Meanwhile corporate profits are soaring as your Third Way corporate Democratic incumbent votes for policy after policy that keeps those profits coming all at the people's expense.
VOTE FOR A WRITE-IN FOR SARBANES, CARDIN, AND CUMMINGS THIS NOVEMBER!
VOTE YOUR INCUMBENT OUT!!!
BE SURE TO READ TO THE BOTTOM AS AN ARTICLE EXPLAINS HOW PENSIONS WERE SERVED UP AS FODDER DURING THE LAST DAYS BEFORE THE CRASH. PRIVATE AND PUBLIC PENSIONS ARE USED BY WALL STREET TO THE BENEFIT OF THE 5% OF SHAREHOLDERS!
Maryland benefit systems in peril Posted: 3:00 pm Sun, September 30, 2012
By Alexander Pyles
Daily Record Business Writer
Maryland counties are funding only about 50 percent of their retiree pension and benefit systems, according to a study by the Maryland Public Policy Institute, in part because almost no local money is being spent on some post-employment benefits.
THIS IS WHAT THE FEDERAL RESERVE'S QUANTITATIVE EASING 3 IS REALLY ADDRESSING......FREE MONEY FOR CORPORATE PROFIT. THESE CORPORATIONS HAVE WATCHED THEIR PROFITS SOAR AND INCOME INEQUITY WIDENS WITH THIS POLICY BY BERNANKE AS HE TELLS US IT IS FOR JOB CREATION. I GUESS HE THINKS THAT WHEN THE CORPORATIONS HAVE MORE MONEY THAN GOD, THEN THEY WILL HIRE DOMESTICALLY. DO YOU HEAR YOUR DEMOCRATIC INCUMBENT SHOUTING LOUDLY AGAINST THIS INCREDIBLE INJUSTICE?????
VOTE YOUR INCUMBENT OUT OF OFFICE!!!!
GE Ignores $100 Billion of Cash to Borrow $7 Billion By Charles Mead and Tim Catts - Oct 2, 2012 11:17 AM ET Bloomberg Financial
General Electric Co. (GE) is refinancing $5 billion of debt even as it expects to generate $100 billion of cash in the next four years, showing confidence in its ability to invest at returns four times its borrowing costs.
The biggest maker of power-generation equipment sold $7 billion of bonds yesterday at an average 2.58 percent yield in the parent company’s first issue in almost five years. That compares with a 12 percent return that Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt said last week the Fairfield, Connecticut-based firm generates on its capital.
Enlarge image GE borrows at lower rates than the average for U.S. investment-grade issuers, whose bond yields dropped to an unprecedented 2.85 percent yesterday, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch index data. Photographer: Matthew Lloyd/Bloomberg
The offering allows the company to use the cash it brings in for stock buybacks, dividends and acquisitions. While Immelt seeks to pare debt at GE’s finance arm, the offering may boost bonds of the parent by 22 percent to $11 billion next year.
“It’s a no-brainer,” Jody Lurie, a corporate credit analyst at Janney Montgomery Scott LLC in Philadelphia, said in a telephone interview. “It costs nothing to issue, so why would they use cash on hand” to pay off maturing obligations?
Total Assets $700 billion
Samuels said at a tax forum in February that GE needs a tax system that will let it compete effectively with giant, foreign-based multinationals like Mitsubishi, Siemens (SI), and Phillips. However, their effective tax rates for earnings purposes last year were 40%, 31% and 26% respectively, compared with 7% for GE. (GE says its tax rate's been artificially low the past few years, and will soon rise.)
WE ALL REMEMBER IN 2008 WHEN THE ECONOMIC COLLAPSE BROUGHT ALL THIS PUSH TO GUT LABOR CONTRACTS BECAUSE OF THE DOWNTURN. LABOR LOST SOOO MUCH UNDER THE GUISE OF STRESSED CORPORATE BALANCE SHEETS. CORPORATE STOCKS WERE WELL PROTECTED BY BANK BAILOUTS AND THE FEDERAL RESERVES FREE MONEY. THIS IS WHY SHAREHOLDERS RECOVERED THEIR WEALTH RIGHT AWAY.
Union approves GE labor deal Favorable vote expected to help chances for a local battery plant
By Scott Waldman and Eric Anderson Staff writers Published 1:00 a.m., Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Read more: http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Union-approves-GE-labor-deal-545829.php#ixzz289yumOEj
SCHENECTADY — Union members, by a 2-to-1 ratio, approved a proposed labor agreement with General Electric Tuesday night.
The 785-363 vote was a major step in bringing a new $100 million GE battery plant to Schenectady County that would create 350 jobs. While union members voted for some concessions, the contract change also prevents permanent job cuts for years amid the nation's economic turmoil.
"It's job security," said IUE-CWA Local 301 Business Agency Carmen DePoalo. "That makes me feel good for the younger kids, and the older guys get out of here with a chunk of change."
