Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 9/20 - MD ACA Premiums Could See 50% Increase, 'Time Running Out' On PA Downgrade

Wednesday, September 20, 2017, 9:31 AM


Maryland premiums for ACA policies will could see up to a 50% increase in 2018

The Maryland Insurance Administration says both companies proved they need those increases to stay in business, telling officials they have lost a combined $447-million since policies started selling under the affordable care act back in 2014.

Health Care Costs Expected To Rise Because Of New Specialty Drugs

Companies anticipate average per-employee health costs to increase by 4.3 percent in 2018, the highest rate since 2011.
Early responses from the survey suggest that 46 percent of employers would take steps to cut costs with new strategies such as high-deductible health plans

With Increased Pension Costs on Horizon, Taylor Mill to Join Ft. Wright in Lawsuit (Kentucky)

The problem came, according to Bell, when the state made bad investments with its retirement fund, and allegedly used some of the money for other costs, which has left the state retirement system at just 16 percent funded, making it the second-worst funded retirement system in the country, behind Illinois.

Wolf says time running out on budget deal before downgrade (Pennsylvania)

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf says Pennsylvania state government has less than two weeks to end a budget stalemate before the state's battered credit rating gets another downgrade and he must delay more payments for lack of cash.

CFPB Settles With Owners of Wall Street's Worst Student Debt

The settlement seeks to resolve allegations that the trusts illegally collected from tens of thousands of distressed borrowers using deceptive or unfair means, and that debt collectors and law firms for them flooded the nation’s courts with faulty lawsuits to collect.

Hurricane Maria poses new threat to debt-laden Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico's government owes $74 billion to bondholders, and an additional $50 billion in pension obligations to teachers and almost all other government employees. In May, it filed for the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.

Global debt may be understated by $13 trillion: BIS (Cornelius999)

“Accounting conventions leave it mostly off-balance sheet, as a derivative, even though it is in effect a secured loan with principal to be repaid in full at maturity,” BIS said.

Explaining the risk they added: “In particular, the short maturity of most FX swaps and forwards can create big maturity mismatches and hence generate large liquidity demands, especially during times of stress.”

New Thinking and Different Actions (GE Christenson)

Most people (nations, families, cultures, central bankers, governments etc.) will not change their lifestyle and habits. They will continue doing what created current physical pain and financial ill health.

Admiral, Captain Fired as Investigation into Ship Collisions Continues (DennisC)

Rear Adm. Marc Dalton, currently commander of Task Force 76, will take command of Task Force 70, which oversees theater surface warfare and integrated air missile defense for 7th Fleet in the Pacific. Capt. Jonathan Duffy, deputy commander of DESRON 15 will take command of the squadron, officials said.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 9/19/17

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

Article suggestions for the Daily Digest can be sent to [email protected]. 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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It May Take Until 2022 for G-3 Central Banks' Assets to Shrink

It May Take Until 2022 for G-3 Central Banks' Assets to Shrink

Bloomberg-58 minutes ago

European Central Bank officials have only just begun considering how to taper their asset purchases, perhaps in 2018, while the Bank of Japan maintains that ..

America's $20 trillion in debt doesn't seem so alarming after looking ...

MarketWatch-19 hours ago
The U.S. officially topped $20 trillion in national debt less week, and, as you might expect, it triggered the kind of finger-pointing you've probably grown ...

Illinois' unpaid bill backlog hits a record $16 billion

Reuters-22 hours ago
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Illinois' pile of unpaid bills topped $16 billion for the first time ... saying ”it's better to have Wall Street carry our debt than Main Street Illinois.

Pa. budget impasse leads to credit downgrade

Philly.com-7 minutes ago
Standard & Poor's lowered Pennsylvania's bond rating a notch, citing the state's out-of-balance budget, its more than $2 billion deficit and its reliance on ...

Cost Of Employer-Provided Health Insurance Rises Toward $19000 ...

