Borrowing

State Of Illinois Downgraded By Fitch Ratings

Fitch Ratings, a major U.S. credit rating agency, announced this afternoon it had downgraded the State of Illinois. From their news release:

Fitch Ratings has downgraded the following ratings of the state of Illinois:

Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to ‘BBB’ from ‘BBB+;
$25.9 billion in outstanding general obligation (GO) bonds to ‘BBB’ from ‘BBB+’;
–$431 million Illinois Sports Facilities Authority sports facilities bonds (state tax supported) to ‘BBB-‘from ‘BBB’;
–$2.6 billion Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority McCormick Place expansion project bonds to ‘BBB-‘ from ‘BBB’;
–$267.8 million city of Chicago motor fuel tax revenue bonds to ‘BBB-‘ from ‘BBB’.

The Rating Watch Negative is maintained…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

With this downgrade, Illinois’ new credit rating is just two notches above “junk” status.

Fitch noted:

The downgrade of Illinois’s IDR and related ratings reflects the unprecedented failure of the state to enact a full budget for two consecutive years and the financial implications of spending far in excess of available revenues, which has resulted in increased accumulated liabilities and reduced financial flexibility. Even if the current attempts at a resolution to the extended impasse prove successful, Fitch believes that the failure to act to date has fundamentally weakened the state’s financial profile….

Fitch expects to resolve the Rating Watch within the next six months based on an assessment of the state’s fiscal trajectory as it starts fiscal 2018. If the state continues on the current path, a further downgrade would be warranted

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

You can read the entire Fitch Ratings news release here on their website.

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

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Wednesday, February 1st, 2017 Bonds, Borrowing, Credit, Debt Crisis, Fiscal Policy, Government, Spending Comments Off on State Of Illinois Downgraded By Fitch Ratings

State Of Illinois’ Unpaid Bills Could Spike To $15 Billion By July

Bad news about the State of Illinois’ finances keeps rolling in. Monique Garcia reported on the website of the Chicago Tribune this morning:

The state has a record stack of unpaid bills that’s expected to hit $15 billion by July if nothing is done, and it must fork over interest when it’s late paying them. Putting a hard dollar figure on those interest costs is difficult, however…

The potential price tag is high enough that Senate leaders from both parties are pushing a plan to borrow billions of dollars to help whittle down the bill backlog and limit interest payments…

Under the plan being pushed by Democratic and Republican leaders in the Senate, Illinois would borrow $7 billion over seven years to pay down the bill backlog and bring the payment cycle closer to 30 days…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

The Tribune article comes after Governor Bruce Rauner pointed out in his State of the State address last Wednesday:

We haven’t had a full year budget of some kind in a year-and-a-half- and we haven’t had a state budget that is truly balanced in decades. We have more than $11 billion in unpaid bills, a $130 billion unfunded pension liability, and the worst credit rating in the nation. We have the 5th highest overall tax burden and one of the lowest rates of job creation of any state

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Garcia’s piece took a close look at the interest payments associated with the bill backlog debacle, which you can read about here on the Tribune site.

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

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Monday, January 30th, 2017 Borrowing, Business, Credit, Debt Crisis, Fiscal Policy, Government, Political Parties, Spending, Taxes Comments Off on State Of Illinois’ Unpaid Bills Could Spike To $15 Billion By July

Illinois ‘Grand Bargain’ Legislation Includes 32 Percent Personal Income Tax Hike

Illinois taxpayers may get hit with a significant income tax hike pretty soon. John O’Connor of the Associated Press reported Sunday on The State Journal-Register website:

If last week’s action is any indication, the Democratic and Republican leaders of the Illinois Senate are serious about attempting to bust the state’s 18-month budget deadlock – quickly…

Promising to act on a package by month’s end, they introduced 13 measures Wednesday that included non-budget-related sweeteners for both sides. By Thursday, they had been rapidly assigned public committee hearings…

Here’s a look at other major pieces of the legislation some in the Capitol have nicknamed the “grand bargain”:

* Income tax increase: The personal income tax would jump from 3.75 percent to 4.95 percent, a plan to generate $4.1 billion a year. With spending cuts, Democrats argue, that could eliminate what the governor’s office estimates will be a $5.3 billion deficit on the June 30 end of the fiscal year…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

The proposed 32 percent income tax hike is not a sure thing, as O’Connor noted:

The outstanding question is if a Senate-approved deal would ultimately pass muster with Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan, who has refused to entertain Rauner’s pro-business agenda as part of budget talks…

Six years ago, the 3 percent personal income tax rate jumped to 5 percent until 2015, when the rate rolled back to the current 3.75 percent.

