Special Meeting of the Bay City Council set for Thursday

In order to succeed in reducing or eliminating such audit findings and improve the financial position of the City, over the
next year, the Council, the Mayor, and the administration will need to make some very hard decisions that may not always
be popular. In addition, the City will need to find ways to sustain the changes and cuts that it makes in order for these
solutions to be long-term. ~ Bay St Louis Performance Audit Report issued by the Office of the State Auditor

Those of you following Slabbed’s Twitter timeline got a taste of last night’s City Council meeting. Stacey Cato at the Seacoast Echo filled in many of the later gaps.

As the City winds down the 3rd Quarter of its fiscal year the above verbiage I quoted from the Performance Review of the City came to mind. OSA used a very specific term, “Deficit” to describe the City’s financial situation and in Mississippi there is no statutory authority to park accumulated deficits into bank debt. The only options are to raise more revenue or cut spending. There is not much that can be done from a revenue raising standpoint at the end of a municipality’s third quarter leaving one other option to get a budget into balance.

As for the MIA City Attorney, we found him: Continue reading “Special Meeting of the Bay City Council set for Thursday”

Looking ahead and back: Hattiesburg Schools offers the preview

I reckon over the past month or so I could have taken a victory lap or two but knowing what is in store has taken the celebratory edge off here at Slabbed New Media. What I am talking about?

1. $300,000 in Equitable Sharing Funds to be repaid.
2. Water and Sewer bond sinking fund, supposedly funded with a $13/month utility account surcharge, is missing another $300,000 or so as the surcharge has been diverted to pay the City’s operating expenses.

Item 1 plus 2 equal over $600,000 but it is worse than that – it has to be because of the problems with not paying Fuelman signals a larger problem for the City of Bay St Louis in not having any cash despite this being the cash rich time of the year for a Mississippi municipality. So the big question remains the same, how much is the accumulated deficit Hizzoner has diligently tried to hide? I poised that question to friends in both high and low places. The best guess answer came from a City official under grant of anonymity as this official was not authorized to discuss the City’s finances and the number is….. Continue reading “Looking ahead and back: Hattiesburg Schools offers the preview”

Other Voices | Wednesdays Wars: Playing the deficit game

When Ronald Reagan was running for President, one of his most dependable applause lines went like this: “Government is not the solution to the problem, government is the problem.” As soon as Reagan became President, however, he expanded the size of government and increased the deficit.

When George W. Bush became President, he moved to reduce taxes on high-end earners. His Secretary of the Treasury, Paul O’Neill, objected on the grounds that reducing revenue into the treasury would increase the deficit. Vice President Dick Cheney put O’Neill in his place, saying, “Reagan proved deficits don’t matter.”

Taxes were cut. The deficit rose, and O’Neill was soon gone.

Fast-forward to the Obama presidency, and our Republican friends are telling us that not only do deficits matter, they matter more than anything else. What they are really saying is that when they are in charge, they don’t want talk of deficits to constrain their actions (taxes, defense spending, credit card wars). But when Democrats are in charge, all spending must be viewed through the lens of its impact on … The Deficit. Continue Reading……………….

How about a quick finance post for those that are trying to get the license plate number of the Greek semi that ran them over today.

How about we start with today’s market action explained at the Huff Po of all places and visit with Zachary Karabell:

The Greek debt crisis finally spilled over in full force to U.S. markets, aided and abetted by extreme statements emanating from such esteemed and prominent voices as Muhammed El-Erian of the large bond investor Pimco, who warned that Greece could be just the beginning of sovereign debt catastrophes. In the space of minutes, the major U.S. indices plunged more than 10%, fueled by the same programmatic electronic trades that were part of the battering in late 2008 into 2009. And then in the space of 15 minutes, they recovered, without — it’s fair to say — much human decision-making during that interval (and if an individual even tried trading during those 30 minutes, they would have found it difficult or impossible, as web sites such as schwab.com were completely overwhelmed with traffic).

Fair enough but the man’s conclusions past this point aren’t worth printing here on Slabbed. Program trading will be with us forever but it is not the culprit here despite the uninformed rantings of the author who is obviously long the market now most likely stuck (stuckholder in finance board parlance). For my part I sold in April and went away (a month ahead of time). That said I am not Carnac the Magnificent but besides staying at a Holiday Inn last night I also read Yves Smith over at Naked Capitalism.

To the extent the problems with Greek debt were hardly a secret Yves is not special among financial bloggers. What makes Yves special is the fact he understands the ramifications of the interconnectivity in global finance and in the case of Greek debt there is a special connection I’ll now share with the Slabbed Nation: AIG most likely will be on the hook for a decent chunk of Greek National debt should there be a default. Continue reading “How about a quick finance post for those that are trying to get the license plate number of the Greek semi that ran them over today.”