Detroit

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Off the Cuff: Vacuum of Leadership

Where have all the Churchills gone?
Thursday, December 5, 2013, 3:21 AM

In this week's Off the Cuff podcast, Chris and Mish discuss:

  • Raising taxes until morale improves
    • Europe's misguided approach to its woes
  • Tough medicine for underfunded pensions
    • Detroit bankruptcy may be a key precedent
  • Manipulation & fraud
    • Two things the TBTF banks get away with
  • Vacuum of leadership
    • A defining crisis of our time
Featured Discussion

Gangster Scarecrows

Gangster Scarecrows

Detroit residents forced to improvise when it comes to home security

Insider

The Real Story to Focus On

Given the macro trends, how do we "win"?
Monday, August 19, 2013, 12:12 AM

Executive Summary

  • What Detroit tells us about continuing the status quo
  • The shocking true size of the real U.S. debt
  • Why time is our most valuable but scarcest asset
  • Where your efforts need to be placed to address the big picture

If you have not yet read Part I: Why We All Lose If the Fed Wins, available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

If we can't even have an honest conversation six years into this failed experiment about its core aspects, then it is little wonder that there's virtually no appetite for the bigger burning questions of our time, such as where do we want to be in twenty years and what do we need to do to get there?

Instead, the focus is simply on preserving the status quo and doing everything possible to maintain it. Never mind that the status quo is obviously failing in many key regards and needs some serious adjustments.  All that the Fed and D.C. have in mind here is more of the same.

And this is why we will lose the war.

The Detroit Harbinger

If we want to know what happens when we ignore reality and just soldier on, we need look no further than Detroit to see how that works out. For years, that city mismanaged its finances, continually banking on the idea that eventually jobs and opportunity would return. They continued to offer yet failed to fund lavish pension promises to municipal employees, even though anybody with a pocket calculator could work out that the plans were not viable.

But the plans were offered, and the union reps on the other side of the table accepted the terms, even though at some point it would have made sense for someone to raise the obvious by noting that the plans were utterly insolvent and almost certain to stay that way.

Right now, the pensions in Detroit are underfunded by $3.5 billion, according to official figures.  But those same officials are assuming an 8% rate of return on current pension assets, a rate that nobody is actually achieving in the pension world thanks, in large part, to Bernanke's 0% interest rate policy.

Here's how they got to this point: » Read more

Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 8/6 - Chicago Sees Imminent Pension Crisis, The Energy Cost Of Food

Tuesday, August 6, 2013, 11:30 AM
  • How did Estonia become a leader in technology?
  • Worth Less, Yet Not Worthless
  • Global Gold’s Quarterly Outlook – Has Gold Exited The Bull Market?
  • Obama to Outline Plans for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
  • Polls Open in Detroit’s Mayoral Primary 
  • Chicago Sees Pension Crisis Drawing Near
  • Children Banned from Talking about Fracking as Reign of Silence Spreads
  • George Monbiot: Why humans should back off and let nature heal itself
  • The Energy Cost Of Food
  • Risks to Global Food Supply and Impacts to Investors – Steve Yuzpe
Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 7/31 - India At Watershed, Detroit Has Bigger Problems Than Bankruptcy

Wednesday, July 31, 2013, 12:01 PM
  • Shipbuilders' losses seen widening
  • Bank of Cyprus deposits raid boosts finances
  • Greece sells state lotteries, clears way for OPAP sale
  • UK Losing Fight Against E-Crime Amid Budget Cuts, Parliamentary Committee Warn
  • Amid bankruptcy, Detroit has a bigger problem
  • Growing copper theft 'like an epidemic' sweeping US
  • India at a watershed as it confronts the spectre of stagflation
  • India central bank pat on rates, cuts growth view
  • African Barrick Writes Down Mines, Cuts Costs After Gold Tumbles
  • Court ruling allows Flint to start collecting on retiree cuts
  • Miami Springs counting on red-light camera revenue in face of deficit
Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 7/23 - Requiem For Detroit, Peak Oil Lives But Will Kill The Economy

