- CALPERS actuary admits math: says time for deficits to be caught up through a fixed increase in contributions. This marks the beginning of a new mindset and necessary contribution hikes in pension plans that will replace the “extend and pretend” stalling tactic of the past 13 years. Necessary, but definitely a drag on consumer spending and corporate profits, as dedicated contributions ramp up over the next several years. See: California Pension may ask for 50% boost to close gap
- A senior Chinese auditor is also admitting math this morning, with a warning in the Financial Times that Chinese local government debt is “out of control” and could spark a bigger financial crisis than the U.S. housing market crash. See: China local authority ‘debt out of control’
- Meanwhile European car sales just hit a 20 year low as the on-going debt crisis sent demand plunging last month in the region’s biggest economy: “The western European passenger-car market is on track this year to hit levels last seen in 1993, and Germany seems to be in a free-fall.” See: Europe car sales
- Prostitution to construction: A 2 Trillion shadow-economy in the US
Also see this chart of the S&P over the past year and the NASDAQ 1998 to its bubble peak in 2000, courtesy of Zerohedge: Party like its 1999?