Daily Digest

Daily Digest - July 13

Tuesday, July 13, 2010, 10:55 AM
  • So You Think You Own Gold?
  • Global population study launched by Royal Society 
  • Corporate America’s $2 Trillion Cash Pile 
  • Chinese rating agency strips Western nations of AAA status
  • Europe stress tests raise finance fears
  • U.S. Trade Gap Widens on Rise in Chinese Imports
  • Planning For Europe's Energy Future
  • Shares of Oil Firm Tumble After Falklands Setback
  • BP Is Set to Test if New Cap Stops Oil
  • In BP’s Record, a History of Boldness and Costly Blunders

Economy

So You Think You Own Gold? (Erik T., Davos)

If the reason you decided to buy gold or silver bullion in the first place was to hedge against the risk of a major “black swan” event, i.e. a ‘non-normal circumstance’ such as a currency collapse, hyperinflation, or worse, having someone owe you gold may not be the form of protection or insurance you thought it was. If the rationale for favoring precious metals is in part is to avoid having a counter-party who might default on its obligation, being owed gold by such a counterparty does not help you.

Global population study launched by Royal Society (Jeff B., Christopher K.)

So it seems a good moment for the Royal Society to launch a study that looks objectively at the scientific basis for changes in population, for the different regional and cultural factors that may affect that, and at the effects that population changes will have on our future in term of sustainable development."

Corporate America’s $2 Trillion Cash Pile (Ilene)

Lack of consumer spending is the prime factor holding back the recovery at the moment and who can blame consumers for not spending. Unemployment has sidelined 22% (not a typo) of the men aged 25-65 in America. That does not count those who are working part-time or full-time at low-paying jobs–that is 18M men between 25 and 65 in the United States of America who have no jobs at all! And what does our government do about it? They cut off their unemployment benefits–as if there are 18M job openings and these guys are just lazy…

Chinese rating agency strips Western nations of AAA status (pinecarr)

China's leading credit rating agency has stripped America, Britain, Germany and France of their AAA ratings, accusing Anglo-Saxon competitors of ideological bias in favour of the West.

Europe stress tests raise finance fears (Michael S.)

European commissioner for economic affairs, Olli Rehn, gave a broad hint that Europe's banking system would pass a stress test due out later this month.

"The stress test exercise is of paramount importance for restoring confidence into the European economy," he said.

U.S. Trade Gap Widens on Rise in Chinese Imports (jdargis)

The jump in imports from China is consistent with that country’s own trade data, which showed exports rising sharply in May and June from year-ago levels. The deficit with China increased to $22.3 billion in May from $19.3 billion in April.

America’s exports had their best showing since September 2008, when world trade was in the early stages of a deep plunge as a result of the global financial crisis.

Energy

Planning For Europe's Energy Future (Michael S.)

Oil prices began to march upward in 2004, a pattern that would last for almost 4 years, slowly breaking all previous records. Even in the wake of the hardest Economic recession of the last 30 years, oil prices are today about four times what they where a decade ago. These continuing high prices have lent credibility to those who for many years have warned about impeding difficulties in continuing the growth in world oil production that has existed for the past two decades.

Shares of Oil Firm Tumble After Falklands Setback (pinecarr, subscription to WSJ required)

Oil and gas explorer Falkland Oil & Gas Ltd. said it didn't find oil at an exploration well off the coast of the Falkland Islands, sending its shares plunging by more than half.

The announcement marked the second disappointment in a mixed campaign by a small group of U.K. companies looking for oil in the waters near the disputed south Atlantic territory.

BP Is Set to Test if New Cap Stops Oil (jdargis)

Mr. Wells said at a briefing in Houston that the installation of the new cap was completed Monday evening, ahead of schedule. “It really went extremely well,” he said. “But we know that the job’s not over yet.”

