Mapping America's Underfunded State Pension And Healthcare Liability Debacle

The map below, which shows the gravity of America's pervasive pension and healthcare liability underfunding problem, should certainly raise a few eyebrows. Sourced from the IMF's Article IV presentation which in turn sources the data from the Pew Center, the map shows that even despite the near doubling in the S&P since the March 2009 lows, there are still at least 9 states that have a minimum 35% underfunding in their pension and liability obligations. As a result, we expect that just like in the case of Illinois recently, many more states will be forced to issue debt to fund various entitlement plans on a "paycheck to paycheck basis." It also means that ever more states will begin scrambling after high beta, low quality, and very high risk stocks (in many cases selling CDS), in order to refill their coffers. We can only hope that the biggest dip buyer of NFLX stock today is not the Louisiana Retirement Fund system (for example), but we have a feeling we would be quite wrong.