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Holy Chicago! - Cook County Is $108 BILLION In The Red, $25 Billion In Unfunded Pension Liabilities, More Than $63,000 Per Family (Treasurer's Report: Video, Transcript)

Video - Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas -  June 6, 2011

If you live within Cook County, move.  And quickly.

This is a problem so grotesque, so massive that it can't be solved.  The only solution is municipal and county bankruptcy and wiping away pension and other budgetary promises.   Who in their right mind would lend money to Chicago, or any other municipality within the state of Illinois.

We are a nation of unfunded promises totalling hundreds of trillions.  There is no other solution besides a giant reset.  Wipe it all away and start over at 35% of original estimates.   And put the local, state and national politicians who made these ridiculously irresponsible promises in prison.

Hmm, might it have something to do with this, at least in a general sense.


Source - Cook County Treasurer's Report

$108 Billion Total Debt amounts to $63,525 per household in Chicago and $32,901 for suburban households.

Chicago, June 21, 2011– Cook County taxpayers are on the hook for a staggering amount of local debt, according to figures presented by Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas today. Cook County’s numerous local governments face mounting debts totaling more than $108 billion. And, for the first time, specific figures have been collected for municipal unfunded pensions obligations totaling in excess of $25 billion, almost a quarter of debt countywide. The total figures translate into an average debt-per-household in the city of Chicago of $63,525, and $32,901 in the suburbs.

At a gathering of more than 50 business, civic and community leaders at the Civic Federation, Pappas disclosed the alarming figures collected through the County’s Debt Disclosure Ordinance (DDO).

“We knew that debt and unfunded pension obligations were serious problems at the state and federal level and assumed that a similar pattern would follow at the local level. But, quite frankly, I was stunned by the depth of the crisis for local governments,” said Pappas.

“This goes well beyond big cities, where you expect financial challenges. These fiscal problems permeate townships, villages, school districts, park districts, fire protection districts and more, and the taxpayers are on the hook.”

Specifically, the total $108 billion in debt comes from the county’s various taxing districts:

Municipality 119 $61,052,985,289
Education 160 $20,510,421,394
County 2 $18,173,343,462
Sanitary 13 $4,398,506,156
Park 88 $3,216,716,581
Fire 30 $302,945,577
Township 29 $277,525,109
Library 49 $226,049,670
Special 8 $154,183,703
Grand Total 498 $108,312,676,941


Cook County Debt Disclosure Ordinance

“For years I’ve had people stop me, call me and write me with one simple question: ‘why are my taxes going up?’” said Pappas. “After years of hearing the question, I went to the Cook County Board of Commissioners and asked it for this ordinance.”

In 2009, Treasurer Pappas proposed and the Cook County Board enacted the Debt Disclosure Ordinance requiring all 553 primary governmental agencies in Cook County to report their yearly budget and their debt. After reviewing that information, Pappas went back to the County Board in January and asked for an amendment requiring these governmental units to report, for the first time, their pension liabilities and their unfunded pension liabilities.

“We wanted to know how much money we owe our retirees, and how much of that money we don’t have,” Pappas said.

This is the first time data on unfunded pension obligations have been collected for local governmental entities—and the results were startling:  Cook County municipalities and taxing districts reported total pension liabilities of over $50 billion, but the unfunded pension liabilities total $25 billion, an amount that represents nearly a quarter of the total countywide debt. Unfunded pension liabilities are the pensions promised to retirees for which an agency doesn’t have the money.

The Pew Center and the U.S. Government Accountability Office report on government retiree benefits asserts that, to be considered healthy, pension plans should be funded at 80 percent or higher. Using this benchmark, only about one-quarter of the taxing districts in Cook County are adequately funded at 80 percent or higher. And 75 percent are considered underfunded at less than 80 percent.

“It’s like, if I were the Surgeon General, I’d say that 75 percent of our governments are morbidly obese,” said Pappas. “I don’t think there’s any one cure for the debt problem, just like I don’t think there’s one cure for obesity.”


Finding Solutions

To solve the problem, each governmental entity needs to be looked at separately by citizens and elected officials. While there has been a great deal of debate about solutions at the federal and state levels, Pappas is focused on local government. Rather than offer any single cure-all, she called on agencies to look at their internal operations from the top down and identify ways to save money and reduce debt.

And she called on other counties around the state and the nation to use the Debt Disclosure Ordinance model to better gauge their own financial conditions and provide that information to their citizens.

“This is not just about federal and state governments. Homeowners need to understand when they vote for a local bond deal what the financial burden is for their children. This is about educating them,” said Pappas.

