The monetary problems plaguing the state of Illinois (not to mention its public pensions) have been widely documented here over the past few years, and today the rating agencies finally noticed, when in the span of a few hours, first S&P, then Moody’s downgraded Illinois to BB+/Baa3, respectively, both just one notch above junk, the lowest rating ever given to a U.S. state, as both agencies cited a long-running political stalemate over a budget shows no signs of ending.
In the first downgrade, S&P warned that Illinois is at risk of soon losing its investment-grade status, an unprecedented step for a state that would only deeper the government’s strain. Bypassing its traditional 90-day review, S&P said Illinois will likely be downgraded around July 1, when the new fiscal year begins, if leaders haven’t agreed on a budget that starts addressing the state’s chronic deficits.
Continue reading “Now The Pain Begins”: S&P, Moodys Cut Illinois To Near Junk, Lowest Ever Rating For A U.S. State
Fabricating data in China, it turns out, is not only a favorite government pastime. Publicly traded, if state-owned, phone giant Unicom Group fabricated financials relating to 1.8 billion yuan ($261 billion) in revenue over a five-year period from 2012 to 2016 – or as the company admitted, it engaged in an “unprecedented degree of falsified revenue.” This is China we are talking about, where the definition of “unprecedented” is very different from the US.
Lest there be any confusion, Bloomberg further elucidated that Unicom “engaged in organized, cross-departmental faking of financial figures” – according to an internal document leaked to Bloomberg. The disclosure is just another reminder of just how endemic fraud is at both government agencies and various enterprises in China. Recall that back in January, People’s Daily confirmed what everyone had known: the government was officially making up numbers in the rust-belt province of Liaoning, and fabricated fiscal numbers after the local economy was crippled by the commodity crunch.
Continue reading Chinese Phone Giant Admits to “Unprecedented Degree” of Falsified Revenue, Points to US Corporate “non-GAAP EPS” Revenue Falsification/”Adjustments” Across the Board