Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Coming To A Theatre Near You

I happened to catch this piece this morning regarding the wonderful city of Chicago. To tell someone these things were on the horizon a few short years ago was akin to talking to a wall, or an Apple shareholder if you prefer. Does not compute, does not compute. 

Regardless it the Piper is here and he is looking to be paid. This piece, Chicago Faces Crisis Over Pension Funding, How to Pay For It which should be filed under Coming to a Theatre Near You, illustrates just how acute the problem has become. Here is what a few of the local chieftains had to say:

But the chairman of the Finance Committee, Ald. Ed Burke, today talked about a far larger problem. One in four pension funds for city workers will go broke in the next decade, if current funding levels continue and markets don't improve, and all will be belly up by 2032 if nothing gives.

"It's similar to watching the house burn down without turning on the fire hydrant," said Burke, 14th, during the first day of hearings on Daley's proposed $6.15 billion budget. "At the present time, the city pension funds are actually selling assets to meet obligations."

Stabilizing employee pensions long-term would require greater employee contributions, higher taxes, major changes to the pension systems or a combination of those steps. Without relief, the city would have to about double its property taxes for the next 40 years to cover its pension obligations, said Gene Saffold, the city's chief financial officer.

Lovely. Just lovely. Now just in case any of you Windy City folk want a bottom line number on the whole shebang, you might want to sit down now...

To cover the outstanding liabilities, each household in Chicago would have to pay $41,966, the report concluded. That's the highest per-home amount among U.S. cities.

Mother of all credit/debt bubbles, municipal and state finance mushroom clouds, banana republic type mortgage fraud, employment picture nightmare, home foreclosure bottomless pit, personal bankruptcy and food stamp bull markets and yet those contrarians of all contrarians, those Wall St. charlatans who never met a stock they wouldn't buy, cats like Ken Fisher, Vince Farrell, Brian Kelly, Bill Spiropoulos, etc keep pounding the table for stocks.  Go figure.

Housekeeping notes:

On Friday afternoon I was stopped out of my AMZN position at $162.12 for a loss of just over 2pts. 
On Monday I was stopped out of my BIDU position at $105.15 for a loss of just shy of 2pts on 1 unit. 

Good speculating to you all and please remember to never forget that "an investor is a speculator who made a mistake and will not admit it".

Open Positions:
Long 1 unit Direxion Large Cap 3X Bear ticker BGZ @ $19.34
Long 2 units Direxion Small Cap 3X Bear ticker TZA @ $60.30
Long 1 unit Direxion Emerging Mkts 3X Bear ticker EDZ @ $60.50
Long 2 units Direxion Financial 3X Bear ticker FAZ @ $19.65
Long 2 units Ultrashort Xinhua China ticker FXP @ $42.45
Long 1 unit Ultrashort Real Estate ticker SRS @ $49.10
Long 2 units Direxion Tech 3X Bear ticker TYP @ $52.60
Long 1 unit ishares Barclays 20yr Treas ticker TLT @ 92.15 stop @ $98.74
Short 1 unit American Express ticker AXP @ $39.45 stop @ $40.51

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