Bloomberg L.P., the big New York financial data firm, is holding its fall municipal-financing conference on Wednesday, and guess what the title is for the special panel on the Land of Lincoln? Try Land of Entropy. Yes, sports fans, the panel titled “Illinois Treading Water” is set for 1:45 p.m. and, according to a synopsis, not too much good will be said about our fine state.
“California debt is beating Illinois bonds by the most in three months as investors choosing between the two lowest rated U.S. states reward efforts to bolster the finances of the nation’s biggest pension in California,” it says. But though they passed a version of pension reform in California, nothing good has happened here.
“Illinois lawmakers failed to advance any measures in a special session Aug. 17,” the synopsis says. “Standard & Poor’s cut the state’s credit.” And, at last check, “Illinois carried a backlog of about $8 billion in unpaid bills, not including pension obligations.
“More: Illinois’ ratio of pension assets to liabilities is “the lowest among U.S. states.” It concludes, “What is the outlook for significant defaults in the state? How can Illinois get its fiscal house in order?”
Rahm, Michael Madigan, Pat Quinn, John Cullerton, and the rest of The Machine will go down in history as fiddling while Illinois burned.