Posts tagged "debt"

Bankrupt Detroit pensioners agree to cuts; is Chicago next?

Reports the Detroit News in a story that didn’t get much attention here in Chicago: Detroit— A committee representing retirees in Detroit’s bankruptcy said Friday it has reached “an agreement in principle” to support the city’s debt-cutting reorganization plan — a breakthrough that could speed the Motor City’s exit from bankruptcy court. Under the deal,... Read more »

Eric Zorn and I face off on the exploding federal debt bubble

Another in a series of debates between Chicago Tribune columnists Dennis Byrne and Eric Zorn. Resolved: What should be cut from the federal budget to reduce the debt? From Dennis, to Eric: We’ve lived through the devastating bursts of the housing and dot.com bubbles. Now, welcome to the debt bubble burst, the wrenching end of... Read more »

Hedge funds ride to Illinois' rescue?

Faced with more than $4 billion in unpaid bills, the Quinn administration is turning to Wall Street with a novel way to get the money, as traditional borrowing methods may be drying up. According to the Wall Street Journal, as reported on the website of IllinoisIsBroke.com: The Illinois approach works like this: Investors take over... Read more »
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Why is Illinois Using Credit Default Swaps?

You remember credit default swaps, right, the financial “instrument” that pricked the housing and economic bubbles? Illinois is “enjoying” the same kind of debt bubble that led the nation into its current financial mess. I call it a debt bubble because if all the borrowing that the state does to keep it afloat ever becomes... Read more »

The only issues in Illinois that matter

  Forget about gun control, energy, abortion, public safety and all the other issues that are cluttering up the Illinois gubernatorial race. The only things that matter in the race between Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn and Republican challenger Sen. Bill Brady are how to dig the state out of the biggest financial hole it has... Read more »

How can Illinois (aka Greece) climb out of its deep budget hole?

Tribune columnist Eric Zorn and I debate how Illinois could–if ever–resolve its financial crisis.  To Eric from Dennis: We have seen Greece, and it is us. When Greek mobs were rioting over government austerity measures needed to secure sufficient international loans to keep the country afloat, the discussion on CNBC immediately turned to whether the... Read more »
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Preposterous demands for Illinois tax increase

Tribune photo by Abel Uribe / April 21, 2010 Thousands of people march around the State Capitol in Springfield, Ill. during a pro-tax rally on Wednesday. The headline read “Thousands rally at Illinois Capitol — for a tax increase.” A subhead could have read, “Millions more stay at home, fuming at the very idea.” Last... Read more »

The immoral Obama budget

Wait, weren’t the Democrats going to reduce the deficit? Not so, according to the Congressional Budget Office: Here it is, as described by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget: Yesterday, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its analysis of the President’s FY 2011 budget. The President’s budget would increase deficits by $9.8 trillion over... Read more »

Battling the bulge: Here's where to slash the budget

Two weeks ago I suggested that climbing out of our financial sinkhole requires us to fundamentally downsize our expectations of what we can milk from government (“Champagne taste with a beer budget”). Reader Dienne posted a complaint: “I’m sorry, Mr. Byrne, perhaps I missed it, but I didn’t see a solution in this column —... Read more »
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Borrowing toward financial disaster

Image that you had to borrow 30 percent of what you spend every year just to pay the mortgage, buy groceries, heat your home and the rest of the expenses? Say you spend $80,000 on expenses, but all you earned each year was $48,000. That means that each year that you would have to borrow... Read more »
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    Chicago Tribune contributing op-ed columnist and author of forthcoming historical novel, "Madness: The War of 1812." Reporter, editor and columnist for Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Daily News. Freelance writer and editor.

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