Detroit goes bankrupt

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NDPP
Detroit goes bankrupt

Emergency Manager Throws Detroit into Bankruptcy

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/07/19/detr-j19.html

"The emergency manager overseeing the financial restructuring of Detroit filed a petition in federal court Thursday afternoon throwing the devastated industrial city of 700,000 residents into Chapter 9 bankruptcy.

Republican Governor Rick Snyder, who appointed Wall Street bankruptcy attorney Kevyn Orr as the city's emergency manager last March, immediately approved the filing.

The largest municipal bankruptcy in US history, paves the way for an unprecedented attack on the pensions and healthcare benefits of city workers, the further slashing of essential services and the sell off of public assets to pay the banks and bondholders who hold the city's debt..."

Issues Pages: 
mersh

Some of the smaller municipal bankruptcies in the US have helped do what's described above -- go after benefits, wages and pensions of public sector workers (often to pay for ridiculous & failed investment incentives to business). Yet another way to transfer public funds to private hands.

abnormal

Other than size, Detroit's bankruptcy is hardly unique.  Nor is the upcoming cut in pensions and healthcare benefits.  Speaking from memory, there have been about 60 municipal bankruptcies since 1950 and 15-20 since 2010.  And that doesn't include those places that have simply stopped cutting pension checks because they have no money.

Back to Detroit - two unions have filed suit to block the bankruptcy because the state constitution prohibits reducing pensions.  

To date, Central Falls, RI is among the most notable of "whacked pensions". Other municipalities in RI have also altered pensions for current employees if not current pensioners.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/04/us-usa-rhodeisland-centralfall...

Chicago is next??

 

abnormal

Found it:

Quote:
List of Bankruptcy Filings Since January 2010

All Municipal Bankruptcy Filings: 36

City and Locality Bankruptcy Filings (8):
-- City of Detroit
-- City of San Bernardino, Calif.
-- Town of Mammoth Lakes, Calf. (Dismissed)
-- City of Stockton, Calif.
-- Jefferson County, Ala.
-- City of Harrisburg, Pa. (Dismissed)
-- City of Central Falls, R.I.
-- Boise County, Idaho (Dismissed)

Municipal Bankruptcies Map
The map below shows all municipalities filing for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection since 2010, along with local governments voting to approve a bankruptcy filing.  

Cities, towns and counties are shown in red. Utility authorities and other municipalities are displayed in gray. Click a marker to view details of each filing. Multiple municipalities have filed for bankruptcy in some cities, such as Omaha, Neb., so not all markers are visible without zooming in on the map.

snip ... Map at link

States without laws authorizing municipal bankruptcies often allow for different measures providing financial relief. In Michigan, seven cities and school districts have emergency managers, and another three are under consent agreements. 

etc ...

http://www.governing.com/gov-data/municipal-cities-counties-bankruptcies-and-defaults.html

NDPP

Detroitification: The Stockton Bankruptcy Lie

https://realitybloger.wordpress.com/2013/04/07/the-stockton-bankruptcy-lie/

"An introduction to financial terrorism..."

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

What, there's still a Detroit now? Next you'll tell me there's still a Buffalo.

josh

There's an open question whether city pensions can be adversely affected by this. The Michigan Constitution prohibits the reduction of public pensions. But bankruptcy is governed exclusively by federal law. One Michigan judge has already held that the bankruptcy filing is illegal as related to pensions.

http://www.freep.com/article/20130719/NEWS06/307190075/detroit-bankruptcy-ingham-county-rosemarie-aquilina-pension

NDPP

In Detroit Bankruptcy, It's the Poor Who Lose

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/07/19-4

"City's rush towards bankruptcy spurs fears of further privatization, service gutting, poverty.

Ingham County Circuit Judge Rosemarie Aqulina ruled Friday afternoon that Detroit's bankruptcy filing is 'unconstitutional' and must be withdrawn..."