The Treasurer’s Office analyzed the top 50 residential property tax amounts in each municipality from 1996 to 2009 and saw an increase on average of 121 percent. This means residential property owners are bearing enormous increases and wallets are stretched.

The Treasurer called for the state legislature to require all real estate brokers to disclose to prospective homeowners the “credit card debt” – how much local government owes – affecting any home before they purchase the property.

Pappas also said she would go to the Cook County Board again to refine the ordinance based on the figures she released today to deal with the following:

  1. Requiring the 55 agencies that did not report their figures to upload their reports.
  2. Requiring each agency to report the rate of return on which its figures were based – a five percent or eight percent rate of return.
  3. Requiring agencies to report other post-employment benefits (OPEB), such as retiree health insurance.

The average person likely looks at pension liabilities and thinks only of annuity payments to retirees. However, health insurance premiums and other post-employment benefits, or OPEB, are an increasing issue in applicable plans. Unlike regular pension funds whose obligations are offset by employer and employee contributions, OPEB have no funding source and no assets to back them up. The revised ordinance would require that all agencies provide their total OPEB figure and the population within each agency’s boundary in order to get a better idea of the direct impact to the residents saddled with this debt.

Without the information for these three points, there is a possibility that the $108 billion debt could actually be worse.

Pappas pointed to efforts her office has taken in addressing these issues. She recommended that other agencies consider her two-pronged approach to reform as a starting point.

”Eighty percent of all government expenses are personnel related. We reduced our headcount by 54 percent since 1998 through attrition, reduction in staff,” said Pappas. “We have also invested in automation and technology to increase efficiency. This simple, common-sense approach has saved taxpayers millions of dollars.”

Pappas made the announcement before a special meeting of Civic Federation board, which applauded the first-of-its-kind analysis.

“The Civic Federation commends Treasurer Pappas for collecting this information,” said Laurence Msall, president of the Civic Federation. “We think it is a strong contribution to the debate on the number of governments in Illinois, as well as our local governments’ debt levels and pension obligations. We look forward to updates and to using this information in future research.”


Text of Treasurer Pappas' full speech before the Civic Federation

Compliance Primary Governments - Alphabetically

Compliance Primary Governments - Sorted by Pension Fund Percentage

Compliance Primary Governments - Sorted by Total Debt

Non Compliance List




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Reader Comments (42)

Illinois is not alone...though New Jersey is in MUCH better shape...


New Jersey Asks JP Morgan For $2.25 Billion Loan
Jun 28, 2011 at 10:39 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Chicago is run by redundant nests of lazy morons and thugs. After this long holiday weekend my residency in Vietnam, Indiana should be fait accompli. It's sad to watch this once-great city devolve into a complete toilet.
Jun 28, 2011 at 11:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterCheyenne
It's still a great city...great people, architecture, lake, restaurants, bars, history...but crime is getting worse, and the politicians are among the the most corrupt anywhere outside of new york, los angeles and boston...but you know this better than i...
Jun 28, 2011 at 11:18 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
BofA near $8.5 billion settlement on securities



Bank of America Corp is close to a deal to pay $8.5 billion to settle claims from a group of powerful investors that lost money on mortgage-backed securities, a person familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.
Jun 28, 2011 at 11:35 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn

There are entire apartment buildings on the South Side that have no rats in the basement, only pet bones. And still people live (or more accurately dwell) there without electricity, gas, or water. Hunger drives residents to hold up cops, who are known to have money, at gunpoint.

The Depression we're in continues to grind its way upwardly through social strata. And yet incredibly, no one seems to notice, confident in their corporate isolation, which in reality is mere serfdom. They think it's all cyclical, that 2006, like Little Sheba, is coming back. The depth of denial is surreal.


Uh, that's gonna leave a mark on BAC. Wow. Whalen claims they're worse off than even Wells Fargo. This cements it: BAC is dead, as BAC's litigation woes will only get worse.
Jun 29, 2011 at 12:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterCheyenne
yeah i've seen the story...they bought Countrywide for $4 billion and this settlement is $8.5 billion...and if you dig even deeper, you will see that the claims in this suit are for $284 billion...so they are settling that amount for $8.5 billion...

also do not forget the arrogant self righteousness of Ken Lewis whose pea brained Board of cracker lapdogs allowed him to bring mozillo'z bank for the little people to ruin. He paid $4 billion for a time bomb that has evaporated billions and billions of shareholder equity. When you factor in one of the largest severance packages in American corporate history, you must ask "where is the justice?"

