The past few years have seen the biggest social upheaval against the banking industry in this nation’s history, and Capitol Hill lawmakers responded with 848 pages of legislation that liberal critics deride as weak and many conservatives call a job killer.
While much of the local and national talk around pension reform is directed at public employees, the biggest current changes are occurring in the private sector.
The Federal Reserve calls it Operation Twist, named after the 1961 Chubby Checker hit that sparked gyrating hips in dance halls across America. That was also the first year the Fed embarked on a mission to purchase long-term Treasury notes in an effort to drive down interest rates on long-term loans.
Peter Lindert is one of the preeminent voices in the “deep history” field of economics, which looks at the world economy over the scope of all human history. We recently talked with the UC Davis professor about the U.S. and global economies and the penchant for both to experience exhilarating highs and devastating lows.
With the real estate market in the tank, many investors are thinking twice about real estate investment trusts, or REITs. And that suits Jim Johnson just fine.
Hedge funds are back. Worries about European debt crisis, war in the Middle East and the potential for rating agencies to downgrade America’s treasuries have rattled shareholders. But those fears haven’t held back investors from pouring record amounts of capital into the cowboy country of largely unregulated, nontransparent funds.
Looking back, it’s easy to see how some local government pension plans wound up underfunded. As described in last month’s issue, much of the blame goes to generous legislation passed during California’s boom cycles.
After a jarring sell-off and resulting glut, there’s just one word for today’s municipal bond market: precarious.
Lesli Pletcher’s parents were not extravagantly wealthy by any stretch of the imagination. However, true to form of a couple raised during the Great Depression, they were frugal and financially cautious so that, by the end of their lives, they had amassed a substantial estate capable of easily sustaining Pletcher’s father in his $9,000-a-month Alzheimer’s care facility.
There’s a lot of legal hubbub in California surrounding Property-Assessed Clean Energy programs. Also known as PACE, the programs could be headed for troubled waters.
Bob Grandinetti needed $400,000 — fast.
It’s no secret that city leaders have cut jobs, programs and services as quickly and responsibly as possible in response to economic malaise. But the numbers still fall short of filling growing budget gaps in jurisdictions across the region.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one: A lawyer dies young and arrives at the Pearly Gates.
“There must be some mistake!” he wails. “I’m only 31!”
St. Peter consults the records and disagrees. “Judging by the number of hours you’ve billed, you’re at least 73.”
Asset-based lending can be more expensive than a bank loan or line of credit, but for some it may be the best choice, providing flexibility and cash flow when others won’t.
Red Hawk Casino opened in December, just weeks after economic woes sent the stock market plunging. The launch of the new venue just off Highway 50 coincided with a sharp drop in gross gaming revenue at Nevada’s Lake Tahoe casinos, and California casinos also felt the sting as gamblers gave Red Hawk a try.
It’s the meeting no business owner wants, an adult equivalent to sitting in the principal’s office.
Only instead of a principal, the person calling you in is a banker. And instead of the dreaded “permanent record,” the folder on the desk is an agreement for a business loan, a line of credit, equipment financing or some other form of borrowed money that helps keep the company afloat.
Wearing coveralls and galoshes caked in manure and mud, a father and son attach suction devices to the teats of ailing cows.
The new-home market in Solano County soared even higher than that of California as a whole, and it fell harder too.
The smart landlords are doing whatever it takes to keep old tenants and lure new ones. That includes free rent, bigger allowances for tenant improvements, free signs and plain old cash. “If there is less than two years remaining on the lease, a savvy landlord really should be talking to them about extending,” Frisch says. “Oftentimes landlords and property managers don’t start that conversation until it is much later in the lease term.” But if a tenant is in good enough financial shape to keep paying the rent, very few landlords will renegotiate a deal with more than two years left, Frisch says.
California is running out of money, pure and simple. As we go to press, the state is finalizing the budget and lurching from one financial crisis to the next thanks to elected leaders who put politics above fiscal responsibility.