In BP’s Record, a History of Boldness and Costly Blunders (jdargis)

“It could have been catastrophic,” said Gordon A. Aaker Jr., a senior engineering consultant on the project. “You would have lost a lot of oil a mile down before you would have even known. It could have been a helluva spill — much like the Deepwater Horizon.”

Please send article submissions to: [email protected]

14 Comments

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
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Re: Daily Digest - July 13

"LONDON (Reuters) - The euro fell while Bund futures jumped on Tuesday as ratings firm Moody's cut Portugal's rating to A1 with a stable outlook.

The euro fell around 40 ticks against the dollar to the day's low of $1.2523, while it also hit a session low against the pound at 83.51 pence.

"The downgrade is going to weigh on the euro in the short-term and doesn't bode well ahead of the bank stress tests due next Week," said David Tinsley, economist at National Australia Bank.

Bund futures erased losses, rising to a session high of 129.47, up 13 ticks on the day.

The Portuguese/German 10-year yield spread widened to 290 basis points, around 4 basis points wider versus Monday's settlement.

The cost of protecting Portuguese government debt against default also rose. The five-year credit default swap climbed to 286 basis points from 279.5 bps at the New York close on Monday, according to monitor CMA DataVision."

"The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, the native American tribe that owns one of the largest casinos in the US, on Tuesday faces the repayment of a $700m loan as it negotiates with creditors to restructure more than $2bn of debt in a case that taps into recent concerns over sovereign default.

Banks, bondholders and the tribe have been negotiating under waivers and forbearance agreements since late last year. Insiders describe a difficult stalemate because the tribe, which has defaulted on some payments, has little to offer its creditors to compensate for agreeing to take a loss on what they are owed.

Federally recognised tribes, such as the Pequots, operate as sovereign nations, which have their own governments, within the US. That means they cannot file for bankruptcy under US laws, although this assumption has never been tested."

"HONG KONG - China's local governments, which have increased spending under the central government's massive 2008 economic stimulus, have run up debts to levels that could pose a threat to the economy, according to some economists.

Eighteen provincial, 16 city and 36 county-level governments that were audited had accumulated debts of 2.79 trillion yuan (US$412 billion) by the end of last year, according to the National Audit Office.

About 9% of new debts in 2009 were invested in the central government's four trillion yuan stimulus package projects initiated from late 2008, and a considerable proportion of last year's loans were used to finance transport and other infrastructure facilities started before 2008, it said. The audit report said most of the 2.79 trillion of debt was used to fund infrastructure construction.

"The pressure from some government debt burdens is quite heavy, and poses a definite risk," audit office director Liu Jiayi said in the report. "New government debt must be strictly controlled to prevent financial risks from evolving into fiscal risks." "

"July 12 (Bloomberg) -- Government debt concerns may hinder efforts by companies and banks in Europe to refinance more than $3 trillion of bonds through 2013, Standard & Poor’s said.

Corporate borrowers may also be crowded out by sovereign fundraising in the region, while slowing economic growth may persuade banks to hoard cash rather than lend it on, S&P analysts led by Diane Vazza in New York wrote in a report published today. There’s also the risk that rising interest rates will hurt financial issuers, which account for 71 percent of bonds due in the next three years, according to S&P."

"Czech Republic has postponed its planned sale of $1.26 billion in euro bonds, Bloomberg reports. The sale has been deferred until September 2010 due to July and August vacations.

In February 2010, Barclays Capital, Deutsche Bank and Ceska Sporitelna were appointed to manage the sale. The government delayed the sale earlier in April 2010 as borrowing costs surged on concern south Europe’s debt crisis will spread."

"Las Vegas industrial broker Brian Riffel is seeing property come back onto the market at one-third the price it was sold three years earlier, a perfect illustration of how the commercial real estate market is taking a hit like housing.

Industrial property values have retreated to levels from the 1990s, the senior vice president for Colliers International industrial division said Monday.

He negotiated the sale of an industrial building on Post Road for $3 million in 2007 and recently sold it on a bank's behalf for $950,000.