Like I just suggested to Chicago taxpayers in the previous post, Illinois taxpayers might want to take heed of what’s potentially coming down the pipeline.

Other pieces of legislation include $7 billion more borrowing to pay off overdue bills (now at $10.7 billion), which you can read about on the The State Journal-Register site here.

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

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Monday, January 16th, 2017 Borrowing, Debt Crisis, Fiscal Policy, Government, Income, Political Parties, Taxes Comments Off on Illinois ‘Grand Bargain’ Legislation Includes 32 Percent Personal Income Tax Hike

Peter Schiff: ‘The Dollar Is Going To Tank, And With It Is Going To Go The Standard Of Living Of America’

Peter Schiff, the CEO of Euro Pacific Capital, appeared on the Alex Jones Show last Friday along with financial newsletter writer Harry S. Dent. Schiff, who correctly-called last decade’s housing crash and recent global economic crisis, was asked by host Alex Jones about the state of the economy and what is going to be “the next shoe to drop.” Schiff replied:

I think the state of the economy is a disaster… But even if Harry is right, and the price of gold goes down, the price of real estate is going down more. The price of stocks is going down more. The price of everything else is going to go down more. So if you have your money in gold, and the price of gold falls, you’re still going to be richer than most everybody else on the planet… But if I’m right, and the dollar tanks, and you follow Harry’s advice, you’re broke, you’ve got nothing.

When asked about the state of the U.S. dollar. Schiff warned:

This is a gigantic bubble. We have conned the world into supplying us with merchandise in exchange for money that we create out of nothing with no real value. We’ve been able to borrow all this money. We have no ability to ever repay it. In fact, if interest rates go up we can’t even service the debt, let alone retire it. It’s all going to be inflated away. And the dollar is going to tank, and with it is going to go the standard of living of America, because we’ve basically decimated our industrial production. That is the problem. We’re living on credit, on printed money, and this is coming to an end. You need to be in gold and other assets.


“Peter Schiff and Harry Dent Debate on Economy”
(above exchange starts at 24 minutes)
YouTube Video

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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Monday, March 28th, 2016 Borrowing, Bubbles, Commodities, Crash Prophets, Credit, Currencies, Debt Crisis, Inflation, Interest Rates, Investing, Monetary Policy, Money Supply, Precious Metals Comments Off on Peter Schiff: ‘The Dollar Is Going To Tank, And With It Is Going To Go The Standard Of Living Of America’

From My Other Blog: Jim Rogers, Martin Armstrong, And Jeff Thomas

The last couple of days I’ve published a few posts on a different blog of mine- Offshore Safe Deposit Boxes– which might interest Survival And Prosperity readers. They include:

“Jim Rogers: ‘All Investors, Wherever They Are, Should Have Some Assets Outside Of Their Own Country’”

In that same Sovereign Society interview of investor Jim Rogers I blogged about Wednesday, the former investing partner of George Soros emphasized the importance of geographical diversification with one’s assets

“Martin Armstrong Predicts U.S. Government Will Confiscate Gold If Traveling With It Domestically, Overseas”

Economist Martin Armstrong predicts that while an “official” gold confiscation program might not be announced/implemented, the federal government will slap restrictions on traveling at home/abroad with gold and may go so far as to make precious metals transactions in the U.S. illegal, opening the door to confiscation

“Related Reading: ‘Are Governments Running Out Of Candy?’ By Jeff Thomas”

Jeff Thomas, feature writer for Casey Research’s International Man and the Cayman Islands private vault Strategic Wealth Preservation, discussed how government “freebies” are drying up, the historical pattern of economic collapse when politicians are unable to raise more taxes/ borrow more money, and the three groups of victims in the general public from the crash – including the “Preparers”

Enjoy…

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

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Friday, February 26th, 2016 Borrowing, Commodities, Crash Prophets, Currencies, Fiscal Policy, Government, Investing, Legal, Precious Metals, Preparedness, Taxes Comments Off on From My Other Blog: Jim Rogers, Martin Armstrong, And Jeff Thomas

Peter Schiff: ‘The Whole U.S. Economy Is One Gigantic Bubble At This Point’

Back to finance and investing matters. In 2012, “crash prophet” Peter Schiff predicted Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve would attempt to inflate another asset bubble to revive the U.S. economy.

The CEO and chief global strategist of Euro Pacific Capital underestimated how successful they would be- in terms of inflating multiple bubbles.

