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Forget The Phony Pension Accounting, Here’s How Much Your State Pension Is Really Underfunded

The phony assumptions that go into calculating public pension underfundings in the United States are a frequent topic for us.  As our readers are aware, state pension administrators are given fairly wide leeway to simply pick a discount rate out of thin air.  Of course, since pensions are nothing but a massive stream of future […]


Moody’s Considers Municipal Ratings Changes That Could Push Illinois Into Junk Territory

A few weeks ago, we expressed some level of astonishment that the rating agencies, in their infinite wisdom, decided to bestow an investment grade rating upon a new $3 billion bond issuance by the City of Chicago.  Of course, this wouldn’t be such a big deal but for the fact that the state of Illinois […]


“Almost A Given It Will End Badly”: Vanguard Founder Jack Bogle Says U.S. Pensions Are Doomed

Legendary investor Jack Bogle is apparently not all that optimistic that public pension funds in the U.S. are going to be able to meet their future funding obligations.  Speaking with Bloomberg earlier today, Bogle predicted that bond returns will be a paltry 3% over the next decade, with stock returns not that much better, making […]


Chicago Gets An ‘F’ On New Fiscal Report Card As Bonds Continue To Hover Around All-Time Highs

As Illinois muni debt continues to hover around all-time highs, the number of watchdog groups offering warnings about Chicago’s deteriorating finances continues to grow.  The latest such warning comes from Truth In Accounting which provided the Windy City an ‘F’ on their latest fiscal report card citing a staggering debt burden that amounts to $41,700 […]


The Ponzi Scheme That’s Over 100x The Size Of Madoff

Authored by Simon Black via SovereignMan.com, By January 1920, much of Europe was in total chaos following the end of the first World War. Unemployment soared and steep inflation was setting in across Spain, Italy, Germany, etc. But an Italian-American businessman who was living in Boston noticed a unique opportunity amid all of that devastation. […]


A Few Simple Charts Spell Disaster For Public Pension Ponzi Schemes

Earlier today, Milliman released their 2017 Public Pension Funding Study which explores the funded status of the 100 largest U.S. public pension plans.  Not surprisingly, this study only served to confirm many of the rather alarming trends surrounding public pension ponzi’s that we discuss on a regular basis. Starting with a high-level status update, Milliman […]


“It’s Not Sustainable” – Sacramento Lashes Out At Calpers After Raising Pension Payments

In the latest sign that America’s looming pension crisis is inching closer to an all-our collapse that will inevitably end in a series of bailouts – or worse, the failure to pay out retiree’s coveted benefits – a handful of California cities are lashing out at CALPers after being forced to hike pension contributions to […]


Which American Cities Will File Bankruptcy Next?

We harp on the massive, unsustainable, yet largely unnoticed, debt burdens of American cities, counties and states fairly regularly because, well, it’s a frightening issue if you spend just a little time to understand the math and ultimate consequences.  Here is some of our recent posts on the topic: America’s Pension Bomb: Illinois Is Just […]


“This Is A Crisis Greater Than Any Government Can Handle”: The $400 Trillion Global Retirement Gap

Submitted by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics Today we’ll continue to size up the bull market in governmental promises. As we do so, keep an old trader’s slogan in mind: “That which cannot go on forever, won’t.” Or we could say it differently: An unsustainable trend must eventually stop. Lately I have focused on the […]


What Could Go Wrong? (For Public Pensions, More Than You Know)

Authored by Patrick Watson via MauldinEconomics.com, Here’s a loaded question for you: “What could go wrong?”   In some contexts, it can express mistaken confidence, as in, “Sure I’ll put my hand between that crocodile’s jaws. What could go wrong?” Investors should ask the same question before entering a position. “What risks am I taking […]


Teachers Demand $3,200 From Each Kentucky Household To Fund Pension Ponzi For 2 Years

We have written frequently over the past couple of weeks about the disastrous public pension funds in Kentucky that are anywhere from $42 – $84 billion underfunded, depending on which discount rate you feel inclined to use. As we’ve argued before, these pensions, like the ones in Illinois and other states, are so hopelessly underfunded […]


Pensions and Debt Time Bomb In UK: £1 Trillion Crisis Looms

Pensions and Debt Time Bomb In UK:  £1 Trillion Crisis Looms – £1 trillion crisis looms as pensions deficit and consumer loans snowball out of control– UK pensions deficit soared by £100B to £710B, last month– £200B unsecured consumer credit “time bomb” warn FCA– 8.3 million people in UK with debt problems– 2.2 million people in […]


1 Million Ohio Public Employees Face Pension Cuts As Another Ponzi Teeters On The Brink

We’ve written frequently of late about the pension crisis in Kentucky where pensioners are facing potentially catastrophic benefit cuts as their politicians finally admit that they’ve been sold a fantasy for decades (see: Pension Consultant Offers Dire Outlook For Kentucky: Freeze Pension And Slash Benefits Or Else). Unfortunately, Kentucky is not unique as there is […]


This $700 Billion Public Employee Ticking Time Bomb Is Only 6.7% Funded; Most States Are Under 1%

We’ve spent a lot of time of late discussing the inevitable public pension crisis that will eventually wreak havoc on global financial markets.  And while the scale of the public pension underfunding is unprecedented, with estimates ranging from $3 – $8 trillion, there is another taxpayer-funded retirement benefit that has been promised to union workers […]


Mauldin: Americans Don’t Grasp The Magnitude Of The Looming Pension Tsunami

Authored by John Mauldin via MauldinEconomics.com, Total unfunded liabilities in state and local pensions have roughly quintupled in the last decade. You read that right—not doubled, tripled, or quadrupled—quintupled. That’s nice when it happens on a slot machine, not so nice when it’s money you owe. You will also notice in the chart that much of that […]