Bankruptcy

Jim Rogers: ‘Next Period Of Economic Turmoil Is Going To Be Worse Than What We’ve Seen In Our Lifetime’

A couple of days ago I came across an interview with well-known investor, author, and financial commentator Jim Rogers that was published on The Globe and Mail (Canada) website back on January 26. The former investing partner of George Soros in the legendary Quantum Fund answered a number of questions, including one about expressing “some pessimism about the world, particularly the U.S.” Rogers pointed out:

Every four to seven years since the beginning of the Republic, we’ve had economic turmoil. It has now been eight years since we had our last problem. We’re overdue. Mr. Trump has sworn trade wars with Mexico, China and a few others. If that happens, it’s all over. Trade wars have always led to bankruptcies—and often have led to wars, as well…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Rogers added this warning later on in the exchange:

The next period of economic turmoil is going to be worse than what we’ve seen in our lifetime…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

When asked how he prepared financially for such upheaval, the Singapore-based investor replied:

I’m very long the U.S. dollar. It is not a safe haven- the U.S. is the biggest debtor nation in history- but people think it is, so there will be flight into it. It might even turn into a bubble, depending on how bad the turmoil is. Let’s hope I’m smart enough to sell. My plan then is to buy gold

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Greenback, then gold for Mr. Rogers.

Back on December 7, 2016, I blogged about a different interview in which this gameplan was mentioned.

On January 23, I brought up a MarketWatch article featuring Jim Rogers in which markets reporter Sue Chang wrote:

“This is a good time to add dollars,” said Rogers, who believes that the greenback will continue to rise through this year into 2018

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

The Chairman of Rogers Holding also talked about where he sees the best investment opportunities now and other interesting subjects in the insightful Globe and Mail piece, which you can read on their website here.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page; a qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. The creator/Editor of this blog is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information contained herein.)

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$500 Million Chicago Public Schools Budget Shortfall Could Mean More Taxpayer Pain

Yesterday I spotted the following on the Chicago Tribune website concerning the budget gap last year for Chicago Public Schools. Juan Perez, Jr., reported Friday:

Chicago Public Schools faced a shortfall in its operations budget of roughly $500 million at the close of its past fiscal year, leaving the financially troubled district with a significant bill to cover even as it struggles to balance this year’s spending plan.

The budget shortfall was reported in a recently issued financial postmortem for 2016 that also repeated a long-held conclusion: CPS either needs an infusion of new money or will have to make major cuts if it is to keep operating as it has been.

CPS has faced budget gaps for years, but has been able to cover them partly by dipping into cash reserves and tapping costly lines of short-term credit for cash to pay the bills. Those strategies are beginning to reach their limit, district officials acknowledge

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

While reading the article I thought, “Where’s the mention of potential new/higher taxes on Chicagoans?” Sure enough, I spotted the following further down the piece:

There’s also expectations from some observers that the city will again turn to its taxpayers for revenue…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

On January 12, the Global Credit Research division over at Moody’s Investors Service suggested:

CPS could consider more difficult options to address its finances should the State of Illinois (Baa2 negative) be unable or unwilling to provide additional relief: levy for debt service on GO alternate revenue bonds, stop making employer pension contributions, or seek state authorization to file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Stay tuned, Chicago. In the meantime, check out the entire article on the Tribune website here.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Monday, February 6th, 2017 Bankruptcy, Education, Government, Taxes No Comments

Moody’s On Chicago Public Schools Crisis: Consider Tax Levy, Pension Contribution Stoppage, Or Bankruptcy

“Chicago and New York rank at the bottom of a new analysis of fiscal strength based primarily on data from 2015 financial reports issued by the cities themselves. The analysis includes 116 U.S. cities with populations greater than 200,000.

