Wednesday, June 10, 2009

California Controller Releases May Cash Flow Figures…

“Fifty days from a meltdown of State government.”

That’s the California’s Comptroller’s official press release.

I’ll let that sink in a little…

Controller Releases May Cash Flow Figures

SACRAMENTO – State Controller John Chiang today released his monthly report detailing California’s cash balance, receipts and disbursements in May and through the first 11 months of the fiscal year. In May, revenue was $827 million below the latest projections found in the Governor’s May Budget Revision.

"Without immediate solutions from the Governor and Legislature, we are less than 50 days away from a meltdown of State government. This presents a terrible threat to California’s economy and to the State’s delivery of basic public services,” said Chiang. “A truly balanced budget is the only responsible way out of the worst cash crisis since the Great depression.”

Personal income taxes were $475 million below (-23.0%) estimates in the May Revision. Corporate taxes were down $84.4 million (-25.8%), and sales taxes fell by $109 million (-3.3%).

The Controller has met with Governor Schwarzenegger and Legislators in the past week to brief them on the State’s immediate cash problem. He also sent a letter to State leaders this morning with new cash projections – updated to reflect May actuals and final May Revision numbers from the Department of Finance – that continue to show the State exhausting all available cash by late July. The State is now projected to run $2.78 billion into the red on July 31.
The State started the fiscal year with a $1.45 billion cash deficit, which grew to $19.8 billion on May 31, 2009. That deficit is being covered by a combination of Revenue Anticipation Notes (RANs) and internal borrowing from special funds. Borrowing from special funds is expected to provide enough cash to fund State operations through the end of the fiscal year on June 30.

Own muni-bonds? Wonder why the bond market has entered bubble stage seven?

Stage Six – Financial Crisis/Panic:
A bubble requires many people who believe in a bright future, and so long as the euphoria continues, the bubble is sustained. Just as the euphoria takes hold of the outsiders, the insiders remember what’s real. They lose their faith and begin to sneak out the exit. They understand their segment, and they recognize that it has all gone too far. The savvy are long gone, while those who understand the possible outcome begin to slowly cash out. Typically, the insiders try to sneak away unnoticed, and sometimes they get away without notice. Whether the outsiders see the insiders leave or not, insider profit taking signals the beginning of the end (remember who has sold their rental properties?).

Stage seven – Revulsion/Lender of Last Resort:
Sometimes, panic of the insiders infects the outsiders. Other times, it is the end of cheap and easy credit or some unanticipated piece of news. But whatever it is, euphoria is replaced with revulsion. The building is on fire and everyone starts to run for the door. Outsiders start to sell, but there are no buyers. Panic sets in, prices start to tumble downwards, credit dries up, and losses start to accumulate.

Yeah, yeah… “nobody saw it coming.”

Whatever you do, don’t listen to the “nuts” on the internet!!! By all means, listen to the Keynesian academic wonders who marveled at the Great Depression. Ever hear the saying, “What you focus on expands?”

Bernanke in Denial 2005-2007 (ht Leland):

Stupid is as stupid does. This is what eventually happens when you spend more than you take in. Death, taxes, and exponential math. If you don’t “feel” the depression now, you will soon… real soon.