The agreement's ratification comes as GE prepares to build heavy-duty, high-density batteries in the Capital Region. CEO Jeffrey Immelt announced the plans to build the plant at an appearance at GE's Global Research Center in Niskayuna in May.
GE also is seeking federal stimulus funds from the U.S. Department of Energy for the project. A decision is expected this week.
"We're delighted with the results," GE spokeswoman Chris Horne said after the vote. "This is a critical step in investing in the future of our Schenectady manufacturing."
She said the company expects to make a "formal announcement" as a result of the vote in the near future, but did not elaborate.
The state, meanwhile, is contributing $15 million of the cost of the battery plant.
GE turned to the union to get more savings; Tuesday's approval is expected to help.
The company wants to offer a voluntary retirement incentive program next year and a new competitive wage schedule that would reduce hourly wage rates by $10 for new hires at Schenectady and at the Global Research Center in Niskayuna.
The labor agreement will extend plant shutdowns next summer from two weeks to nine and during Thanksgiving week in 2010 at the Schenectady plant. It includes a cost-of-living wage increase freeze for the rest of the current contract, which expires in June 2011.
DePoalo has said his union has been talking with GE about bringing more work to Schenectady "for years." GE's requests were no surprise, he said.
DePoalo said the economy has been tough on local GE operations.
"The workload has been cut by 50 to 60 percent," he said. "It's actually horrific right now."
That's why the job security measures, which also include a moratorium on plant closings in Schenectady and Niskayuna through June 2011, were an important part of the agreement.
Schenectady County Legislature Chairwoman Susan Savage said after the vote that the union members acted in the best interest of the community.
"This is the biggest economic development announcement that would take place in the county in many, many years," she said. "This is a transformative vote today. It shows we're making a lot of progress as a community."
Mayor Brian U. Stratton, who has worked with the county for nine months to try to draw the new battery plant, called it the biggest economic news Schenectady has had in a decade. "This impact has yet to be seen," he said.
Though the downtown will benefit from 350 more people working nearby, DePoalo said the vote was bittersweet because it's a financial hit to his members.
"I hate losing money," he said. "I hate new employees coming in making less money."
THE REASONS THAT CORPORATIONS ARE PUSHING EMPLOYEE PAID PENSION PLANS RATHER THAN EMPLOYER CONTRIBUTION IS THAT THEY NEVER PAID INTO THEM TO BEGIN WITH AND NOW THE STOCK MARKET WON'T PERFORM WELL ENOUGH TO KEEP THEM FREE. EMPLOYER CONTRIBUTION WAS ALWAYS A HOAX. DID YOU HEAR COMPANIES COMPLAINING ABOUT COSTS? SO NOW, IF THESE PLANS WEREN'T SHED IN BANKRUPTCY, YOU ARE BASICALLY PAYING INTO THEM AS A SAVINGS ACCOUNT (TAX FREE). SO WE SEE CORPORATIONS WITH LITTLE LABOR COSTS, PAYING LITTLE TAX, AND GETTING FREE MONEY FROM THE FED. THIS IS WHY THEY ARE NOT HIRING.
GE makes first pensions payment in 24 years Mark Cobley Financial News
28 Feb 2011 General Electric, the US conglomerate, is set to pay into its pension scheme for the first time in a quarter of a century - ending what may be the longest company 'pensions holiday' ever.
GE, founded in 1890 by Thomas Edison, is one of the biggest companies in the world and runs one of the world's biggest pension plans, too - the 38th biggest, in fact, according to consultancy Towers Watson.
It is also one of the best-funded - or at least it was, until the financial crisis took its toll. With $45bn in assets but a $2.8bn deficit, according to GE's 10-K form, filed on Friday, the time has finally come for the US conglomerate to bail out its fund.
GE hasn't made a payment into its pension fund since 1987, when it stopped for tax reasons, according to various online sources, including US pensions trade newspaper P&I [ http://bit.ly/hDdoze ].
Up until the latest crash, GE's plan was doing well financially, kept afloat by employee contributions and investment returns alone. It is mostly invested in equities and real estate and by 2007 it had a surplus of about $16bn.
That happy tale has been brought to a crunching end by the bond markets. Even while the equity markets have recovering from the crisis, pension funds everywhere have continued to suffer from low bond yields, which make their liabilities appear huge.
According to GE's 10-K filing: "The GE Pension Plan was underfunded by $2.8bn at the end of 2010 as compared to $2.2bn at December 31, 2009 ... the increase in underfunding from year-end 2009 was primarily attributable to the effects of lower discount rates, partially offset by a [13.5%] increase in GE Pension Plan assets."
The company also has a further $4.4bn obligation to the GE Supplementary Pension Plan, which isn't funded.
The company points out this still means its fund is 98% solvent, which is pretty good going compared to most of its peers in the US (and UK). It won't be making any pension payments this year. But in 2012, "we will be required to make about $1.4bn in contributions".
