Tuesday, January 10, 2012
"Portugal raids pension funds to meet deficit targets"
That's a headline from the UK Telegraph, 2 Dec 2011Why wasn't it front-page news all over the world? Why isn't Lisbon burning? Are the citizens of Portugal as oblivious to what's going on as we are? Maybe they just don't speak Bureaucrat, so I'll translate:
"This measure is more than sufficient to meet the budget deficit goal in 2011," said Helder Rosalino, secretary of state for central administration…"
"The cabinet agreed to transfer the assets ... to the state balance sheet"
The people who actually owned the assets didn't agree. They weren't even consulted.
"The assets will be used to bridge a gap needed to meet the fiscal deficit target..."
I'd like to use someone else's assets to bridge a gap in my fiscal target, but I'm afraid of going to prison for what is commonly called "theft".
"Portugal said it had informed the EU and IMF and assured them it would be a “one-off”. However the 2010 budget was met by shifting three pension plans from Portugal Telecom on to the public social security system."
They pinky-swear they'll only make you bend over once, even though they've already done it twice.
"The liabilities don’t count, yet."
This is what in the private sector is known as "accounting fraud".
Pay attention, Greece and now Portugal are traveling a well-worn path, and we're not that far behind them. Our national debt is now greater than our GDP, and i