and there's this i found in a wsj comment:

Bank of America passed on most of the junk mortgages to Freddie/Fannie... and Bernanke took them from Freddie/Fannie, -thus allowing Bank of America to go scott free. Bernanke is now printing money and making US Citizens pay for Bank of America's gambling losses by diluting the dollar and Taxing Americans with his 'inflation-tax'. Freddie/Fannie fined Bank of America a few peanuts, for the Billions that Bernanke is now forcing us to pay for. Lucky for Bank of America that they are a part of the Banking Guild and that Bernanke is on their payroll :)

This settlement is puny for Bank of America, ... Ben Bernanke, the agent of the Banking Industry in power, has made sure that Bank of America remains profitable at the expense of the US Citizens.

Of course, Bernanke/Yellen calls it 'stimulation of the Economy', ...and there is stimulation happening aplenty,... but Bernanke/Yellen are stimulating the Bankers, who are all smiling.
Jun 29, 2011 at 12:03 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
and this tidbit as well..

AIG was forced to sign an agreement saying that it would not sue the bankers who sold it tocis securities when it got bailed out by the US government.

Why would anyone sign such an agreement?

Why, because Paulson and other Goldman Sachs bankers who used AIG to access taxpayers money to bail themselves out didn't want the risk of being held accountable for the toxic securities they held.. TheThy just wanted to "bury the bodies" as quickly as possible and they were the ones in control of the piosition, not the government

Instead Goldman Sachs wanted the taxpayer to pay and then to avoid ever being accountable when the truth came out, as it is coming out now.

Looks like investors duped by Bank of America are getting a better deal than the taxpayers to say the least.
Jun 29, 2011 at 12:04 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
@DB, after reading this reuters article today


I noticed a commenter posted a site he had founded (i the comments section) that has been tracking this type of activity and is updated as they go . It appears to be a very valuable research tool and saved me quite a bit of searching. Check it out.

Jun 29, 2011 at 12:12 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
john...that's a hell of a piece by reuters for starters...and opencorporates i'm just getting into now...how have you used it...
Jun 29, 2011 at 12:27 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
cheyenne...i'm not sure who is left to sue BofA...maybe PIMCO...here's a snip from the wsj story...

The New York Fed, which got mortgage securities in the process of bailing out ailing firms, BlackRock and a collection of other well-known names on Wall Street picked the fight with Bank of America in a letter last October from Houston law firm Gibbs & Bruns LLP. Other investors that the letter claimed had been harmed were government-owned mortgage company Freddie Mac, MetLife and Allianz SE's Pacific Investment management Co., or Pimco. Some invested on behalf of clients.

The letter objected to the handling of 115 bond deals issued by affiliates of Countrywide. The failure to properly handle the loans "has materially affected the rights" of the bondholders, the letter said.

The group has since expanded to 530 bond deals originally valued at $424 billion, said people familiar with the situation. The settlement would cover not just the 22 investors represented by Gibbs & Bruns but all other bondholders in the 530 deals.
Jun 29, 2011 at 12:35 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
cheyenne...the nyt story makes clear that pimco is covered in this deal...

It covers nearly all of $424 billion in mortgages that Countrywide issued, which were then packaged into mortgage bonds. That means that a broader group of investors will share in the proceeds, according to the people who were briefed on the proposed settlement, but were not allowed to speak publicly.


The proposed settlement is with a group of more than 20 investors that include the asset managers Pimco, Metropolitan Life and BlackRock, as well as the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Together they hold mortgage-backed securities that represent more than $100 billion in home loans from Bank of America, the nation’s biggest bank by assets.
Jun 29, 2011 at 1:06 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Why the HELL does New Jersey need a $2.25 billion bridge.

I don't think anything we read about in our favorite SITES is going to end well.

All I have left is laughter.
Jun 29, 2011 at 1:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterTR
All I have left is laughter.


Finally someone joins me...that's all i can do as well...i've been covering this shit for 32 months and i'm now completely immune to the pain...in fact, the pain of running the website has replaced the pain of the stories...none of it really bothers me anymore...i have nothing left...no pain, no anguish, no suffering...i'm just waiting for the crash and the reset...
Jun 29, 2011 at 1:51 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail

It seems to me that you've been able to maintain your SANITY.
As for me, we better get a 2nd opinion.
Jun 29, 2011 at 4:18 AM | Unregistered CommenterTR
@DB, I used it breifly last night to research shell and shelf corporations with regard to First Wind/ IVPC/Evergreen Wind/UPC Wind etc. etc.. that I comment about in the story 'Green Energy Blues"... It saved me a lot of legwork and had a few 'surprises' too (grin)....
Jun 29, 2011 at 8:16 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Regarding my 8:16 post... look at all the First Wind entities just in hawaii.... and their broadband companies.