Mr_R

Detroit is run by a dictator appointed in defiance of a referendum. In one of the most astounding slaps in the face to the electorate, the Michigan government passed a new law replacing the one struck down by the referendum very quickly after and made it referendum-proof...

abnormal

Reality is that the pension funding situation is probably far worse than the official financials show.

http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/07/19/detroit-gap-reveals-industry-dispute-on-pension-math/?partner=rss&emc=rss&smid=tw-nytimes

abnormal

NDPP wrote:

Detroitification: The Stockton Bankruptcy Lie

https://realitybloger.wordpress.com/2013/04/07/the-stockton-bankruptcy-lie/

"An introduction to financial terrorism..."

I actually tried to read this - that's a couple of hours of my life I'll never get back.

 

abnormal

Bury on the Detroit situation

https://burypensions.wordpress.com/2013/07/19/detroit-ramblings/

Quote:
--When you select a bankruptcy attorney to be your emergency manager haven’t you already set your course?

--Meredith Whitney made one miscalculation in assuming that governments would behave like private sector companies which, when they see an unavoidable iceberg ahead, bail out. In the public sector your ship of state needs to be capsizing before you even start looking around for lifesavers.

--How does Detroit even acquire $30 billion in art? Was there a $1 billion line item in their budget for the next available Van Gogh or was this some tax scheme involving donations and deductions?

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

I was at a dinner party an heard that plagerizing hack, Margaret Wente, blamed it on corrupt municipal government and unions. Had to bite my tongue on the fact that anyone would reference Wente as being knowledgeable of the situation, any situation to be honest.

I did here some Baptist preacher from Detroit interviewed on CBC and he thought that it was criminal that the banks, who hold Detroit's debts, refused to write it off to some great extent given that the federal government bailed them out at taxpayer's expense when they were in trouble. I say he has a very valid point.

Oh on a final point, I am sick and tired of workers and/or unions being blamed for economic woes.

lagatta

I am sick of Wente period. She is actually paid - rather well, too - to write (or plagiarize) that crap.

Bully for you to have the self-control not to throw your drink (whether hard, soft or plain water) in that xxxx's face).

NDPP

The Detroit Bankruptcy

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/07/20/pers-j20.html

"...Just as Greece became the model for attacks on workers throughout Europe and beyond, the Detroit bankruptcy - which goes beyond even the brutal measures carried out in Greece - will set the pattern for the next stage in the attack on the working class in the US and internationally.."

 

Canadian Cities Take Note of Detroit's Downfall

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2013/07/19/f-detroit-canadian-munici...

"Lessons to be learned..."

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Speaking of Wente, this is very cute:

 

[url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQlLwbh0mF8]Modern Punditry[/url]

NDPP

BTS: ...Bailing Out Detroit (and vid)

http://rt.com/shows/breaking-set-summary/detroit-bankruptcy-debt-afghani...

"...Professor Emeritus of economics Richard Wolff and Bob English talk about what recourse is left for Detroit to rise above its latest fiscal quandrey."

 

abnormal

I finally looked it up, FYI. http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(ewp230zngd4jf445ztqisiy5))/mileg.aspx?page=getObject&objectName=mcl-Article-IX-24

Quote:

24 Public pension plans and retirement systems, obligation.

Sec. 24.
The accrued financial benefits of each pension plan and retirement system of the state and its political subdivisions shall be a contractual obligation thereof which shall not be diminished or impaired thereby.

Financial benefits arising on account of service rendered in each fiscal year shall be funded during that year and such funding shall not be used for financing unfunded accrued liabilities.

History: Const. 1963, Art. IX, § 24, Eff. Jan. 1, 1964

I wonder how closely they followed the second paragraph.

 

ygtbk

Well, the whole issue is if you entered into a contractual agreement and couldn't fulfill it, what would you do next? it's pretty clear that bankruptcy is next up.

abnormal

ygtbk wrote:

Well, the whole issue is if you entered into a contractual agreement and couldn't fulfill it, what would you do next? it's pretty clear that bankruptcy is next up.

Guess what surprising thing occurred!

http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2013307220065

Quote:
The contentious dispute between the City of Detroit and the city’s pension funds will be decided by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes in a federal courtroom and not in state court in Ingham County, Rhodes has declared.

In an order filed Monday, Rhodes said he will hold a hearing at 10 a.m. Wednesday to consider the city’s request to put all lawsuits filed before the city filed for bankruptcy on hold.

