Category Archives: Public finance

Detroit’s dodgy numbers

Cate Long wrote an important piece at her Reuters blog today on the possibility that Detroit’s emergency manager has over-inflated the city’s pension liabilities. As Long notes (and as I describe in the post below), Orr changed the way the … Continue reading

Posted in Pensions, Public finance | 1 Comment

How did Detroit’s pensions fail so badly?

Pension liabilities are at the center of the fiscal collapse that led to Detroit’s bankruptcy filing today. The scale of the disaster, and the precedent its resolution will likely set, call for a closer look at what went so badly … Continue reading

Posted in Pensions, Public finance | 4 Comments

Addendum – new chart

There was a fair comment on Twitter yesterday about the usefulness of the relative contribution chart in the post below given the absence of  the years with negative numbers. It’s true that the graphs were misleading without them, but it’s … Continue reading

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Correcting the record on public pension funding

This will have to be brief as I’m working on something related, but I wanted to share something I discovered today as it touches on the increasingly political subject of public pensions and underfunding. In my research, I came across … Continue reading

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As I was saying…

I was wondering when I wrote that post yesterday whether I went too far in my gloomy statements about the likely effects of rising interest rates on municipalities. I guess I wasn’t so far off the mark – from today’s … Continue reading

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Municipal debt: from time machine to time bomb?

Kevyn Orr’s proposal to Detroit’s creditors last week included a wealth of information about the extent of the destruction of Detroit as a livable city, much of which has already been addressed elsewhere. The report also includes a good deal … Continue reading

Posted in Pensions, Public finance | 3 Comments

Detroit is not Dhalgren

Samuel Delaney’s po-mo science fiction masterpiece Dhalgren has been linked to Detroit since it was published shortly after the urban convulsions of the late 1960s. It’s not hard to see why – the book describes the fictional city of Bellona … Continue reading

Posted in Labor, Pensions, Public finance | Leave a comment