Tuesday, July 23, 2013, 10:33 AM
  • Detroit, and the Bankruptcy of America's Social Contract
  • Requiem For Detroit
  • Same Old Warfare?
  • Now, Old MacDonald Has a Robot
  • Peak oil lives, but will kill the economy
  • Piggybacking on the Hunt For Massive Oil Discoveries: Interview with AOS
  • Oil Production Aside, Middle East still Matters
  • An expert finds New York City's air is full of foreign matter, including rubber and rust
Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 7/22 - Ways Shrinking Cities Try To Survive, Earthquake Hits Northwestern China

Monday, July 22, 2013, 9:27 AM
  • More 20-somethings are buying million-dollar homes than ever before, thanks to startups and rich parents
  • Cries of Betrayal as Detroit Plans to Cut Pensions 
  • Detroit: Six ways 'shrinking' cities try to survive
  • Real vs False Money – Key Insights From Monetary History
  • Why Big Oil is Shifting Away from the Gulf of Mexico
  • Tiny Argentine ants invade Victoria, poised to bug you like crazy
  • Raw Sewage Has Turned The Hudson Into An Antibiotic-Resistant Cesspool
  • Earthquakes Hit Area of Northwestern China
Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 7/20 - More Cities Should Go Bankrupt, Baseball Is A Metaphor For American Life

Saturday, July 20, 2013, 11:52 AM
  • More Cities Should Go Bankrupt
  • Going, in Uncertainty, Where No Other Big City Has
  • Detroit Gap Reveals Industry Dispute on Pension Math
  • Detroit’s Creditors Eye Its Art Collection
  • When Gold And Silver Bottom Is Irrelevant To Your Financial Health
  • Why baseball is a metaphor for life in America
  • The games the rich play to avoid tax are immoral and now, hopefully, will become illegal
  • Can Europe’s new designs help the UK’s housing crisis?
Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 7/11 - Greece's Life-Saving Austerity Medics, Urban Flooding Likely To Worsen

Thursday, July 11, 2013, 11:11 AM
  • Greece's life-saving austerity medics 
  • World’s Biggest Challenge: ‘Ignorance in the Face of Change’ – Paul Hawken
  • Who is affected by big currency movements?
  • “Why did you shoot me? I was reading a book”: The new warrior cop is out of control
  • Fail And Fail Well
  • Dear Leader Dreams Of Sushi
  • Battle lines harden over Detroit pension cuts
  • NAVY LENR Patent Granted – Transmutes Radioactive Waste
  • The Lac-Mégantic Rail Disaster is a Corporate Crime
  • Lac-Mégantic's Disaster is the Poster Child for Fossil Fuel Folly
  • Politics of Climate Change: A Well-Oiled Machine
  • Urban flooding likely to worsen, say experts
  • Scientists Invented New Way of Seawater Desalination
Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 7/10 - IMF Cuts Growth Forecast For World Economies, Canadians Struggle With Saving

Wednesday, July 10, 2013, 10:21 AM
  • Illinois lawmakers seek more information in hunt for fix to $97 billion pension crisis
  • IMF cuts growth forecast for U.S., world economies
  • Nurses' strike hits Portugal hospitals
  • Seniors find it harder to get home-delivered meals (Florida)
  • Chicago gun violence: 74 people shot, 12 killed over July 4 weekend
  • Job cuts: Mining companies to trim operations by 3,500 (Ghana)
  • Financial Crisis Just a Symptom of Detroit’s Woes
  • Furloughs Have Begun for Nearly 50,000 Full-Time Guardsmen Nationwide, Including Guam
  • Mining services industry forced to adapt to end of coal boom in Queensland's Bowen Basin
  • USDA: One In Six Americans Use Food Stamps
  • Puerto Rico sees surge in homeless population
  • Tuition at 14 Pennsylvania universities to rise 3 percent
  • Eurozone jobless rate worse than OECD average
  • Canadians struggle with retirement saving
  • Italy's rating lowered one notch to BBB: S&P
  • Gold borrowing cost hits post-Lehman high
  • Study: State's pension debt spiked since February (California)