Wall Street Journal (subscription)-22 hours ago
Cost Of Employer-Provided Health Insurance Rises Toward $19,000 a Year ... Annual premiums rose 3% to $18,764 for an employer plan in 2017, from $18,142 ...


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Putting this here too...government follies

I posted this in yesterday's DD (early this morning) moving it here so it doesn't get lost too quickly:

cmartenson wrote:

I seriously cannot believe this is *not* The Onion.

I’m not even sure how to find appropriate sarcasm in response to this:

Hours After Hurricane Irma, Miami-Dade County Tickets Residents For Code Violations

Sep. 19, 2017

Mere hours after Hurricane Irma, Miami-Dade County was ticketing residents for building code violations on their wrecked properties.

Celso Perez was helping his neighbors remove some fallen trees blocking their street when a county code enforcer rolled up and issued him a safety notice for having a downed fence. "I laughed," Perez tells WSVN-TV. "I thought he was kidding. 'You are kidding right? We just had a hurricane six hours ago.'"

It wasn't a joke. The official told Perez that the downed fence—which encloses a pool—was a safety hazard, and that if it wasn't fixed by the time he returned, Perez would be hit with a fine. The official then hung the safety citation on the portion of Perez's fence that remained standing, leaving him and his neighbors to finish clearing the debris from their street.

According to WSVN, the county has handed out 680 safety notices for downed pool barriers, and another 177 electrical hazard safety noticesReason reached out to the county to confirm those numbers, but has not received a reply.

I guess I’ll turn to the old joke from Ronald Reagan:

Otherwise I just don’t know how to respond.

However, I would advise the Miami-Dade County government workers to not be surprised if in the future the taxpayers decide to not take on any more debt to top off their defective municipal pension scheme and to let current and future municipal retirees struggle with pension cuts.

As a very wise MD told me once, "people don't sue outcomes, they sue relationships." 

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And a response..

This response from Iambertad is being moved as well.

lambertad wrote:

Little story I've shared on PP before. 

I built a shed in my yard for a woodworking and welding shop. My wife didn't want me doing it in the garage, but I wanted to learn the skills, so I decided to build a shed where I could practice. 

I come home from work one day to find a notice on the door saying the shed had to be moved. It was built on concrete piers, by hand, to learn the skills of framing a structure. It wasn't a delivered shed from the big box store, apparently code enforcement is obtuse enough not to be able to tell the difference.

Anyway, I call the code enforcement person and ask them what gives. She said someone complained. I told her I have 2 neighbors that I can see from my yard that have sheds in their "side yard", why was mine targeted for enforcement? Because someone complained, she replied. She asked if I wanted to complain about my the sheds next door to my property. I didn't respond to the question.

The threat was a $50/day fine until it was "moved", or in my case torn down. 

I'm thankful for this situation for several reasons. 1. A friend of mine who was a framing carpenter was kind enough to help me build the shed, it was generous of his time but also provided a great learning experience for me. 2. I will never put down roots within city limits again, and I actively remind my wife of why we should settle outside of city limits 3. It taught me that bureaucrats at any level either do not care about people they serve or they enforce the rules so haphazardly that it appears they don't care. Either way, the take away is the same - people get the feeling you don't care about their situation, kind of like in Florida. 

As an aside, Versaland, a regenerative agriculture practice in Iowa is essentially being shut down by county ordinances - They've outlawed self pick orchards, they've severely curtailed his ability to have farm workers live on site during the harvest season, they've restricted opportunities for on farm events to only 12/year. While the scope of the Florida article is just ridiculous, I see this stuff going on everywhere. 

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I guess Americans are not familiar with bribes to bureaucrats.   Learn from Italy or Greece.

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Facing the Danger of Russia

The neocons launch another offensive to sway the hearts, minds and wallets of the politically unsophisticated global population.  This time with actor Morgan Friedman narrating.  It posts on pop entertainment websites like PopSugar.

"We are at War"

But who exactly is the "Committee to investigate Russia?"

This is the Neocons.

