Sustainability In Pensions: Where Is The Greta Thunberg For Fiscal Gov’t Responsibility?

Green projects (like California’s bullet train from Victorville to Las Vegas, supposedly to protect the environment) and buzz words like “sustainability” are all the rage. So much so that Swedish high school student Greta Thunberg in traveling the globe like an environmental Stephen of Cloyes, and Nicholas of Cologne (Children’s Crusade of 1212), spreading the doom and gloom about global warming. In fact, San Francisco is painting a mural of Greta to raise awareness for her environmental crusade.

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But where is the Greta Thunberg for government fiscal responsibility and pension reform? THAT is a real problem too!

Consider this graphic from George Mason University’s Mercatus Center showing the fiscal health of states. Pension-laden states like Illinois, Kentucky, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts are last the US in terms of fiscal health. Primarily due to overpromised public sector pensions. (Note: Virginia is currently the 13th healthiest in terms of fiscal condition). Illinois is the worst.

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How bad is the fiscal condition in Illinois?  They are leading the midwest in net outmigration (and poor Indiana is seeing a positive net immigration, some from Illinois). Of course, tax crazy New York is seeing a large net outmigration, but it isn’t as bad as Illinois!

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Chicago is so bad that even Snake Plisken won’t live  there! Chicago has the largest pension debt to revenue burden of any major US city.

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But Chicago and Illinois aren’t the only places with bloated pension debt and liabilities. In terms of unfunded pension liabilities per household, Alaska leads with $102K per household, followed by the home of the costly bullet train from Victorville California to Las Vegas at  $86K per household.

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So given the massive and growing pension liabilities that will ultimately explode (pension promises are protected under law, so you can’t just cut them).

Speaking of the Children’s Crusade of 1212, the recent Chicago teacher’s strike is using children to push for higher salaries, etc.

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We need a Greta Thunberg to argue for fiscal responsibility in order to maintain a sustainable future.

 

Come Dancing? US Treasury Considering Issuing 50- or 100-year Bonds As 30-Year Treasury Bond Yield Hits All-time Low (Negative Yielding Debt Growth Sends Gold Skyrocketing – 14 European Countries Have Negative 10-year Yields)

As the US House of Representatives (that controls the purse strings of the Federal government) escalates spending, the US Treasury has to issue more debt. In fact, the US has now exceeded the 100% debt to GDP that was first exceeded back in 2012 in the wake of the financial crisis.

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And with the US Treasury 30-year yield hitting all-time lows,

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Treasury is exploring longer-term maturities to refinance its debt and issue additional debt to cover the Federal budget deficit.

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(Bloomberg) — With interest rates on 30-year U.S. debt hitting all-time lows this week, the US government is once again considering whether to start borrowing for even longer.

The U.S. Treasury Department said Friday that it wants to know what investors think about the government potentially issuing 50-year or 100-year bonds, going way beyond the current three-decade maximum.

Well, US dollar swaps go out to 50 years, so 50-year Treasuries are not that much of a leap.  But can we try 40 years first??

But given the unusual shape of the Treasury and Swap curves (both inverted in the short-term), is this Fed-caused disturbance in the yield curve or a signal of recession in the coming 5 years.

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And as global negative yielding debt explodes, so does gold prices.

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Its the same all over the world in terms of negative yields.

In fact, 14 European nations have negative 10-year yields.

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