This merely scratches the surface. These guys got BAILOUT money!
Jun 29, 2011 at 10:04 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Quick. Everybody blame the pensioners! Forget about the Wall Street Mortgage-backed securities fraud that emptied those pension funds in the first place! All those old folks oughta do the patriotic thing and kill themselves.
Jun 29, 2011 at 11:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterMichael Rivero
Mike these pension funds were never funded correctly...and cook county pensions didn't invest in MBS...i did dome background work...
Jun 29, 2011 at 11:53 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
And I'm not blaming the pensioners...I'm blaming the politicians for making pension promises that were unrealistic...
Jun 29, 2011 at 11:54 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Many pensions were funded all right, but politicians kept borrowing from those pensions with no apparent intent to repay. That creates future problems with the funds that many blame the workers for instead of of those who borrowed or hired the fund managers who crashed the funds, the people tend to re elect those responsible.

Ohio's 480 million hit with the Lehman brothers collapse as just one example of thousands... Ohio punished them by electing one of their Managing Directors as Governor for a job well done. Hypocrisy knows no bounds...
Jun 29, 2011 at 12:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterS. Gompers
Although still a serious debt problem faced by Cook County, their 'Unfunded liabilities', just like the Fed's 'unfunded liabilities', are a financial myth. Nationally, It's a way for republicans to 'frame' the message on fed debt to put blame on social entitlements when the blame can be traced directly to republican initiated wars, tax cuts on the wealthy and deregulation of corporations that directly caused the financial collapse starting in 2007.

The 'uncovered liabilities' this article refers to in medicare and social security are 'future liabilities' that are not covered by an asset of equal or greater value. The only possible meaning of ‘unfunded liability’ is in contrast to a ‘funded liability,’ which presumably is more financially secure and apparently morally superior as well. Social Security

Social Security and Medicare have been paying out their benefits from current dedicated payroll taxes and by drawing on the trust funds that had built up because of the years that more was being collected than paid out in benefits. The massive Fed debt stems from predominantly the Bush Tax cuts for the wealthy to the tune of just under 1/2 the deficit inured since they went into effect, Bush wars and the economic collapse that began during the Bush admin, and NOT from 'unfounded liabilities' out at some future date.

An ‘unfunded liability’ by the government to make good on some financial commitment in the future is functionally no different than a ‘funded liability’ that consists of the only dependable asset around - namely U.S. Treasury obligations. The phrase 'unfunded liability' is a phrase that “implies an alternate state of fiscal adequacy that really does not exist at all".
Jun 29, 2011 at 2:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterAdnihilo
Discount my comments about social security and medicare in reference to this post, and replace it with 'unfunded pension liabilities' . I copy paste a post I made about the financial myth of unfunded liabilities in reference to social security, but it applies here to 'unfunded pension liabilities' because it is the same concept that “implies an alternate state of fiscal adequacy that really does not exist at all".
Jun 29, 2011 at 2:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterAdnihilo
Behind all the finger-pointing there lies a fundamental flaw in the Private Central Bank Debt-Based Currency model the American people have been enslaved to since 1913.

Since all cash in circulation is the proceeds from a loan from the bank at interest, the debt always grows faster than the amount of available money.

The instant that first paper note goes into circulation, more money is owed to the bankers than actually exists, and by design, the debt-subjugated population can never pay off the debt; can never be free of the bankers.

This is why all nations with state banks and value-based currencies come under military attack. Libya is only the most recent example. Qaddafi had a state bank of Libya, no private central banks, and a currency based on gold. Far from a radical idea this is the financial system the United States stated with. Yet state banks and value-based currencies are a threat to the ponzi-scheme banking by which nations are enslaved to the bankers. Thus, they come under attack, and millions of young people are sacrificed to make the world safe for compound interest.

In the not-too-far future, rule by debt-based currency will be seen as devoid of any legitimacy, just as today we see as devoid of legitimacy the concepts of rule by divine right and rule by chattel ownership of ones body.
Jun 29, 2011 at 2:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterMichael Rivero
ADNIHILO wrote... I copy paste a post I made about the financial myth of unfunded liabilities in reference to social security, but it applies here to 'unfunded pension liabilities' because it is the same concept that “implies an alternate state of fiscal adequacy that really does not exist at all".


