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    Daily Digest 2/13 – Oakland Teacher Strike Looms, Employer Health Plans Cover Less Than You Think

    by saxplayer00o1

    Wednesday, February 13, 2019, 6:13 AM

Economy

Employer health plans cover less than you think, study finds

The average deductible stood at $1,350 in 2018, up 212% since 2008, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Employer Health Benefits Survey. That’s eight times faster than wage growth.

The L.A. teacher strike may be over, but observers warn there’s no ‘clear path forward’ for how LAUSD can afford its new contract

The contract compounds L.A. Unified’s financial woes, which include $15.2 billion in unfunded liabilities for post-employment benefits such as health care, about $500 million in annual deficit spending and millions in funding losses due to declining student enrollment. The new deal, in fact, could drive up this year’s deficit by about $187 million, according to a recent district projection. The agreement tripled L.A. Unified’s previous offer — from $130 million to $403 million over three years — to lower class sizes and hire more support staff, such as nurses.

Municipalities say pension costs could skyrocket (Connecticut)

The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities warned legislators Monday that participating communities — which already are grappling with dwindling state aid — could see their pension costs rise by as much 16 to 21 percent. At issue is whether this would take place right away, or over five years.

Debt guarantee tangle: China’s private firms hit by default contagion

The private sector mess in Dongying highlights the inherent dangers in cross-guaranteeing of debt, with defaults quickly cascading across the system when one loan goes bad, threatening to disrupt local financial systems and new lending.

Funding cut to towns, villages to get a ‘second look,’ Andrew Cuomo says

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in his budget, proposed slashing $60 million from the state’s $715 million Aid and Incentives for Municipalities funding as a way of reducing costs — money that many municipalities already have budgeted for the current year.

New York is currently facing a looming $2.3 billion budget deficit as a result of slowing tax revenue, which is complicating Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed spending plan for the next fiscal year.

Illinois Lawmakers Debate Financial Steps Amid Pritzker Deficit Report

As new Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker prepares to make his first budget address next week, Deputy Gov. Dan Hynes on Monday released the study “Digging Out: The Rauner Wreckage Report.” It estimates a $3.2 billion budget deficit, a looming $9.2 billion pension bill due next year and the state’s unpaid backlog of bills – also in the billions.

Iowa’s city debt surpasses $6 billion for first time; aging infrastructure is a key factor

The total local and state government debt in Iowa, including cities, counties, K-12 schools, universities and the state government, amounts to almost $5,200 for every resident of the state.

As Fed Nears End of the Hiking Cycle, It Faces a Hard Reality

The Federal Reserve’s recent turn toward patience on further rate hikes underlines an unfortunate reality: the central bank will have way less ammunition to fight the next recession than it had in the past.

Carney Gets Crisis Deja Vu Looking at Risky Company Debt Surge

“Relative to earnings, aggregate corporate debt in the U.S. and U.K. is nearing pre-crisis peaks, and the distribution is worsening. In the U.K., the share of highly levered companies is above pre-crisis levels.”

Oakland schools seek substitutes on Craigslist as teachers’ strike looms

The teachers are seeking a 12 percent pay increase over three years, plus smaller class sizes and more support in the classroom.

The district has offered five percent. No negotiations have been scheduled.The district is facing a $21 million deficit.

Feb 2019 Ebola Update: Cheery Thoughts (thc0655)

And in case you weren’t aware, Ebola “care” in DRC, and all of Africa, at Ebola Treatment Centers, is always “palliative”, i.e. “make their symptoms and inevitable death less uncomfortable”, for the 80% who’ll expire.The “lucky” 20% who survive will now carry the disease effectively for life (every time they check survivors, they find live virus reservoirs) and can look forward to not only re-infecting friends and family (which may be one hitherto unsuspected source of new outbreaks going back to the 1970s), but eventually going blind, and multiple other lifelong consequences. Good times. Oh, and that’s exactly the future for the survivors treated here in the US in 2014-2015. Their lives are functionally over, and they’re dead men/women walking.

Drought Likely to Develop in Upper Midwest by Spring (newsbuoy)

This week’s National Drought Monitor showed expansion of drought across central Texas, along with areas of the South and the four-corners region. Meanwhile, the Seasonal Drought Outlook states “precipitation increases substantially across the Central Plains during May, and with no tilt in the odds towards above- or below-median rainfall, some improvements to drought conditions are anticipated for southeastern Colorado, Kansas and central Oklahoma (through May). The prospects for significant drought reductions are less across western Oklahoma, most of Texas and eastern New Mexico, where long-term drought is entrenched and climatological late Spring rainfall is less likely to bring large scale improvements.”

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 2/12/19

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

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