Pensions holidays used to be a common occurrence in the 80s and 90s - a way for companies to effectively claw back cash from pension funds running huge surpluses. But troublesome markets, stricter regulation and of course, improvements in life expectancy, have generally put paid to that.
Now it seems that not even GE, one of the biggest companies on Earth, can run a pension plan for free.
GE's spokespeople in London couldn't immediately be reached for comment this morning.
THIS IS WHERE ALL THE PRIVATE PENSION PLANS HAVE GONE OVER THESE FEW DECADES......SHED IN BANKRUPTCY AND HANDED TO THE GOVERNMENT AT CONSIDERABLE DOWN-SIZING TO THE WORKER. BANKRUPTCY LAWS ARE WRITTEN TO MAKE IT EASY FOR CORPORATIONS TO DO AND IT HAS GOTTEN TO THE POINT THAT CORPORATIONS DELIBERATELY GO TO BANKRUPTCY COURT TO SHED PENSIONS. LOOK CLOSELY AT THE BOLDED SENTENCE BELOW TO SEE THAT THESE PENSION INVESTMENTS WERE SAFELY INVESTED IN BOND FOR YEARS AND IN 2008, JUST AT THE TIME OF THE CRASH......THEY MOVED THESE PENSIONS TO STOCKS CAUSING A 23% LOSS.
THIS IS FRAUD!!!!! AND IT HAPPENED WITH ALL PENSION FUNDS.
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation
Formed September 2, 1974 Headquarters 1200 K Street, NW
38°54′8″N 77°1′43″W Employees 800 (2010) Annual budget $445 million (2009) Agency executives Joshua Gotbaum, Director
Vince Snowbarger, Deputy Director
The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) is an independent agency of the United States government that was created by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) to encourage the continuation and maintenance of voluntary private defined benefit pension plans, provide timely and uninterrupted payment of pension benefits, and keep pension insurance premiums at the lowest level necessary to carry out its operations. Subject to other statutory limitations, the PBGC insurance program pays pension benefits up to the maximum guaranteed benefit set by law to participants who retire at age 65 ($54,000 a year as of 2011). The benefits payable to insured retirees who start their benefits at ages other than 65, or who elect survivor coverage, are adjusted to be equivalent in value.
During fiscal year 2010, the PBGC paid $5.6 billion in benefits to participants of failed pension plans. That year, 147 pension plans failed, and the PBGC's deficit increased 4.5 percent to $23 billion. The PBGC has a total of $102.5 billion in obligations and $79.5 billion in assets.
CRevenues and expenditures The PBGC is not funded by general tax revenues. Its funds come from four sources:
- Insurance premiums paid by sponsors of defined benefit pension plans;
- Assets held by the pension plans it takes over;
- Recoveries of unfunded pension liabilities from plan sponsors' bankruptcy estates; and
- Investment income.
The PBGC regularly updates its investment strategy. In 2004, it chose to invest heavily in bonds. Under new leadership, the agency in 2008 shifted a substantial portion of its assets into stocks. Because of the market decline, PBGC's equity investments lost 23% during the year ending September 30, 2008.
Pensions and bankruptcy Several large legacy airlines have filed for bankruptcy reorganization in an attempt to renegotiate terms of pension liabilities. These debtors have asked the bankruptcy court to approve the termination of their old defined benefit plans insured by the PBGC. The PBGC has attempted to resist these requests.
The PBGC would like required contributions (a.k.a. minimum contributions) to insured defined benefit pension plans to be considered "administrative expenses" in bankruptcy, thereby obtaining priority treatment ahead of the unsecured creditors. The PBGC has generally lost on this argument, sometimes resulting in a benefit to general unsecured creditors.
In National Labor Relations Bd. v. Bildisco, 465 U.S. 513 (1984), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Bankruptcy Code section 365(a) "includes within it collective-bargaining agreements subject to the National Labor Relations Act, and that the Bankruptcy Court may approve rejection of such contracts by the debtor-in-possession upon an appropriate showing." The ruling came in spite of arguments that the employer should not use bankruptcy to breach contractual promises to make pension payments resulting from collective bargaining.
PBGC BENEFITS MARYLANDSTATEWIDE IN MARYLAND:
- In 2011 PBGC paid approximately $146 million to more than 17,600 Maryland retirees in failed plans.
- PBGC insures 490 pension plans sponsored by Maryland companies, covering more than 640,000 people.
- In 2011 PBGC paid $5.3 billion to 787,000 retirees.
- 700,000 more Americans will get their pension from PBGC when they're eligible to retire.
- In 2010-2011 PBGC helped dozens of companies keep their pension plans when they emerged from bankruptcy, saving benefits for 300,000 Americans.
- Since 2007 PBGC has worked with companies to get an additional $750 million put into the pension plans of 80,000 workers.
- Check the table below to see how much PBGC paid retirees in your district in 2011. Don't know your congressional district? Hover over the map to find it.