affect Oil, the US Dollar and the European Union

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