CalPERS tops San Bernardino creditor list

August 13, 2012

The city of San Bernardino owes $143.3 million to the California Public Employees Retirement System placing CalPERS at the top of the city’s creditor list. [Press-Enterprise]

CalPERS, which runs a $234 billion pension system for more than 1.6 million state employees, school employees and local government workers, tops the list of the city’s disclosed 20 largest unsecured creditors.

The city’s initial Aug. 1 filing estimates it has between 10,000 and 25,000 creditors it owes more than $1 billion.

San Bernardino filed for bankruptcy because its costs were outpacing revenues. The bankruptcy process provides for the city to put off some of its debts while negotiating with its creditors. The court will will make the final decision on how much the city pays each creditor.

Mayor Pat Morris told the Press-Enterprise he was not surprised by the city’s list of biggest creditors as he had cited rising pension costs as one of the contributors to the city’s insolvency.



  1. The Gimlet Eye says:

    CA City Officials Ordered to Stand Trial

    (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
  2. Jorge Estrada says:

    I thought chain letters are illegal?

    (-1) 3 Total Votes - 1 up - 2 down
  3. slomike says:

    But no sales tax if you are buying a yacht! Too inhibiting for the job creators.

    (-7) 9 Total Votes - 1 up - 8 down
  4. isoslo says:

    Cal Pers is the top creditor for every municipality in the state. The biggest scam ever created by greedy corrupt politicians buying votes. Retired government employees have become millionaires while the poor taxpaying citizens get stuck with the bill.


    (9) 23 Total Votes - 16 up - 7 down
    • The Gimlet Eye says:

      No on ALL new taxes? ALL of them? Wow! you sound like a Libertarian! You are practically talking revolution here!

      (4) 8 Total Votes - 6 up - 2 down
  5. HonestyPlanet says:

    Interesting how there are so few comments about this particular article? The silence is deafening…..why is that?

    (9) 11 Total Votes - 10 up - 1 down
    • kayaknut says:

      I was wondering the same thing. Many often comment that the public employee pension system is not responsible for any economical problems, but this article clearly seems to say that indeed the public employee pension system is responsible, at least in part.

      (10) 18 Total Votes - 14 up - 4 down
    • slomike says:

      I think two reasons explain no traffic. No T&A like the local National Enquirer coverage of police sex scandals and fatigue about economics. Everything is bad on the economic front. Pensions, taxes, bubbles all impact each other. Long slog ahead. Sex, however, turns them out. 200+ comments.

      (-6) 6 Total Votes - 0 up - 6 down
    • flytrap says:

      It’s a failure to connect the dots by the voters of California. Why are cities going bankrupt? The voters keep voting in the same party that prevents pension reform, that allows and wants more illegal immigration, and keeps pouring on more of the costly regulations that hurt businesses which reduces tax revenues. So there really is no reason to comment since there is no surprise here. The majority is successful in getting exactly what it has been voting for!

      (4) 16 Total Votes - 10 up - 6 down
    • Jorge Estrada says:

      Ever drove into SLO on a holiday, no not the one your contractor gets, the National Think About Tomrrow Day or something like that, the Gov job holiday. NO TRAFFIC because this is and has been a Gov job or starve job area.

      (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
  6. NorCoMod says:

    Wow, what a surprise.

    You could remove City of San Bernardino as the subject of this article and insert the name of most other municipalities in California.

    CalPERS should not have been allowed to move their pension pool to higher risk stocks without being stripped of the defined benefit status. Risk and reward is how the system is designed to work, but not apparently in the La La Land of public employee unions and pension fund speculators. Of course, none of this could have happened without complicit legislators accepting reelection funds from public employee unions.

    We’re out of money. Period. And don’t come ask the rest of us to contribute to your “unfunded liability”, our savings and private retirements began drying up in 2007 when all of this started.

    Maybe it’s time for public employees to learn what shared sacrafice is all about.

    (14) 50 Total Votes - 32 up - 18 down
    • danika says:

      Who is “asking”? They will either force it on you OR they will convince voters that children won’t be educated and seniors will starve and get a new tax in that way. In any case, the taxpayer will be responsible for paying this money…and we don’t even get a kiss afterwards…

      (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
    • NorCoMod says:

      16 thumbs down to this post as of now and yet not one rebuttal.
      I don’t like it either but our leaders need to have the frank discussion now. And other than defining the events that got us to this point so we can make course correction decisions, there is no constructive reason to keep playing the blame game.

