Category Archives:

IAFF…For Sale.

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  “Let Them Eat Cake.” The International Association of Firefighters was born in the beer halls of great North American cities like Pittsburgh, Toronto, Chicago, Milwaukee, New York and Boston.  There, workers could talk about long hours, low wages and no rights—the very concerns that led to our union’s birth 96 years ago. How ironic then, that 2014 […]

“9/11 Drove Me Crazy”

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  Workin' It The Manhattan District Attorney, Cyrus Vance, will hold a news conference this afternoon detailing a long running scheme involving retired police and firefighters fraudulently receiving Social Security Disability Benefits for mental health problems, many based on 9/11. The Times reports that the operation actually dates from 1988 and involves over a hundred officers […]

FF Pensions: Over the Cliff in Illinois

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  The Big Squeeze  The current unfunded pension liability of five of Illinois’s state run pension systems is $96 billion.  The amount is so large that Standard and Poor, the credit rating agency, downgraded the state to A minus, making it more difficult for the them to borrow money in the form of bonds. Governor […]

When Monopolies Fail

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Postal Service Fails to Gain Federal Contracts   Let’s face it–monopolies are not supposed to fail.  By their very nature they have captured a market to the extent that they control the vast majority of business and are often, by hook or by crook, able to set prices and the terms and conditions of business. […]

Fire Pensions: Big Trouble in the UK (Part 2)

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It seems that David Cameron and his Coalition partner, Nick Clegg, wish to give UK firefighters a drubbing in the latest pension dust-up. Some Significant UK/NA Pension Differences UK and North American firefighter pensions are roughly comparable up to a point but then significant differences emerge.  UK firefighters operate under a tiered benefit system: the […]

Fire Pensions: Big Trouble in the UK (Part 1)

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United Kingdom public sector workers, including firefighters in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are engaged in a titanic national struggle with the “Coalition” government made up of the Conservative Party and Liberal Democrats. The Coalition is currently set on weakening pension benefits. (These Liberal Democrats are not the ones your mother warned you about, […]

Honey, Where Did You Put the $600,000,000?

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No doubt many know that at the top of the financial news of the week is the implosion of MF Global, a New York based investment firm that went belly up after failing to attract buyers when its balance sheet was called into question by wary federal regulators. The CEO and leader of MF Global […]

Public Pensions and the Brothers “B”

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Are we fast approaching an era where people will talk of pensions the way they do of the rotary dial phone and the ringer washer? (I clearly remember both.)  More and more it’s looking that way. The myth is that change usually emanates from the West Coast and flows toward the stodgy and staid easterners […]

Go Along, Get Along

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The New York Times reports this morning that the feds are finally charging some folks as the result of an amazing series of stories they completed back in 08 about fraud at the Long Island Railroad to the tune of $1 Billion, with a B. They reported that “every career employee of the railroad was […]

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Eric Lamar

July 2014
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