Calpers Prepares To LBO California, Or At Least Create The Scariest TBTF Monster Ever Conceived

Tyler Durden's picture

File this one under the category of "creating TBTF Frankensteins" - Reuters has reported that as part of arranging rescue pre-petition financing for the broke state of California, Arnie is now in discussions for a $2 billion loan from Calpers which will help close the state's $19 billion budget deficit by about 8%. Of course, the balance would come from the FHA, or Goldman, both of which will see this as a lucrative mezz-IRR type toehold investment (with no downside, remember - there is no risk if you work for the government or are Goldman) in the world's 7th biggest economy. Of course, we jest about the latter. For now. What is truly ironic is that Calpers itself is in no danger of every being able to fund its own future pension obligations, which means this is merely a way to intertwine Calpers and the state of California, creating the most ridiculous TBTF public-private behemoth ever seen, which would mean that the collapse of either would be promptly preempted with more Federal taxpayer dollars. Well played, Ahhhnold, well played.

From Reuters:

California's $211 billion pension fund for public employees has been speaking with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's administration about providing it a $2 billion loan to help close the state government's $19 billion budget gap, a spokesman said on Wednesday.

The spokesman for the California Public Employees' Retirement System, best known as Calpers, said the talks about the loan plan, proposed by Schwarzenegger, are informal and that it is uncertain the fund can lend the money.

"We do have significant concerns about legal issues and actuarial soundness issues," the spokesman added.

California's state government is in its 77th day without a budget for its fiscal year that began on July 1 and analysts expect the impasse over a spending plan between Democrats and Republicans in the state capital of Sacramento may last several more weeks.

What is unclear is whether as part of the "efficiency streamlining" operation, Calpers will also follow California's example and issue IOUs to its millions of pensioners.

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NOTW777's picture

its a competition with IL


who can suck the most

NOTW777's picture

lets just ignore this and listen to sue the herra tell us the economy is improving - what do you think abby

Bendromeda Strain's picture

You know, I keep wondering what could possibly be Gonzalo's hyperinflation catalyst. There's something out there, but I just can't put my finger on it...

Fritz's picture

If the squid is involved, you can bet somebody (taxpayers?) will be getting screwed bigtime.

Problem Is's picture

Lloyd & Jamie  =  Fraud

Where there is squid, there is fraud. Who could junk you for that?

carbonmutant's picture

"We do have significant concerns about legal issues and actuarial soundness issues"

Calpers is  concerned about actuarial soundness. That's news


Fox Moulder's picture

They should consult Bernanke, Geithner, Bush, Obama etc about how to ignore the legal issues.

StychoKiller's picture

I read an article at The Weekly Standard, stating that Calpers is veering into more risky, higher-yielding investments to make up lost ground -- doing a swan dive from the edge of the frying pan into the flames!

D-Falt's picture

<i>"We do have significant concerns about legal issues and actuarial soundness issues," the spokesman added.</i>


While more long-winded and dilatory a response, it was far more socially acceptable than "WTFF"

hedgeless_horseman's picture

In similar Frankenstein news, the Social Security Trust Fund has already been lending money to the US treasury, by buying assloads of US Treasuries.  Let's be honest; your social security withholding is nothing more than a tax to pay interest on the debt. 

Social Security TRUST Fund.  LOL...TRUST!

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Like a hopelessly interconnected Rube Goldberg contraption that springs from the mind of the insane, this house of cards is becoming increasingly unstable, dangerously so I might say.

If there ever were serious questions of systemic failure in the very near future, we seem to have put that to rest as of now.

StychoKiller's picture

Reminds me of those buildings roped together in Idiocracy! :~D

i.knoknot's picture

so CD, when does the US gov learn from this great idea and maybe borrow from some federal retirement plan, like say, SS. oops...

but really, when do they actually go through with the rumored forcing of 401ks and IRAs to be invested in treasuries, etc. ? - same thing as CA borrowing from CalPers, etc.

NumberNone's picture

Bit ironic that Calpers actually is a lockbox of taxpayer dollars set aside for state employees.  Funny how they seem to have no problem setting aside real dollars when its for themselves.

About time the government employees start facing the same realities as the public.  Welcome to the world of your retirement money being a pile of IOU's.  Retirement's the American way.   

zaknick's picture

Gonna keep posting this all day because it should help clear up a lot of ambiguity and shows us how badly we've been had.

Commander Cody's picture

For a Republican, Arnold sure makes a good Democrat.  Oh...

mikla's picture

First blush:  OMG.

Upon taking a deep breath, though, I realized that Calpers is *already* toast, and Californika is *also* dead.  So, I guess I don't care how they want to play with the books.

Cash-flow problems, default, constitutional crisis.  No biggie.

Here -- have an umbrella.

traderjoe's picture

Too much debt. Slowing economy. Illinois has $5 billion in unpaid bills. No budget for Fed, IL, CA, etc. 

It's a shell game, hide the pea. No way out. Buying time. Waiting for the first domino. The logical endgame of the fractional reserve, fiat ponzi scheme. 

Days, weeks, months, years? 

I hope for sooner rather than later. Let's get it over with...

minus dog's picture

The lack of budgets points to sooner, possibly.  All it takes is one good "the emperor has no clothes" moment.

CitizenPete's picture

hear hear -- sooner would be much better so my kids might have a future instead of surviving in an economic wasteland.  (BTW, do you think 3000 rounds is enough out in the country?)

