Posts Tagged ‘teachers retirement system’

Cost of Insuring Illinois Debt from Default Hits All-Time High; Illinois Pension Fund Loses $Billions in OTC Derivatives Positions

Cost of Insuring Illinois Debt from Default Hits All-Time High; Illinois Pension Fund Loses $Billions in OTC Derivatives Positions

Courtesy of Mish

USA, Illinois, Chicago, Millennium Park, Cloud gate sculpture, dusk

Congratulations of sorts go to the State of Illinois for having the most hopelessly underfunded pension plans in the US and also one of the biggest per capita budget deficits.

Topping off the misery, the Illinois Teachers Retirement System is losing money in risky derivatives bets in what one analyst says amounts to “collecting nickels ahead of the bulldozer.”

Given that sorry state of affairs it should be no surprise to discover Illinois Debt Default Insurance Climbs to Record.

The cost of insuring Illinois bonds against default rose to a record as lawmakers sought to close a $13 billion deficit in the state’s proposed budget for the year starting July 1.

The cost of a five-year credit-default swap for the state rose 2 basis points today to 304.64 basis points, or $304,640 per $10 million of debt according to CMA DataVision.

Illinois Loses $Billions on OTC Derivatives

Inquiring minds are reading Illinois pension fund uses OTC derivatives to recoup returns, jeopardizes pensions

Dale Rosenthal, a former strategist for Long Term Capital Management, the hedge fund known for its epic collapse in 1998, and a proprietary trader for Morgan Stanley, has seen his share of financial complexities.

But when shown a seven-page list of derivatives positions held by the Illinois Teachers Retirement System as of March 31, obtained by Medill News Service through a Freedom of Information Act request, the University of Illinois-Chicago assistant professor of finance expressed disbelief.

“If you were to have faxed me this balance sheet and asked me to guess who it belonged to, I would have guessed, Citadel, Magnetar or even a proprietary trading desk at a bank,” Rosenthal said.

How bad is it? After losing $4.4 billion on investments in fiscal year 2009, and 5 percent on investments in fiscal 2008, the teachers’ pension is now underfunded by $44.5 billion, or 60.9 percent, according to the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability’s March 2010 report. By comparison, only 20.3 percent of the Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund is unfunded.

For the quarter ended March 31, according to derivatives experts who studied TRS’ financial documents, the fund lost some $515 million on its derivatives portfolio. Since then, the fund’s derivatives positions have likely soured further, the experts


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Phil's Favorites

Saudi Arabia is allying with Russia to shore up oil prices as OPEC's power wanes

 

Saudi Arabia is allying with Russia to shore up oil prices as OPEC's power wanes

Saudi Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Khalid Al-Falih. AP Photo/Ronald Zak

Courtesy of Gregory Brew, Southern Methodist University

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries likes to look united.

That’s evident when OPEC leaders meet in Vienna at the end of each year to decide how much oil its members will aim t...



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Zero Hedge

Markets Are "On The Cusp" Again

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored by Sven Henrich via NorthmanTrader.com,

For the third month in a row markets are on the cusp of breaking their bull market trends. And once again they need a magic rescue into month end to avoid such a break.

What if you have a license to rally and stocks sell anyways? Not a g...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Small caps could fall 20% from here, says Joe Friday

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

This chart looks at the Russell 2000 over the past 30-years, where it has spent the majority of that time, inside of rising channel (A).

This chart reflects that the long-term trend in small caps remains higher. Weakness this year has it testing rising support tied to the 2009 lows at (1).

Joe Friday Just The Facts Ma’am- If the Russell breaks below support at (1), it could work its way over time to channel support at (2), which is currently around 20% below current prices.

Very important support test in play ...



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Digital Currencies

Cryptogeddon Continues - Bitcoin Plunges To 2018 Lows Amid 'Cash' Chaos

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Crypto markets have accelerated their losses again overnight with Bitcoin crashing to new 2018 lows, Ethereum back into double-digits, and Bitcoin Cash utterly devastated as lawsuits fly.

Once again a sea of red across the crypto space...

Source

Bitcoin Cash is down 40% this week alone...

...



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Insider Scoop

Economic Data Scheduled For Friday

Courtesy of Benzinga.

  • Data on nonfarm payrolls and unemployment rate for November will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET.
  • The University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index for December is schedule for release at 10:00 a.m. ET.
  • Data on wholesale inventories for October will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET.
  • The Energy Information Administration’s weekly report on natural gas stocks in underground storage is schedule for release at 10:30 a.m. ET.
  • Federal Reserve Member of the Board of Governors Lael Brainard is set to speak in Washington D.C. at 12:15 p.m. ET.
  • The Baker Hughes North American rig count report for the recent week will be released at 1:00 p.m. ET.
  • Data on consumer credit for October will be released at 3:00 p.m. ET.
  • ...


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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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Chart School

Golds Xmas Gift

Courtesy of Read the Ticker.

Three things have tweaked the fundamentals for gold.

1) Bitcoin is not attracting the hot cash, unlike 2016.

2) Fed's Powell dovish switch, now less expectations for interest rate hikes in 2019.

3) China to import more goods from the USA, hence more US Dollars required.

The question now is will this move gold back to resistance before year end? 

Gann angles look good, cycle looks attractive, now we wait for volume and a price to break into new ground. Profits could be golden for Xmas.

Gann Angles



 

Cycle picture
...



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Biotech

World's first gene-edited babies? Premature, dangerous and irresponsible

Reminder: Pharmboy and Ilene are available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

World's first gene-edited babies? Premature, dangerous and irresponsible

Vchal/Shutterstock

By Joyce Harper, UCL

A scientist in China claims to have produced the world’s first genome-edited babies by altering their DNA to increase their resistance to HIV. Aside from the lack of verifiable evidence for this non peer-revie...



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Members' Corner

Cheri Jacobus on Politics with PSW

 

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 shared her thoughts about the current political environment with us in our August interview, and now we’re following up. 

Ilene: Is there a take-home message from election results of 2018?

Cheri: Yes. No political party can survive when it appeals to only one demographic. The GOP has ignored all of the lessons of recent elections that showed they needed to appeal to African-Americans, Latinos, and women. 

Ilene: Do you feel the Democrats ...



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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"

 

 

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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:

 

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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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