Friday, May 23, 2014

Detroit Not Alone, Expect More Bankrupt Cities

Expect more U.S. cities to face bankruptcy like Detroit, former New York Lieutenant Gov. Richard Ravitch told CNBC's "Street Signs" Thursday.

"There are many more [cities] that are facing enormous fiscal squeezes… who are cutting education, cutting infrastructure investments and borrowing as long as the bond market permits," he said.

Ravitch said retirement obligations and health-care costs that are rising faster than inflation are putting enormous pressure on state budgets. That in turn puts pressure on city budgets.

Real estate mogul Don Peebles, a native of Detroit, agreed there are huge financial problems facing the nation's cities.

Pensions for public workers are a "ticking bomb," he said. Plus, more than half the residents in some cities are living in poverty, which is putting more pressure on those at the top end of the tax bracket.

"Cities and states have to stop borrowing to balance their expense budgets," Ravitch said. "It's not sustainable. It is coming to a crashing halt in more and more places."


  1. expect many institutions to go bk..........

    Barclays Fined For Manipulating Price Of Gold For A Decade; Sending "Bursts" Of Sell Orders

    Furthermore, the FCA confirmed that those inexplicable gold raids which come as if out of nowhere, and slam gold with a vicious force so strong sometime they halt the entire market, had a very specific source: Barclays, whose trader "Daniel James Plunkett, sent out a burst of orders aimed at moving the price of the yellow metal."

    This took place for a decade. As the FT reports:

    The FCA said Barclays had failed to “adequately manage conflicts of interest between itself and its customers as well as systems and controls failings, in relation to the gold fixing” between 2004 and 2013.

    Some further details on Plunkett's preferred means of manipulating the gold price.

    The FCA said Mr Plunkett had manipulated the market by placing, withdrawing and re-placing a large sell order for between 40,000 oz and 60,000 oz of gold bars.

    He did this in an attempt to pull off a “mini puke”, which the FCA took to mean a sharp fall in the price of gold. As a result, the bank was not obliged to make a $3.9m payment to the customer under an option contract.

    So yes: it is now a fact that gold is manipulated by various commercial banks, and that those gold "raids" one sees every morning usually around the time of the London fix aren't accidental at all but are entirely designed to reprice the market, but how deeper does the rabbit hole go?

    [FCA Director Tracy] McDermott added: “Firms should be in no doubt that the spotlight will remain on wholesale conduct and we will hold them to account if they fail to meet our standards.”

    Alas, this is a lie - by handing Plunkett to the public on a silver platter, it simply means that the far bigger and more important players in the gold manipulation market - stretching all the way to central bank and, of course, bank of central bank level, will simply be allowed to continue business "as usual."

    So for those who want the real people behind the real manipulation before they all scatter into the dust, we urge you to reread "From Rothschild To Koch Industries: Meet The People Who "Fix" The Price Of Gold." Because the gold manipulation rabbit hole goes far, far deeper than just one single, solitary trader...

  2. “You cannot create wealth out of little slips of paper.” Ludwig von Mises

    I suspect the US public is really running out of money. I note the restaurants here in La Jolla are lacking customers. Last night I ate at one of my favorite restaurants, and I was the only one in the room. This lack of money seems to be affecting the big retailers. As proof, glance at the charts of the popular big retailers below.

    1. I got into a big argument with my little brother this past Christmas (who just got his MBA last year) that inflation is bad, and it is a big scam and ripoff which hurts savers and the poor the most. He was rolling his eyes telling me I don't know what I'm talking about, I should learn some economics, and he just got his MBA. I asked him to explain to me how printing up more little pieces of paper will somehow make everyone better off and enrich our lives more. He again just rolled his eyes and told me I don't know what I'm talking about. It's too bad he just got his MBA and is so clueless. I still love him but it's a real shame business schools don't teach this basic stuff.

    2. MBA programs (the good ones at least) are designed specifically to get you placed into high-paying jobs in consulting, investment banking, strategic finance, or marketing. So no, they don't spend any time on Austrian economics. It is outside the scope of their fundamental purpose. Knowing ABCT will not make you any more likely to be hired by Citigroup. Less, actually.

    3. Diamond Miners in Zimbabwe Told to Sell Gems to Central Bank as Collateralize for Chinese Loans

      n the article below from Bloomberg, we learn that diamond miners in the country have been told they must sell their gems through the Central Bank to serve as collateral for government loans. The country's deputy mines had said in earlier in may that "Zimbabwe may use mineral exports, including gold and diamonds, to underwrite loans from China."

      From Bloomberg:

      Diamond miners in Zimbabwe have been told to sell their gems through the central bank, which will use the stones to secure a government loan, according to a letter written to them by the country’s mines secretary.

      In the letter to miners, the secretary Francis Gudyanga, instructs that producers “prepare parcels of all your currently produced diamonds which must be sorted and evaluated with the involvement of the Minerals Marketing Corp. of Zimbabwe,” a state company, and payment will be made soon after.

      The stones will be kept by the central bank and used to “securitize a government loan,”

  3. I love how they wrap government spending into the idea of making an investment as if anything labeled as such is a good use of money. But as we all know, there are good investments and bad ones and I would call spending more money on a failed education system is a very bad investment.