Looking back to 2008, the underfunding levels of California’s public pension have skyrocketed 157% on abysmal asset returns and growing liabilities resulting from lower discount rates.
Perhaps this helps shed some light on why CalPERS is having such a difficult time with what should have been an easy decision to lower their long-term return expectations to 6% from 7.5% (see “CalPERS Weighs Pros/Cons Of Setting Reasonable Return Targets Vs. Maintaining Ponzi Scheme”)…$93k per household just seems so much more “manageable” than $150k.
Criss-Crossed Fuses And Lit Bonfire (reflector)
This article attempts to list many threats to a systemic breakdown from ignition of several megatons of TNT dynamite. The financial press has often mentioned derivatives as capable of inflicting damage and devastation like with nuclear explosions. The systemic breakdown is due to occur soon, actually way overdue to occur. The prevention has been a massive global project run by the major central banks in coordination with a few ministries of finance. The primary control center is the USDept Treasury and their Exchange Stabilization Fund. This truly gigantic multi-$trillion fund is a very well-kept secret. Its recent activity has been to permit the USTreasury Bond yield to rise, but without pushing down the sacred USDollar. Not much mention has come from the sleepy lapdog financial press on this unusual anomaly. The motive is to keep the Japanese happy, since they are the last holdout among the $1 trillion USGovt debt holders. The Chinese are dumping USTBonds, but the United States cannot afford for Japan to dump USTBonds at the same time.
S&P warns CT: Surging debt costs could lower bond rating (DennisC, Adam)
“The outlook revision reflects our view that projected growth in fixed costs could rise to a level we believe could comprise a substantial proportion of the state budget and thereby hamper Connecticut’s budget flexibility as the state addresses large out-year budget gaps,” said David Hitchcock, a credit analyst with S&P.
Retirement benefit costs and payments on bonded debt are expected to equal nearly 33 percent of General Fund revenue in the 2017-18 fiscal year.
The Collapse of Paper Assets (Tiffany D.)
The U.S. dollar — a paper asset in that it’s backed by nothing more substantial than the petty whims of politicians — is in a bubble that has seen it rise to a 14-year high. Relative to other major currencies that are worse off than the buck, that makes some sense. But relative to the underlying fundamentals of a nation strangled by more than $19 trillion in debt and a political class riven by diametrically opposed views on substantive matters that will define our financial future, the dollar is used toilet paper masquerading as art.
Silver Prices And Interest Rates (GE Christenson)
Interest rates rose approximately 35 years from 1946 – 1981 and fell for 35 years from 1981 – 2016. Silver prices could rise for several decades, along with interest rates, as the dollar is devalued further, silver is aggressively used for industrial applications, investment demand increases, and perhaps … the world is forced to return to a monetary system tied more closely to gold or silver.
Plaintiffs were required to make themselves available to perform work within a predetermined range of time each day but were not compensated in a manner that guaranteed they were compensated at or above the applicable minimum wage during those hours. During nonproductive time, or time during which Plaintiffs were required to make themselves available for work but were not given an assignment, Plaintiffs were not compensated in any manner whatsoever. On various occasions during the relevant period, Plaintiffs spent sometimes up to four hours of a designated shift sitting in their cars in a grocery store parking lot awaiting direction from Instacart. Plaintiffs were not compensated for this time in any manner.
Has the internet become a failed state? (jdargis)
On 21 October, a series of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks caused widespread disruption of internet activity in the US. The attacks involved directing huge amounts of bogus traffic at servers belonging to Dyn, a company that is a major provider of domain name services (DNS) to other companies. For a time this severely affected major websites – including Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit, GitHub, Etsy, Tumblr, Spotify, PayPal, Verizon, Comcast and the PlayStation network. The attack was conducted using a huge botnet of unsecured “internet of things” devices such as home webcams and broadband routers.
Internet freedom has declined for the sixth consecutive year, with more governments than ever before targeting social media and communication apps as a means of halting the rapid dissemination of information, particularly during anti-government protests.
Gold & Silver
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