      Let’s all blame ourselves for remaining ignorant while we allowed our legislators to be manipulated by the PE unions at the same time as we blindly approved most ballot initiatives that were without any funding mechanisms. The next time you’re asked to sign a petition to qualify an initiative for the next election, ask the signature gatherer if he/she’s being paid. If the answer is yes, tell ’em no!

      It could be that most municipalities in California may need to declare Chapter 9 bankruptcy. All debts, including existing PE pensions will be suspended pending review by a BK court. The unions will probably feel compelled to sue…..let them.

      (1) 5 Total Votes - 3 up - 2 down
      • flytrap says:

        Yeah-where are all the rebuttals? If you dislike NorCoMod’s comments, let’s hear why! Where are you all??? Why do you not like this????

        (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
        • slomike says:

          Here you go. The real “nutballs'” are the idiots who lond ago voted for Prop 13 and every screwy proposition that followed. Grandma can’t get out from underneath that worthLESS home we saved for her. Super majorities are required for any for tax increases. The crazy 35% manipulated by Fox and Koch-types along with the monied elite drowned Cal government in the bathtub. The government pensioners have theirs. Retirements were set when the baby boomers went to work. Everyone knew it. The free marketers who once had high salaries along with 401Ks and IRAs are up the creek. And this circular firing squad can’t do diddly without making things even worse for themselves. How’s that “trickle down” workiin’ for ya? You’ve been played. Unions? Your problem is following drop-outs like Rush and Beck and Hannity. And voting Republican.

          (-2) 2 Total Votes - 0 up - 2 down
          • HonestyPlanet says:

            Sorry, but not following you here. Grandma keeps her house, because her taxes were frozen under Prop 13…. so she didn’t lose it when her social security payments weren’t enough to pay taxes and insurance……(unless Grandma refinanced it and invested it with Estate Financial)…So Grandmas are generally in great shape.
            California’s drowning because the state is becoming a benefit administrator,….go to the Sacramento Bee site and see the outrageous salaries and benefits that state employees are receiving, and it might eventually even make sense to you. Unions…..if you don’t think public safety and similar unions are one of the main problems, then (a) you’re a union administrator/rep; or (b) you’re really getting upset about starting first grade next week (don’t worry, education is not that bad!!).

            (1) 5 Total Votes - 3 up - 2 down
            • slomike says:

              Both good guesses, but wrong. Check out for information on the benefits of unionization. Also, put yourself into an “It’s a Wonderful Life” mindset and think how different all our lives would have been without unions. Forty hour workweek, minimum wage, group health benefits. The list goes on. Those state salaries weren’t outrageous at their first step level and everyone had an equal opportunity to get hired into any civil service job for which they were qualified. Everyone should make a good wage! Like I’ve said before, if you went the private industry route and trusted that job creators would let you step away with any kind of retirement security, you backed the wrong horse. And, Grandma. I’ve worked with seniors in nonprofit and profit alike for ten years while drawing my pension. Lots of them are doing great, but not all. Every month I hear of or work with single senior ladies with a social security survivor benefit of $500-$800. They are sometimes isolated in a decaying home they won’t sell or can’t sell in this economy. Just when it is needed. They could have it stolen by some private industry reverse mortgage, of course. Instead, they’ll stay there until they fall or become ill. Then they’ll go into skilled nursing (think you’ll like living there?) on medi-cal. If they languish very long, the government will take her house as back payment after she dies. And just wait until Romney/Ryan get in and give 20% of social security to Wall Street to thank them for investing it in the next bubble for you. Great to hear Mitt payed at least 13% in taxes the last ten years. Lack of reasonable taxes is THE problem. Prop 13 forward.

              (-2) 2 Total Votes - 0 up - 2 down
    • The Gimlet Eye says:

      Welcome to the socialist, welfare/warfare state, where market processes are disabled, and economic collapse is inevitable.

      I agree with most of what you say, but we are not “out of money.” On the contrary, we are being flooded with money created out of nothing, backed by nothing. It’s called “fiat money.”

      In other words, our money is dying. Think Weimar Germany and wheel barrows of cash.

      Only sound money can cure this disease. Think “gold standard.”

      But for the rich and powerful, sound money would mean a sure end to their welfare-warfare state.

      There are some huge forces now clashing over this, and we are caught in the middle.

      (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down

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