The decision by Rhodes means that the first hearing of Detroit’s bankruptcy case could prove to be a crucial moment in the city’s effort to restructure under court protection.

.....
“The (bankruptcy) court finds that the court has jurisdiction over this matter,” Rhodes said in his order.

Federal judge doesn't give a damn what a state judge ruled. Well, don't that beat all.

And the state appeals court ruled:

http://www.freep.com/article/20130723/NEWS06/307230106/detroit-bankruptcy-judge-aqulina

Quote:
The Michigan Court of Appeals has granted a stay of Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Rosemarie Aquilina’s rulings that Detroit’s bankruptcy filing violated the state’s constitution.

The three-judge panel, consisting of Appeals Judges Michael Kelly, Patrick Meter and Stephen Borrello, ruled Tuesday afternoon that the order in three cases involving Detroit’s pension systems and the temporary restraining order against moving forward with the bankruptcy was halted pending the resolution of the case.

The panel’s ruling also prohibits Aquilina from having any further proceedings on the matter pending the resolution of the appeal.

And that was the end of that ...

6079_Smith_W

It's good to remember, as this is going on, the truly exciting thing that is happening in Detroit. As the city has collapsed it has turned out of necessity into a centre for urban agriculture.

http://www.freep.com/article/20130520/NEWS01/305200021/urban-gardening-d...

http://detroitagriculture.net/

 

NDPP

The Scourging of Detroit  -  by Jane Slaughter

http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/07/23/the-scourging-of-detroit/

abnormal

NDPP wrote:

The Scourging of Detroit  -  by Jane Slaughter

http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/07/23/the-scourging-of-detroit/

From the link:

 

Quote:

A recent law in Rhode Island specifies that in a city bankruptcy, bondholders must be paid first, before pensioners.

Asked if the Michigan legislature could pass a similar law ...

Except that it's not a "recent" law - it's federal bankruptcy law and has been the case for decades.

As for the bondholders, they're not going to be paid out in full.  Unsecured creditors are looking at receiving something in the order of ten to twenty cents on the dollar.  

BTW, I posted this link earlier but more on the Rhode Island situation:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/04/us-usa-rhodeisland-centralfall...

josh

"Federal judge doesn't give a damn what a state judge ruled. Well, don't that beat all."

Under the Constitution, federal law is supreme over state law where there is a conflict. But the judge could harmonize federal bankruptcy law with the state constitutional provision and hold that public pensions in Michigan are exempt from bankruptcy filings. But I wouldn't count on it.

Aristotleded24

[url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMx__6Zc3S0]They're shutting Detroit down, while the boss man takes his bonus pay and jets on out of town[/url]

josh
onlinediscountanvils

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/nhl/story/2013/07/24/sp-nhl-detroit-red-... Wings arena project gets go-ahead despite Detroit bankruptcy[/url]

Quote:
A state board on Wednesday unanimously gave the go-ahead for a new Red Wings hockey arena in downtown Detroit to be paid for in part with tax dollars as the broke city works through bankruptcy proceedings.

6079_Smith_W

Jesus.

Gotta keep that bread and circuses going. How about we move this to the new hockey forum?

 

JKR

Detroit's bankruptcy is another example of the problems inherent to the U.S.'s class and racial divide. As it turns out, metropolitan Detroit is actually well off. The artificial municipal political divisions along class and racial lines within greater Detroit is the basis of the problem for the city of Detroit. The problems experienced by the city of Detroit seem to mostly be caused by the rich suburban municipalities there that don't want to share for the greater good.

Detroit, and the Bankruptcy of America's Social Contract

Quote:
But there's a more basic story here, and it's being replicated across America: Americans are segregating by income more than ever before. Forty years ago, most cities (including Detroit) had a mixture of wealthy, middle-class, and poor residents. Now, each income group tends to lives separately, in its own city -- with its own tax bases and philanthropies that support, at one extreme, excellent schools, resplendent parks, rapid-response security, efficient transportation, and other first-rate services; or, at the opposite extreme, terrible schools, dilapidated parks, high crime, and third-rate services.

...

