Carlin: Wall Street Owns Washington

Top Headlines For 06/22/2011


“Britain could be hit with losses of up to £366bn from the collapse of the Greek economy, it emerged last night.

The potential devastation of banks and other City institutions would be equal to 24% of our annual national output, or £14,640 for every family in the UK.

Ministers had claimed that British banks have ‘only’ £2.5bn of exposure to Greek government debt, while the Bank of England says the potential losses would be just £8bn.

But experts last night said that UK financial institutions are in far more danger than previously thought, because banks are tied up in complicated derivatives and insurance deals. ”

“The mayor has acknowledged the legal risks in trying to reduce current employee pension benefits, but argues that the alternative is municipal bankruptcy or a greatly reduced workforce. And he believes the law allows room for what he’s proposed.”

“Reed has said the move is needed to curb runaway pension costs, which have jumped from $63 million in 2000 to $255 million this year. They are expected to hit $400 million or more in five years.

The city has had to lay off employees, including police officers, to cover that bill, with the number of employees dropping from a high of 7,500 about a decade ago to about 5,300 today.”

“At least 66 jobs will be eliminated by the city of Stockton starting with its new fiscal year July 1 but a far greater number of terminations or even bankruptcy have not been ruled out by the Central Valley city.

If the city and various unions reach agreements for sufficient pay and benefit cuts, the firings would stop at 66. If not, as many as 250 jobs would be eliminated, city officials say. Bankruptcy would be the other option.

The cuts were approved Tuesday night as the council tried to bridge a $37 million General Fund deficit for the coming fiscal year.”

“Officials in some Southern California cities are wondering whether tight budgets will prevent them from contributing money for floats in the Rose Parade.

Glendale’s City Council on Monday asked city staff to create an account where residents can donate to the city’s float, the Los Angeles Times reported.

A majority of city councilmembers said they wouldn’t commit $130,000 from the general fund to the project because the city is facing a $18 million budget deficit, putting the city’s long tradition of participation in the parade at risk.”

“The U.S. Postal Service, facing insolvency unless it gets approval to delay a $5.5 billion payment for worker health benefits, will suspend contributions to an employee retirement account to save $800 million this year.

The Postal Service will stop paying employer contributions to the defined-benefit Federal Employees Retirement System, which covers about 85 percent of career postal workers, it said today in an e-mailed statement. The $115 million payment, made every other week, will stop on June 24, the statement said.

Suspending payments to the retirement account will help “conserve cash and preserve liquidity,” the statement said. The agency estimates it has overpaid the retirement account by $6.9 billion and has asked Congress to pass legislation to return that money.”

  • Other news, headlines and opinion:

Millions of middle-class people could get Medicaid

Pimco warns Greece will default

Silver coin sales boom as investors seek haven and Silver-Coin Sales Boom at Perth’s Mint as Mums and Dads Desert Paper Money

Thousands of angry Europeans protest against austerity

India food subsidy law ‘to cost $22 bn': official

Tepco books additional Y88 billion loss last FY

Japan pensions bet on hedge funds to boost

Pentagon Crosses $1 Trillion Threshold in War on Terror Spending

Spain’s ghost airports: monuments of reckless building that buried a nation in debt

How Do Fannie and Freddie Fit Into the Debt-Ceiling Picture?

Greece’s Debt Woes Risk Hindering Drug Supplies

New Greek Bailout Would Put Most Debt With EU, IMF, Report Says

Egyptian T-Bill yields at 2008 high on aid concern: Arab credit

Government layoffs slow US cities’ recoveries-report

341 layoffs ahead for St. Paul schools

San Jose City Council hikes parking rates at downtown garages (“by as much as 33 percent”)

Sovereign, Corporate Credit-Default Swap Indexes Rise in Europe

Greece’s Economic Crisis Upended Middle Class

Allied Irish Bank has ‘defaulted’ says derivatives body

J.P. Morgan Knew Portfolio Had Losses, SEC Says

Ethiopia food prices spike after govt intervention

Greece ‘may need four bailouts‘ after PM wins vote of confidence

Irish Bonds Decline Amid Concern Over Greece’s Austerity Vote

Oil near $94 as IEA warns crude costs hurt economy

Fed Frets Over US Fiscal Recklessness

Solana Beach water district board approves budget, 6 percent water rate increase

S&P says California credit rating at “crossroad”

If state shuts, all could pay for idled Minnesota workers

States Battling Over Education Budgets at Fiscal Year’s End

Every Chicago household’s share of local govt. debt: $63525

Sonoma County pension report hightlights ‘alarming’ trend

France Warns of Hunger as Farm Ministers Meet

China Money Rate Reaches Three-Year High as Bill Sale Suspended

Dodd-Frank claims niche form of gold trading

Long-term budget outlook ‘daunting’, CBO says

Gross: Next Jackson Hole in August will likely hint at QE3 / interest rate caps.

– Saxplayer