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    Daily Digest 3/1 – Pension Costs Crippling Budgets, World Debt to Increase to $44T

    by DailyDigest

    Wednesday, March 1, 2017, 3:27 PM

Economy

Struggling farm economy could worsen state budget woes (Nebraska)

Lawmakers on the budget-writing Appropriations Committee have developed a plan to reduce their original $895 million shortfall to roughly $134 million. Because of the forecasting board’s new estimates, however, that projected shortfall will now grow to $298 million.

Without a fix, teacher healthcare fund is empty next year (Texas)

This session, the Texas House Committee on Pensions is trying to figure out how to dig out of a billion dollar hole. If major reforms are not made to teacher retirement benefits, the system will run out of money.

Modesto considers freeze on hiring, promoting as pension costs loom

Brandvold said he asked for these steps, adding that he is most concerned about rising pension costs. The city report states that Modesto expects its pension costs to increase by more than 50 percent in five years.

Passions run high as Kentucky Retirement Systems’ pension hole grows

According to fiscal year 2016 actuarial numbers, the state is on the hook for $38.7 billion in unfunded liabilities, but Bevin, during his recent State of the Commonwealth address, said the liability is actually $82 billion.

The City Deficit Approaches $250 Million! How Can LA’s Mayor Get Anything Short of a Failing Grade?

There is also the real possibility that the cumulative budget gap for the next four years may soar to well over $750 million, up from the current estimate of $300 million.

Pension costs still crippling Phoenix budget

In the next year, Phoenix faces sticker shock from its payments to the state-run pension system for police officers and firefighters. Costs are expected to balloon by $58 million, bringing the city’s total pension tab up to $294 million of its general fund.

Number of distressed U.S. retailers at highest level since Great Recession

The number of U.S. retailers ranked at the most-distressed level of the credit-rating spectrum has more than tripled since the Great Recession of 2008-2009 and is heading toward record levels in the next five years, Moody’s Investors Service said Monday.

Chicago schools seek immediate halt to ‘discriminatory’ state funding

CPS warned it could be forced to end the school year on June 1 instead of June 20 and cancel some summer school programs as it deals with a lingering $129 million deficit in its $5.41 billion budget and a looming $721 million pension payment. Unlike all other Illinois public school districts, which participate in a teachers retirement system heavily subsidized by the state, CPS maintains its own pension fund for educators.

N.J. pension debt soared to $49B last year

The combined unfunded liability rose from $59 billion in the 2015 fiscal year to $66.2 billion in the fiscal year that ended in June.

European Credit Investors Face Uncertain Future After QE Unwind

The ECB has purchased around 67 billion euros ($71 billion) of corporate bonds under the scheme, it said in a Feb. 27 statement, implying average weekly purchases of 1.68 billion euros since the program began in June 2016.

Bank of Japan publishes bond buying plans to keep yields at 0%

Japan’s 10-year yield is currently trading at 0.04 per cent, having reached 0.11 per cent at one point earlier this month before the BoJ stepped in and offered to buy in unlimited quantity to prevent it from rising any higher.

A Big Dutch Populist Win May Swell Election Risk on French Bonds

The anti-EU Dutch Freedom Party, or PVV, is forecast in polls to become the largest in parliament and a big victory would again unsettle nerves among investors in euro-area government bonds.

Stock investors are seeking protection from Marine Le Pen

Le Pen’s lead widened in an electoral poll released last week, though she’s still expected to lose in the second round, according to some polls. It’s widely believed that a Le Pen victory could spark a selloff in European stocks and French sovereign debt. Le Pen has vowed to hold a referendum on France’s membership in the EU should she win. She has also called for France to leave the euro

Africa: World Debt to Increase to U.S.$44 Trillion – S&P

Absolute debt levels of countries continue to increase and total outstanding global sovereign commercial debt stock will rise to reach an all-time high of $44trn by the end of this year, according to rating agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P).

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 2/28/17

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

Article suggestions for the Daily Digest can be sent to dd@peakprosperity.com. All suggestions are filtered by the Daily Digest team and preference is given to those that are in alignment with the message of the Crash Course and the "3 Es."

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