Chicago’s position at the bottom of the ranking is no surprise to anyone who follows municipal finance. The Windy City has become a poster child for financial mismanagement, having suffered a series of ratings downgrades in recent years. Aside from having thin reserves and large volumes of outstanding debt, Chicago is notorious for its underfunded pension plans…”

The Fiscal Times, January 9, 2107

Moody’s Investors Service recently weighed in on Chicago’s well-publicized financial crisis. Last Thursday its Global Credit Research division published the following on the Moody’s website:

While unfunded pension liabilities will continue weighing on the City of Chicago’s (Ba1 negative) credit profile, plans to significantly increase contributions with higher taxes is a favorable departure from prior funding practices. However, the liquidity crisis at Chicago Public Schools (CPS — B3 negative) is worsening amid a continued budget impasse at the state level, Moody’s Investors Service says in two new research reports released today…

In “City of Chicago: Frequently Asked Questions,” Moody’s says despite the city’s expanding economy, revenue growth, and healthy liquidity, its pension burden is likely to remain among the highest of any rated, major local government for many years.

“While Chicago’s recent tax increases will provide revenue to significantly increase pension funding, the city’s unfunded pension liabilities exceed seven times its revenue and are projected to grow for at least 15 more years,” says Matt Butler, Vice President of Moody’s…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

The well-known credit rating agency added this about the city’s public school system:

In a separate report, “Chicago Public Schools: Frequently Asked Questions,” Moody’s states CPS’ fiscal pressures are intensifying due to depletion of reserves following years of imbalanced operations, unrealistic budget assumptions, and escalating pension costs…

Moody’s says CPS could consider more difficult options to address its finances should the State of Illinois (Baa2 negative) be unable or unwilling to provide additional relief: levy for debt service on GO alternate revenue bonds, stop making employer pension contributions, or seek state authorization to file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

MarketWatch news editor Rachel Koning Beals expanded on Moody’s suggestions for dealing with the CPS situation. She wrote Saturday:

Moody’s has a revised shortlist of painful fixes for the public school system in Chicago.

One idea is to approve another increasingly politically unpopular property-tax levy to pay off debt, as the nation’s third-largest school district just issued another batch of high-interest bonds.

The second idea from the credit-ratings agency is to skip a pension payment to the Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund, which would come just months after the district and its teacher‘s union hammered out an 11th-hour contract to avoid a second labor strike in a span of four years.

And last resort? Just declare bankruptcy already

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Who’s the say the City will act on any of these suggestions (at least, right away)? That being said, Chicago taxpayers and CPS employees/retirees might want to take heed of all this.

Head on over to the Moody’s Investors Service website here to read the entire release from the Global Credit Research division. It ain’t pretty.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

Koning Beals, Rachel. “Maybe Chicago schools should declare bankruptcy and get it over with, says Moody’s.” MarketWatch. 14 Jan. 2017. (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/maybe-chicago-schools-should-declare-bankruptcy-and-get-it-over-with-says-moodys-2017-01-13). 16 Jan. 2017.

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Jim Rogers: ‘Not All Of Us Are Going To Survive What’s Coming In The Next Few Years’

Well-known investor, financial commentator, and author Jim Rogers was recently interviewed by Jay Taylor (editor of J Taylor’s Gold & Technology Stocks newsletter) for the radio show Turning Hard Times into Good Times. It was a phenomenal discussion about a number of finance/investing related topics.

Regular readers of Survival And Prosperity know that the former investing partner of George Soros is forecasting that the U.S. economy will be in recession “sometime in the next year or two.” He’s also seeing signs of the next economic crisis “already happening.” But does Rogers think the winner of this November’s U.S. presidential election will turn the country around? He lamented:

No matter who of the major candidates, no matter who wins Jay, it’s not going to be good for America or good for the world. If Donald Trump does the things he says he going to do, I mean, we’re going to have trade wars with half the world. Well trade wars have always, always, throughout history led to bankruptcy and led to war. I don’t know if he means what he says, I don’t know if he knows he means what he says. But Sanders of course, Sanders will bankrupt us very, very quickly. Hillary Clinton, for god’s sake, she’s a disaster too! The bankruptcy will just be slower, that’s all, if she’s elected. So, I don’t see any prospects for salvation for the U.S. from the present people who are likely to become President of the United States.

