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- China embarrassed by N. Korea? February 7, 2016North Korea's launch is a humiliation for China, but Beijing appears unlikely to change course, The New York Times writes.
- Venezuela worse than Argentina? February 7, 2016Venezuela is flirting on the edge of a debt default that may be even messier than Argentina's.
- Iran: Dollars no good here, but euros are February 7, 2016Iran wants euros, not dollars, for new and outstanding oil invoices, a source tells Reuters.
- Deadpool's weapon: Viral media? February 7, 2016A savvy social media marketing campaign has helped launched a cult sensation named Deadpool into the mainstream.
- The U.S.'s earnings recession February 7, 2016Corporate profits look to have suffered their third straight quarter of declines.
- Steinem, Albright blast women? February 7, 2016Hillary Clinton’s older feminist supporters are blasting young women for not backing her candidacy, The New York Times reports.
- Is this $26B market even legal? February 7, 2016Fantasy sports is big business...but it may not even be legal. Two experts hash out the details with CNBC.
- John Tishman dies aged 90 February 7, 2016John L. Tishman, who helped transform the skylines of Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles and New York, died on Saturday, the NYT reports.
- Lending to emerging markets halts February 7, 2016The surge in emerging market lending has come to a halt and may now give way to financial market turmoil and a global economic downturn, BIS warns. The FT reports.
- Rubio falters in presidential debate February 7, 2016Marco Rubio struggled at a presidential debate on Saturday, potentially confounding his bid to be Donald Trump's chief rival in New Hampshire.
- China FX reserves fall almost $100B February 7, 2016China's foreign reserves fell for a third straight month in January, as the central bank dumped dollars to defend the yuan.
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- Family treasures still taxed? February 6, 2016Trophy assets like art and cars that get passed down are subject to taxes, but their value is subjective, The New York Times reports.
- Millennials' next big money mistake February 6, 2016Millennial investors have time on their side, but that can create a false sense of confidence and lead to risky bets.
- Verizon CEO says eyeing Yahoo February 6, 2016Jim Cramer spoke with the CEO of Verizon, who shed light on the company's interest in Yahoo.
- Cuban buys Netflix puts February 6, 2016Mark Cuban is hedging his bets against his Netflix stake, the billionaire announced on Friday
- Syria: Aggressors will go home 'in coffins' February 6, 2016Syria will resist any incursion and send the aggressors home "in coffins," its foreign minister said, in comments aimed at Sunni Arab countries.
- Snacks, not snakes, on these planes February 7, 2016
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- Security Council condemns N Korea launch February 7, 2016The UN Security Council strongly condemns North Korea's launch of a long-range rocket, saying it will soon adopt a sanctions resolution.
- Chelsea 1-1 Manchester United February 7, 2016Diego Costa scores a late equaliser to preserve Chelsea's unbeaten record under Guus Hiddink and deny Manchester United.
- VIDEO: Painting the town... orange? February 7, 2016It is fruit warfare in Ivrea as townsfolk throw one juicy party
- Armed checkpoints after weigh-in murder February 7, 2016Armed police in the Republic of Ireland are manning checkpoints in a bid to prevent retaliation for the murder of a man at a boxing weigh-in in Dublin.
- Ireland 16-16 Wales February 7, 2016Ireland let a 13-point lead slip as Wales fight back to draw a compelling Six Nations match in Dublin.
- Four killed in Burundi grenade attack February 7, 2016Four people, including a boy, are killed in Burundi in a grenade attack on a bar in the capital Bujumbura, officials say.
- Bournemouth 0-2 Arsenal February 7, 2016Mesut Ozil and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain keep Arsenal's title hopes alive as the Gunners beat Bournemouth.
- Algeria recognises Berber language February 7, 2016Algerian MPs pass a package of reforms that reinstate a limit on presidential terms and give the Berber language official status for the first time.
- German arm of Maple Bank shut down February 7, 2016The German arm of Canada's Maple Bank is closed by German authorities over concerns about its financial position.
- Inside Out wins big at Annie Awards February 7, 2016Inside Out is the big winner at this year's Annie Awards for animation, winning 10 prizes including best film.
- VIDEO: Frozen 'car park' unexpectedly melts February 7, 2016A frozen lake being used as a car park at the annual Winter Fest event in Wisconsin, US, melts leaving vehicles submerged in the water.
