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Corzine, ex-MF Global officials agree to settle investor lawsuit


JULY 8, 2015    LAST UPDATED: WEDNESDAY, JULY 8, 2015, 1:21 AM

Ex-New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine and other former officials of failed brokerage MF Global Holdings Ltd., which Corzine headed, have agreed to pay $64.5 million to settle an investor lawsuit.

The proposed settlement, which requires a judge’s approval, apparently marks the first time Corzine has agreed to pay victims of MF Global’s spectacular collapse in 2011, which triggered a slew of lawsuits and an FBI investigation.

In agreeing to the settlement, Corzine and the other defendants denied any wrongdoing, according to a filing Tuesday in Manhattan federal court. Corzine’s lead attorney, Andrew J Levander, declined to comment on the settlement, which will be paid by MF Global’s insurance company.

MF Global filed for bankruptcy on Oct. 31, 2011, after a $6.3 billion bet on bonds of some of Europe’s most indebted nations, orchestrated by Corzine. Clients alleged in lawsuits against Corzine and other former executives that more than $1.6 billion that should have been segregated was transferred to other parts of the company during a liquidity crisis.

The settlement follows an earlier accord reached with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, which agreed in April to pay $65 million to rid itself of claims tied to botched audits. Underwriters, including Citigroup Global Markets Inc., Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. and Goldman Sachs & Co., separately agreed in May to pay investors $74 million. That settlement was approved by a judge on June 26.

The plaintiffs also reached a separate settlement last month with Commerz Markets LLC, a unit of Frankfurt-based Commerzbank AG, which agreed to pay $933,000.

Corzine, a former Wall Street broker who rose to become co-chairman of Goldman Sachs, had entered politics by winning a U.S. Senate seat as a Democrat, representing New Jersey for five years before winning election as governor in 2005.

Corzine took MF Global’s helm in March 2010, shortly after leaving the governor’s office following his defeat by Chris Christie in his bid for reelection.

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Reader says New Jersey is a donor state getting back only 60 cents for every dollar to DC


We pay the highest taxes in the country for a few reasons… first, 500 odd local municipalities with their own governments, schools, etc… that’s not cheap…. then you have some of our larger cities requiring taxpayer based support…and the north subsidizes the south county wise (kind of like a microcosm of the country)…. but, the biggest reason is that NJ is the most “independent” state of the federal government. What that means is that we are a donor state to the tune of 10’s of BILLIONS every year, with most of these funds going to red states… we only get back about 60 cents for every dollar to DC… Our reps on both sides totally shaft us… why does no one see that as an issue? If we got about 70 cents back for every buck, we could fund everything and run a surplus to boot… yeah, some of the pension stuff is over the top but no one says boo about the federal transfer of payments deficit that we have…

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Ouch New Jersey: The least liked state in America

file photo Boyd Loving
Wow we really suck 

New Jersey is the only state which Americans tend to have an unfavorable opinion of

As America prepares to celebrate its 239th birthday this Saturday, YouGov compiled a ‘State of the States’, asking Americans how they feel about each and every state that forms our country.

This research shows that New Jersey is the only state in the country which people tend to have a negative opinion of. 40% of Americans have an unfavorable opinion of New Jersey while 30% have a favorable opinion of the state, giving the state a net favorability rating of -10%. In contrast, Alabama, the second least popular state in the country, has a net favorability rating of +8%, as 39% of Americans have a favorable view of Alabama and 31% have an unfavorable opinion. After Alabama the least popular states are Illinois (+9%), Mississippi (+9%) and Indiana (+12%).

Hawaii is the most popular state in the union with a net favorability rating of +56%, with 67% of Americans having a favorable view of the state and only 11% having an unfavorable opinion. Hawaii is followed by Montana (+43%), Wyoming (+42%), Alaska (+42%) and Maine (+42%).

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The next Greece may be in the U.S.


Published: June 30, 2015 10:23 a.m. ET

When Chicago Public Schools announced on June 24 that it would borrow $1 billion to make a $600 million-plus pension payment due June 30 an eerie feeling spread across bond investors and taxpayers alike.

It was the same feeling that gripped investors when Moody’s Investors Service downgraded Chicago’s credit rating to junk based almost entirely on the city’s pension problems.

The fear was that elevated pension costs, in cities like Chicago, might push these public entities into insolvency, wiping out much of the holdings of municipal-bond investors.

Once a sleepy corner of the municipal bond market — often not even properly reflected on cities’ balance sheets — public pensions have recently turned into the biggest headache for taxpayers and municipal-bond investors, threatening to bring down the finances of U.S. cities and states.

In some places, like Puerto Rico, Illinois, New Jersey and Chicago, entire balance sheets of cities or states hang in the balance.

Detroit, as well as three Californian cities — Vallejo, Stockton and San Bernardino — had to declare bankruptcy because of their overwhelming pension costs.

In those cases, the courtroom turned into a brutal battlefield pitting bond investors trying to save the money they invested in those cities’ municipal bonds on one side. And on the other side have been public employees trying to save the dwindling pensions that were promised to them.

Recent cases have shown that bond investors are clearly losing this battle.

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Chris Christie returns to his roots to announce run for president


By Associated Press

June 30, 2015 | 6:09am

NEWARK, N.J. — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who spent three years as president of his high school class, is returning to his alma mater to announce he’s running for president of his country.