Schiff, who correctly called the housing bust and 2008 economic crisis, was on the phone with Free Talk Live discussing the student loan bubble last Sunday when he told listeners:

I think we have a much bigger bubble. The bubble in student loans is a small part of what’s actually going on. The government has managed to reflate the housing bubble, the stock market bubble, but we have a bond market bubble, a dollar bubble, a consumer loan bubble. The whole U.S. economy is one gigantic bubble at this point. That’s all we’ve got left. And that’s why interest rates have been at zero percent for almost seven years because the Fed is desperately trying to keep the air in these bubbles. It doesn’t want them to deflate. It doesn’t want to pop them. That’s why I don’t believe they’re actually planning on raising interest rates. I think they recognize that they cannot prick this bubble because it will be much worse than the bursting of the housing bubble or the dot-com bubble. But there is no avoiding this. The government has created this disaster and there’s no way around it. They’re just trying whatever they can to delay the inevitable. But because they’ve succeeded in delaying it, they’ve just made it much, much worse. It’s going to be a lot worse. So people really have to protect themselves from this. More so than I think in past crises…

Owning gold is one way to protect yourself. But people should also diversify. They shouldn’t only have gold. But they should definitely have some gold. But they should also invest internationally.


“The US Economy Is One Giant Bubble”
YouTube Video

Schiff later warned:

So there’s a lot, I think, that’s going to happen to really upend the status quo. And I think a lot people are going to go broke in this next crisis. And if you’re not prepared for it, you could suffer that fate. So I think it’s more important now, even than with the dot-com bubble or the housing bubble because this one is going to have much more profound consequences for typical Americans when it bursts. I think we’re going to see a big loss of value of the dollar, not just internationally and not just for tourists going to Europe. But as Americans try to buy things here in America. Things that they used to be able to afford are going to be completely unaffordable for the vast majority of Americans.

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

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page; I am 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 presented herein)

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Thursday, September 10th, 2015 Bonds, Borrowing, Bubbles, Commodities, Crash Prophets, Currencies, Education, Federal Reserve, Government, Housing, Interest Rates, Investing, Main Street, Monetary Policy, Precious Metals, Stimulus, Stocks Comments Off on Peter Schiff: ‘The Whole U.S. Economy Is One Gigantic Bubble At This Point’

Chicago Public Schools Budget: Property Taxes Hiked To The Max

“Property tax hikes.” Something Chicagoans better get used to hearing in the coming years. Hal Dardick, Heather Gillers, and Juan Perez, Jr., reported on the Chicago Tribune website last night:

Chicago Public Schools unveiled a budget Monday meant to pressure Gov. Bruce Rauner and state lawmakers into providing nearly a half-billion dollars in pension relief, a gambit school officials warn will bring painful cuts if help doesn’t arrive by Jan. 1.

In addition to help from the state, the $5.7 billion operating budget relies on extensive borrowing, an influx of tens of millions in dollars in surpluses from special city taxing districts and an increase of the district’s property tax

To help patch over a budget gap the district said exceeds $1.1 billion, CPS will raise its property taxes to the maximum amount allowable — resulting in a $19 tax bill bump for the owner of a $250,000 home, the district said — while pushing $200 million in debt into the future…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

$19 here, a few bucks there, and pretty soon all these “bumps” start to add up, leading to mass frustration among Chicago taxpayers. And’s this particular increase isn’t a one-off either. From the Tribune piece:

And if Springfield does comes through — which is far from a sure thing — [Chicago schools chief Forrest] Claypool said the district would still need concessions from unions and larger tax hikes in years to come to keep up with the cost of ballooning pension payments…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Like I said, “mass frustration.”

At what point does it all boil over?

Chicago taxpayers should probably read this article in its entirety to get a clearer picture of what looks to be in store for their pocketbooks in the near future and farther down the road. You can find the piece on the Tribune website here.

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

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Tuesday, August 11th, 2015 Borrowing, Debt Crisis, Deficits, Education, Entitlements, Fiscal Policy, Government, Taxes Comments Off on Chicago Public Schools Budget: Property Taxes Hiked To The Max

Chicago Tribune: ‘Chicagoans Should Consider A Modest Property Tax Increase Inevitable’

Coming on the heels of last Thursday’s post and an earlier one about Chicago-area property/other taxes was an article by Chicago Tribune business columnist Melissa Harris entitled “Chicago isn’t Detroit- and it’s not going bankrupt.”

In the June 20 piece, Harris attempted to argue exactly what the title says (critics are panning it as “Machine”/union propaganda). But what interested me were statements like this:

More revenue will be required soon, most likely in the form of a property tax increase.

