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Jefferson County is Bankrupt
#1
From http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424...%3Darticle
Quote:Jefferson County, Ala., which owes more than $3 billion on a failed sewer deal, filed Wednesday for what would be the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history after a tentative rescue plan with creditors unraveled. The county, home to Alabama's biggest city, Birmingham, filed its Chapter 9 petition in U.S. Bankruptcy Court less than an hour after county commissioners voted 4-1 to do so. The document was signed by Commission President David Carrington.
"After over three years of diligent efforts toward regaining financial stability, the county has exhausted its options, and additional delays in resolving its financial crisis will further ...

NOW READ WHY:
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/new...t-20100331

Teaser:
Quote:For Jefferson County, the deal blew up in early 2008, when a dizzying array of penalties and other fine-print poison worked into the swap contracts started to kick in. The trouble began with the housing crash, which took down the insurance companies that had underwritten the county's bonds. That rendered the county's insurance worthless, triggering clauses in its swap contracts that required it to pay off more than $800 million of its debt in only four years, rather than 40. That, in turn, scared off private lenders, who were no longer ­interested in bidding on the county's bonds. The banks were forced to make up the difference a service for which they charged enormous penalties. It was as if the county had missed a payment on its credit card and woke up the next morning to find its annual percentage rate jacked up to a million percent. Between 2008 and 2009, the annual payment on Jefferson County's debt jumped from $53 million to a whopping $636 million.
It gets worse.
The most relevant literature regarding what happened since September 11, 2001 is George Orwell's "1984".
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