Detroit is a devastatingly poor, mostly black, increasingly abandoned island in the midst of a sea of comparative affluence that's mostly white. Its suburbs are among the richest in the nation. Oakland County, for example, is the fourth wealthiest county in the United States, of counties with a million or more residents. Greater Detroit -- which includes the suburbs -- is among the nation's top five financial centers, the top four centers of high-technology employment, and the second-biggest source of engineering and architectural talent.

 

 

NDPP

American Roads Files for Bankrupcty

http://www.presstv.com/detail/2013/07/25/315541/american-roads-files-for...

"A key US company which is the operator of the Detroit-Windsor tunnel has filed for bankruptcy, a report say..."

KenS

I didnt know that was coming. But its not a surprise. The only people who use the Tunnel is people going to or coming from the core. While the core that is not abandoned has more or less stopped shrinking in size... it's less and less important to people crossing the border.

This particular bankruptcy will have very little effect except to the few who directly work for the Tunnel.

NDPP

Keiser Report: Ep 475 (and vid)

http://rt.com/shows/keiser-report/episode-475-max-keiser-536/

Keiser touches on it..

abnormal

A couple of articles worth reading:

http://www.tinyurl.com/lqhmo9p

Quote:
The Unsteady States of America

It is not just Detroit. American cities and states must promise less or face disaster

WHEN Greece ran into financial trouble three years ago, the problem soon spread. Many observers were mystified. How could such a little country set off a continental crisis? The Greeks were stereotyped as a nation of tax-dodgers who had been living high on borrowed money for years. The Portuguese, Italians and Spanish insisted that their finances were fundamentally sound. The Germans wondered what it had to do with them at all. But the contagion was powerful, and Europe’s economy has yet to recover.

America seems in a similar state of denial about Detroit filing for bankruptcy (see article). Many people think Motown is such an exceptional case that it holds few lessons for other places. What was once the country’s fourth-most-populous city grew rich thanks largely to a single industry. General Motors, Ford and Chrysler once made nearly all the cars sold in America; now, thanks to competition from foreign brands built in non-union states, they sell less than half. Detroit’s population has fallen by 60% since 1950. The murder rate is 11 times the national average. The previous mayor is in prison. Shrubs, weeds and raccoons have reclaimed empty neighbourhoods. The debts racked up when Detroit was big and rich are unpayable now that it is smaller and poor.

Other states and cities should pay heed, not because they might end up like Detroit next year, but because the city is a flashing warning light on America’s fiscal dashboard. Though some of its woes are unique, a crucial one is not. Many other state and city governments across America have made impossible-to-keep promises to do with pensions and health care. Detroit shows what can happen when leaders put off reforming the public sector for too long.

etc ...

 

 

 

onlinediscountanvils

[url=http://www.thenation.com/blog/175467/vultures-and-red-wings-billionaire-... Vultures and Red Wings: Billionaire Gets New Sports Arena in Bankrupt Detroit[/url]

Quote:
Where, oh where have we heard this argument before? What city has heard the false promise that stadium construction on the public dime would be a postindustrial life raft? There are actually many, but none have heard it more and paid the cost quite like Detroit. A new Red Wings arena would be the city’s third publicly funded major sports stadium, joining the Tigers’ Comerica Stadium and the Lions’ Ford Field. Each of these was billed as a “remedy” to save the city. Each of these has obviously failed. Fool us once, shame on you. Fool us twice, shame on us. Try to fool us three times? Go to hell.

Bacchus

CNN had an article looking at the pensions of civil workers in Detroit (I cant find the article now) and showed that the pensions were modest (18k to 30k depending on salary position, years etc) and that it was far far less than that of pensions in LA or NYC.

 

Which seemed to be a threat of sorts for those cities pensioned workers

 

abnormal

Bacchus wrote:
CNN had an article looking at the pensions of civil workers in Detroit (I cant find the article now) and showed that the pensions were modest (18k to 30k depending on salary position, years etc) and that it was far far less than that of pensions in LA or NYC.

Which seemed to be a threat of sorts for those cities pensioned workers.

