Chicago’s Finances

I wrote a guest post on Chicago’s finances for Lumesis (which I have worked with and am an investor in). You can find the whole post here.

A couple of additional thoughts on Chicago:

- Chicago’s pension deficit grew by almost $3 billion last year. The whole city budget was under $6 billion!

- I have a hard time imagining the city ever declaring bankruptcy, but it is being run by a famously confrontational negotiator. I have to imagine that if Emanuel gets a second term and the city’s finances continue to slide, it will be on the table.

- I compared Chicago to Detroit, but really Chicago’s finances look more like Vallejo or Stockton in many respects, just on a different scale. Mismanagement and pensions are bigger issues than demographic change.

- In parsing data on Chicago, we found obvious errors in the financial reporting of several major American cities. This probably deserves its own post at some point.

- According to the city’s presentation to investors on their pension funds, two of the four pension funds will run out of cash in the 2020′s “If nothing changes and current law is followed”. I have written before about zombie cities and I do fear that future for Chicago.