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    Daily Digest 5/21 – Housing Debt Still Traps 10m Americans, Platinum Shortage Widens

    by saxplayer00o1

    Wednesday, May 21, 2014, 1:37 PM


L.A. city panel delivers victory to municipal labor unions

Public employee pension costs have been a major issue in recent years, consuming a growing portion of the budget. In departments overseen by the City Council, contributions for civilian employee retirement costs have climbed from $260 million in 2005 to $410 million in the fiscal year that starts July 1, according to Santana.

Chris Christie cuts pension payments (NJ)

Gov. Chris Christie is slashing the contributions scheduled to be made to New Jersey public workers’ pension funds by nearly $2.5 billion over the next 14 months to deal with a revenue shortfall facing the state budget.

Christie announced Tuesday at the Statehouse that he will make a $696 million payment into the pension funds this year, rather than $1.58 billion.

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of R.I. seeks premium increases for 2015

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island is proposing 2015 premium increases averaging 12 percent for individuals and families, and 8 percent for small groups.

Housing debt still traps 10 million Americans

During the first three months of this year, 18.8 percent of homeowners with a mortgage — 9.7 million — owed more on their loans than their properties would sell for, according to online real estate database Zillow. Though that was an improvement from the 25.4 percent figure of a year ago, the share of such “underwater” homeowners is about four times the historic average.

Australia’s 2014 federal budget forces rethink of retirement plans

Everyone is hit by the budget. There is a co-payment when seeing a doctor and higher petrol prices. There is also a six-month wait for unemployment benefits for those under 30, higher university fees and tighter eligibility for family tax benefits.

Budget cuts to drive up family day care service costs up to $1820 a year for one child (Australia)

FAMILIES who send their children to a family day care service could fork out more than an extra $1506 per year in fees after a savage funding cut in the federal budget.

Family Day Care Australia spokeswoman Sasha Westwood said the Abbott government’s first budget had stripped $157 million in funding from family day care (FDC) services.

As Court Fees Rise, The Poor Are Paying The Price

A yearlong NPR investigation found that the costs of the criminal justice system in the United States are paid increasingly by the defendants and offenders. It’s a practice that causes the poor to face harsher treatment than others who commit identical crimes and can afford to pay. Some judges and politicians fear the trend has gone too far.

N.J. Faces FY 2015 Spending Gap of $3 Billion, Moody’s Says

Christie, 51, a potential 2016 presidential candidate, said when he introduced the $34.4 billion budget for next fiscal year that pension and debt payments threaten to crowd out spending on services such as schools and public safety.

La. lawmakers tackle state retirement system debt

The four state retirement systems have a $19 billion gap between the money they have on hand and the dollars they’ll owe all retirees over time.

Platinum Shortage Widens With Palladium on Tight Supplies

Supply shortages for platinum and palladium will be the largest in more than three decades this year on stronger demand from car companies and restricted supplies, Johnson Matthey Plc said.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 5/20/14

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

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