Someone sent this to me today:

"The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it's profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater." - Frank Zappa


Village Idiot's picture

"Here -- have an umbrella."


what about that thing in the background? never mind?  lol

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

No problem. It's just the angle of the dangle that makes that thermal vent look like it's actually a super volcano. Rest well my friend, this will either blow over or blow us up. If the latter, you won't feel a thing. So what's the problem?

Signed: MASH's "Painless"

Village Idiot's picture

"If the latter, you won't feel a thing"


For those who believe in more than one life, well, I drowned in one of mine.  Not gonna be painless - I remember what it feels like.  Got meds?  /sarc off 

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Ssh, you can't tell the sleeping sheep the shearing's going to be painful. What the hell's wrong with you? You're gonna panic the entire herd. Stick to the scrip dude and I'll cut you in for another half percent. And this is the last time you shake me down. Try it again and you'll sleep with the fish. :>)

Village Idiot's picture

Like he said, It's going to be painless, don't worry. 


MachoMan's picture

You would think that people would realize there is a constant theme in the madness: "the insurer defaults too."

i.knoknot's picture


heard an ad on one of the sheeple radio stations for 'bond insurance' today for mere mortals. wow.

seems to be an all-or-nothing game for that underwriter... if bonds hold, underwriter does fine. if bonds fail, underwriter fails (after years of great salary), and does fine.


MachoMan's picture

That's not nuts...  it's what's called of rational actors.  I put all my chips on a bet that if it wins, I live large and if I lose, then everyone else in the world is fucked too, so the consequences are relatively small/trivial given I'll have bigger fish to fry at that point...  incredibly simple logic that gets effectuated daily.

The cool thing is that the matter will be resolved soon enough and it does not require us to lift a finger...  not that we have the balls/discipline/initiative to do so anyway.

NOTW777's picture

no worries; GS has hired a black rapper banker; cnbc right on top of it

SteveNYC's picture

That put the funniest image in my head. Perhaps part of their "diversity" program?

"Golden Ballsacks, now hiring hip hop artists from da hood...."

Shameful's picture

Just more of the same. Moral hazard to infinity, debt to infinity.

No thinking person can think this is going to work, everyone is just hoping they can kick the can further down the road. Better to die in comfort and ruin your children and grandchildren then take some of the pain you caused right?

williambanzai7's picture

I'll be Bankrupt...

Ragnarok's picture

It would be sweet if that was followed by Arnold crashing a car into the California congress.

Blano's picture

Ah'll be bahnkrupt....

As Rocky would say, there....fixed it fer ya.

Kali's picture

Ah, so the raid is continuing.   Anybody really think your pension, 401k, IRA is safe?  Many states in same situation.  The State is broke, but their pension funds have a load of "cash" in them. No way taxpayers are gonna be taxed to oblivion when the pension funds have more money in them than the State debt.  Let's Tango! 

centerline's picture

I guess once the legal framework is firmly in place, and the loop is complete, time to implosion will be signficantly shortened!  The money will be vaporized before the ink is dry on the documents.

Bam_Man's picture


These govt pension/benefit payouts (at all levels) will be taxed VERY heavily in the not-too-distant-future. That is the only way the majority will tolerate them.

DosZap's picture


No way, as posted yesterday,day before, John Kerry and Panel,met Sept 14-15th, to discuss alternatives to 401k funds and how their invested.

Bottom line: WE can do it better............and they will be seized, IF your stupid enough to leave it in there, and IRA's willl be the same.

Like SS TF, and MC, they have manged that so well.....guess where it's going now?.Treasuries, and the same place our 401's, and IRA's will go.

Anything they can do to suck you dry,and keep the boat afloat is FREE GAME.


Kali's picture

Yup.  And thanks to many of you here, and others, I cashed out mine back in fall 2007.  I am done screaming at idiots close to retirement, or not, to get their money out NOW.  Will be too late, too soon.  Just read an article where NJ gov employees are lining up around the block to try and get out before Christi (sp?) vaporizes their accounts and bennies.  It's already happening.  Sort of a "bank run" already.  Wait til it hits the banks.  I think time for implosion grows VERY short.

ratava's picture

ben is going for global weimar. go big or go home.

cougar_w's picture

Place this against a backdrop of secession.

CA is maxing out a Fed credit card just before going bk and taking the US west coast into a Pacific-centric federation with Japan and Australia.

The world's 7th largest economy cannot remain part of the United States of America. Either CA will end up bankrolling the rest of the Union, or else will bk and sink the entire ship in one mighty cataclysm.

It's over. Give it another decade, maybe less. But it's over and everyone knows it.

[edit] Hey, I bet Ahnold would run for President then. Of California. He'll be on the committee of Big Men writing the new Constitution ...

DosZap's picture

I can see it now,

"Ve Da Peeples".

Mercury's picture
Calpers Prepares To LBO California

This is just the preview before the entire U.S. public sector LBOs the entire U.S. private sector.

In Washington they call that Change.

Private property will be confiscated outright before a single public pension fails to pay up to the penny.

DosZap's picture

Reminds me of an old Beatles tune,

" You say you want a Revolution, well ya know"

StychoKiller's picture

Happiness is a warm gun...

three chord sloth's picture

Hmmm... to me it looks like California is monetizing the cash flow between itself and its own subdivisions. Borrow a chunk of money from one of your own internal creations and secure that loan with the money you already owe them in the future.

The Golden State out-Goldmans Goldman Sachs!