Host Jay Taylor asked the world traveler if he knew of any “safe” place where Americans could weather the approaching economic storm. From their exchange:

TAYLOR: Is there any place- you’re in Singapore, I suspect you feel relatively safe there- but is there any place where people might go, people who cherish freedom and the opportunities to use their God-given talents? Is there any place on Earth besides Singapore, or where can we go? Is there any place to go? It used to be the United States. I felt that we were safe here. Is there any place we can go to be safe? I guess the answer is probably there’s no place you can be sure of, right?
ROGERS: Well, there’s no place at the moment that I know of. Even Singapore, as I said before, the port here is the most important port in Asia and if things blow up, everybody needs that port. And Singapore has a lot of Muslim neighbors too that could turn into a problem some day. Where would one go? I think one needs to find an isolated place. I guess maybe some places in South America. Maybe a way to make it through. Some places in Asia. North Korea, I’m very optimistic. North Korea has dramatic changes taking place. It’s where China was in 1981. But if there’s a war, North Korea is probably going to be involved. All of Korea is probably going to be involved too. But you need to find a place Jay that’s not in the mainstream where people don’t really care too much. But even then you have to be careful because you wind end up in a place where the army’s using you as a highway or a transit point. So you have to be careful.

Rogers concluded the interview with this advice to listeners:

I urge people to get knowledgeable from listening to you and other people like you, because the world is facing some very complicated and difficult times. Once you become knowledgeable, you’re going to get very worried, which you should, and then you might get prepared, because not all of us are going to survive what’s coming in the next few years. I hope I survive, I hope everybody listening to this survives. But it’s going to be a very, very damaging and difficult time. So be worried. Be prepared.


“Where is Jim Rogers Investing His Money Now?”
YouTube Video

Jim Rogers’ latest book…

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Martin Armstrong Warns Illinois ‘Taxpayers Are Absolutely Screwed And This Is Not A Place You Want To Own Property’

Speaking of Martin Armstrong, I was reading the economist’s blog early Wednesday morning when I came across the following in his April 4 post entitled “Illinois on the Brink of Bankruptcy”:

The pension crisis is brewing and the one state that appears to be heading toward a complete bankruptcy is Illinois. Clients should not own ANY debt from Illinois, be it city, municipal, or state. Just get out before the curtain falls. The Illinois Constitution plainly states that pension benefits, once granted, “shall not be diminished or impaired.” Thus, taxpayers are absolutely screwed and this is not a place you want to own property

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

“Taxpayers are absolutely screwed and this is not a place you want to own property”

“Just get out before the curtain falls”

Regular readers of Survival And Prosperity know this has been a major concern of mine for a couple of years now. I blogged back on November 9, 2012:

Events that have unfolded at the local level on up for some time now have convinced me that my future lies outside of Chicago, Cook County, and Illinois. Which is a shame, because as I’ve mentioned before, my family has deep ties to the area. So much so a number of family members are familiar with the tale of one ancestor who fought courageously to save his tailor shop (at least the contents of it) from the approaching flames of the Great Chicago Fire back in 1871.

141 years later, another looming disaster looks to be in store for me and my loved ones if I don’t take action, and soon.

It’s bad enough Chicago, Cook County, and Illinois was already overrun by too many residents that live their lives in pursuit of the Ubi East Mea (“Where’s Mine?”) mentality and politicians who have been quick to pander to these individuals with “free” things in exchange for votes- long before last Tuesday’s election results revealed the rest of America is now marching down this same path.

But combine this with poor financial health, a bleak economic outlook, and growing attacks on the finances and freedoms of productive, law-abiding residents as politicians rob Peter to pay Paul in their attempt to remain in office- and you’ve got one hell of a mess coming to this area of the Midwest in the next few years.

Eventually, I predict the productive residents will split town (this happened before in Chicago in the late 60s-early 70s in some neighborhoods), there will be no more money for “freebies,” and the “Where’s Mine?” brigade will riot. Athens-style.

As I’ve been telling those close to me for some time now, “First you’ll see the strikes. Then the larger protests. Until finally, the riots.”

History shows you don’t want to be in the city when the riots break out.

