Posts Tagged ‘billion’

City Attorney Officially Replies to “Pension Tsunami” Civil Grand Jury Report

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

I’ll tell you, the easy ones, they’re easy to predict. You know, your BART cop homicide, your Michela Alioto-Pier second-term-as-a-Supervisor case, your Bicycle Plan injunction lawsuit - you can easily see how those legal disputes are going to end up months and years before final resolution. But how about this one, how about the brouhaha over the recent “Pension Tsunami – The Billion Dollar Bubble” report from our Civil Grand Jury?

Take a look at this one and see what you think. You Make The Call:

Tsunami pdf

Anyway, that’s what just got posted at the City Attorney’s website this AM. Check it:

In accordance with state law governing Civil Grand Juries, the City Attorney’s Office has responded to jury members’ findings and recommendations about City employee pension and health care benefits.”

This one is beyond my ken, obliviously.

But, you’re smart, check it out.

Just a taste, after the jump.

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Everyone in California Agrees More Federal Pork for High Speed Rail is a Good Thing

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

When it comes to funding an 11-figure(!) transit project, every litttle counts as they say in Euro-land. So just try finding an elected official in CA who don’t want the Feds to kick in another eight figures, to drip another drop in the bucket, right?

Well, our California High-Speed Rail Authority recently asked around, and it turns out that everyone is all aboard.

Deets below.

A Californian TGV pour vous et moi? Someday, maybe:

François Lacôte, SVP at French conglomerate (and BART train maker!) Alstom Transport, and our globetrotting First Couple, Gavin Newsom and Jennifer Siebel Newsom, trainspotting in France a year or so ago. Via the Mayor’s Office of Communications.

To Be Continued….

California High-Speed Rail Authority Seeks New Federal Funds. Local Leaders Support $16.6 Million Bid for Planning

SACRAMENTO, Calif., May 19 — With strong support from local officials, the California High-Speed Rail Authority has submitted three planning grant applications that could provide as much as $16.6 million in additional federal funding for the state’s high-speed train project.

The funds would pay for service development plans that would help keep the preparation of draft environmental documents and preliminary engineering documents on schedule in the Los Angeles to San Diego and Merced to Sacramento sections of the high-speed rail project and on the Altamont Corridor Rail Project. In addition, the Authority is also supporting the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) in its effort to apply for rail plan grants.

“California’s high-speed train project is the biggest public infrastructure project in the nation,” said Authority Chairman Curt Pringle. “We’re already leading the pack in federal funding for high-speed rail, and we’re committed to fighting to bring every federal dollar possible to California. These new applications show we’re continuing to work hard to win additional support and keep high-speed rail on track.”

The applications will go to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), which has $115 million available for planning and construction funds for high-speed intercity passenger rail under the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act approved in 2008. Up to $50 million will be awarded in this round of funding.

It Goes On…

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Jerry Brown Throws Down – Massive $1.4 Billion Settlement with Wells Fargo Announced

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

California State Attorney General Jerry Brown is announcing a huge, “b”-as-in-boy, $1.4 billion settlement with affiliates of Well Fargo today. That means that if you bought certain auction-rate securities based on “misleading advice” from any of three Wells affiliates, well, you’re going to get your money back. Hurray!

All the deets are below.

El Protector De La Gente, Jerry Brown:

61077042_d98cef67ff1

Here they are:

“Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced a landmark $1.4 billion settlement with three Wells Fargo affiliates to pay back investors, charities and small businesses that purchased auction-rate securities based on “misleading advice.”

“Wells Fargo convinced thousands of investors to purchase auction-rate securities with promises of robust returns and liquidity, but when the market collapsed, investors were left out in the cold,” Brown said. “Based on misleading advice, investors bought these risky securities. Now, retail investors and small businesses are finally getting their money back.”

Under today’s settlement, Wells Fargo will buy back $1.4 billion in non-liquid auction-rate securities from thousands of retail customers, charities, and small businesses nationwide, including about $700 million to California investors. Wells Fargo will also pay legal costs and future monitoring expenses incurred by Brown’s office. In February 2008, nationwide auction markets froze, and investors have been unable to sell their securities.

Earlier this year, Brown filed the suit against three Wells Fargo affiliates-Wells Fargo Investments, LLC; Wells Fargo Brokerage Services, LLC; and Wells Fargo Institutional Securities, LLC-for violating California’s Securities Law. Brown’s suit contended that Wells Fargo routinely misrepresented, marketed and sold auction-rate securities as safe, liquid and cash-like investments, omitting material facts.

The company was also charged with failing to supervise and train its sales agents and selling unsuitable investments. The lawsuit contended that Wells Fargo ignored clear industry and internal warnings about risk and previous auction failure.

In March 2005, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the “Big 4″ accounting firms, and the Financial Accounting Standards Board all determined that auction-rate securities should not be considered “cash equivalents.” Despite these warnings, Wells Fargo continued to aggressively sell and falsely market auction-rate securities as safe, liquid, cash-like investments until the nationwide auction markets froze in early 2008.

In marketing and selling these investments, Wells Fargo failed to inform investors about how auction-rate securities or the auction process worked, as well as the risks and consequences of auction failure.”

Ever more deets, after the jump.

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Jerry Brown Demands Details on Huge $8 Billion Prison Plan

Monday, December 8th, 2008

Attorney General Jerry Brown thinks California should get a peek at how a court-appointed overseer plans to spend eight billion dollars to improve health care in the prison system.

If public money is being spent,” Brown said, “the public has the right to know how it’s going to be spent.”

That sounds fair enough. Get his side of the story here:

Attorney General Brown Urges Reversal of Decision Forcing California to Make $250 million “Down-Payment” for Massive Prison Plan.

Our feisty AG:

via “Thomas Hawk’s” Photostream

Or just read the whole brief that was filed today and then decide for yourself here. Well, that’s a bit much to read, but here’s the crux:

“The State of California has acknowledged the need to provide constitutionally adequate healthcare. The state, however, argues that the Receiver has not complied with the Prison Litigation Reform Act, which requires that any prison remediation plan that a court orders “is narrowly drawn, extends no further than necessary to correct the violation of the Federal right, and is the least intrusive means necessary to correct the violation of the Federal right.” (18 U.S.C. § 3626(a)(1)(A)).”

Is that so crazy, wanting to see what the plans are before turning over a quarter billion dollar “down payment?”

We’ll see.