Illinois

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Junk-Rated Chicago Has A Billion Dollar Pension Problem





In downgrading the city, Moody’s said it expected “Chicago's credit challenges will continue, both in the near term and in the long term [as] unfunded liabilities of the Municipal, Laborer, Police, and Fire pension plans grow and exert increasing pressure on the city's operating budget.” That looks to have been an accurate assessment, because as Bloomberg reports, Chicago’s budget gap is set to triple by 2017.

 
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Meanwhile, Mass Layoffs Continue For America's Miners





Murray Energy, the third-largest coal producer in the US, will layoff 21% of its employees with the majority of the cuts coming in West Virginia, which is staring down a $195 million budget gap thanks to the slide in coal prices. Meanwhile, CEO and founder Robert Murray is buying more coal mines.

 
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Thousands Gather At McDonald's Headquarters Demanding Higher Wages





"Protesters hailing from as far away as Kansas City and New York City participated in a demonstration at McDonald's Oak Brook headquarters Wednesday, urging that hourly wages for the burger giant's front-line workers be increased to $15 an hour", the Chicago Tribune reports. Police estimated the crowd at about 2,000 people. Organizers had projected that upward of 5,000 would participate in the demonstration.

 
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You Know It's A Fiscal Crisis When... Republicans Raise Taxes





"Six years after the recession ended, many U.S. states are hard pressed to balance budgets because of a sluggish recovery and their own policy decisions and in fact, thirty-two states faced budget gaps in fiscal 2015 or 2016 or both." Bloomberg reports. Indeed, state and local governments are so broke that "even Republican governors loath to raise taxes have proposed higher levies."

 
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Chicago "Junking" Triggers $2.2 Billion Payment, Deepening Financial Crisis





Following an Illinois Supreme Court ruling that struck down a pension reform plan aimed at closing a $100 billion funding gap, Moody's downgrades Chicago to junk, giving the city the dubious distinction of being the only major city "in recent history" to carry such a low rating other than Detroit. Chicago now faces accelerated payments to creditors of more than $2 billion.

 
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Almost Half Of US States Are Officially Broke





At least 22 states are facing budget shortfalls thanks to a combination of fiscal mismanagement and falling oil prices. The negative impact on the public sector has been dramatic suggesting that in the event of a sustained economic downturn, citizens' patience for austerity could wear thin leading to political instability and social unrest. 

 
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Seymour Hersh: Obama's Entire Account Of bin Laden's Death Is One Big Lie; This Is What Really Happened





"The White House’s story might have been written by Lewis Carroll: would bin Laden, target of a massive international manhunt, really decide that a resort town forty miles from Islamabad would be the safest place to live and command al-Qaida’s operations? It was inevitable that the Obama administration’s lies, misstatements and betrayals would create a backlash... High-level lying nevertheless remains the modus operandi of US policy, along with secret prisons, drone attacks, Special Forces night raids, bypassing the chain of command, and cutting out those who might say no." - Seymour Hersh

 
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America's Vanishing Worker: The Truth Behind The "Recovery" Propaganda





There is propaganda, and then there is the harsh reality, as shown by the case of Denny Rder, 47, of Decatur, Illinois: "look closer, and this city of 75,000 resembles many communities across the industrial Midwest, where the unemployment rate is falling fast in part because workers are disappearing: moving away, retiring or no longer looking for a job."

 
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ISIS Warns Of "Harsher And Worse" US Attacks After Claiming Responsibility For Botched Texas Shooting





As we first reported on Monday, ISIS has indeed claimed responsibility for the attack on a security guard in Garland, Texas on Sunday evening. In a statement, the group warns of further attacks that it promises will be "worse and more bitter" and may be "just around the corner." 

 
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Legal Corruption In The US: Meet The 1% Of The 1% Who Drive American Politics





"In the 2014 elections, 31,976 donors - equal to roughly one percent of one percent of the total population of the United States - accounted for an astounding $1.18 billion in disclosed political contributions at the federal level. Those big givers - what we have termed the Political One Percent of the One Percent - have a massively outsized impact on federal campaigns.They’re mostly male, tend to be city-dwellers and often work in finance. Slightly more of them skew Republican than Democratic. A small subset - barely five dozen — earned the (even more) rarefied distinction of giving more than $1 million each. And a minute cluster of three individuals contributed more than $10 million apiece."

 
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For-Profit College Closures: The Next Billion Dollar Taxpayer Bailout?





The sudden closure of Corinthian Colleges' remaining campuses has displaced some 16,000 students. If all of their student debt is canceled — which is possible — it will cost taxpayers more than $200 million. With the government cracking down on the for-profit education space and with nearly 90% of students at for profit-colleges dependent on loans, the demise of the for-profit model could end up costing taxpayers quite a pretty penny.

 
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Initial Claims Worse Than Expected (Again), Remain Flat For 2015





For the second week in a row, initial claims were worse than expected and increased year-to-date, While still below the magic 300k levels, claims printed 295k against expectations of 288k confirming the stagnation of the job market since the end of QE3 and the government's fiscal year. California and New York saw the biggest rise in initial claims with only Illinois seeing a drop; notably Texas saw layoffs across various sectors as it seems it ius not as 'diverse' as Richard Fisher propagandized. After 4 straight weeks of decline, continuing claims rose this week by the most in almost 3 months (but remains close to 15 year lows).

 

 
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Full Scapegoat Retard: Trader Arrested For 2010 Flash Crash





  • FUTURES TRADER ARRESTED FOR ALLEGED ROLE IN 2010 FLASH CRASH
  • FUTURES TRADER CHARGED WITH ILLEGALLY MANIPULATING STOCK MKT
  • SARAO HAS BEEN CHARGED WITH COMMODITIES, WIRE FRAUD: GOELMAN
  • SARAO WAS ARRESTED AT HIS HOME IN LONDON TODAY, GOELMAN SAYS
  • CFTC FILES CIVIL CASE AGAINST NAVINDER SINGH SARAO
 
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Fed’s Dudley Warns about Wave of Municipal Bankruptcies





At the New York Fed’s evocatively named workshop, “Chapter 9 and Alternatives for Distressed Municipalities and States.”

 
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