Defending public pensions

I’ve written a lot about how public pensions came to be blamed for the fiscal crisis looming (or already “crippling”) many cities and states. The National Public Pension Project has been working since 2007 to change the narrative about the value of public pension plans, and has an interesting website …

Chicago’s Credit Rating Downgraded by Moody’s – NYTimes.com

The pension battle in Chicago and Illinois will be fueled by Moody’s latest announcement: Moody’s Investors Service downgraded Chicago’s credit rating, citing the city’s unfunded pension liabilities. The agency announced Tuesday it was lowering the rating on $8.3 billion in debt to Baa1, from A3, putting it only three notches above junk status. …

Syracuse, New York

Syracuse is one of many cities in New York State struggling to close a deficit. This local news story about Syracuse follows the pattern of pretty much every other local fiscal crisis: SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The next mayor of Syracuse will preside over a city that will go broke unless …

Detroit, bankruptcy, and the national pension fixation

The post I wish I had time to write: how easily people can imagine taking away a retiree’s pension, how small those pensions usually are, and how controversial the assessment of Detroit’s (and everyone else’s) actual pension problem is (for starters, Morningstar says Detroit followed industry practice for its pension …

In Embattled Detroit, No Talk of Sharing Pain – NYTimes.com

Detroit, currently under the governance of an emergency manager, seems destined for bankruptcy or mass default (it has already begun to default on some of its credit payments. Either scenario will be groundbreaking in municipal finance and in the power relationships between bankers, retirees, cities, and states. The impending battle …