The New York Times Dream Pension Plan: Lower Benefits and Higher Contributions In Economic Downturns

By: Sunday October 12, 2014 6:48 am

Economists usually think it is a good to try to make spending countercyclical. This means that we want more spending when the economy is weak and less when the economy is strong.

Traditional defined benefit pensions in the United States at least partly fit this bill. They do sustain benefit levels in a downturn. In addition, their funding formulas average the impact of market swings so that they don’t have to have large increases in contributions if the economy goes into a downturn and their funds take a hit.

 

Domino Effect: Pension Cutters Gamble on a California Ballot Measure

By: Thursday July 24, 2014 7:17 pm

Jon Coupal is nothing if not blunt when he describes one motive behind a Ventura County ballot measure that would replace the “defined benefit” pensions currently enjoyed by county employees and replace them with 401(k)-type plans for all future hires.

“This is meant to be a template for other counties,” Coupal tells Capital & Main. By that, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association’s president means the measure’s conservative and libertarian backers see the “Sustainable Retirement System Initiative” as the newest and most promising weapon in their assault on California’s public employee retirement plans.

Study: Hedge Funds Taking Over Pension Fund Investments, Increasing Risk

By: Wednesday June 4, 2014 1:06 pm

Recently Pando Daily broke a story about Governor Christie’s Administration violating pay to play laws by rewarding political donors with New Jersey Pension Fund contracts. The gist being that after General Catalyst employee Charles Baker donated money to the NJ GOP, General Catalyst received roughly $15 million to invest on behalf of retirees.

While the focus of the story was on violations of New Jersey’s pay to play laws, another facet of the scandal worth exploring is the increasing role alternative investment vehicles like General Catalyst – which is a venture capital firm – play in managing pension wealth. Private equity and hedge funds have begun to play an increasing role in pension investments as a recent Pew study points out.

The previously boring and safe strategy of buying government and top tier corporate bonds has been supplanted by the high flying big risk strategy of hedge funds.

Local Media, Like the MSM Dictated by the 1%, Update on Sirota’s Pando Report

By: Saturday February 15, 2014 12:15 pm

Conan has done a half a dozen of these “Continuity of Media” bits. This is another demonstration of that 1% media control at your local news station. Heck, David Koch sits on the board of PBS, with his other billionaire buddies. That Conan can, with such ease, lay bare the fact that someone, somewhere is scripting local stations right down to the Valentine’s Day silly stuff. That would be the same cabal that put Koch the board of PBS and has financed the PBS hit piece on public pensions.

Former Enron Trader Funding PBS Series On Pensions

By: Wednesday February 12, 2014 12:55 pm

This is even worse than having PBS be yet another outlet for Neoliberal talking points. This program deceitfully presents a reactionary political agenda as fair and objective. PBS it is acting as a propaganda outlet while posing as a media group working for the public interest.

Careless: How Governor Brown Is Harming California’s Seniors and Disabled — and the People Who Care for Them

By: Wednesday January 22, 2014 7:10 pm

Andrea Vidales makes $9 an hour taking care of a blind Korean War veteran and an elderly couple in their Merced County homes. Under California’s In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program, she spends about 60 hours every week bathing her clients, preparing their meals, cleaning house, paying their bills, driving them to doctors and dealing with other aspects of their medical care. She was delighted, then, when the Obama administration, through the U.S. Department of Labor, announced new regulations last September requiring in-home caregivers to be paid overtime for working more than 40 hours a week.

After Record Year Boeing Forces Workers to Kill Pensions

By: Thursday January 9, 2014 12:17 pm

Boeing delivered a record number of jetliners in 2013. The large amount of orders is likely to keep Boeing as the number 1 airline manufacturer, outpacing its longtime European rival Airbus though both firms are said to be in a boom time as air travel to Asia and Latin America picks up.

Selling Priceless Art Won’t Save Detroit

By: Friday December 13, 2013 4:31 pm

On December 3rd Judge Steven Rhodes ruled that the City of Detroit is eligible to enter Chapter 9 bankruptcy, the largest municipal bankruptcy in American history. Detroit’s bankruptcy was driven mostly by a severe reduction in revenues. The city’s population has declined dramatically, dating back to the 1967 riots, and the city is plagued by long-term unemployment, causing Detroit’s property and income tax revenues to drop precipitously. There are not even enough taxpayer citizens living in the city to fund necessary city services.

The Truth About California’s Pension Slashers

By: Thursday November 28, 2013 4:30 pm

In 2011, the UC Berkeley Center for Labor and Research and Education put out a study that should have sparked mass rallies up and down the Golden State. The report found that nearly half of California workers will retire in or near poverty. In other words, a state once synonymous with the American Dream of economic opportunity and security is on a path to become a purgatory for millions of seniors.

It’s hard to square this alarming fact with the revelation last month that a group of mostly ultra-conservative electeds and activists will try to place a statewide measure on the 2014 ballot that would slash the pensions of government workers.

Unfunded Pension Liabilities Are $1 Trillion, Not $3.8 Trillion: Never Take Anything in a Washington Post Editorial at Face Value

By: Saturday July 20, 2013 1:00 pm

Sorry folks, I committed the cardinal sin of accepting an assertion from a Washington Post editorial without carefully checking it myself. This morning the Post’s lead editorial used the occasion of Detroit’s bankruptcy to beat up on public sector pensions.

SUPPORT FIREDOGLAKE
Follow Firedoglake
TODAY’S TOP POSTS
CSM Ads advertisement
Advertisement