HuffPo talks about the average pension here.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/23/detroit-pensions-cuts-retirees-bankruptcy-debt-20-billion_n_3642303.html

 

 

Bacchus

Not the article I read but damn close

abnormal

Bacchus wrote:

Not the article I read but damn close

Unfortunately the inability to pay lots of small pensions is no better than the inability to pay lots of larger pensions.  In either case the entity is insolvent.

abnormal

Interesting article (actually about Detroit but the non-Detroit exerpts are worth considering as well)

Quote:
Unfunded retiree health care costs loom larger than ever for localities across the country, and the health law’s guarantee of federal subsidies to help people with modest incomes afford coverage has made the new insurance markets tantalizing for local governments. A study issued this year by the Pew Charitable Trusts found 61 of the nation’s major cities wrestling with $126 billion in retiree health costs, all but 6 percent of that unfunded.

“The Affordable Care Act does change the possibilities here dramatically,” said Neil Bomberg, a program director at the National League of Cities. “It offers a very high-quality, potentially very affordable way to get people into health care without the burden falling back onto the city and town.”

But if large numbers of localities follow that course, it could amount to a significant cost shift to the federal government. Authors of the health care law expected at least some shifting of retirees into the new insurance exchanges, said Timothy S. Jost, a law professor at Washington and Lee University who closely follows the law. “But if a lot of them do, especially big state and local programs,” he said, “that’s going to be a huge cost for the United States government, and it’s mandatory spending.”

Many cities are also wrestling with unfunded pension programs for retirees. But health care has become an easier target for cuts, in part because of generally stronger legal protections for pensions. Still, changes to retiree health care are playing out in courtrooms. The suit Mr. Underwood joined, filed last week in Chicago, claims that the health care benefits were also protected.

The Chicago plan, announced in May, would phase some of the city’s 11,800 retirees and their family members not eligible for Medicare out of city coverage by 2017. While some may seek insurance through new employers or through their spouses’ workplaces, others will probably be shifted to the insurance exchanges. Much of the plan for the next few years is in flux, but the changes are expected to contribute to a larger effort to save Chicago $155 million to $175 million a year in retiree health care costs by 2017.

“With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, our retirees will have more options to meet their health care needs,” said Sarah Hamilton, a spokeswoman for Mayor Rahm Emanuel, adding that most of the city’s retirees over 65 were already covered by Medicare. “We will ensure that they have all the information needed to navigate the options available going forward, while saving vital taxpayer dollars.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/29/us/detroit-looks-to-health-law-to-ease...

 

 

abnormal
josh

Typical race to the bottom and schock doctrine tripe from the anti-union Detroit Free Press: The city also missed opportunities to rightsize retirement benefits.

For instance, when the State of Michigan switched from pensions to 401(k)-style plans in 1997, Detroit failed to follow suit. More on the anti-union paper.

http://inthesetimes.com/working/entry/13274/bad_news_for_labor_new_detroit_newspaper_strike_book_underscores_a_broken_s/

abnormal

josh, unfortunately it's not tripe - Detroit is a mess (to be polite) and, at this point in time the question that has to be addressed is not who's responsible but rather how to fix it.

 

josh

All they have to do is pretend it's Bank of America, Wells Fargo or AIG.

abnormal

Do you actually expect the Feds to bail out Detroit?  If they do every other municipality that's on the brink (or already insolvent) will join the line looking for a handout.

 

 

josh

You mean like the banks?  Chrysler and GM?  And New York City in the 1970s?

abnormal

And you think it's going to happen again?

Detroit is simply the biggest municipal bankruptcy we've seen so far - there have been others and no action was taken then.  But, if I've got to guess, Chicago is the next big city to go down.

 

abnormal

We've finally got a ruling from the judge about Detroit's eligibility to declare Chapter 9 Bankruptcy:

Quote:
Detroit eligible for Chapter 9 bankruptcy, judge rules

Detroit is eligible to shed billions in debt in the largest public bankruptcy in U.S. history, a judge said today in a long-awaited decision that now shifts the case toward how the city will accomplish that task.

Judge Steven Rhodes turned down objections from unions, pension funds and retirees, which, like other creditors, could lose under any plan to solve $18 billion (all figures US)  in long-term liabilities.

