11/20/2019

News

Changes at top as CalPERS faces biggest test yet

Chief Executive Officer Marcie Frost told the board investment returns were negative 3.9 percent last year but over the last 10 years averaged 7.9 percent, still above the current earnings target of 7 percent. The new chief investment officer, Ben Meng, who began work this month, told the board the projected funding level was “around […]

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Los Angeles Unified digs a deeper hole

The union that represents teachers in the state’s largest school district, Los Angeles Unified, is claiming that its six-day strike produced a victory, and local media are echoing that line. It may be, however, a pyrrhic victory because it could drive LA Unified, which is already in a deep financial hole, mostly of its own […]

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The debt is still out of control

At the start of every year, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) publishes “The Budget and Economic Outlook,” a tome full of statistics, tables and charts.. . . What we have is an inherently unstable situation, though we do not know — and probably cannot know — how or when the possible dangers will materialize. The […]

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Another California Tax Grab

When I was CEO of Cypress Semiconductor, I chose Round Rock, Texas, over San Jose, Calif., for Cypress’s second wafer-fabrication plant, and I chose to locate our third plant in Bloomington, Minn. Other CEOs made similar decisions. Silicon Valley barely has any silicon left; there are now zero state-of-the-art wafer-fabrication plants here. We had to […]

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Resilient U.S. Economy Fuels Best January For Stocks in 30 Years

Banks and smaller companies that were among the market’s laggards last quarter have helped stocks to their best January in 30 years, a sign investors are favoring sectors tied to the U.S. economy. Despite a modest performance from U.S. indexes Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 both closed the month with […]

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Controversial Bay Area Housing Plan Heads to State Legislature

The CASA Compact includes proposals aimed at both spurring new housing construction and protecting existing tenants. Developers would be able to tap into streamlined approvals and tax incentives for more housing projects, and minimum zoning standards would be established around transit stops to increase density. Under the plan, vulnerable tenants would be aided by a […]

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LA teachers union, school district team to seek state money

Los Angeles teachers returned to work Wednesday after contentious negotiations ended with a new contract and a commitment by the union and the district to work together to get more state money for schools in part by pushing to overhaul California’s property tax system. Teachers greeted students with smiles, hugs and high-fives after voting the […]

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Gov. Newsom’s budget shows pension fixes failed

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposal to use some of the state’s budget surplus to pay down unfunded liabilities in the state’s two giant government employee pension funds drew praise from an unexpected source – the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, which otherwise had a low opinion of the new governor’s 2019-20 spending plan. Next fiscal year, Newsom […]

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The high price we pay for low-rent housing

Residents of Cascade Village, whose rent payments are subsidized by the federal government, will be moved into temporary quarters while their apartments, about 750 square feet each, are spiffed up with remodeled kitchens and bathrooms and new appliances, plus handicapped access. That’s good news for them, certainly, but it raises a serious issue: Why is […]

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Borenstein: Is Gov. Newsom serious about taming pension costs?

Gavin Newsom deserves credit for his unprecedented proposal to pay down California’s pension debt. But don’t kid yourself: The amount is a pittance compared to the overall shortfall of the state’s retirement funds. The real test will be whether the new governor supports fundamental and essential pension law changes sought by his predecessor, Jerry Brown, […]

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Cal State, buoyed by Newsom’s generous budget proposal, to boost enrollment

California State University is poised to enroll thousands more Californians and step up support to help them graduate sooner, thanks to a hefty increase in state funding proposed by Gov. Gavin Newsom. Cal State trustees will take their first collective look at the governor’s 2019-20 budget proposal and discuss plans to improve student success at […]

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Feds rush Whittier Narrows Dam fix to prevent breach that would flood 1M residents from Pico Rivera to Long Beach

Because of the potential of massive flooding, the Army Corps of Engineers is rushing to begin a $500-million repair project for Whittier Narrows Dam, classified as the highest priority of any of the 13 “high risk” dams in the country. Nearly three years ago, the Army Corps of Engineers elevated the risk of failure from […]

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Commentary: Economists’ Statement on Carbon Dividends

Global climate change is a serious problem calling for immediate national action. Guided by sound economic principles, we are united in the following policy recommendations. I. A carbon tax offers the most cost-effective lever to reduce carbon emissions at the scale and speed that is necessary. By correcting a well-known market failure, a carbon tax […]

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Former Fed Leaders, Economists Rally Around Carbon Tax

An all-star roster of former Federal Reserve leaders and White House economic advisers are signing on to a new statement in support of a carbon tax on businesses that sends the revenue to U.S. citizens. Former Fed chair Alan Greenspan and former Council of Economic Advisers chief Austan Goolsbee are among dozens of economists now […]

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PG&E calls bankruptcy ‘only viable option’ in California wildfire crisis

Overwhelmed by billions of dollars in claims from the Camp Fire and the 2017 wildfires of Northern California, PG&E said Monday it plans to file for bankruptcy, but insisted it will not go out of business. The embattled utility gave 15-day notice of its intent to file for protection under Chapter 11 of the bankruptcy […]

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