2013 June FIRE Policy News

Issue Date: 
June, 2013
Newspaper PDF: 

The June issue of FIRE (Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate) Policy News reports Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and other city officials held a two-day conference financed by municipal bond underwriters in April. The conference was clsoed to the public and the press. One thing that’s not a secret: Philadelphia has one of the lowest credit ratings of any major city in the United States.

Also in this issue:

  • Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has announced he plans to seek legislation to end the state’s unique requirement that all auto insurance policies provide unlimited lifetime medical benefits. Snyder endorses a plan that would limit mandatory benefits under the state’s no-fault personal injury protection system to $1 million.
  • Starting in 2014, the Government Accounting Standards Board will require state and local governments to report their unfunded pension obligations as a liability on their balance sheets, eliminating loopholes in their current regulations. The loopholes being plugged by GASB Statement No. 68 have permitted cities and counties to declare balanced budgets when in fact they were failing to report billions in pension expenses.
  • Without admitting or denying wrongdoing, Illinois officials have agreed the state will “cease and desist from committing or causing any violations of Sections 17(a)(2) and 17(a)(3) of the Securities Act of 1933.” The agreement with the Securities and Exchange Commission stems from charges the state engaged in securities fraud by failing to inform buyers of Illinois government debt of the state’s true unfunded pension liabilities.
  • Suburban areas in the U.S. metropolitan areas with more than 1 million total regional population, once largely seen as bedroom communities, are nearing parity between jobs and resident employees. The jobs-housing balance, which measures the number of jobs per resident employee in a geographical area, has reached 0.89 (jobs per resident workers) in these 51 major metropolitan areas, according to data in the 2011 one-year American Community Survey.
  • The EB-5 visa program, in which foreigners invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in American enterprises, is big business in Florida. A few years ago, four regional centers in the state were soliciting foreign investor money in exchange for U.S. citizenship. More than two dozen are doing so now. Proponents say it’s been good for the state’s economy, but critics charge it’s nothing more than selling green cards.

Newspaper Articles in this Issue