The Republican governor is set to launch his campaign Tuesday in the old gymnasium of Livingston High School in the town of Livingston, New Jersey, where he experienced some of his first political victories. Christie remains close to many of his former classmates, who had inklings even then that a career in politics was in his future.

“If you were to poll and ask who would one day be governor, I think Chris would have overwhelmingly won,” said Harlan Coben, now a best-selling author, who served as student council president when Christie was senior class president and played with him on the Little League baseball team in the town about 20 miles west of New York City.

In an interview with The Associated Press ahead of his 35th high school reunion earlier this year, Christie, who also served in student government during his junior high school years, talked about some of the lessons he learned from those early races. Among them: Always vote for yourself.

“The first race I ever ran in, I did not vote for myself. I voted for the other person because I actually thought that you know it was conceited to vote for yourself. And I wound up losing the election by two votes,” he said. “So I learned always to vote for yourself, that’s the first thing.”

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State government tax revenue is only 5 percent above its pre-recession level


The financial state of states: The truth may scare you

State government tax revenue is only 5 percent above its pre-recession level.

Eric Rosenbaum | @erprose

State finances across the U.S. have been described as stable but slow growing. Six years into the post-recession economic recovery, that statement may be accurate, but the full truth may be more troubling.

A handful of states are caught in a real pension fix. A few statehouse budget battles in recent months have been notable for their heightened drama—Kansas, where huge tax cuts backfired on Gov. Sam Brownback; and Louisiana, where a member of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s own party referred to his budget plan as “money laundering.”

But it’s not the extremes that have state budget experts concerned. More states have been unable to complete budgets so far this year than is typical, and the situation points to long-term spending problems—from K–12 education to Medicaid and infrastructure—that will persist.

“The picture is more gloomy than stable, and state fiscal conditions might be better described as stagnant,” said Lucy Dadayan, senior policy analyst at the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government.

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Tired of high taxes? Maybe it’s time to move


file photo by Boyd Loving

CNBC data analysis shows outbound flow from high-tax states.

John W. Schoen | @johnwschoen

Everyone complains about taxes. But millions of American households apparently are doing something about it: Picking up and moving.

A CNBC analysis of tax data and figures provided by two major national moving companies shows that states with the highest per-capita taxes, for the most part, are also seeing the biggest net migration out of those states.

Take Connecticut, for example.

Earlier this week, the Nutmeg State’s legislature approved a collection of new taxes to close a two-year, $40 billion budget to help pay the multibillion-dollar tab to repair and replace the state’s dilapidated roads and bridges. The package includes a 50-cent-per-pack hike in cigarette taxes and a bump in tax rates on corporations and the state’s wealthiest earners.

The budget battle drew heated debate, along with threats from large employers like General Electric, which issued a rare statement that it might consider moving its Fairfield headquarters.

Republican opponents warned that the tax hikes would likely drive residents to flee to lower-tax states. One legislator suggested that a local moving-and-storage company up for sale should do a booming business moving households from the state.

“I think the best buy in Connecticut right now is a business for sale in Westport,” Michael A. McLachlan, R-Danbury, told the AP earlier this month as the debate wore on. “For $650,000, a sharp investor can get up and increase this business into a mega moving company, because that’s what people are going to be doing, starting today.”

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Proposed Law in New Jersey Would Keep the Walking Dead From Driving


The “walking dead” are aiming higher—and in New Jersey, it appears they have been driving.

But on Thursday, reports, the state’s Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee released a bill to put an end to the behavior.

This legislative move follows a state audit in March that revealed the Motor Vehicle Commission had issued official documents, such as licenses, to more than 300 people who were already deceased. The proposed law would require that the Commission cross-check their records with the Social Security Administration databases to avoid issuing significant legal documents to anyone no longer alive.  (Zorthian/TIME)

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New Jersey uses ‘one-shot’ budget-balancing maneuvers: study


(Reuters) – Many U.S. states balance their budgets by using short-term techniques to make it appear spending does not exceed revenue, according to a report released on Monday that singled out New Jersey for using these budget-balancing maneuvers.

The report by public policy nonprofit Volcker Alliance, founded by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, said New Jersey has produced a balanced budget by shifting resources intended for other programs to its general fund and increased borrowing. Governor Chris Christie is a potential Republican presidential contender in 2016.  (DiNapoli/Reuters)


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Will the Obamacare-pacalypse begin this week… in New Jersey?

obamacare_theridgewood blog

Posted by Matt Rooney On June 08, 2015 0 Comment

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

The poor keep getting poorer under Democrat rule, Save Jerseyans.

Just the latest example: around 100,000 New Jerseyans are about to see their Obamacare plan premiums rise by 10%, or more, effective January 1, 2016. That’s according to a new look at government data and insurance company reported rate increases from NJ Advance Media‘s Kathleen O’Brien.

Why? Besides the general suckiness of the government’s latest attempt to override the immutable rules of economics and nature? A bunch of stuff that critics like yours truly predicted way back before the ACA was signed including a spike in the number of doctor’s office visits.

And it’s entirely likely to get MUCH worse. We’re expecting a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court in King v. Burwell any day now that will decide the fate of Obamacare’s federal subsidies. Bottom line: as I’ve explained before, the lawcannot survive without subsidies (which should tell you everything right there).