But that plan isn't on the judge's desk yet. The issue for Rhodes, who presided over a nine-day trial, was whether Detroit met specific conditions under federal law to stay in bankruptcy court and turn its finances around after years of mismanagement, chronic population loss and collapse of the middle class.

snip ...

Rhodes' decision is a critical milestone. He said pensions, like any contract, can be cut, adding that a provision in the Michigan Constitution protecting public pensions isn't a bulletproof shield in a bankruptcy.

The city says pension funds are short by $3.5 billion. Anxious retirees drawing less than $20,000 a year have appeared in court and put an anguished face on the case. Despite his finding, Rhodes cautioned everyone that he won't automatically approve pension cuts that could be part of Detroit's eventual plan to get out of bankruptcy.

There are other wrinkles.

etc ...

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/windsor/detroit-eligible-for-chapter-9-bankruptcy-judge-rules-1.2448789

 

 

 

 

 

josh

Non-police retirees will lose 1/3 of their pensions under the restructuring plan submitted today.

http://www.freep.com/article/20140221/NEWS01/302220007/City-files-bankru...

abnormal

A bunch of items on the pension cuts proposal

http://money.cnn.com/2014/02/21/retirement/detroit-pensions/

Quote:
Thousands of retired and current Detroit workers face pension cuts as deep as 34%, and some say they aren't sure how they'll make ends meet if the plan announced Friday is approved.

"They have worried me from the day they started this mess. You sit on pins and needles all the time," said 69-year-old Donald Smith, who retired in 2005 after decades of work as a civilian detention officer and other general city jobs.

For Smith, the cuts could mean a loss of around $300 a month from his $889 in monthly pension benefits, even as he already struggles to pay for rent, groceries and medical bills. Between his pension and Social Security, Smith currently lives on less than $23,000 a year.

"If they go and cut that, how am I going to live off of that?" he said, "I can't live on what I get now."

At the same time, retirees could face increased medical bills due to proposed deep cuts to their retiree healthcare benefits.

http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20140221/METRO01/302210081/Detroit-pension-funds-can-file-direct-appeal-bankruptcy

Quote:
The city’s pension funds and others were granted permission Friday morning to file a direct appeal of the city’s bankruptcy eligibility.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted permission ahead of the city’s filing of a plan to shed debt and emerge from bankruptcy court.

The city’s pension funds appealed an earlier ruling from U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes that concluded Detroit is eligible for Chapter 9 bankruptcy relief. He also ruled that pensions can be cut despite protections included in the state constitution.

The appeals court, however, refused to grant an expedited appeal, and a timetable for consideration is uncertain.

">http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20140221/METRO01/302210081#ixzz2uByT9...

http://www.freep.com/article/20140223/NEWS06/302230050/detroit-bankruptc...

Quote:
LANSING — One of the key elements of the proposed plan of adjustment to resolve the Detroit bankruptcy, made public Friday, is the so-called grand bargain designed to protect Detroit pensioners and the artwork of the Detroit Institute of Arts.

But a separate — and perhaps no less grand — bargain may be required in Lansing to get the Legislature to sign off on a $350-million state commitment over 20 years that is one of the cornerstones of the deal.

....
The bad news is that the strings some lawmakers want to tie to the money in return for their support are already many and varied: Some lawmakers want a regional water authority in Detroit, others want to make the DIA a statewide institution, some want the management of the city’s pension boards to change, while still others want to make sure local governments other than Detroit share equally in any Lansing largesse.

 

 

ygtbk

So, after many years of pensions being the "soft option" in labour negotiations (vs. a raise in the current hourly rate), we discover that future dollars eventually become present dollars.

abnormal

ygtbk wrote:

So, after many years of pensions being the "soft option" in labour negotiations (vs. a raise in the current hourly rate), we discover that future dollars eventually become present dollars.

Amazing that none of the negotiators ever figured that out. [img]http://oi60.tinypic.com/5x65qu.jpg[/img]

Or maybe they did.  Pension accounting is enough to give anyone a headache but one of the amusing things is that it generally takes years for things to finally start impacting income statements and balance sheets in a big way.  By that time the people on both sides of the table that actually negotiated those benefits are long gone.

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