Busted and Bankrupt Detroit Can Now Wipe Out Worker Pensions

It is official.  Detroit is bankrupt.  Detroit is not only bankrupt they can now trash pensions owed to city workers.  That is police, fire, hospital and a host of workers counting on those pensions for retirement.  The U.S court ruling allows for a bankruptcy type for cities and towns, Chapter 9, to proceed and specifically puts pensions on the fair game bankruptcy chopping block.

There Goes Detroit!

Detroit just filed for bankruptcy.  This is the largest city bankruptcy in U.S. history and much of it has to do with the banks.

Legions have fled Detroit over the last decade.

Detroit lost a quarter-million residents between 2000 and 2010. A population that in the 1950s reached 1.8 million is struggling to stay above 700,000. Much of the middle-class and scores of businesses also have fled Detroit, taking their tax dollars with them.

Twinkies, Pensions, Real Wages and Poverty

wonder breadThe loss of the Hostess Twinkie is a symbol of a new era for the American worker. Chemical cupcakes usher in the race to the economic bottom, where the new business operandi is the stripping of worker wages and benefits. Gone are middle class incomes and lifestyles for most. Here are temporary jobs, no benefits and assuredly no retirement. America has been sliced, and diced, just like Wonder Bread.

Never Ending Stupid Bank Tricks

moneyhatBanks are at it again, as usual, and these latest adventures in fictional finance are off the public radar. Maybe the public has lost their outrage and why the latest news is out of earshot. Maybe people are just exhausted, watching absurdity after outrage coming from these financial institutions and the ones who are supposed to watch them. After all, nothing ever changes. We hear the same song, just a little bit louder and a little bit worse.

Student Loan Debt Time Bomb

ozzieharrietAh, the American Dream.  Go to college, work hard, graduate, get a good job, career and then you'll be set for life with high earnings, enough money to buy a home, raise a family and retire comfortably.

Oops, rewind, this isn't the Ozzie and Harriet show, it's real life.  Did you know student debt is one of the few debts one cannot declare bankruptcy on, no matter what?  That literally you have to be in a pine box, or close to it, to have your debt forgiven?  That 53.6% of those under the age of 25 with a four year college degree or better cannot find a job?

Student loan debt is now the next great bubble, threatening the U.S. economy as the mortgage crisis did. The NACBA released a study and calls student loan debt the next financial crisis, on the level of the mortgage crisis.

  • College seniors who graduated with student loans in 2010 owed an average of $25,250, up five percent from the previous year. Borrowing has grown far more quickly for those in the 35-49 age group, with school debt burden increasing by a staggering 47 percent.

Ripped Off MF Global Investors Will Never See That Money

armed robberyRob a 7-11 with a gun? Get at least 20 years in prison. Rip-off investors to the tune of $1.6 billion, get no jail time, no charges and you don't even need to make restitution. MF Global represents yet another example how financial crime goes unpunished and not penalized.

We know MF Global played around with customer's money. The amount they lost is even larger than originally estimated, now at $1.6 billion bucks. Seems there is $700 million overseas and that branch of MF Global in the U.K. ain't giving the money back.

Bankruptcy Hell - The Sequel to ForeclosureGate

Michael Collins
You're headed for bankruptcy court tomorrow. It's been a long and difficult road. You and your husband both worked. You made decent money. Then your husband became ill. There was no sick leave because he worked for himself. His disability insurance had a six-month delay and only covered half of the lost income. That was all you could afford. (Image Wikimedia Commons)

His condition was critical and required medication three times a day at a monthly cost of $2500. Your company plan covered your husband but it didn't cover the medication because the insurance company termed it experimental. It was the sole option for the crippling illness according to the three specialists consulted.

Your husband contributed 40% of the family income. The loss was a big hit but you persevered. You couldn't sell the house, even if you wanted to. It was $150,000 upside down. There was no federal or bank program to relieve that burden. After four months of cashing in a modest 401(k), it became obvious that you couldn't make it. You needed relief and time for your husband to get well.

You consulted your accountant. On his advice, you decided to file for bankruptcy.

Beyond ForeclosureGate - It Gets Uglier

Michael Collins

The ForeclosureGate scandal poses a threat to Wall Street, the big banks, and the political establishment. If the public ever gets a complete picture of the personal, financial, and legal assault on citizens at their most vulnerable, the outrage will be endless. (Image)

Foreclosure practices lift the veil on a broader set of interlocking efforts to exploit those hardest hit by the endless economic hard times, citizens who become financially desperate due medical conditions. A 2007 study found that medical expenses or income losses related to medical crises among bankruptcy filers or family members triggered 62% of bankruptcies. There is no underground conspiracy. The facts are in plain sight.

The Money Party on the Road to Ruin

Michael Collins
The Money Party is destroying the United States. For ten years, there have been no new jobs with flat income. Unemployment and poverty are making a big comeback. The party consists of those who own and control concentrations of great wealth and the select few who serve them (their Mandarins). Based on the efficiency of the demolition job, you have to wonder, is this is by design? If greed, ignorance, and paranoia constitute a plan, then they are master planners. (Image)

Look at the glaring problems below. Then ask yourself, has there been one single program implemented to address any of these problems, just one? Our elected representatives enable the relentless process of driving down the United States. They bicker and fume at the edge of issues. However, when it comes to neglecting the real needs of citizens and the country, they are as one. All rewards and resources flow to their patrons and owners, the made men and women of The Money Party. We are nothing to them.

Deadbeats Bush and Gingrich Say "States Better Off Bankrupt"

Michael Collins


Not if a state owes you money!

Jeb Bush and Newt Gingrich just published an OpEd in the Los Angeles Times arguing that states would be wise to consider filing bankruptcy to relieve their financial troubles.  They cite three states, California, Illinois and New York, while failing to mention the angry elephant in the living room with similar problems, Texas.

Texas faces a $25 billion shortfall for a $95 billion two-year budget.  That equals California's 18-month deficit inherited by the recently inaugurated Governor Jerry Brown.

"So why haven't we heard more about Texas, one of the most important economy's in America? Well, it's because it doesn't fit the script. It's a pro-business, lean-spending, no-union state. You can't fit it into a nice storyline, so it's ignored," said Business Insider

Texas is a major inconvenience to Bush and Gingrich. They lay the financial problems at the door of unions and state employee pensions:

"The lucrative pay and benefits packages [read pensions] that government employee unions have received from obliging politicians over the years are perhaps the most significant hurdles for many states trying to restore fiscal health."  Jeb Bush, Newt Gingrich, January 27