Week Ahead: AT&T, Libya and Japan and Housing

Monday, March 21, 2011

With the president traveling in Latin America and Congress on recess, there's no one issue driving the economic agenda and markets this week. As a result, investors will be pay close attention to the allies' air assault in Libya as well as other developments in the Middle East and what they mean for oil production and prices.


The Brian Lehrer Show

All About Pensions: Investment Advice

Friday, March 18, 2011

What kind of retirement investments should you make in your 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s? Gary Ball, director of BetterInvesting, offers advice on how to manage your personal pension funds. 

Comments [12]

It's A Free Country ®

Bloomberg's Pension End-Around

Thursday, March 17, 2011

As anyone with a 401(k) knows, how much money you're going to have to put into your retirement and how much money you're going to have when you retire is so dependent on your rate of return and how well your investments do. If the current system as it goes right now continues, you know, the city is currently seriously underfunded in its pension fund liabilities and unless either of those rates of return improve or if the city starts putting more tax payer money into the system it's going to be very costly to fund these pension fund liabilities.

— Joe Flood, editor-at-large of aiCIO Magazine on The Brian Lehrer Show.


The Brian Lehrer Show

All About Pensions: Public Workers

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

John Fund, columnist for the Wall Street Journal editorial page and author of How the Obama Administration Threatens to Undermine Our Elections and Teresa Ghilarducci, labor economist at The New School and author of When I'm Sixty-Four: The Plot Against Pensions and the Plan to Save Them discuss public worker pensions. 

Comments [42]

The Brian Lehrer Show

All About Pensions: Status Report

Monday, March 14, 2011

Alicia Munnell, director of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, professor at Carroll School of Management, and former assistant secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy is joined by John Turner, director of of the Pension Policy Center, to kick off the pensions series with a discussion of the state of public and private pensions. 

Comments [41]

It's A Free Country ®

In Budget Address, Christie Dangles Property Tax Cuts in Exchange for Health and Pension Reform

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

"This is the new normal," Christie pronounced in Trenton on Tuesday.

Thoroughly optimistic about the state of New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie introduced a $29.4 billion 2012 budget, with spending projected to be 2.6 percent less than the current year. He reaffirmed his commitment to not fund commitments made by prior governors if he doesn't believe they're good investments (possibly a reference to pulling a plug on the ARC Tunnel project connecting New York and New Jersey). 


It's A Free Country ®

The Speaker's Speech

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I fully recognize that Governor Cuomo has no choice but to make tough decisions and pass a budget that has cuts in it. All I ask is that New York City not be cut worse than anywhere else. As far as aid to municipalities, all other jurisdictions are getting their funding cut by two percent; we're getting our total allocation of $300 million zeroed out. We'll take our fair share and not complain about it, but we don't want to take more than our fair share.

—New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn talks about some of the ideas in her State of the City address The Brian Lehrer Show

Comments [9]

The Brian Lehrer Show

Bloomberg in Albany

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Mayor Bloomberg testified in Albany on Monday about the effects on New York City of Governor Cuomo's budget proposals and the changes he wants to make to pensions. Azi Paybarah, WNYC political reporter and author of The Empire blog discusses the Mayor's comments.

Read Azi's Reporting and Join the Conversation at It's A Free Country


City Unions Brace For Battle With Bloomberg

Friday, February 04, 2011

This week, the city's labor unions got their first official glimpse at what Mayor Michael Bloomberg thinks future union hires should expect in the 21st century. The comprehensive proposal was presented to the Muncipal Labor Council not by Mayor Bloomberg himself, but by his Commissioner for Labor Relations James Hanley.

Comments [5]


Bloomberg Says Pension Cuts Aren't Personal

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Mayor Bloomberg defused claims by the Sanitation Union chief that his demands are "an attack on the middle class" that would "destroy" city employees: "We will, in the end, come to an agreement," the mayor said.

Comments [1]

The Takeaway

Privatizing Pensions: Solution to States' Financial Woes?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

We’ve talked a lot about states’ budget crises on The Takeaway. Yesterday we discussed legislation that would allow states to declare bankruptcy. Many state policymakers blame their financial woes on public employees and their expensive pension plans. Utah was in the same boat — until the state legislature enacted sweeping reforms, changing public pensions to private 401(k)s. Will this become law in other states? How will privatizing pensions affect state employees and taxpayers? 


The Takeaway

Should States Be Allowed to Declare Bankruptcy?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Forty-four states and Washington, D.C. anticipate budget shortfalls of over $125 million by the end of fiscal year 2011, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Many state policymakers are blaming their budget crises on public sector employees, citing expensive pension plans. Crushing state debt has caused some federal lawmakers to consider a legislative remedy: allowing states to file for bankruptcy. But will declaring bankruptcy really solve states' pension woes? How will unions react? What other remedies exist for debt-ridden states?

Comments [1]


Bloomberg's Confident Speech Draws Mixed Reactions

Thursday, January 20, 2011

At the landmark St. George Theater, the choir from PS 29 sang as the mayor took to the stage and delivered a confident speech — with no apology for the snow removal fiasco. He said the city was leading the nation from recession to recovery.
"In fact for the first time in decades New York City entered a national recession later than the rest of the country and now we have come out of it faster and stronger than the rest of the country," Bloomberg declared to loud applause.

Comments [2]


Bloomberg Delivers 10th State of the City Speech

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

At his tenth State of the City address, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the state of city is strong, but progress is not inevitable — it is up to us to create it.

Bloomberg also warned that the most severe budget cuts are ahead, due to unfunded mandates and pension benefits with no expected extra help from Albany or Washington this year.

Comments [4]


Global Public Debt Fear Hits New Jersey But Revenues Trend Up

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Market watchers say not since the 2008 meltdown have municipal and state governments had such a hard time finding buyers for  the bonds as they did this week. That global anxiety over public debt was felt by the state of New Jersey.


It's A Free Country ®

The Truth About Public Employee Pensions

Friday, January 07, 2011

What you are hearing in the media is not true. The pension funds are not underfunded.

Greg Floyd, president of Teamsters Local 237

Comments [40]

The Empire

Mailing about pensions

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

From a union supporting Democratic comptroller Tom DiNapoli.

This flier, from Civil Service Employees Association, arrived at my apartment building earlier this week. The other side of the flyer says DiNapoli "believes that public employee pensions should continue to be guaranteed."

(Azi Paybarah / WNYC)


(Azi Paybarah / WNYC)

Read More


The Brian Lehrer Show

30 Issues Wonk Wars: Public Employee Benefits

Thursday, September 23, 2010

James Parrot, Deputy Director and Chief Economist at the Fiscal Policy Institute, and Steve Malanga, Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow and author of the forthcoming book Shakedown: The Continuing Conspiracy Against the American Taxpayer, discuss today's Wonk Wars true/false statement: Public Employees Get Too Many Benefits.

Add Your Comments at the Wonk Wars Discussion Room

The Brian Lehrer Show

Changes for New Jersey Public Workers

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Lisa Fleisher, statehouse bureau reporter for the Star-Ledger, talks about Governor Christie's proposed changes to pensions and benefits for the state's public workers.

Comments [2]

The Brian Lehrer Show

Getting Vested in NYC

Friday, August 27, 2010

Charles Brecher, research director at the Citizens Budget Commission and professor of public administration at NYU, discusses the process of getting vested in New York City pension plans, and how that affects city council term limits.

Comments [2]