In The News Today

Posted at 5:07 PM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

My Dear Friends,

I am on call for a trip to Tanzania. I will know soon if and when I am leaving.

If I go we will be in touch by email. Thanks to Tanzania’s new level of communication, I will not be out of touch.

Regards,
Jim

 

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

The lack of care for the public is at a level probably not so high since Attila the Hun rode off the steps. You could not make this stuff up.

PFG trustee goes to bat for PFG lawyer
By Daniel P. Collins
August 30, 2012

Days after receiving a letter from a former Peregrine Financial Group (PFG) customer complaining about the lack of progress in getting money back to former PFG customers and a general lack of communication with customers, Ira Bodenstein, Chapter 7 trustee in the PFG bankruptcy, asked a judge for permission to increase the pay of the PFG general counsel from $380,219 to $400,000.

The request was part of a motion to continue to operate the PFG estate through Nov. 12. It notes that the trustee had retained 57 of the 241 PFG employees to help in unwinding the firm at the outset of his appointment and has since reduced the number of employees to 35.

Yesterday the Commodity Customer Coalition (CCC), along with a former PFG customer, filed a limited objection to  Bodenstein’s motion to increase the pay of PFGBest General Counsel, Rebecca Wing.

It notes, “While the CCC understands that the Trustee may indeed require the services of Ms. Wing in order to quickly administer the estate, we find the request more than a little tone deaf.  Firstly, the increase is applied to total compensation, not just her base salary.  It also lacks any structure to pay the increase on the basis of production, which would provide a financial incentive to find and return property that belongs to customers.  Moreover, to date customers have not received a single penny of their funds.”

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Even the head of security bites her nails. It has never been easy to keep any member of the gold gang calm in the face of MOPE.

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

If you are living on a pension you are standing on a very slippery slope.

UPDATE 3-California leaders strike public pension reform deal
*Excerpts from article*

LABOR UNIONS OUTRAGED

Democrats in a conference committee of both legislative chambers approved the deal 4-0 late on Tuesday. The two Republicans on the committee abstained, protesting lack of time to study the measures, and labor groups were stunned.

"We are outraged that a Democratic governor and Democratic legislature are taking a wrecking ball to retirement security for teachers, firefighters, school employees, and police officers," said Dave Low, chairman of Californians for Retirement Security, which represents 1.5 million public employees and retirees.

Outside the state building where Brown unveiled the agreement, union activists said the deal unfairly bypassed collective bargaining rights.

"Labor did not have input on this and we are very, very concerned on what this will mean for rank-and-file workers," said Barbara Maynard, also with Californians for Retirement Security.

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

No problem. It is only 4 Trillion and their revenue is in a free fall.

U.S. states’ debt tops $4 trillion-report
Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:39pm IST

Aug 28 (Reuters) – America’s 50 state governments owe $4.19 trillion, including outstanding bonds, unfunded pension commitments and budget gaps, according to a new report.

At $617.6 billion, California had by far the biggest total debt, more than twice the total of No. 2, New York, with $300.1 billion owed, according to State Budget Solutions, a research and non-partisan advocacy group.

Texas, with $287 billion owed, New Jersey, with $282.4 billion, and Illinois, with $271.1 billion, ranked next among states with the biggest total debt, according to State Budget Solutions. Vermont had the smallest debt load at $5.85 billion.

The annual study said state governments had benefited in the last year from smaller budget gaps and reductions in loans taken from the federal government during the worst of the Great Recession to pay unemployment claims.

Those trends helped reduce total debt, which includes medical insurance due retired government workers, from last year’s $4.24 trillion of total debts owed by the 50 states, according to State Budget Solutions.

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