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Is It Safe?

November 13, 2011

Is it safe? Safe = “Currently safe and well run, and for the future.” And no, I’m not going to further define “safe” or “well run” as that isn’t the point of this post, and we will just get bogged down with different definitions and disagreements. This week:

1. PG&E pipes. The San Bruno, California gas pipe explosion was September 9, 2010. It has been over a year. How about a public update? This week PG&E is still testing pipes and finding new holes. Is it safe?

2. News this week is that California’s roadway infrastructure is in bad need of repair and that future funds available are projected to be only half of the billions that will be needed. California roadways were once to be envied. But with no governmental long-term planning and budgeting for the past 50 or so years, even during the “good” years, not anymore. Is it safe?

3. The banking system. There have been two serious banking meltdowns in my lifetime. Both resulted from significantly the same problems: unsafe loans and risks. Is it safe? I would really like to know as I don’t ever want to go through this again. Are current loan standards and practices now safe? Derivatives? Hedges?

4. The California statewide budget. Ongoing deficits. No, we haven’t had and don’t have the required balanced budget. I’m not going to explain. Is it safe?

5. Social security? No more patches – structured to really be sustainable so people can plan and expect?

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