Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 11/21 - Twinkie Demise Sends Prices Sky High, Insolvency Looms For NY School Districts

Wednesday, November 21, 2012, 11:13 AM

Economy

Venezuelan gov't expenditures hike 15% over 2011

Finance Ministry's data reveals that some USD 71.8 billion was spent from January-October, 2012, compared to USD 51.6 billion in the same period in 2011.

Therefore, in practice expenditure has jumped sharply. After inflation, it soared 15% with respect to 2011.

‘Fiscal cliff’ could mean $22 billion more in taxes for Pa. residents

Pennsylvanians will face billions of dollars in higher taxes unless Congress acts by the end of the year to defuse a threatening combination of tax increases and spending cuts contained in the so-called “fiscal cliff.” A recent report by the state’s Independent Fiscal Office, Pennsylvania’s version of the federal Congressional Budget Office, suggests the fiscal cliff would drain billions from Pennsylvania’s economy, putting a strain on state tax revenues and the state budget. Based on estimates from the Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan think tank in Washington, D.C., the IFO projects the fiscal cliff will raise federal taxes by $536 billion — with about 4.1 percent of that total, or $22 billion, coming from the pockets of Pennsylvania taxpayers.

Spanish police protest govt cuts hitting them

Police officers from across Spain are protesting the government austerity measures affecting them, including frozen pensions and the elimination of their Christmas bonus. More than 5,000 people paraded Saturday to the Interior Ministry building in Madrid, blowing whistles and shouting slogans.

Jose Maria Benito, a spokesman for Spain's Unified Police Union, said "we are here to tell the government that security has to be its priority."

RBI bans loans to buy gold (India)

The notification was issued after it was found that there was a significant rise in the import of gold into India in recent years. The step by the central bank came on concerns that direct bank financing for the purchase of gold in any form — that is bullion, primary gold, jewellery , gold coin, etc — could lead to fuelling of demand for gold in the country. Over the last one year, despite a 10% rise in the price of gold in India, the demand for the yellow metal during the July-September quarter was up 27% on an annual basis, data from World Gold Council showed.

EU bailout fund delays auction after France downgrade

The EU's bailout fund said on Tuesday it was postponing an auction of three-year bonds following rating agency Moody's decision to downgrade France by one notch from its top rating. "The rating action by Moody's, reducing France's long-term debt rating from "Aaa" to "Aa1", means that EFSF's new long term issuance (currently rated Aaa by Moody's)" no longer satisfies the necessary criteria for selling debt, the agency said in a statement.

"EFSF is currently unable to proceed until this technical aspect is resolved," said Christophe Frankel, the fund's chief financial officer.

Americans donate $8 million to cut national debt

The debate about the national debt has already paid off: Individual Americans pitched in nearly $8 million of their own money to help reduce it in fiscal 2012. That's more than double the total from the year before....But even this year's hefty total of $7.7 million is barely a drop in the bucket. That sum represents just 0.000007% of the approximately $1.1 trillion deficit the U.S. ran in the latest fiscal year.

Report: Mass. faces huge transportation deficits

An analysis by a regional think tank says the state's highway system faces a $240 million operating shortfall for the next fiscal year, while the MBTA is facing a $130 million deficit. The budget analysis released Monday by the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy at Northeastern University does not include money to address a backlog of repair and replacement needs or to improve transportation.

Twinkie demise sends prices sky high

CONNOISSEURS of American junk food are facing sky-high online prices for the humble Twinkie bar after its manufacturer announced plans to shut up shop permanently.

A box of 10 of the iconic vanilla cream sponge cakes normally retails for about $5 (£3) - but in just one example yesterday a set of 12 boxes had bids of more than $300 on eBay.

Number of Alberta children living in poverty has swelled to 91,000, says StatsCan

The number of children living in poverty in Alberta ballooned 30 per cent in the span of a year, according to the most recent data available from Statistics Canada. In 2010, there were 91,000 impoverished children, compared with about 70,000 the previous year. More than half those children are in working families, whose single wage doesn’t always stretch far enough to put food on the table, said John Kolkman, research and policy analysis co-ordinator with the Edmonton Social Planning Council.

Ore. faces $700 million budget gap next year

More painful state budget cuts are in store next year as the lethargic economic recovery fails to keep pace with the growth in costs for state services. A quarterly revenue forecast delivered to state lawmakers Tuesday projects that the Oregon general fund and lottery will be nearly $700 million short of maintaining government services at their already-slimmed down level for another two years.

Gas Prices Continue to Drop But Still High for the Season

While prices are down in the last month and a half, the national average will still come close to breaking a record for the highest ever national average on Thanksgiving.

Sharp drop in Italians' pro-European Union feelings, survey finds

Support for the European Union has sharply dropped in Italy over the past crisis-ridden years, a survey released Wednesday showed. The findings - presented at the Rome offices of the European Commission - suggest a shift in attitudes. Italians have traditionally been strongly pro-European, but resentment is growing against tough EU-mandated government austerity policies.

Trust among the Italian population in Brussels institutions has decreased by 17 percentage points from 2010 to 2012, falling to 40 per cent, the ISPO research institute said.

Report: Insolvency looms for NY school districts

Of 296 superintendents who responded to the online survey from Aug. 16 to Sept. 3, 9 percent — or about 60 superintendents — anticipated financial insolvency within two years and 41 percent foresaw insolvency in four years.

Superintendent Mike Ford at the mid-size Phelps-Clifton Springs district in central New York is in the latter group, even after cutting 50 instructional and support positions in the last four years, closing a middle school and raising class sizes to the mid- to upper 20s. He called for a more equitable state aid formula and meaningful mandate relief. "We're getting closer and closer to the edge of the cliff," he said.

Mayor: Suburban pension mess a looming 'nuclear winter' (Illinois)

As Illinois lawmakers prepare to wrestle with the task of righting the state’s woefully underfunded pension systems, a coalition of suburban and downstate municipalities is likening their own pension problems to a coming fiscal “nuclear winter.”

Representatives of the Pension Fairness for Illinois Communities Coalition, which comprises about 200 suburban and downstate local governments, said at a Chicago forum on Monday they are staring down a total of at least $7.6 billion in unfunded pension obligations for their police and firefighters.

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3 Comments

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 30 2009
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Grover's picture
Grover
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 16 2011
Posts: 507
Goofy numbers

Quote:

Report: Insolvency looms for NY school districts

Of 296 superintendents who responded to the online survey from Aug. 16 to Sept. 3, 9 percent — or about 60 superintendents — anticipated financial insolvency within two years and 41 percent foresaw insolvency in four years.

Either the writer was a journalism major who couldn't do math or a math major who couldn't read. Nine percent of 296 is about 27 ... not 60. blush

The goofy numbers concerning public costs have been dished out by people who were able to use fuzzy math to kick the can down the road. Anyone speaking the fiscal truth was rode out of town on a rail. We're now at the end of the cul de sac.

Grover

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 30 2009
Posts: 2764

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