Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A few things

AlphaNinja - Some news items.

Earlier I mentioned that CALPERS would be suing the ratings agencies...and today one of the ratings agencies downgrades California GO's (general obligation debt) to near junk status. The comments from the CA treasury office are alarmingly naive:

"We've never defaulted. We've never failed to pay bond investors on time and in full. We'll maintain that spotless record," said Tom Dresslar, a spokesman for State Treasurer Bill Lockyer.

Mr. Dresslar misses the point - just because CA has never defaulted doesn't mean the state's borrowing capacity and its financial health haven't declined dramatically - which is what the downgrade means.

Speaking of California, here's one of the world's greatest investors, who abandoned the state's dismal prospects to live in Incline Village, NV. Bob Rodriguez of FPA Advisors opines on many topics. Hat tip to zerohedge:

"There is no god given right to an easy retirement. It was a fool's paradise. My parents and grandparents did not have an easy retirement. The world is unsafe and unstable. In this country, we had a perverse view of what reality was, and now that veil is being lifted, and i'm sorry but it's going to take a long time, and that long retirement of vacations may not be there."

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As bad as things are in the US, at least employees aren't threatening to blow up factories....yet. The sense of entitlement among these folks is off the charts....

CHATELLERAULT, France (AP) -- Laid-off auto-parts workers huddled Thursday around gas canisters tied to an electrical cable, threatening to blow up a factory in the latest example of extreme French resistance to cost-cutting in the economic downturn.

The workers on Thursday's ''morning shift'' guarding the gas canisters whiled away hours playing ping pong, petanque or simply chatting. No police were in sight, though local officials say police are monitoring the situation.

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