You are wrong. And it has nothing to do with one party or the other...both parties are equally guilty...unfunded liabilities are a simple concept...promises made without funds to pay for these promises...no one disputes that the fed. gov't. has been taking the surpluses from medicare, ss and other programs and using them as general revenues for decades to make deficits look smaller...those amounts are counted and we know exactly how much has been taken, and in their place our intra-governmental IOUs...

But if you think even for a minute that Medicare is fine going out the next 20 or even 30 years you have not looked at the numbers...the medicare promise, including Part D (drug benefit) is simply not in line with fiscal reality...there has never been enough to pay for these promises...but the laws were created anyway, with the attitude that we will find the money later...or change the program...

I hate the wars as much as anyone possibly could, and publish dozens of stories per month on the subject...and i also opposed the bush tax cuts...if you took back all the money for these wars and the tax cuts and the surpluses borrowed each year, it wouldn't equal even 20% of the unfunded liability problem in medicare...not even 20%...let that sink in...so you are wrong, and spewing pure, unadulterated bullshit with your claims...

Now, onto the cook county problem, have you done any actual research into their pension problems and the investment assumptions they made...of course you haven't...

Cook County has made huge promises based on a hope and a dream...they agreed to union contracts that were impossible to fulfill without earning a ridiculous amount on pension assets...Calpers has done the same thing in california...remember we are talking about a county here...NONE of their funds were stolen by the state...this is NOT a state pension problem...although of course Illinois and other states DO have that problem as Gompers has detailed in the case of Ohio, but I am not discussing that in this story...this is purely an issue with a county making promises that it's ass couldn't cover...plain and simple...

Stop mixing things up, do some research and don't show up here spouting your bullshit...
Jun 29, 2011 at 3:51 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
In the not-too-far future, rule by debt-based currency will be seen as devoid of any legitimacy, just as today we see as devoid of legitimacy the concepts of rule by divine right and rule by chattel ownership of ones body.


@ Mike, good post...I hope and pray for a day like that to arrive...but I've been waiting a long time and I don't see it yet...
Jun 29, 2011 at 4:00 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
@ Gomp...

I referred to Ohio in my above response to Adnihilo...I agree with you completely about states stealing from state pension funds, but as you know, that is NOT the case with this story...this is a county pension issue, and the funds have not been borrowed or stolen by the state or other departments in the county...and i am not blaming unions...i am blaming the politicians for agreeing to the ridiculous contracts in the first place...a union may ask for whatever it wishes, and if local politicians agree to it then i blame the politicians for agreeing, NOT the unions for asking...
Jun 29, 2011 at 4:03 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
This also back in 2000... Regarding the mortgage fraud


Emanuel was named to the Board of Directors of the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) by President Clinton in 2000. His position earned him at least $320,000, including later stock sales.[36][37] He was not assigned to any of the board's working committees, and the Board met no more than six times per year.[37]

During his time on the board, Freddie Mac was plagued with scandals involving campaign contributions and accounting irregularities.[37][38] The Obama Administration rejected a request under the Freedom of Information Act to review Freddie Mac board minutes and correspondence during Emanuel's time as a director.[37]

The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) later accused the board of having "failed in its duty to follow up on matters brought to its attention." Emanuel resigned from the board in 2001 when he ran for Congress.[39]
Jun 30, 2011 at 6:38 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
TBW: GSE's Covered Up The Fraud



Fannie Mae officials never reported the fraud to law enforcement or anyone outside the company. Internal memos, court papers, and public testimony show it sought only to rid itself of liabilities and cut ties with a mortgage firm selling loans “that had no value,” as Smith, the former vice president of Fannie Mae’s single family operations, said in a 2008 deposition.

Clinton in Chicago today....

Bill Clinton in Chicago, talks job creation



Former President Bill Clinton brought his global initiative to create jobs to Chicago on Wednesday. The former president is leading a two-day conference in the city aimed at reducing the country's job deficit.

Note: hasn't he done enough damage... bet he is discussing 2000 with Rahm too..... I knew the second Obama gave Rahm the Chief of Staff job something was up. The scam failed and now the push for Carbon taxes is on...
Jun 30, 2011 at 7:15 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Gee Steve, I never mentioned Unions...

The Cook County Plan’s custodian, acting as the lending agent, lends securities for collateral in the form of cash, U.S. Government obligations and irrevocable letters of credit equal to 102% of the fair value of domestic securities plus accrued interest and 105% of the fair value of foreign securities plus accrued interest.

