The Fragility of "Can't Fail" Thinking

By Mary Pat Campbell
CalPERS, the large California public pension plan, has filed an amicus brief in the case of Detroit’s bankruptcy. Calpers does not like the Detroit pension plans being treated like unsecured creditors in a bankruptcy proceeding, and cites the constitutional (state constitutional, that is) protections for pensions. Thing is, there’s law, and there’s reality. But let’s...

TAGS: CalPERS, Detroit bankruptcy, San Bernardino bankruptcy

Controversy in Detroit: What's a Fair Settlement of Bondholder and Pension Obligation Claims?

By Mike Shedlock
A huge battle between pensioners and bondholders is on. Last week, a Bond rating agency blasted Governor Rick Snyder’s $350-million Detroit pension rescue plan as being too favorable to creditors at the expense of bondholders. Today, the New York Times reports Detroit Turns Bankruptcy Into Challenge of Banks. Amy Laskey,a managing director at Fitch Ratings, said in a recent report...

TAGS: Detroit bankruptcy

Detroit’s Emergency Manager Threatens Pension Fund Takeover

By Mike Shedlock
Detroit’s emergency manager Kevyn Orr says a pension fund takeover is a “right, if not an obligation” after Orr learned of extra, unwarranted pension payments. Please consider Emergency Manager Weighs Pension-Fund Takeover. Kevyn Orr said in a recent interview that at the current pace, the city’s General Services System pension fund could lose its ability to...

TAGS: Detroit bankruptcy, Public sector pensions

Saving Pensions Will Require Unions To Face Reality

By Edward Ring
“Not surprisingly, within moments of news of Detroit’s bankruptcy, pension scare mongers took to their pedestals to place all the blame on pensions. California, Los Angeles, and other governments would surely follow Detroit’s footsteps in short order, they cried. It’s simply not true, like most of the claims made by the anti-pension soldiers who have...

TAGS: 401K, AFSCME, defined benefit, defined contribution, Detroit bankruptcy, Public sector pensions, public sector unions

Social Security is Healthy Compared to Public Sector Pensions

By Edward Ring
Last week yet another missive on the lessons to be learned from Detroit’s bankruptcy was published, this time in Forbes Magazine by Jeffrey Dorfman, an economist at the University of Georgia. Dorfman’s article, “Detroit’s Bankruptcy Should Be A Warning To Every Worker Expecting A Pension, Or Social Security,” clearly implies that future Social Security benefits...

TAGS: Detroit bankruptcy, Public sector pensions, Social Security, U.S. Census Bureau

Public pension data belongs to the public

By Private: Gloria Romero
What goes up must come down. That’s precisely what happened – in record-setting time – when the California Public Employees Retirement System, the state employees’ pension agency, attempted to provide to the public information about its retirees’ pensions and making it accessible to the public on the CalPERS’ website. The need for pension reform has...

TAGS: California Public Records Act, CalPERS, Detroit bankruptcy

Detroit Bankruptcy Protection Affirmed by Judge

By Mike Shedlock
As hoped and expected Detroit Bankruptcy Protections Affirmed, Snyder Shielded.  Detroit can enjoy the protections of bankruptcy, including immunity from lawsuits related to the case, a federal judge ruled, extending that shield to Michigan Governor Rick Snyder. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steeven Rhodes in Detroit today blocked lawsuits by public employee groups and pension funds who alleged...

TAGS: AFL-CIO, Detroit bankruptcy

Union Watch Highlights

By Editor
Here are links to the top stories available online over the past week reporting on union activity including legislation, financial impact, reform activism, etc., from California and across the USA. Detroit bankruptcy case heads to Wednesday hearing on labor union pension challenges By Bernie Woodall, July 23, 2013, Reuters Labor unions trying to stop Detroit...

TAGS: Detroit bankruptcy

Detroit Files Chapter 9 Bankruptcy; Oakland, LA, Others on Deck

By Mike Shedlock
In an inevitable, anticlimactic decision today, Detroit files for bankruptcy.  Detroit became the largest US city to ever file for bankruptcy on Thursday, seeking protection from its creditors as it restructures more than $18bn in debt. Richard Snyder, Michigan’s Republican governor, said in a letter included in the filing. “Detroit simply cannot raise enough revenue to...

TAGS: Detroit bankruptcy