- Spain breaks up 'IS jihadist cell' February 7, 2016Spanish police say they have arrested seven people with suspected links to so-called Islamic State (IS) and other jihadist groups.
- Levante 0-2 Barcelona February 7, 2016Barcelona celebrate Luis Enrique's 100th match in charge with a win over Levante to go three points clear at the top.
- VIDEO: London bus blown up for film stunt February 7, 2016A double-decker bus explodes on a central London bridge as part of a stunt for an upcoming movie.
- Sangin 'on verge of falling to Taliban' February 7, 2016The key Afghanistan district of Sangin in Helmand is once again on the verge of falling to the Taliban, an Afghan commander tells the BBC.
- Hot Licks singer Hicks dies at 74 February 7, 2016Singer-songwriter Dan Hicks, best-known as the lead musician with the acoustic band Hicks and His Hot Licks, dies at the age of 74.
- Pakistan's Yasir given doping ban February 7, 2016Pakistan leg-spinner Yasir Shah is given a three-month ban after admitting to a doping offence.
- VIDEO: Video 'shows N Korea rocket launch' February 7, 2016North Korea has fired a long-range rocket, which critics say is a test of banned missile technology.
- Why did North Korea launch a rocket? February 7, 2016Defence analyst Bruce Bennett looks at the reasons why North Korean leader Kim Jong-un may have decided to launch a long-range rocket in defiance of warnings.
- Anger over Taiwan quake building 'faults' February 7, 2016
CA Taxpayers owe Extra – $2.5T To State Pensions
By Doug Ross @ Journal 9-26-10
California’s Taxpayers Owe Public Sector Pensions $2.5 Trillion (yes, Trillion) More Than State Officials Admit.
David Roberts, writing at CalWatchdog, reports on the true scope of the financial disaster awaiting California’s taxpayers.
…the amount that taxpayers owe to provide pensions for local and state government employees is much larger – perhaps an extra $2.5 trillion – than government officials have let on, according to an economic advisor to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger…
How can this be? Doesn’t the state use traditional accounting methods and auditors? Dude, this is California — where Democrats have run wild for decades, enriching themselves at the public trough — so the answer is: no.
For example, an annual obligation of $30,000 for 25 years for a government employee’s pension is projected to cost the government $320,000, while the same $30,000/year, 25-year obligation in the form of a bond is projected to be $425,000…
“Two identical and unconditional obligations owed by the same government are valued at different amounts. The answer lies in the Alice in Wonderland world of government pension accounting that allows governments to hide liabilities.”
Well, that’s an unexpected development: the unholy alliance of Democrat legislators and public sector unions bosses have utterly and completely screwed California’s taxpayers.
…Because government officials are able to hide their future debt obligations in this way, they “are perversely incentivized to assume the highest rates of return in order to minimize reported liabilities, and then to swing for the fences in investing the capital of those funds in the hopes of actually achieving those returns, producing even more risk for the taxpayers who must make up for any pension fund shortfalls…”
In short, the Democrats who run the state and most municipalities are using every accounting gimmick in the book to set up a government-run Ponzi scheme that would make Bernie Madoff blush.
In 1999 the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) reported that its assets equaled 128 percent of its liabilities when in reality its assets totaled only 88 percent of liabilities…
Encouraged by that accounting, the state Legislature enacted a law that year boosting pension promises. The hidden cost from that boost has already hit $15 billion and will reach at least $150 billion for the state budget…
More generally, after having reported that liabilities were a fraction of assets and projecting that the state’s pension costs would total $5 billion over the succeeding 10 years, the state actually incurred $25 billion over that period.
Democrat candidate Jerry Brown, who served as California’s governor decades ago, has already admitted that a series of his earlier policy decisions were abysmal failures.
If California’s beleaguered taxpayers want to turn the page on the Democrats’ catastrophic policies, a vote for Meg Whitman would represent a start. The way California got into this mess in the first place is with failed leftist hacks like Jerry Brown.
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- Astronaut Edgar Mitchell, sixth man to walk on moon, dies at 85(Reuters) - Astronaut Edgar Mitchell, the sixth man to walk on the moon as module pilot on the record-setting Apollo 14 mission in 1971, has died at the age of 85, the U.S. space agency said on Friday. […]
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