As of November 10, 2008, the Plan had a limit as to the amount of securities on loan of $750 million. Prior to November 10, 2008, the Plan was not limited as to the amount of securities on loan. The Plan does not have the right to sell or pledge securities received as collateral unless the borrower defaults. The average term of securities loaned was 115 days for 2009 and 83 days for 2008; however, any loan may be terminated on demand by either the Plan or the borrower. Cash collateral was invested in a separately managed portfolio, which had an average weighted maturity at December 31, 2009 and 2008 of 91 and 224 days, respectively. Prior to November 10, 2008, cash collateral was invested in a short term investment pool.

As of December 31, 2009 and 2008, the fair value (carrying amount) of loaned securities was $651,544,131 and $473,178,859 respectively. As of December 31, 2009 and 2008, the fair value (carrying amount) of collateral received by the Plan was $670,257,559 and $488,583,531 respectively.

During 2008, a security within the collateral pool became insolvent (guess who) resulting in an insufficiency in the collateral pool. To prevent any one investor from incurring an additional loss should another investor exit the securities lending program, the Plan’s custodian allocated a portion of the insolvent security to each investor in the collateral pool. As a result of the allocation, the Plan incurred an unrealized investment loss and corresponding securities lending payable in the amount of $7,015,497 during the year ended December 31, 2008.

Employer contributions are statutorily set at 1.54 times employee contributions collected two years prior. Employee contributions, including permissive service credit purchases, increased to $127,795,881 in 2009 from $123,776,705 in 2008 and from $123,047,516 in 2007. The majority of members contribute 8.5% of covered wages.

At least the fund managers are making money, they can't lose. All pensions have all or most of their funds invested, loaned, etc., by third party institutions that also happen to donate a lot of money politically.

Jun 30, 2011 at 7:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterS. Gompers
The majority of members contribute 8.5% of covered wages. Employer contributions are 1.54 times the employee contribution, you tell me where the money is going since much of the money came off the employees paychecks as a deduction and there "is no loaning or stealing" going on even though the plans own summary acknowledges differently.

I would really like to know Steve, I am not that smart, but I lift heavy things.
Jun 30, 2011 at 7:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterS. Gompers
Gomp...I wasn't attacking you in any way...
Jun 30, 2011 at 8:17 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
I did not consider it an attack Steve, I seriously want to know why almost everyone in this country wants to blame the workers for what fraud others have committed. The thing people need to remember is that ALL retirements are handled by fund managers, from pensions, to annuities, to 401k's, to 403b's, etc.. The pensions are under attack right now, but soon everyone in any of the other "retirement" accounts will realize the fleecing that they are all in store for. As I stated before all retirements loan, invest, accept collateral, etc., for some reason you did not think that was true.

In our most recent of banker inspired scandals real estate has really took a bath, so how do you think the collateral has fared on those "investments"? Not to mention the little packaged time bombs that ALL funds have bought up of fraudulently rated bundled mortgages that many are still hiding ownership of.

Lehman has been guilty of fleecing many retirement accounts before they collapsed, as well as many who are still around. The important thing is that no matter how they creatively finance their bonuses through the moving of fraudulently rated investment vehicles to the masses, win or loose, they will be paid. They will fund political campaigns, and they will pass the blame onto others.

Most think these retirement accounts are an entitlement, and as such they should be done away with. That is not true, as you can see they pay from their wages into the fund an average of 8.5 percent of their wage. 1.54 is really not that ridiculous as you say of a number for a employer match. The last multinational I worked for paid 3 dollars for every 2 dollars I put in up to 9 percent of my wage. If you just up and do away with all pensions as many call for you will have endorsed the greatest theft of peoples earned money that they paid into these funds in our history. Just as those who are calling for an end to the "entitlement" Social Security will be guilty of.

Entitlements you do not pay into, "investments" you do. And in the end, the fund managers get paid either way...

As I said Steve, I am not very smart, so I really do need these things explained to me.
Jun 30, 2011 at 11:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterS. Gompers
i wouldn't want to see anyone get any less than what they put in plus a decent rate of return...i'm after the fatcats not the union guys...this isn't mish's blog...;)...
Jun 30, 2011 at 11:40 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Unfortunately the fat cats are getting the bailouts and running for political office and not losing anything personally when they created the mess, but yet they are getting everybody riled up on the "nobody needs a retirement" sound track to get rid of the rest of the money. You know that none of us will see any of our money don't you?

They are already working on the ways to justify it getting people to sing the song is just one part of the dance.

And yet again, promotions, accolades, and bonuses will abound...

