Social Security Soon Will Slide Into Insolvency

By Robert Weisman – Re-Blogged From The Boston Globe

Some time next year, as the ranks of retirees swell, the Social Security system in the United States will pass an ominous tipping point and start the slide into insolvency.

For the first time in nearly four decades, the government program that provides retirement checks to older Americans will pay out more in benefits in 2020 than it takes in. That will force the program to dip into a rainy day fund that will be depleted in about 15 years.

And if the political dysfunction in Washington continues and lawmakers don’t fix the system, benefit cuts are in store for current and future retirees, most of whom haven’t socked away enough money in their personal retirement accounts.

Senator Bernie Sanders, Independent of Vermont, wants to expand Social Security, even as the program will pass an omnious tipping point.
Senator Bernie Sanders, Independent of Vermont, wants to expand Social Security, even as the program will pass an omnious tipping point.(Mark Wilson/Getty Images/File)
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Death of Local Newspapers in Five Years

By Cathy Burke – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

The top editor at the New York Times is predicting the death of local newspapers in five years, lamenting it as “the greatest crisis in American journalism.”

In remarks to the International News Media Association’s “World Congress of News Media” last week, Times executive editor Dean Baquet speculated “their economic model is gone.”

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Are California’s Solar and Wind Projects at Risk in PG&E Bankruptcy?

By  – Re-Blogged From WUWT

PG&E has asked a bankruptcy judge for the authority to nullify billions of dollars in contracts with solar and wind farms.

California has the most far-reaching renewable energy laws in United States.

But with the bankruptcy filing Tuesday by the state’s biggest electric utility, PG&E, major questions are arising about whether California will be able to meet its ambitious targets for solar, wind and other types of green electricity in the years ahead.

The NextEra Energy wind turbines are seen from this drone view along Flynn Road North near Altamont Pass in Livermore, Calif.,

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PG&E Filing Bankruptcy

From Zero Hedge – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Confirming earlier reports that distressed California utility PG&E had rejected a proposal by some of the world’s most prominent investors that would keep it out of bankruptcy, moments ago Bloomberg reported that the board of the embattled utility which is facing $30 billion in wildfire liabilities, voted late Monday to file for bankruptcy protection as soon as midnight.

In pursuing a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, PG&E is declining a proposal by an investing group led by Paul Singer’s Elliott Management that would’ve been backed by $4 billion in bonds and given the company enough cash to stay avoid bankruptcy while working through its liabilities. A second group of investors including Ken Griffin’s Citadel and Leon Black’s Apollo who had pitched a rival plan, were also rebuffed.

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Pension Fund Problem Just Got Much Worse

By Bloomberg – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

The 14 percent drop in the S&P 500 Index last quarter has big implications for state and local pension funds, which probably saw the value of their assets fall by about 7 percent. Investors with the benefit of a long-term horizon have the ability to ignore market dips, and pension funds are among the longest-term investors, but their problems are not long-term and further short-term declines could precipitate a crisis.

The table below shows pension fund assets and liabilities as compiled by Pew Charitable Trusts. There is a large and growing gap, but that’s not the primary problem. Although the value of those assets is known with reasonable accuracy, the liability figure is based on assumptions about the future. The actuarial and political assumptions are uncertain, but it is the investment assumptions – plans assume an average discount rate of 7 percent – that are the most problematic.

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New York City Joins The “Imminent Bankruptcy” Club

By John Rubino – Re-Blogged From Dollar Collapse

The public pension crisis is the kind of subject that’s easy to over-analyze, in part because there are so many different examples of bad behavior out there and in part because the aggregate damage these entities will do when they start blowing up is immense.

But most people see pensions as essentially an accounting issue – and therefore boring – so it doesn’t pay to go back to this particular well too often. Still, New York City’s missing $100 billion can’t be ignored:

New York City Owes Over $100 Billion for Retiree Health Care

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Retail Apocalypse Picks Up Speed

By Michael Snyder – Re-Blogged From Freedom Outpost

Over 20 major retailers have filed for bankruptcy since the beginning of last year, and in 2018 we may break the all-time record for annual store closings that was established just last year.  We are in the midst of the worst retail apocalypse in American history, and it appears to be picking up speed as retail giants such as Sears, JCPenney, Brookstone and Mattress Firm spiral toward bankruptcy.  We live at a time when the middle class is being systematically destroyed, and so the truth is that U.S. consumers simply do not have as much discretionary income as they once did.  Many large retailers believed that things would eventually turn around, and they have been fighting very hard to survive, but now, time has run out for quite a few of them.

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