Daily Archives: August 31, 2015

Illinois Pays Lottery Winners In IOUs After $30K/Month Budget “Guru” Fails To Produce Deal

The Chicago Tribune has more:

After years of struggling financially, Susan Rick thought things were looking up when her boyfriend won $250,000 from the Illinois Lottery last month. She could stop working seven days a week, maybe fix up the house and take a trip to Minnesota to visit her daughter.

But because Illinois lawmakers have not passed a budget, she and her boyfriend, Danny Chasteen, got an IOU from the lottery instead.

“For the first time, we were finally gonna get a break,” said Rick, who lives in Oglesby. “And now the Illinois Lottery has kind of messed everything up.”

Asian stocks set for worst monthly drop in three years on global rout

Asian shares fell on Monday and looked set for their worst monthly performance in three years after top Federal Reserve officials kept the door open for an interest rate hike in September and Chinese stock markets took a fresh tumble.

Global markets are bracing for Chinese data on Tuesday which is expected to show the world’s second-largest economy is continuing to lose momentum.

A Reuters poll showed China’s official factory sector activity likely fell to a 3-year low.

Read on.

Andrew Cuomo GE Deal: NY Taxpayers to Subsidize General Electric As Critics Slam Company For Toxic Pollution, Unfinished Cleanup

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo last week proudly declared that he had successfully lured General Electric into “coming home.” It took $50 million in taxpayer subsidies to convince the company to build a new manufacturing facility in upstate New York, but this was money well spent, Cuomo asserted, noting that GE used to be “such a big part of this community and provided so many jobs and was such a vital player in this community.” Cuomo is now pushing to authorize an additional, undisclosed amount to entice GE to also relocate its corporate headquarters from Connecticut back to New York, some 40 years after it left.

The welcoming rhetoric from the New York governor, a Democrat, presents a stark change from recent years, in which GE was known throughout the state as a large-scale industrial polluter: During the mid-20th century, the company dumped more than one million pounds of chemicals linked to cancer into the Hudson River.

Read on.

‘My Pastor Is on the Ashley Madison List.’

Too many Christians have been caught using Ashley Madison, many of them pastors and church leaders. What now? |

Christian Today website:

This week, I’ve already written a couple of posts on the Ashley Madison hack and information leak because pastors, Christian leaders, and families are facing devastating revelation and the after-effects of public sin.

Based on my conversations with leaders from several denominations in the U.S. and Canada, I estimate that at least 400 church leaders (pastors, elders, staff, deacons, etc.) will be resigning Sunday. This is a significant moment of embarrassment for the church—and it should be. To be honest, the number of pastors and church leaders on Ashley Madison is much lower than the number of those looking to have an affair. Yet, there is still much that we must consider in the midst of the embarrassment.

Also, to be clear, in situations like these, we must confirm all things. Not everyone on the list signed themselves up. Among those who did, the sin and circumstances will be different. Many likely signed themselves up and didn’t actually go through with adultery. Regardless, though, trust has been shattered and hearts have been broken. But before we assume a name on a list means adultery has taken place, we must confirm all things and seek the full truth.

Top Tobacco Bond Banker Departs Barclays

Kym Arnone handled more than $40 billion in deals in which states and other governments borrowed against income from the landmark tobacco legal settlement of 1998.

Kym S. Arnone, a senior banker who, by her own count, helped engineer more than $40 billion of tobacco bond deals, is no longer with Barclays Capital, a bank spokesman confirmed last week.

Tobacco bonds had been a hot segment of the $3.6 trillion market for municipal government debt. A 1998 legal settlement with cigarette manufacturers created demand for bonds, which netted upfront cash for state and local governments that were promised billions of dollars in future payments to compensate them for health-related costs of smoking.

As ProPublica reported, tobacco bonds were a booming business from 2005 to 2008, when bankers like Arnone persuaded dozens of settlement recipients to borrow against their cut of the accord, sometimes for pennies on the dollar. These days, few new deals are coming to market. The most recent, a $750 million Louisiana transaction we wrote about in April, failed to get state legislators’ approval.

Instead, governments have been retooling past tobacco bond issues that are heading for default thanks to bankers’ use of a risky form of borrowing known as capital appreciation bonds, or CABs. These bonds typically carry higher interest rates and require big balloon payments, often decades in the future.

Read on.