You know, you have come a long way, I remember when you and James weren't so sure these events in our history were orchestrated. I think you are seeing differently now.
Jul 1, 2011 at 2:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterS. Gompers
gomp...i remember the discussion well...it was about bilderberg...and it led to whether the financial crisis was orchestrated...nothing else...not whether the general fiscal malfeasance, or wars, or anything else was orchestrated...and i stand by my position...the crisis, the collapse was not planned...as i explained then, all of these banks were decimated...AIG gone, citigroup gone basically (talking about shareholders), bac a shell of its former self...i mean c'mon they paid $4 billion for countrywide and that purchase has cost them $20 billion in damages already...bear stearns gone...lehman gone...merrill lynch gone...morgan stanley was within 1 day of dying until they had to give up a HUGE part of their company for a $9 billion check from mitsubishi...goldman would have been gone as well...they had to beg warren buffett for $10 billion to survive and they paid onerous terms for that money...

these banks did not plan the collapse...they were caught off guard by it completely...otherwise they wouldn't have been loaded down with hundreds of billions of shit assets...they would have sold it all off ahead of time and been prepared if it had been planned...every single investment bank in the us and in europe was loaded to the gills with shit assets at 40-1 leverage or higher when the collapse hit...none were prepared...and they all deserved to fail...it was only bernanke paulson and geithner who decided to save their asses (for the ones who did survive)...

that was my point way back in that discussion with you...and it remains true...now, whether there are conspiracies for one-world gov't...and other related issues, that has always been a fringe thing...guys like kissinger, and the global warming freaks all do want a one world gov't....i don't deny this...and i have always believed that a global banking elite controls the financial agenda...meaning rules, regulations (see Basel) etc...but the facts show that the financial crisis of 2008 was not planned...dick fuld NEVER sold his lehman stock for example...neither did the bear stearns guys...or aig people...i could go on and on...they all lost hundreds of millions each...citigroup and merrill guys like rubin and stan o'neal, and chuck prince and john thain all got annihilated...yes, they were bailed out and they remain powerful...but they were dancing as though they thought the global debt orgy would never end...and it most certainly did...at least for awhile...and it destroyed their wealth and their reputations and their companies...a few survived thanks again to bernanke, paulson and geithner...plus 2 willing presidents in bush and obama...only jamie dimon was unscathed...but blankfein was within a week of goldman going bankrupt...it was bernanke's decision to allow the remaining players to become commercial banks and thereby have access to hundreds of billions of loans from the Fed's discount window at 0% interest that saved their asses...i hope this clarifies my beliefs then and now...

and the bonuses, etc for the remaining players is a result of the power of the global banking elite to control governments...this i have never denied...our discussion (or disagreement) was about whether the crisis was planned...nothing else at least that i remember...but i will admit to not knowing much about bilderberg at the time...i have learned...but bilderberg's relevance in my view relates to general protection of elite business interests...general philosophies and goals to advance certain agendas, etc...i think you know what i mean...

and as for unions, i have only written about their abuses on a few occasions...all of them egregious in nature...like double-dipping, and $10 million pensions for school administrators...or the lifegaurd union in newport beach, and a few others that are noteworthy, like cops who retire at 45 with 150k annual pensions for the rest of their lives, or the abuse of the public purse in vallejo, california for example...i believe that state and local governments have way too many public employees in general...but it's a fringe issue...and i blame the politicians at the state and local level for allowing these things to happen...i don't blame unions in a general sense for anything...
Jul 1, 2011 at 3:22 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Who created and traded all that bad paper? And yet they did not know they were creating highly volatile junk "assets" with fraudulent ratings and selling it to investors... I wonder if Bernie knew he was running a ponzi scheme.

The global banking elite don't care about the smaller fish like Lehman, they care about consolidation. Lehman, etc., were merely tools to work towards an end. Those saved were saved because they still serve a purpose, why else would they be saved? And yes, they should have failed instead of raping our childrens future and preparing to destroy all that is left of of our generations old age planning. I know you hear the drums of end S.S., and end retirements, etc. as do I. How about prosecuting those who have screwed it up instead?

And yes, I know you are all for prosecution, but many are not. That is how I got a Governor, now he is the big cheese over the pensions his former employer rocked to the tune of 480 million...

