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Scam Diego Entries for August, 2010

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Compared with Orange and L.A., San Diego Underspends on Firefighting

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San Diego County fire agencies this year are spending $152.85 per resident on firefighting, while Orange County spends $177.98 and Los Angeles County $217.71, according to a study by W. Erik Bruvold of the National University System Institute for Policy ...

UC Retirement Funds Face $20 Billion Shortfall

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According to this morning's (Aug. 31) Los Angeles Times, the University of California retirement system faces a shortfall of more than $20 billion, as revealed in a report released Monday. The report proposed changes such as boosting contributions made by ...

Home Prices: SD, SF, LA Gains Impressive -- but...

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San Diego home prices continued to rise in June, although not topping monthly gains of most other cities in the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index. Generally, the major 20 metro areas enjoyed gains. However, S&P economist David Blitzer warns that these ...

Military and Other Federal Payrolls Bolstered San Diego Income

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San Diegans' personal income would have plunged to a level among the worst in the nation in 2008-2009, but military and other federal payroll increases actually pushed the area's income up well above average, according to a study by Kelly ...

What??? Mr. Upbeat, Tony Robbins, Warns of Gloom

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San Diego-based Tony Robbins, one of the world's best-known motivational speakers, considers himself an expert in "life coaching." He tells people to "unleash the power within." Historically, he has been relentlessly upbeat. He has counseled the likes of Margaret Thatcher, ...

"Rolls Out, Rolls Out, Oh How the Money Rolls Out...."

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Whether or not you know the old bawdy song that begins with "Rolls In, Rolls In...." you will understand how the money belonging to residents of San Diego rolls OUT to retired city workers on pensions. I have just received ...

And Here Are Employees Who Bought Years They Didn't Serve

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In 1996 (the same year the City tapped the retirement fund to finance the Republican convention), the City of San Diego enacted a purchase-of-service credits plan. Employees could buy years of service and grab those hyper-generous benefits without having been ...

Buffett Stock Picker Simpson, Formerly of RSF, Retiring

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Lou Simpson, who oversees investments at Geico, insurance subsidiary of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, is retiring at the end of the year. Simpson, who operated Geico's investment operation from Rancho Santa Fe until moving to Chicago late in his career, ...

County Unemployment Rate Jumps to 10.8%

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The San Diego County unemployment rate for July was 10.8%, up from a revised 10.5% in June and 10.3% a year ago, according to the California Employment Development Department. The county lost 13,100 jobs between June and July. Government jobs ...

Gay Paper Suspended, but Sends Money for Back Taxes

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The California Franchise Tax Board on Aug. 2 suspended the rights and privileges of San Diego Gay Times, parent of the Gay and Lesbian Times, under the provisions of the tax code. Owner Mike Portantino says he sent the board ...

Watchdog Institute, U-T to End Relationship

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The Watchdog Institute, which is housed at San Diego State, announced today that its relationship with the Union-Tribune will end Sept. 30. The institute was set up after Platinum Equity took over the U-T last year and began trimming heads. ...

Pinpoint Forecasting, San Diego Style

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The City of San Diego has apparently come up with its own form of precision bombing. Backers of Proposition D have submitted what they call a "Fiscal Impact Statement for Proposition D." Check the painstaking exactitude of the forecast, to ...

UCSD 35th in USN&WR College Rankings

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U.S. News & World Report is out today (Aug. 17) with its annual list of the best colleges and universities, based on a number of academic criteria. The University of California San Diego comes in 35th. Last year, it had ...

Late San Diegan Created Name of Market Disaster Omen

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Wall Street is abuzz about a stock market technical indicator called the "Hindenburg Omen." It was invented by a blind mathematician and market technician, James Miekka, who has homes in Maine and Florida. But the name was suggested by the ...

Bridgepoint Brass Dumping Stock

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Bridgepoint Education chief executive Andrew Clark and chief financial officer Daniel Devine have filed trading plans to sell shares that may be acquired upon the exercise of stock options. The filing by the controversy-plagued for-profit college operation was made to ...

Irate Judge Now Feels Lerach's Sentence Was Too Lenient

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According to a story in the National Law Journal, U.S. District Judge John Walter in Los Angeles, who oversaw the criminal case against former San Diego plaintiff securities lawyer William Lerach, now feels the sentencing was "way too lenient." Lerach ...

Philly Child's Death Also Blamed on Brownouts

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The firefighters union in Philadelphia has blamed a child's death on the city's brownout policy -- temporary closings of fire stations. An Aug. 7 fire took the life of a 12-year-old child in Philadelphia, and firefighters union officials blamed the ...

U-T Was "a Bit Fat," but Low-Priced, Says Gores

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Tom Gores, head of Beverly Hills-based Platinum Equity, the private equity group that bought the Union-Tribune last year, says this month in a question-and-answer session on the company's website that the U-T in certain areas "was a bit fat, so ...

Fed Admits Things Worse; Will Squirt in More Liquidity

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The Federal Reserve today (Aug. 10) finally admitted what Main Street has known for months: the economy is weakening. So the Fed's powerful Open Market Committee, which has already pushed short rates to near zero, shoved money at the big ...

SDCERS Says City Breaking Law

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On Thursday, Aug. 5, Mayor Jerry Sanders and Council President Ben Hueso were told that the mayor's office had instructed the comptroller not to implement the new member contribution rates that had been adopted by the San Diego City Employees' ...

For-Profit College Stocks Whacked Again

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Stocks of for-profit colleges got slaughtered again today (Aug. 6) as the federal government appeared to be making bold steps to do something about the huge default rates at such schools. San Diego's Bridgepoint Education plunged 5.25% to $14.98. It ...

National Economic Outlook Weakens on Bad Employment Numbers

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Private sector employers added only 71,000 jobs in July, according to Labor Department numbers released this morning (Aug. 6). That's three straight months of anemic private job growth, portending a weakening economy. Overall, the economy lost 131,000 jobs in July, ...

Dodd-Frank Protects SEC from Releasing Information

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The Securities and Exchange Commission was born in the 1930s to protect the public from Wall Street predators. Now it protects Wall Street predators from the public. Examples abound: Bernard Madoff, Pequot, Bear Stearns, etc. Now, San Diegan Gary Aguirre, ...

Council Votes to Put Tax Increase on Ballot

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The city council today (Aug. 4) voted 6-2 to put the proposed sales tax hike on the ballot Nov. 2. Its implementation would be tied to the enactment of financial reforms, such as ending taxpayer funding of a portion of ...

Philadelphia Finds DROP a Big Drain

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Philadelphia has had a Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP) similar to San Diego's for 11 years. Under DROP plans, a city employees picks a retirement date a few years ahead; the city puts his or her pension payment into an ...

Bridgepoint Didn't Comply with U.S. Rules, Filing Reveals

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Stock of Bridgepoint Education plunged 7.49% to $17.53 today (Aug. 3) despite a big jump in second quarter profits to 58 cents a share, up from 2 cents in the same quarter a year ago. Revenues rose 57%. (The stock, ...

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