It's part of an overall scenario in which industrial buildings sold during the real estate boom are now "underwater," or worth less than their purchase cost, with owners in danger of losing their buildings."

"FRANKFORT, Ky. -- Kentucky's general fund tax receipts dropped for the second straight year in fiscal year 2010, hitting their lowest point in five years, according to the Office of State Budget Director."

"HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania now owes a $3 billion debt on the state fund that provides unemployment benefits, thus adding to the deficit woes facing the next governor.

The Unemployment Compensation Fund debt, along with a projected $4 billion spike in public pension costs and $475 million revenue hole in the transportation budget, add to the fiscal pressures facing a state hammered by a deep recession.

The unemployment compensation fund debt started to climb in early 2009 as the recession tightened its grip and reached $1.8 billion by November. Because of a growing number of jobless claims, the fund pays out more in weekly benefits than it takes in from payroll taxes paid by employers and taxes paid by employees.

With the jobless rate in Northeast Pennsylvania hovering around 10 percent - 11 percent in Schuylkill County, according to the latest statistics revealed for May - the strain on the fund isn't considered likely to ease anytime soon.

Pennsylvania has borrowed $3 billion from the federal government in order to meet claims by the jobless for benefits. The borrowing has been interest-free so far, but in 2011 the state will pay interest accrued on the debt and eventually penalties if it goes unpaid. "

"The federal government expanded the boundaries of the closed fishing area in the Gulf of Mexico on Monday, bringing the ban closer to Texas.

The closed area is now within 30 miles of Texas for the first time since BP's ill-fated Macondo well began fouling the Gulf 83 days ago.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, citing public safety concerns, said the closure comprises 84,101 square miles, about 35 percent of federal waters in the Gulf. The ban stretches from Louisiana to Florida, but does not apply to state waters."

"Overall, the city's pension costs are expected to reach $7.6 billion this year -- up from $1.4 billion when Bloomberg took office in 2002. Next year, it's expected to hit $8.7 billion.

On Sunday, The Post reported that taxpayers are shouldering 90 percent of the cost of the overburdened system, contributing an average of $8.60 for every $1 paid in by city workers.

The taxpayers' share has skyrocketed by more than 900 percent in the last decade, from $703 million in 2000 to $6.5 billion in 2009, according to annual reports compiled by the city Comptroller's Office. "

"The FINANCIAL -- United States. The deficit in pension plans sponsored by S&P1500 companies reached $451 billion at the end of June, just $1 billion short of the previous record high set in mid-January 2009, according to new figures from Mercer . "

"July 13 (Bloomberg) -- Thirty percent more public workers in New Jersey filed to retire this year than in the previous 12 months as towns and schools cope with Governor Chris Christie’s state funding cuts."

 

  • Other headlines and news stories:

560 layoffs at West Coast's last big shipbuilder

Pennsylvania state employee unions receive 30-day notice of impending layoffs

North Carolina tax delinquencies rise

Arizona Water Sells Bonds Amid Quarrel Over State's Finances

Foreclosures, Debt Will Weigh on State Housing, Moody's Says

World's Largest Urban Farm Slated for Detroit

Orlando plans long list of fee increases

Cities' Woes Will Linger, Thousands Of Jobs Will Go (NPR)

Poland's Draft Budget May Not Make Progress on EU Deficit Goal

BT Pension Trustees Seek Court Ruling on $13.6 Billion Deficit Liability (UK)

Empty Store Shelves Coming to America (InflationUS Video)

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EndGamePlayer
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Why is Dr. Martenson getting associated with "doomers"?

Why is Dr. Martenson getting associated with "doomers"?

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hmFR6NKNm08b4_Pbxk9rd0yX7vFg

 

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Re: Why is Dr. Martenson getting associated with "doomers"?
EndGamePlayer wrote:

Why is Dr. Martenson getting associated with "doomers"?