Not only is Chicago’s property tax rate lower than those in many suburbs, Chicago’s effective property tax rate ranked 49th out of the 50 largest cities in each state, according to 2009 U.S. Census data…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

And this:

Chicagoans should consider a modest property tax increase inevitable, though how much of an increase it will be could be affected by Moody’s decision, which made it more expensive for Chicago to borrow money…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

If one believes claims the Chicago news media routinely carries Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s water, increased tax hike chatter and growing comparisons of the city to other municipalities by the local press could be sending a strong signal to Chicagoans that they’ll be required to bust out their wallets shortly.

You can read the rest of that column on the Chicago Tribune website here (registration required)

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

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Sunday, June 21st, 2015 Borrowing, Credit, Debt Crisis, Fiscal Policy, Government, Mainstream Media, Political Parties, Propaganda, Taxes Comments Off on Chicago Tribune: ‘Chicagoans Should Consider A Modest Property Tax Increase Inevitable’

Peter Schiff Advises Americans, Greeks: ‘Don’t Hold On To Dollars, Just Like You’re Not Going To Hold On To Drachma’

Tuesday, the CEO of Euro Pacific Capital, Peter Schiff, compared Greece’s financial situation with what’s going on in the United States. From his April 14 SchiffGold “Gold Videocast” entry on YouTube.com:

The only difference between Greece and the United States is the perception of our creditors. Because we are just as broke. We have borrowed more money than we can repay. Not only have we borrowed it like Greece, and we owe over $18 trillion when it comes to the national debt- the bonds that have been issued where we actually owe principal and interest payments. But just like Greece politicians, American politicians have made all sorts of promises to everybody to get votes. And there’s nothing that’s going to stop the U.S. government from repaying its commitments in worthless money. Just like there’s nothing that’s going to stop the Greeks once they get the Euro out of the way, and go back to the drachma…

And when the dollar collapses, and prices skyrocket, it’s not going to do any good if the government kept its promise in money that doesn’t buy anything. So I would give the same advice today to Americans as I would for Greeks:

Don’t hold on to dollars, just like you’re not going to hold on to drachma. Turn your dollars into something else, something of real, tangible value, that the government can’t create out of thin air. And I think the best choice would be gold. Gold or silver can retain their purchasing power in the face of government default through inflation.


“Greece and the Euro Breakup; Why the US Dollar Is Facing an Even Bigger Crisis”
YouTube Video

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

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page; I am 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 presented herein.)

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Tuesday, April 14th, 2015 Borrowing, Commodities, Crash Prophets, Currencies, Debt Crisis, Defaults, Europe, Government, Inflation, Investing, Monetary Policy, Monetization, Money Supply, Precious Metals Comments Off on Peter Schiff Advises Americans, Greeks: ‘Don’t Hold On To Dollars, Just Like You’re Not Going To Hold On To Drachma’

Jim Rogers: ‘When This Ends, It’s Going To Be Much Worse Than The Last Time We Had A Big Collapse In The Financial Markets’

Investor Jim Rogers appeared on Bloomberg TV India last Friday. Anupriya Nair asked the CEO of Rogers Holdings about a number of financial/investing topics, including his outlook for emerging markets. The co-founder of the legendary Quantum Fund issued the following warning to viewers. From their exchange:

NAIR: Jim, you’re an avid traveler as well. We here in the emerging markets are bystanders and watchers of what’s happening in the developing world. Should we be concerned though with the kind of movements we’re seeing in global currency and commodity markets. Is this the making of a perfect storm for emerging markets?
ROGERS: Oh yes. We’re going to have serious problems. America’s stock markets have been going up, almost straight up, for six years. That’s very unusual. At the same time, debt has been going higher and higher and higher all over the world, and central banks have been printing a lot of money. That is not normal. When this ends, it’s going to be much worse than the last time we had a big collapse in the financial markets. It’s going to be much, much worse. So yeah, we all should be concerned. We’re getting some signals now, in the emerging markets- markets which borrowed a lot of money. No, it’s going to be a mess the next time we have a financial crisis. And we will have financial crises- we’ve been having them since the beginning of time. If anybody tells you there’s no more financial crises, run the other way.

The entire interview can be viewed on the Bloomberg TV India website here. That bit about the next financial crisis starts at 5:21.

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

(Editor’s note: I am 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 presented herein.)

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Sunday, March 29th, 2015 Banking, Borrowing, Crash Prophets, Debt Crisis, Emerging Markets, Investing, Monetary Policy, Money Supply, Stocks Comments Off on Jim Rogers: ‘When This Ends, It’s Going To Be Much Worse Than The Last Time We Had A Big Collapse In The Financial Markets’
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