Hypocrisy knows no bounds...
Jul 1, 2011 at 3:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterS. Gompers
I get your point but aig, lehman, bear stearns, citigroup, merrill lynch and bank of america are not small fish...these were huge companies and they were destroyed...there is a great quote from paulson who said to someone during the crisis, i'm against bailouts but now morgan stanley and goldman could be wiped out...we really have to do something...

if 7 more days had passed, or if aig had been allowed to fail, goldman would no longer be around...and as you know, geithner and paulson were pushing morgan stanley to merge with jpmorgan, which is when john mack famously said, tell tim geithner to fuck off...

and yes of course, i want all these fuckers in jail...and all the bonus monies from the last 2 decades clawed back...

and as for ss, you know my thoughts there...as i wrote in that one story...fuck you for even asking us to make cuts...medicare is different for those under 40...it simply can't survive without changes...but as you know, the changes i support are only about making the wealthy pay more...i'm a protector of the little guy...fuck the fatcats...let them pay for their own health care...they can certainly afford it...means testing is the solution to the medicare problem...and maybe means testing ss as well...if you're rich, you just aren't going to get what you put in...for the good of the program some will have to sacrifice, and it shouldn't be folks of average incomes...
Jul 1, 2011 at 4:01 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Ummm, again Steve, I did not mention Unions...

I am talking about funds. Funds that are invested in private corporations that are not union to safely administer their charged duty of protecting and growing those assets for a fee, a very good fee I might add. Instead they made a mockery of their duty gobbling up all this highly volatile garbage all packaged up with a pretty bow to detonate within the funds nation wide. Hell 10 years ago they were finding loans bundled in with their creative "assets" that they did not really own. So really, no one saw it coming...

Even Bernie was pegged years ago, so it is hard for me to believe that nobody saw it coming. That is what they say when they are handing us the Kool Aid.
Jul 1, 2011 at 4:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterS. Gompers
Those are all small fish compared to the global financial elite. They been making money for hundreds of years compared to our "new world upstarts". I know your sentiments on S.S., I am referring to others who are singing the song, but I know you hear the chants as do I.
Jul 1, 2011 at 4:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterS. Gompers
Funds that are invested in private corporations that are not union to safely administer their charged duty of protecting and growing those assets for a fee, a very good fee I might add. Instead they made a mockery of their duty gobbling up all this highly volatile garbage all packaged up with a pretty bow to detonate within the funds nation wide.


I've talked about this before...they were idiots...it's the buy side and sell side...sell side is wall street selling their products...buy side is everyone else...the fund managers, pension managers, retirement managers, etc...they got fooled by the sell side...they bought shit assets without knowing what the hell they were buying...i have no sympathy for these idiots...the cardinal rule if you work on the buy side is NEVER to believe a goddamned thing that you hear from the sell side...due your own due diligence...know what you're buying on behalf of those for whom you're managing money...and if a buy-sider fucks up he should be fired and in some cases put in jail for dereliction of duty...the sell side is famous for being bullshit about everything, and a good buy-side manager wouldn't take the sell-side at their word ever...i've worked both ends...i have worked on wall street selling, and have worked for funds as a manager...i blame both sides...it's the nature of the beast...i don't have sympathy for either side...
Jul 1, 2011 at 4:13 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
But to add more color, here's how things got fucked up...the buy-side works for a pension fund let's say CALPERS...and becasue state and local gov'ts have agreed to large pension contracts for their state and local employees, they put their money with certain buy-side managers in order to get HIGHER returns so that they can meet the promises that they have made to state and local employees...

so the mistake is really made at this point...since they need higher returns, they are willing to take more risk...so they are more prone to go with riskier products that wall street is selling...in other words, we can't meet our contractual obligations with a 5% return...we need an 8% return in order to payout everything that we've promised...so we better look for investments that will offer this kind of return...so they play right into the hands of wall street, who can offer different products with a potential for higher return...but again, the blame goes just as much to the buy-side for reaching for this higher return and for believing the sell side when they claim the investment is 'safe'...as i said before, any good buy-side manager worth his salt, NEVER believes what the sell-side tells him about risk...it's part of the job descritption...and the best buy-side managers are those who have previously worked on the sell-side, because they UNDERSTAND that much of what they will hear from wall street salesman is complete and utter bullshit...i hope this makes sense...
Jul 1, 2011 at 4:21 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
It makes perfect sense Steve, and yes I am aware of how it works. That is the point I am making, the fund managers get paid win or lose, so why do your job researching and protecting the fund you are being paid to do when you can just sit back and buy anything and rake in your fee without doing the leg work.

And the schemes continue...

You know, where I work I actually have to meet my obligations or it can affect my compensation adversely. I hit the streets if I loose, that is a nature of a beast these jackwads should learn.
Jul 1, 2011 at 4:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterS. Gompers

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