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hmFR6NKNm08b4_Pbxk9rd0yX7vFg

 

 Answer = A BM ("article") that produced a turd, which dropped into the septic tank (also known as: mainstream media) which sent it from the tank to the distribution lines to the leach field.

Amazing what one misinformed moron can do.

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Think of it as Balloon Payments

I don't think most people understand the government employee pension liabilities problem.

But I think everyone understands what Balloon Payments are, and they inherently dislike and would avoid them like the plague if they can help it. Yeah, low monthly payments for a while, and then at the end they have to pay a huge lump sum? No one likes that and they inherently think it's unfair. These sales contracts often exist for the unscrupulous seller and the cash-strapped buyer.

So I think one way to frame the conversation is to say, well right now your taxes pay for "this much" in state and local government services. But because the states has promised so much its employees without actually paying for it in the past, it means your taxes will rise fast and services will be cut severely now and in the next several decades - just to pay for the workers who provided you services 20 years ago.

Poet

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Re: Why is Dr. Martenson getting associated with "doomers"?

But the survivalist movement also includes left-wing community activists, who are devoted to living off the land and have never fired a weapon, and people like Chris Martenson, who quit a job with a six-figure salary that he felt was "an unnecessary diversion from the real tasks at hand."

He began growing his own food and developed a "Crash Course" that urges people to better prepare for societal instability. He also took over management of his investments and boasts of a 166 percent return on his portfolio.

For Martenson, the wake-up call was the September 11, 2001 attacks, when he felt gripped by uncertainty and totally unprepared.

166% return? Left wing? 

Where do they pull this stuff from? Don't answer that.

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Re: Why is Dr. Martenson getting associated with "doomers"?
JAG wrote:

166% return? Left wing? 

Where do they pull this stuff from? Don't answer that.

Don't answer that.

pagan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hear CS4 calling you JAG..........

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Re: Daily Digest - July 13

<http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/africa/10624427.stm>

Nigeria state oil firm insolvent, says minister

Page last updated at 22:47 GMT, Tuesday, 13 July 2010 23:47 UK

Nigeria is a crude oil producer and exporter, but must import refined fuel

Nigeria's state oil firm is insolvent, unable to pay debts of $5bn (£3.3bn), a government minister has said.

Junior Finance Minister Remi Babalola said the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation had asked for help to cover its debts and fund its operations.

But the NNPC denied the claim and said the government was not paying its own debts to the firm.

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Re: Why is Dr. Martenson getting associated with "doomers"?

I read the article. It was written at the level of a rather poorly researched high school newspaper article.  I have read much better in high school newspapers.   I will avoid the M word as well but it is becoming apparent that the backgrounds of some of these writers aren't in finance and the 3 E's......I think very little thought went into that article. 

Denise

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Davos
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Re: Why is Dr. Martenson getting associated with "doomers"?
VeganD wrote:

 I will avoid the M word as well 

u can use the m.jpg

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News for 7/14

(Preview of today's comment #1)

 

Know When to Hold-Em, Know When to Fold-Em: Munis Mortgage Backs & Vegas (Know When to Run) (Mcalvany audio)

Lots of talk on gold. Inflation vs deflation (listen at 15 minutes into this). Great info.

 

"July 14 (Bloomberg) -- Illinois let $5 billion of bills go unpaid. Washington closed state offices. California may cut 200,000 workers’ pay to the minimum wage. Minnesota is delaying tax refunds for a second year.

As fiscal 2011 budgets took effect July 1, state and local governments coping with revenue declines from an economic slowdown are fulfilling legal obligations to balance their books by shaving costs and raising taxes to protect a key constituency: owners of $2.8 trillion of municipal bonds.

“States have taken all measures so far to make sure they keep capital markets open by honoring their debt payments,” said Richard Ciccarone, a managing director for McDonnell Investment Management LLC in Oak Brook, Illinois, which owns $7 billion of municipal bonds. “They are doing everything they can.”"

