Michael Lewis' newest piece of financial disaster tourism came out a few days ago, relating his take on California's Bond problems. Some think that he didn't interview the right experts in the field and that the lesson of the city of Vallejo have already been internalized by city managers. Chapter 9 of the Bankruptcy code, governing municipal bankruptcies has been used less than 600 times since 1937. This means that the case law is still relatively undeveloped. Only in 2009 did it become clear that municipalities could void union contracts for public workers. [more inside]
Laurel Hester, RIP --because she and her partner fought, New Jersey police and fire department employees can now name anyone--not just a spouse--as a beneficiary for pension rights, helping to protect those they love after they're gone. Just one person who made a difference.
A 401(k) is not a Pension! In a pension plan, your employer invests some money and gives you some of it when you retire. In a 401(k), they, um, don't. Congress seems a little confused on this issue, however. It turns out that the 401k might be more boondoggle than boon to average people planning to retire before they die.