And I don’t plan on being here in Chicago when the coming civil strife erupts either.

I split town several months after writing all that.

You can read Armstrong’s entire blog post on his company’s website here. Disturbing stuff for citizens of “Madiganistan.”

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s note: A qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. The creator/Editor of this blog is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information contained herein.)

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Jim Rogers Warns ‘We Are Going To Have Serious Problems In 2016 And 2017’

Last time I blogged about the well-known investor, author, and financial commentator Jim Rogers, I said:

It’s been interesting watching him lately attach timeframes to some of his forecasts.

I quoted a March 4, 2016, piece on the Bloomberg website where it was reported:

The famous investor said that there was a 100 percent probability that the U.S. economy would be in a downturn within one year

(Editor’s note: Blog added for emphasis)

The former investing partner of George Soros just shared another forecast- with a timeframe- in a recent interview with The Korea Times. Kim Jae-kyoung wrote on March 13:

“We are going to have serious problems in 2016 and 2017. It will be worse than 2008”

I expect markets to collapse like they did in 2008. It started in the middle of 2014 and that has been going worse and worse. I don’t know when the market will hit rock bottom but probably next year will be the worst.”

(Editor’s note: Blog added for emphasis)

Jae-kyoung added later:

Rogers said that situation is much worse now than in 2008, when the epicenter of the crisis was the U.S. But this time the crisis will be uibiquitous, he said, expecting that major economies, including the U.S., Japan and Europe, will all suffer further setbacks.

“It’s going to be the U.S. again because America is the largest debtor nation,” he said, “but this time, Portugal is going to go bankrupt, Italy is going to go bankrupt and the U.K. is going to collapse. It’s going to happen in a lot of places.”

(Editor’s note: Blog added for emphasis)

In the insightful Korea Times interview, the Singapore-based Rogers went on to share investment advice with readers, which you can read all about on the newspaper’s website here.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page; a qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. The creator/Editor of this blog is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information contained herein.)

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Former BIS Chief Economist William White: ‘Situation Is Worse Than It Was In 2007’

For over a decade now, I’ve read an enormous amount of material concerning developments in the global economy/larger financial system. Particularly as it pertains to the health of that system. And not too many articles have grabbed my attention during that time like the one penned by The Telegraph’s (UK) international business editor Ambrose Evans-Pritchard on their website last week. From his January 19 article:

The global financial system has become dangerously unstable and faces an avalanche of bankruptcies that will test social and political stability, a leading monetary theorist has warned.

“The situation is worse than it was in 2007. Our macroeconomic ammunition to fight downturns is essentially all used up,” said William White, the Swiss-based chairman of the OECD’s review committee and former chief economist of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS).

“Debts have continued to build up over the last eight years and they have reached such levels in every part of the world that they have become a potent cause for mischief,” he said…

“The only question is whether we are able to look reality in the eye and face what is coming in an orderly fashion, or whether it will be disorderly”

The European banking system may have to be recapitalized on a scale yet unimagined, and new “bail-in” rules mean that any deposit holder above the guarantee of €100,000 will have to help pay for it.

The warnings have special resonance since Mr White was one of the very few voices in the central banking fraternity who stated loudly and clearly between 2005 and 2008 that Western finance was riding for a fall, and that the global economy was susceptible to a violent crisis…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

In case some readers didn’t know, the Bank of International Settlements, or BIS, is basically the bank of central banks. And White was their chief economist.

He also commented on the Federal Reserve’s interest rate quagmire. From the piece:

Mr White said the Fed is now in a horrible quandary as it tries to extract itself from QE and right the ship again. “It is a debt trap. Things are so bad that there is no right answer. If they raise rates it’ll be nasty. If they don’t raise rates, it just makes matters worse,” he said…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

“Crash prophet” Peter Schiff has been harping on the rate trap for some time now.

It’s one thing when someone like Schiff points out fissures in the system. And it’s another when an “insider” like William White sounds the alarm.

You can read Evans-Pritchard’s disturbing article in its entirety here on The Telegraph website.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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