And what are the goals of this group?

And their mission? To educate the public on the threat that we face from Russia and to serve as a central location for updates, news, and information on all things related to the issue. ...

While we still don't have definitive answers on much of what elapsed during the lead-up to the election — or, frankly, have a plan for what we can do to prevent this sort of thing going forward — what we do have is an issue that individuals on both sides of the aisle are desperate to get to the bottom of.

This of course translates to "well we know there's a lot of smoke and no answers, umm... evidence" - but hey, Morgan Freeman's noble and venerable wisdom-from-the-heavens-sounding voice will make it all true.


Cognitive Dissonance in the comment section below the post notes:

Wow. That Morgan Freeman video tickled ALL the United States myths of freedom, democracy and truth.

The most effective patsy is the one who believes themselves to be righteous and just.


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Reason article has been amended, thank goodness

Update: After publication Reason received comment from Miami-Dade county, with the following explanation:

We were looking to advise residents of the following hazards on their properties that they may not have been aware of, but that pose a life safety threat: damaged structures that rendered them unsafe, unsecured pools with no barriers, electrical hazards (down lines, damaged meters) and gas hazards (damaged meters). If any of these hazards were found, our inspectors gave out a safety notice, which is neither a notice of violation warning nor a citation. That means there is no fine attached. The safety notices given to property owners identify the hazard, steps that should be taken to correct the hazard, and who to contact for additional information.

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Janet Yellen pulls trigger to reverse QE but we're now in unchar

Janet Yellen pulls trigger to reverse QE but we're now in uncharted ...

Brisbane Times-12 hours ago
The combined $US14.4 trillion accumulation by the big central banks has ... use of global margin debt used to buy equities is now more extreme than during the ...

Fed balance-sheet runoff could rock fiscal boat

Reuters-16 hours ago

In the meantime, the U.S. deficit continues to grow. It's estimated to hit $693 billion this year, an 18 percent jump from 2016, according to the Congressional ..

State sells €500m of short-term debt at record negative rate

Irish Times-4 hours ago
The National Treasury Management Agency sold €500 million of short-term debt at a record negative interest rate of -0.5 per cent. That means that investors are ...

Japan's Central Bank Keeps Policy Unchanged Amid Unexpected ...

Bloomberg-10 hours ago
A negative interest rate of minus 0.1 percent applied to some of the money financial institutions keep at the BOJ. Purchases of government bonds, which aim to ...

S&P downgrades China's rating, citing increasing economic ...

Reuters-4 hours ago

Additional liquidity has led to the formation of imbalances, including a housing bubble and mounting corporate debt. The surge in liquidity can be traced back to ..

China's Dangerous House Price Boom Is Spreading

Bloomberg-16 hours ago
Analysts have argued that the debt load in the Chinese property market is far from a carbon copy of the situation in Japan's bubble era before its bust in the ...

Venezuela says it has paid 2027 bond coupon

Reuters-16 hours ago
... week on its sovereign bond maturing in 2027, and reiterated pledges to honor all debt commitments following reports that the coupon payment was delayed.

2018 ACA premium requests get OK from state insurance chief

The Tennessean-17 hours ago
The state's insurance commissioner has approved the premiums requested by the ... More: Tennessee's insurance chief says subsidies are critical to health care.

Health Insurance Rate Hike Sets Record For New Mexico Exchange

KRWG-37 minutes ago
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Regulators have approved the largest health insurance premium increase in the four-year history of New Mexico's subsidized exchange ...

Illinois submits big Obamacare rate increases to the feds

Chicago Tribune-11 hours ago
Hundreds of thousands of Illinois consumers who buy health insurance on the state's Obamacare exchange will likely see average rates increase by 16 to 37 ...


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New RINO Health Care Plan

It is essentially Uber GWB Health Care.   Will fix nothing.

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Human Flow: movie about migrations

Visually very impressive.  A movie about the movement of vast numbers of people due to environmental and political disaster.

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What more needs to be said?


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