..................1A) Illinois 'Fiscal Malpractice' Widens Yield in $900 Million Issue

"July 14 (Bloomberg) -- Illinois, whose comptroller said the state is in the worst financial position in its history, may face a risk premium that is almost 15 percent above what it paid last month when it sells $900 million of Build America Bonds today."

....................1B) California state workers protest 60% paycut

....................1C) Illinois: Our very own Greece? (CNN Money)

"July 14 (Bloomberg) -- Spanish lenders borrowed a record 126.3 billion euros ($161 billion) from the European Central Bank in June as investors shun the nation’s banks.

Spanish banks increased borrowing 48 percent from 85.6 billion euros in May, according to data compiled by the Bank of Spain. That compares with a drop of 4 percent to 496.6 billion euros that the ECB provided lenders in the whole euro area.

Spanish banks haven’t sold any bonds publicly in the past two months amid investor concerns about the country’s ability to cut its deficit without hurting the economy. Yields on Spanish government bonds relative to benchmark German debt have widened to 200 basis points, from 59 at the start of the year. A basis point is 0.01 percentage point."

"July 14 (Bloomberg) -- Iceland’s creditor-controlled banks face a second round of failures as a court ruling depletes their capital while the government and pension funds balk at providing additional financing, according to regulators and investors.

Lenders, including the successors to failed Kaupthing Bank hf, Glitnir Bank hf and Landsbanki Islands hf, may lose as much as $4.3 billion, equal to a third of Iceland’s economy, after a June 16 Supreme Court decision banned loans indexed to foreign currencies, according to the Finance Ministry. That would push the capital of some banks below the legal minimum, said Gunnar Andersen, head of the Financial Supervisory Authority."

...............................3A) Iceland president under pressure to stop Icesave payments

"CHICAGO (MarketWatch) -- The number of mortgage-loan applications for home purchases dropped to its lowest level in 14 years last week, the Mortgage Bankers Association said Wednesday.

Application volume for mortgages to purchase a home sank a seasonally adjusted 3.1% for the week ending July 9, compared with the week before, pushing volume to its lowest since December 1996, the MBA said.

Meanwhile, applications for mortgage-loan refinancing fell a non-seasonally adjusted 2.9% for the week ending July 9, compared with the week before, according to MBA's weekly survey. Refinance applications were almost 79% of all applications. "

"Several states are preparing to make deep cuts to Medicaid as a federal stalemate over funding for the poor drags on—even as states face mandates to expand the program under the new health-care law.

Frustration is mounting with Congress's failure to pass an extension of additional Medicaid funding to plug holes in state budgets. With the antispending mood building in Washington, governors say they are increasingly skeptical that such an extension, needed to prop up the program starting next year, will come.

That has states laying plans to cut hundreds of thousands of Medicaid enrollees and pare services "

"Concerns have been growing over the financial health of local governments here following Monday's declaration by Seongnam City of a moratorium on its debts. Seongnam, one of the wealthiest cities in the nation, became the first municipal government to default on its debt.

The city in Gyeonggi Province owes 520 billion won (S$598 million) to the Land & Housing Corporation and the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs for its new town project in the Pangyo district.

"Considering the city's current financial situation, it is impossible to repay the money in a short period or at once," Mayor Lee Jae-myung said"

"The recession -- the worst U.S. downturn since the 1930s -- has left some 8 million people like Coleman out of work.

Unemployment has remained stubbornly high at around 9.5 percent. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in June 6.8 million people or 45.5 percent of the total are long-term unemployed, or jobless for 27 weeks or more.

Before the recession began in late 2007, the unemployed received benefits, usually a few hundred dollars a week, for 26 weeks or around six months after losing their jobs."

......................6A) 430000 Californians lose jobless aid

"SANTA CRUZ - Facing $37 million in unfunded pension liability this year - an amount that equals half of general fund revenues - the Santa Cruz City Council on Tuesday weighed ideas that would reduce retirement benefits for new employees.

