Chicago: My kind of town
Last month I blogged about Moody’s downgrade of Chicago’s debt to “junk status,” and the city’s drama with the Chicago Teacher’s Union.
UPDATE: Mayor Rahm Emanuel has found a way to “fix” Chicago’s $30 billion unfunded pension for public workers and teachers. In 2015, the City has its balloon payment coming due on its previously issued pension bonds, yet its bond rating was recently moved to “ junk” status, making it a bit of a challenge to refinance. So—how can Chicago fund the $1.1 billion balloon, which is a third of its total annual budget?
Frank Sinatra would be proud. Gambling will save the day. A brand new shiny object. A “win- win” proposal with glossy drawings and renderings. A new casino, owned by the City, whose profits will go solely to fund the pension. Problem is, the middle-market has been so saturated with casinos that revenue declines are now being reported as the competition increases all across the mid-west and east coast. Take a look at Atlantic City lately?
State legislators have introduced a bill supportive of Mayor Emanuel’s plan.
Kentucky, keep watching Chicago. It sounds all too familiar.
 Wall Street Journal, “Rahm Emanuel Rolls the Dice to Pay Chicago’s Pension Bills,” 6/6/15.