In 2017, spending rose nearly 4 percent and accounted for nearly a fifth of the nation’s gross domestic product, according to federal data. Of that $3.5 trillion spent, a third came from hospital care, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reported.
Riverside County’s pension liabilities now exceed $3 billion, and allocations to support the retirement system will steadily rise over the next decade, approaching $1 billion in general fund support by 2030, according to a report that the Board of Supervisors will review Tuesday.
The new method, called “projected benefit obligation,” aligns pension assets and liabilities with new governmental accounting standards and how the federal government values its own employee pension program.
Using that methodology, CalPERS’ current unfunded liabilities, officially $179 billion, could be more like $360 billion, completely overwhelming the fund’s current assets and making it, on paper at least, hopelessly insolvent.
Italy’s public debt in November reached an all-time high of 2.35 trillion euros, over 133 percent of the nation’s estimated output last year.
Investors’ hunt for higher returns in an era of record-low interest rates has given debt-laden companies access to cheap, easy credit, encouraging them to take on more debt than would be possible in less forgiving conditions.
As a result, the median debt levels of non-financial companies relative to their earnings already exceed levels before the last financial crisis, according to Standard & Poor’s rating agency.
But in addition to the eye-watering figures on the books of Italian banks, financial institutions in the rest of Europe have lent more than £370 billion (€425 billion), according to new analysis of official figures by Bloomberg. Lenders in France are most exposed to a sell-off in Italy with £250bn (€285.5bn) in credit extended by French banks.
Reserve managers may not know how long it will take for China’s currency, or the euro, to nibble away at the dollar’s pre-eminence. But they are taking small precautionary steps to diversify their exposure away from the greenback. That is far removed from the blind enthusiasm usually associated with gold fever.
Mutual funds and exchange-traded funds that are U.S. persons “may not buy, sell, or otherwise engage in transactions related to debt, equity or other holdings in blocked persons and must block such holdings, unless authorized by OFAC,” the Treasury Department said on its website. Officials declined to elaborate on the rule and its precise implications for traders.
China Faces An Uphill Battle For Energy Independence (Michael S.)
In December, CNPC said it also struck daily gas flows of 225,000 cubic meters at the exploration well Yongtan-1, in Sichuan province’s Jianyang city, part of a 350 square-km gas-rich acreage of volcanic rock layers. Production at CNPC’s flagship shale gas play Chuannan in Southern Sichuan hit a daily record of 20.11 million cubic meters in late December, up from 12 million cubic meters in October, the Reuters report said, citing CNPC data. CNPC also struck high volumes of gas flows at four exploration wells at Dagang, near Beijing, that could lead to a sizeable gas field called Lianhua.
Gold & Silver
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