Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 11/23 - U.S. Healthcare Spending Up In 2015, Junk-Bond Market Heads Toward Deep Freeze

Wednesday, November 23, 2016, 11:15 AM

Economy

U.S. healthcare spending up 5 percent in 2015

Privately insured Americans spent nearly 5 percent more on healthcare last year than in 2014, largely because of escalating prices, new research shows.

CalPERS, CalSTRS Considering More Rate Increases

The two systems are still seriously underfunded, CalPERS at 68 percent and CalSTRS at 65 percent. This is not money in the bank. It’s an estimate of the future pension costs covered by expected employer-employee contributions and the investment earnings forecast.

Dallas Bankruptcy Threat Attracts National Attention

The Dallas Police and Firefighter Pension fund faces a possible $4 billion in future unfunded benefits after decades of promising too much with risky real estate investments that returned too little.

LA County’s $50 Billion Retirement Time Bomb

However, when the County’s $31 billion of unfunded liability for Other Post-Employment Benefits (primarily retiree medical benefits) (“OPEB”) are considered, the County’s unfunded liability soars to over $40 billion, resulting in a funded ratio of a very unhealthy 55%. This is significantly lower than the City’s 77% funded ratio which includes its OPEB obligations.

All eyes on Springfield with stopgap state budget set to expire Dec. 31

A forecast revealed Wednesday during a meeting with legislative leaders concluded that the state’s deficit could grow past $5 billion by the June 30 end of the state’s 2017 fiscal year. The state’s pile of unpaid bills – which the state comptroller now pegs at $10.6 billion – could increase to $13 billion. A subsequent report from the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability increases the estimated unfunded liability for the five state-run pension systems, not including benefits, from $111 billion to $130 billion.

Editorial L.A. still has work to do on pension reform

Garcetti and council members also have to push for more transparent and realistic assumptions about the pension funds’ finances. City officials estimated the city is short $8.9 billion on what is owed to its pension systems. Independent analysts estimate the shortfall is at least $20 billion when using more conservative assumptions about the funds’ investment returns.

Charleston police, fire pension plan deficit spikes

“Every year after that, the pension benefits paid out will be greater than [the earnings],” he said. “With our current assumptions, it appears as though we’d have enough money to pay those benefits through 2034.

Pension funding to weigh on Chicago's credit rating -S&P

Credit ratings for the nation's third-largest city have been deteriorating due largely to an unfunded pension liability that stood at $33.8 billion at the end of fiscal 2015.

NHS 'will run out of cash by 2020' say MPs as damning report declare service 'not sustainable' (UK)

"Britain’s health and social care services are staring into the abyss. The path they are on now leads only to a complete financial collapse by 2020.

Junk-Bond Market Heads Toward Deep Freeze

While it might be easy to dismiss the development simply as a sign that borrowers have enough money for the foreseeable future, under the surface it seems as if some bigger forces are at work. Investors don't seem to want to buy junk-rated debt anymore unless they're amply compensated for the risk.

China Cracks Down on Home Buyers With Fake Divorces

Average home prices in Shanghai were up 27.5% in October from a year earlier, outpacing the 18.2% price increase across 100 Chinese cities, according to SouFun, China’s largest online real-estate portal.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 11/22/16

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

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