Posts Tagged ‘Greece’

Illinois facing ‘outright disaster’ amid budget crisis. Greek Tragedy

July 5, 2010

CHICAGO — Even by the standards of this deficit-ridden state, Illinois’s comptroller, Daniel W. Hynes, faces an ugly balance sheet. Precisely how ugly becomes clear when he beckons you into his office to examine his daily briefing memo.

He picks the papers off his desk and points to a figure in red: $5.01 billion.

“This is what the state owes right now to schools, rehabilitation centers, child care, the state university — and it’s getting worse every single day,” he says in his downtown office.

Mr. Hynes shakes his head. “This is not some esoteric budget issue; we are not paying bills for absolutely essential services,” he says. “That is obscene.”

For the last few years, California stood more or less unchallenged as a symbol of the fiscal collapse of states during the recession.

Now Illinois has shouldered to the fore, as its dysfunctional political class refuses to pay the state’s bills and refuses to take the painful steps — cuts and tax increases — to close a deficit of at least $12 billion, equal to nearly half the state’s budget.

The state’s last elected governor, Rod R. Blagojevich, is on trial for racketeering and extortion. But in 2003, he persuaded the legislature to let him float $10 billion in 30-year bonds and use the proceeds for two years of pension payments.That gamble backfired and wound up costing the state many billions of dollars.

Then there is the spectacularly mismanaged pension system, which is at least 50 percent underfunded, and Illinois reports that it has $62.4 billion in unfunded pension liabilities, although many experts place that liability tens of billions of dollars higher analysts warn, could push Illinois into insolvency if the economy fails to pick up.

 Perhaps, but many analysts, liberal and conservative, warn of a potentially far grimmer reckoning — Greece Tragedy by Lake Michigan.


Eye View Global Ironic Learning Moment GILM

May 7, 2010

German leaders today approved the country’s share of the rescue package for debt-laden Greece after a boisterous debate in which the finance minister told them they had no alternative to the unpopular measure.

One of the European Union requirements for Greece prior to receiving the bailout is.. wait for it..move Greek health care from the Public sector to the Private sector.. Global ironic lesson.. Thanks Nancy





Why Germany Does Not What To Bail Out Greece..

April 29, 2010

Currently retirement age for public employees in Germany is 67… Vasia Veremi may be only 28, but as a hairdresser in Athens, she is keenly aware that, under a current Greek  law that treats her job as hazardous to her health,  she has the right to retire with a full pension at age 50.

Perhaps not, but it is still difficult to explain to outsiders why the Greek government has identified at least 580 job categories deemed to be hazardous enough to merit retiring early — at age 50 for women and 55 for men.

Greece’s patchwork system of early retirement has contributed to the out-of-control state spending that has led to Europe’s sovereign debt crisis. Its pension promises will grow sharply in coming years, and investors can see the country has not set aside enough to cover those costs, making it harder for Greece to borrow at a reasonable rate.

As a consequence of decades of bargains struck between strong unions and weak governments, Greece has promised early retirement to about 700,000 employees, or 14 percent of its work force, giving it an average retirement age of 61, one of the lowest in Europe.

The law includes dangerous jobs like coal mining and bomb disposal. But it also covers radio and television presenters, who are thought to be at risk from the bacteria on their microphones, and musicians playing wind instruments, who must contend with gastric reflux as they puff and blow.

I wonder if  nail technicians in Greece are included………..Those cuticle clippings can be hazardous..


My Big Fat Greek Meltdown….

April 27, 2010

Greece’s credit rating was cut three steps to junk by Standard and Poor’s, the first time a euro member has lost its investment grade since the currency’s 1999 debut. The euro weakened and stock markets throughout the region plunged. Greece was lowered to BB+ from BBB+ by S&P, which also warned that bondholders could recover as little as 30 percent of their initial investment if the country restructures its debt.

With a loan modification and good FICO you can have this handy man special. Just visualize with landscaping, new curtains, and fresh appliances you could enjoy for another 2400 years..They will probably throw in some run- down Olympic venues… operators standing by..

Golden State Not So Golden

April 6, 2010

California’s three major public pension funds are underfunded by more than half a trillion dollars, according to a report released Monday, the San Jose Mercury News reports.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) commissioned the study, which was prepared by graduate students at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (Theriault, San Jose Mercury News, 4/5).

The study examined:

  • The California Public Employees’ Retirement System;
  • The California State Teachers’ Retirement System; and
  • The University of California’s retirement system (Walters, “Capitol Alert,” Sacramento Bee, 4/5). 

Pension Liabilities Could Lead To Health Cuts, Other Changes

The Stanford report suggests that California would need to put $360 billion into its pension and health benefit systems immediately to have an 80% chance of meeting 80% of the obligations within 16 years (Contra Costa Times, 4/5). Greece is the Word……


What happens if Greece really defaults?

March 15, 2010

With a loan modification and good FICO you can have this handy man special. Just visualize with landscaping, new curtains, and fresh appliances you could enjoy for another 2400 years..