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Daily Digest 4/8 - Massive Pension Liabilities Loom, China's Stocks Resume Rally

Wednesday, April 8, 2015, 10:03 AM


Massive Public Pension Liabilities Loom in Jacksonville

The Jacksonville, Florida City Council Finance Committee is debating how to pay for $1.7 billion in unfunded pension liabilities in the city’s Police and Fire Pension Fund. Elected officials remain unable to agree how to reform the city’s public pension programs, after rejecting three separate plans.

France to challenge 2016-17 EU structural budget target

France will target a smaller reduction in its structural budget deficit in 2016 and 2017 than called for by the European Commission in order to preserve growth, its budget minister said on Tuesday.

Emanuel Leads Garcia in Polls as Chicago Veers Toward Insolvency

The debt load reaches almost $33 billion, four times the city’s general obligations, when including issuers such as the park district, water agency and Cook County, home to Chicago and its suburbs, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The school board, the second-largest borrower behind the city itself, was cut last month by Moody’s to one step above junk.

U.S. Government Bonds Weaken as New Note Sales Loom

A $24 billion sale of three-year notes is due at 1 p.m. EDT Tuesday, followed by a sale of $21 billion of 10-year notes on Wednesday and a $13 billion sale of 30-year bonds on Thursday.

ECB Hits March Bond Purchase Target

The European Central Bank reached its target of €60 billion in monthly bond purchases under a new stimulus program launched in March, a sign of resolve that the bank will eventually pump more than €1 trillion in freshly created money to stoke the European economy and boost inflation.

Spain Government Beats Italy to Borrow at Below-Zero Rate

Spain’s government borrowed money for the first time at interest rates below zero, as investors pile into European debt knowing prices will be supported by the European Central Bank’s quantitative-easing stimulus program.

Germany Owes $303 Billion War Debt, Greek Parliament Told

The issue has come to the fore since the start of Greece’s debt crisis, but the left-wing Syriza party’s rise to power in January this year gave new momentum to Greece’s claims. Syriza has tapped into a deep-seated feeling of injustice in Greek society toward Germany, which is seen in Greece as the source of the harsh austerity program imposed on the country since its international bailout in 2010.

Overdue Greek Tax Debt Rose to 75.732 bln Euros in February

The value of overdue tax debt grew further to 75.732 billion euros in February, of which 2.480 billion were new overdue debt by taxpayers in the January-February period, Greek official figures showed on Tuesday.

China’s Cloud Live Defaults on Local Debt

China’s corporate-bond market has grown quickly as companies seek new funding sources. The volume of domestic corporate bonds issued rose 47% in 2014 to 696.2 billion yuan from 475 billion yuan a year earlier, according to ChinaBond, a data service run by the official China Central Depository & Clearing Co.

1,837 La. bridges deemed structurally deficient

The report comes at time when the state is grappling with how to shrink a $12 billion backlog in deferred road and bridge maintenance. And state and federal gas taxes, which provides money for transportation infrastructure, are flat and failing to keep up with inflation.

Medical costs in South Korea soar as difficulties of an aging society loom

Last year, about one-third of total medical costs — 19.4 trillion won — was spent to treat the elderly, who already account for 11.9 percent of the total Korean population. The cost increased by 10.4 percent from the year before, mostly due to the increased number of those aged 75 or older who sought medical help for dementia and cerebrovascular diseases, according to the latest government data.

One Quarter of Major Companies Unable to Pay Interest (Korea)

Nearly one out of four large listed companies, meaning those of which surpassed 1 trillion won (US$921.74 million) in sales last year, could not even meet their interest payments with their operating profits.

No Fed rate hike needed until second half of 2016: Kocherlakota

"In light of the outlook for unduly low employment and unduly low inflation, the [Fed] can be both late and slow in reducing the level of monetary accommodation," Kocherlakota said in a speech to the Chamber of Commerce in Bismarck, N.D.

China's stocks resume rally to seven-year high on stimulus bets

The benchmark gauge extended gains over the past year to 92 per cent, the best performing major global index among 93 measures tracked by Bloomberg, amid speculation the central bank will extend cuts in borrowing costs and on increased use of leverage to buy stocks.

Gold & Silver

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The Onion Nails it

Nation Hopeful There Will Be Equally Random Chance Of Justice For Future Victims Of Police Abuse

WASHINGTON—Describing the murder charges brought against a white South Carolina police officer who was filmed shooting an unarmed black man as an encouraging step in the right direction, the American populace reported Wednesday they were hopeful that future victims of police abuse would have an equally random chance of receiving justice.

“The number of law enforcement officers who have shot unarmed civilians and gone free over the past year has been extremely discouraging, but the fact that this policeman was arrested so swiftly shows that there can be justice for victims so long as a bystander is nearby, has a camera phone on them, captures the whole interaction, and several dozen other circumstances play out in the precise sequence,” said North Charleston, SC resident Jenine Williams, echoing the sentiments of millions of Americans who told reporters they have faith that, as long as a fair-minded eyewitness happens to be passing by at the exact right time; has the inclination to stop and film; an unobstructed view; enough battery life and memory on their phone; a steady hand; the forethought to start filming an interaction with the police before it escalates into violence; is close enough to get detailed footage, but far enough away to avoid being shot themselves or seen by the officer and potentially having their phone confiscated; and it is daytime, then justice would certainly be served.

“I have a 17-year-old son who I worry about every day when he heads out into our neighborhood. But now I can take heart knowing that if, God forbid, he were ever in a situation like this, there would be a tiny fraction of a chance that every single element would fall into place and my family would receive the fair and just legal outcome we deserve.”

The nation added that they were also hopeful the situation would change the behavior of police officers by making them look around to see if anyone was filming them before they moved from excessive to lethal force.


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