Retailers at and Near the Edge

Sears, once the biggest retailer in the U.S., has struggled to stay afloat.  Unable to secure a quick cash infusion, on October 15th, Sears has widely reported its intention to seek bankruptcy protection. Sears Holdings plans to close 142 Sears and Kmart unprofitable stores by year end 2018.  The rest will operate under Chapter 11 […]

Shifting the Burden of Government Borrowing

Illinois’ problems with government pension funds started with negotiated promises for excessive benefits.  Some Illinois pensions run at $100,000 or more per year and half of employees retire with benefits before age 60.  Those problems were inflamed by the state making smaller contributions than needed to support the benefit payouts.  Instances of early retirements and […]

Pension Time Bombs

Detroit’s bankruptcy is an implosion of overpromises, underfunding, national recession and local depression.  Detroit’s residents and creditors are feeling real pain from their bankruptcy.  It’s an unusual case because pension obligations are being forcibly reduced, sending waves of alarm to unionized workers across the US. For decades, local politicians agreed to wage and benefit deals […]