There are as yet no firm details, but in essence the pension idea plays roulette with taxpayer money. Chicago would borrow $10 billion, dumping it into the pension funds for short-term gain, and praying that investment returns over the life of the bonds outpace the interest that taxpayers would owe on the borrowing. Plus we’d owe the $10 billion. Worse, the proposal would put up a taxpayer asset, such as future sales tax revenues, as collateral to entice big institutional investors.
The report released Tuesday by Bellwether Education Partners estimates that Illinois owes $54 billion in future health care costs that have been promised to teachers after retirement. That’s the sixth-most of any state when divvied up by each state’s adult population. This is not included in the estimated $130 billion in unfunded teacher pension liabilities.
In 2017, the U.S. posted a $376 billion deficit in goods with China. Most glaring is the huge deficit in computers and electronics, but the U.S. is a net importer from China in most market segments except for agriculture.
Several other cities around the nation joined Draper, Park City and more. In 2018, outstanding credit card debt is at the second-highest point it’s been since 2008, according to WalletHub.
The total credit card debt for the entire country was $978.90 billion in 2018 and $935.90 billion in 2017.
Feldstein said he thinks the effects of a bear market could spread into the retail economy, draining it of $300 billion to $400 billion a year, and risk an economic crash to rival the Long Depression of the 1870s and the Great Depression of the 1930s.
With global debt hitting $247 trillion in the first quarter of 2018 (the non-financial sector was $186 trillion), concern exists, particularly since the total global economy is “only” $74 trillion, according to the World Bank.
In addition, the McKinsey Global Institute says a record $10 trillion in bonds must be refinanced in five years.
The central bank last week lifted interest rates by a mammoth 6.25 percentage points, helping to boost the lira as far as 6.0100 against the dollar. By 1117 GMT on Tuesday it was at 6.4425 against the greenback, near the level it had been trading at before the rate hike.
As demand outstripped supply, investors agreed to weaker safeguards and protections on loans to junk-rated companies, according to Moody’s Investors Service. Around 80 percent of leveraged loans are “covenant-lite,” meaning they lack meaningful protections against, for example, the company’s earnings falling to low levels. In 2006-2007, that proportion would have been less than 25 percent, according to Moody’s.
Egypt cancelled a treasury bond auction on Monday, its third such move in as many weeks, as foreign investors cut their exposure to the country’s debt at a time of weak appetite globally for emerging market assets.
The Fracking Industry’s Water Nightmare (Paul D.)
Dealing with toxic wastewater has always been a problem for the fracking industry, sometimes leading to illegal workarounds. A big unanswered question for the shale companies doing the fracking is whether they can ever properly handle the amount of toxic wastewater they are producing, whatever the cost is.
Only two of the 10 states with the lowest energy costs had these mandates. The 10 lowest-cost states had electric power costs about half of what is charged in high-cost states. We are talking about hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars of higher costs every year to homeowners to enrich billionaires like Elon Musk and Tom Steyer. This is Robin Hood in reverse: Rob the poor to pay the super rich.
The easiest method used by illegal fishers – but also the most ecologically damaging – is “blast fishing”, which uses dynamite or homemade bottle bombs made from fertiliser and kerosene. A single explosion can kill as much as 400kg of fish in a radius of 100ft, worth up to US$1,800, but will also destroy a reef. The chances of offenders being caught are negligible.
Indeed, author Jeff Nesbit’s forthcoming book “This Is The Way The World Ends” is published later this month. At its height Florence was a category 4 Hurricane. Nesbit argues that “There is no such thing as a category 6 hurricane or tropical storm – yet. But a combination of warmer oceans and more water in the atmosphere could make the devastation of 2017 pale in comparison.”
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