06/15/2010 - As Greece's debt completes its journey across the River Styx to full junk status, it's easy for Americans to cluck condescendingly at the feckless borrowing and spending practices that put the Hellenic Republic in the fiscal hell in which it finds itself.
Moody's Investors Service Monday lowered its rating of Greek debt four notches, to Ba3, essentially matching the cuts by Standard & Poor's and Fitch Ratings. Even though Moody's move followed that of its rivals by a month and a half, it served to remind markets that the European debt crisis is as still with us.
On average, state pension plans are 84% funded, according to a February report from the Pew Center on the States cited by Evercore. Ohio and California are 87% funded, while New Jersey is 73% funded and Illinois is just 54% funded, although Cure the latter two states are "beginning to address some of the most costly, burdensome and generous benefits."
Read the entire article Avoiding Pension Hell for Munis on the Barron's Web site.