Mirroring a discussion under way in other cash-strapped municipalities, the council could consider a new policy to be negotiated with labor groups that would create a two-tiered retirement system. Santa Rosa, Palo Alto, Menlo Park and other cities have similarly modified their plans, looking for ways to reduce structural costs as tax revenues slide or stay flat.

"You won't see the savings today or tomorrow," City Manager Dick Wilson told the council. "But it is the city's obligation to control costs for your successors' successors."

The city's actuary, John Bartel, recommended the city take action to reduce pension obligations now because, while currently funded at 84 percent, the retirement pot will likely slip below the 75 percent funded level in years to come. When judged by market standards, pensions are closer to 30 percent underfunded now."

"July 14 (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund will propose to Japan's government that it raise taxes soon to help lower its bulging public debt, the Asahi newspaper reported on Wednesday.

The proposal could come as early as this week, the Asahi reported, citing sources with ties to the IMF. The non-binding recommendation would be part of the IMF's annual economic assessment of the individual countries that make up the fund, the Asahi said."

"The number of California foreclosure sales that were canceled hit a record in June, primarily driven by the actions of one lender, J.P. Morgan Chase, said ForeclosureRadar, a research firm in Discovery Bay.

The Discovery Bay research firm also said Tuesday that the loss of federal tax credits to encourage home purchases was increasingly evident in foreclosure sales. Investors were having a harder time selling foreclosed properties that they had purchased earlier in the year, but they were also getting deeper discount when buying foreclosed property at auction."

"Eyebrows rose when CoreLogic reported yesterday that home prices increased in May, the fourth-consecutive month to show a year-over-year increase. Virtually every other indicator from Pending Sales to Mortgage Purchase Applications is showing home sales headed south with the expiration of the homebuyer tax credit ended April 30.

According to the CoreLogic, national home prices, including distressed sales, increased by 2.9 percent in May 2010 compared to May 2009 and increased by 3.5 percent* in April 2010 compared to April 2009. The bulk of the increase, however, came from increased prices for distressed sales ? foreclosures and short sales.

Like a train slowing down to a stop, the engine driving modest increases in home prices is grinding to a halt. On a month-over-month basis, May’s prices were only 0.9 percent higher than April’s, making the rate of increase lower than the 1.3 percent gain from March 2010 to April 2010.

“Home price appreciation stabilized as homebuyer tax credit driven sales peaked in late spring,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic. “But given that the labor market and income growth remain tepid we expect prices to moderate and possibly decline the rest of the year.”"

"NEW YORK, July 13 (Reuters) - Texas might refill its unemployment trust fund by selling $2 billion of debt later this year, a strategy that cut its borrowing costs in the last downturn, according to a state official.

Texas, like many states around the nation, has seen the recession drain its unemployment insurance fund, which pays benefits to jobless workers.

Last year, Texas paid out $4 billion in jobless benefits, up from $1 billion in 2008, said Ann Hatchitt, a spokeswoman for the Texas Workforce Commission.

Employers must pay into the fund. Texas increased the minimum tax to $64.80 per worker in 2010 from $23.40 per employee in 2009.

Along with at least 33 other states, Texas has also borrowed from the federal government, which will start charging interest at the end of this year.

By early May, U.S. states had borrowed a total of $38.9 billion from the federal government to pay unemployment benefits, according to a Government Accountability Office report. See:.

Texas has taken out a $1.3 billion loan, but its own debt, which would be issued through the Texas Public Finance Authority, could have lower interest rates than what the federal government would charge, Hatchitt said.

Texas issued bonds in 2003 to replenish its unemployment trust fund."

