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Ear to the Ground

Alabama County Goes Really, Really Bankrupt

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Posted on Nov 9, 2011
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Hey, anyone want to bail Alabama out? More specifically, Jefferson County in the Heart of Dixie, which includes the fair city of Birmingham and is also a gobsmacking $3 billion in the hole from a botched sewer deal.

And hey, guess who’s not bailing Jefferson County, Ala., out? Lurking in the background of this tale of financing gone awry is the county’s main creditor, JPMorgan Chase & Co., but the firm insists it did everything possible to forestall the bankruptcy filing that ultimately happened Wednesday. Its big-banking best just wasn’t good enough.  —KA

The Wall Street Journal:

Commissioners in Jefferson County, Ala., which owes more than $3 billion on a failed sewer deal, filed Wednesday for what would be the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history after a tentative rescue plan with creditors unraveled.

The county’s five commissioners voted 4-1 to file the bankruptcy, two people in attendance at the meeting said. Commissioner George Bowman placed the dissenting vote, one said.

Jefferson County has been struggling since 2008 under the weight of the sewer debt, the result of soured bond financing. It is the most populous county in Alabama and home to Birmingham, one of its economic hubs.

[...] A spokesman for J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (JPM), the county’s largest creditor, said the bank had worked “very hard” with the county and other creditors to avoid a filing, offering “substantial financial concessions to make the deal happen.” He added that the bank “will continue to work toward a fair and reasonable solution for the county and all creditor constituents involved.”

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By Pupmom, November 10, 2011 at 9:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m with Ellen Kirkland.  I like the way she thinks.
The government is broke however, doesn’t apparently know or care, yet.  Leaders doing nothing.
President campaining.
No money in, no money in their wallets,no money out.

Wouldn’t her plan show the WORLD that the American people do not support the decisions of our leaders.
Let’s show the world, without violence but with determination, dedication.  Redeem our reputation?
Our children and future generations would be so proud of us for MAKING THE “CHANGE” WE ALL WANTED and never came close to getting, from those we trusted.
As a small business owner, I almost choke as I write out checks to the State & Feds.  I want to give all that money to my employees!

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By DaEggman, November 10, 2011 at 7:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Matt Taibbi broke this months ago in rolling stone.This is what happened to Greece, Spain and all the other idiots who believed that the Wall St. 1% were there to help them, when all they were there to do was help themselves to everyone elses money. Finance has gotten so out of control. They couldn’t make enough betting on companies making a profit, so they got laws created to remove the safeguards on commodities trading, sucking money from the worlds poor. Derivatives were unregulated because, according to Greenspan (Ayn’s little acolyte) only professionals would be dealing in these products, tell that to the government professionals who sank their countries in CDS’s and CDO’s.

The Euro is tanking and all these guys sit around and clink their champagne glasses while OWS builds around them. If this attitude of screw everyone but us continues, as most of us history buffs know, it will spark a revolution of bloody proportions with massive casualties on all sides. ASK Louis XVI about that.It is such a shame that we purged the balancers of fascism from the ranks of the allowable opines. We trashed the Communists and the Socialists but we never trashed the Fascists (unless it had to do with German, Italian or Japanese ones) Once again, bad times bring out the skeletons we thought we purged. Ghosts of McCarthy, Straus, Rand echo through the congress, Birchers and flat-earthers re emerge into society, carrying the raving and drooling evangelicals in tow, dragging us kicking into the cave we came from when we created America in the first place. And I really don’t think that people dislike the rich, those who worked hard and made a great deal of money, but the dislike occurs from how they manipulated the government into passing laws that legalized certain types of fraudulent activity and are not being held accountable, laws that allowed passive income to be taxed at a lesser rate than actual work. This has been brewing for a while, OWS is just the beginning. Look to Alabama to see the future of our empire.

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By Puamana, November 10, 2011 at 3:18 pm Link to this comment

Have you ever wondered why we never hear of the “mafia” anymore (not since the 70’s at least)?  It’s because the all went “Legit”—ie. The loan sharks became banks and Wall Street brokerages.

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By Bushfatigue, November 10, 2011 at 2:10 pm Link to this comment

Another stink bomb delivered to us by JP Morgan and its Wall Street co-
conspirators.  See,

A little Red State corruption and stupidity didn’t hurt either, as they entered into
complex swaps and financing agreements that they didn’t understand—but selling
confusing instruments is the stock and trade of Wall Street.

I wonder when these “no government regulation,” folks are going to start getting a
clue?  And I wonder how they’ll feel when cuts in “gummint spending” end up
hurting them, as Alabama gets about $1.61 from the Federal Government, for
every $1.00 its citizens pay in taxes.

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By berniem, November 10, 2011 at 11:07 am Link to this comment

Save your Dixie Cups for the south shall rise again!FREE BRADLEY MANNING AND TIM DECHRISTOPHER!!!

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By heterochromatic, November 10, 2011 at 10:01 am Link to this comment

Yup, JP Morgan Chase—-Israeli Zionists since 1799 !

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By Ellen Kirkland, November 10, 2011 at 8:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think everyone and every municipality should file for bankruptcy and just say, screw the banks - its not real $$ anyway.  I applaud the county for saying screw you JP Morgan - we just can’t pay and we are not going to - you’ll just have to suck it up and take your licks like the rest of us. Every single citizen should stop paying mortgages, revolving debt, school loans - just stop. You want to know how to make your paycheck go farther, stop paying the blood sucking banks.  I had a roommate once whose entire paycheck went to debt service.  Literally, a debt slave working for the banks. You have probably paid back more in interest than you ever owed in the first place and in fractional reserve banking its all make believe anyway.

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drbhelthi's avatar

By drbhelthi, November 10, 2011 at 3:55 am Link to this comment

How much longer will genuine Americans continue to support a private system
owned by israeli Zionists, imbedded in the U.S. Government, that charges a fee
for lending to state components of the U.S.A. money that belongs to the U.S.A. ?

Already in 1962, John F. Kennedy Sr. wanted to remove the Federal Reserve from the private ownership of Israeli Zionists, and make it a genuine function of the U.S. Government, instead of being a hidden, pseudo function.  Which is one of the numerous reasons that the “secret government” assassinated him.  And, since his murder,  hundreds of others, for similar reasons.

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By Morpheus, November 9, 2011 at 9:45 pm Link to this comment

Don’t worry, things will get much worse.

Read “Common Sense 3.1” at ( )

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prisnersdilema's avatar

By prisnersdilema, November 9, 2011 at 9:37 pm Link to this comment

There will be more of these to come…..the banks and corporate America have f’d this
country but good….there won’t be many stories like this in the other media…too busy
covering Herman Cain…..

Then there’s the story about the outsourcing of computer chips to china that are used in
weapon systems like missiles..they have been discovering fake ones that prevent our
weapon systems from working…

Talk about selling out your country…

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