Public Debt


A state-owned bank for New Jersey?
Alex J. Pollock

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and some supportive state legislators are promoting the idea to establish a bank owned by the state, holding the state’s deposits and making loans considered politically…

, California Policy Center
CalPERS is shocked – just shocked – to find cities reeling under the burden of growing pension debt
Steven Greenhut

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System’s union defenders feign shock whenever pension reformers accuse it of “kicking the can down the road” in dealing with the state’s…

, Financial Times
Central banks are useful but not that impressive
Alex J. Pollock


Martin Wolf’s apologia for central banks (“Unusual times call for unusual strategies from central banks,” Nov. 13) asserts that critics of central bank financial manipulation assume that…

City finance director says Oroville faces specter of bankruptcy
Steven Greenhut

Most Californians are aware of the near-calamity at the tallest earthen dam in the nation, which sits east of the Butte County city of Oroville. More than 188,000 residents were evacuated in February…

, Financial Times
Sovereign debt has a pretty poor record
Alex J. Pollock

Sir, “Nations have historically been the world’s best credits,” says your report “Supranational debt issuance on a high” (Aug. 10). This sanguine view is contradicted by Lex in the same…

Virgin Islands follow Puerto Rico into the debt day of reckoning
Alex J. Pollock

What do Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands have in common?  They are both islands in the Caribbean, they are both territories of the United States and they are both broke.

Moreover, they…

, American Spectator
Distressed city exits bankruptcy, but more distress ahead
Steven Greenhut

Officials for the decrepit city of San Bernardino are touting the great news that, after five long and tumultuous years, the city this week officially exited bankruptcy. Starting next month, it will…

Puerto Rico’s inevitable debt restructuring arrives
Alex J. Pollock

“Debt that cannot be repaid will not be repaid” is Pollock’s Law of Finance. It applies in spades to the debt of the government of Puerto Rico, which is dead broke.

Puerto Rico is the biggest…

Letter to Oversight Board of Puerto Rico
Alex J. Pollock

In response to your request for public comments on the draft Puerto Rico fiscal plan, I respectfully submit the following thoughts.

An old friend of mine who ran a publishing company was famous…

, Cal Watchdog
Prop. 53 could have far-reaching consequences for state project financing – or not
Steven Greenhut

Most California voters are unfamiliar with the inner workings of the municipal-bond process. Many are likewise unfamiliar with the differences between, say, “general obligation” bonds and…