  • Other news and headlines:

Dumping the dollar: Why it's time to diversify (CNN Money)

Lithuania Looks to $6.6 Billion of State Assets to Trim Deficit

UK to cut year of education to save money

Ukraine bows to IMF demands, raises gas prices

Bank costs to swell deficit - ESRI (Ireland)

Water service cut off at Hale County mobile home park (TX)

Mayor seeks 5 percent cuts (Allentown)

Penny-Pinching Towns Put Police Out to Pasture

Panel Fears Small Banks Could Get Trapped in TARP

Fort Lauderdale's Riverfront now a ghost town

Ariz. drew 5.6% fewer visitors in '09 compared with '08

BP sells strategic oil storage assets to Magellan

Trenton facing another tax hike - Increase of 9% possible (NJ..."just three months after tax bills went up 22 percent")

Power & Light District will need big subsidies from city (KC)

State Of Denver: Budget Deficit Is More

Jersey City looking to close Police Academy, cut employees and vehicles; may switch budget from fiscal year to calendar year

Bad news and really bad news about Minnesota's financial situation (Blog)

Sacramento County sheriff to lay off dozens of officers

Boudou warns Senate of pension system 'default' (Argentina)

Santa Clara County's high-end houses hit in foreclosure crisis

Prices soar as sanctions hit ordinary Iranians

French pension age to rise to 62 (Reuters video)

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
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Brutal second quarter for pension funding

Milliman Analysis Indicates Third Consecutive Month of Declining Pension Funded Status

An $83 billion decrease in June completes a brutal second quarter for pension funding

By Milliman, Inc.
Published: Wednesday, Jul. 14, 2010 - 9:25 am

SEATTLE, July 14 -- /PRNewswire/ -- Milliman, Inc., a premier global consulting and actuarial firm, today released the latest update to the Milliman 100 Pension Funding Index, which consists of 100 of the nation's largest defined benefit pension plans. In June, defined benefit pension plans experienced asset decreases of $19 billion and liability increases of $64 billion, resulting in an $83 billion deterioration in funding status.

"The second quarter of 2010 was the worst three-month period we've seen since the meltdown of 2008," said John Ehrhardt, co-author of the Milliman 100 Pension Funding Index. "The cumulative asset performance for these 100 pensions was a loss of 3.62%, resulting in a decline in funded status of $171 billion. We started this quarter with an 84.4% funded status and ended it at 73.7%. The last time we saw a funded status this low was 2003."

Overall, the pension funding deficit increased to $378 billion at the end of June. Given current interest rates (5.26%), investment gains of 25.6% for the remainder of 2010 would be needed to reach an 80% funded ratio, which would still leave the deficit at $289 billion.

To view the complete monthly update, go to http://www.milliman.com/expertise/employee-benefits/products-tools/pension-funding-index/. To receive regular updates of Milliman's pension funding analysis, contact us at [email protected].

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Re: Saxplayer00o1 and Daily Digest poster(s)

As always, thank you.

Poet

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Re: Daily Digest - July 13

Here's an article I submitted for today's DD, for those of you who may not have been introduced to the Mogambo Guru (taking our medicine with a dose of humor!)

Title: Silver on the up

Link: http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Global_Economy/LG14Dj02.html

‘In short, all the silver that was mined and refined since 1900 was used to create the gigantic electronic-based and electrical-powered economies of, mainly, America and Europe, and now that the silver has been used and thus disappeared, here comes China to need twice as much silver as was used by America and Europe! Wowser wow wow!”

 

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Damnthematrix
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Re: Daily Digest - July 13

A new study says Australia's water supply problems are only going to get worse as the population soars towards 45 million by mid-century.

The report by Australia's major water utilities estimates demand for water will increase by almost 1 trillion litres by 2056 based on a population of 31 million people.

The worst-case scenario indicates more than 1.5 trillion litres may be needed if Australia reaches 45 million.

The study says cities will have to get new plumbing and residents will need to get by with less and costlier water.

Ross Young, from the Water Services Association, says climate change is the unpredictable ingredient and cities will have to rely on manufactured supplies to cope.

"That will include the dams that exist, it will include desalination, recycled water, ground water, water trading with the rural sector, storm water, rainwater tanks," he said.

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