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Dennis Tubbergen Discusses the Ripple Effect of Detroit

Tubbergen's radio show is also available as podcasts on his website.


Grand Rapids, MI -- (SBWIRE) -- 08/23/2013 -- For those people who are just too busy to stay on top of events in the world's economy, financial advisor Dennis Tubbergen lends a helping hand.

Tubbergen is a financial advisor, author, radio show host and CEO of PLP Advisors, LLC. Tubbergen does his best to give brief updates when it comes to some of the latest significant events in U.S. and world economics and politics and how these events may impact the average American.

Whether people enjoy his monthly newsletter at or his blog at, Tubbergen can be counted on to share his viewpoints and opinions. On August 22, 2013 his blog was titled Municipal Bond Yields Jump - More Detroits Ahead?

"I found it interesting to read an article published in The Windsor Star that examined the effects of the City of Detroit’s Chapter 9 bankruptcy filing," began Tubbergen. Below he quotes from the August 12, 2013.

In the weeks since Detroit formally filed for bankruptcy, some Canadian officials have been pooh-poohing the suggestion that the Motor City meltdown might affect us.

Oh, don’t worry, they say. Detroit is a special case that won’t spread. Besides, we have a completely different system here in Canada. Those U.S. problems can’t hurt us.

Well, that’s demonstrably wrong. Detroit’s bankruptcy is already rippling through world financial markets and is driving up borrowing costs for everyone. And it will affect us, too.

Last week, Battle Creek and two other Michigan communities with good credit ratings yanked back $130 million worth of bond sales because they found the cost of municipal borrowing had suddenly spiked.

The article continues….

Some bond holders are dumping their holdings. Bond yields, or interest paid, jumped by 18 basis points to 3.72 per cent last week, erasing $14 billion in value from the $4 trillion U.S. municipal bond market, according to S&P Dow Jones.

That will affect Canadians because our cities have the same major problem that sunk Detroit: we borrow too much on the international bond market and we carry massive, unfunded pension liabilities on our public books that most voters don’t know about.

The province of Ontario’s unfunded liabilities alone are more than $100 billion, according to the PC Party. Ottawa’s unfunded liabilities are estimated to be more than $200 billion, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation say. Our cities owe tens of billions of dollars more, and some of them won’t be able to pay it back when interest rates rise again, as they will.

"In an economic autumn season, no country has a monopoly on overpromising, particularly when it comes to pension benefits from public employees," explains Tubbergen. "When promises are made that can’t be kept, those promises won’t be kept. That, incidentally, is not a statement about how deserving public employees are of the pensions they were promised; in fact, it’s quite the contrary- these employees worked in good faith assuming they would be paid what they were promised."

Tubbergen goes on to say that in an economic winter season like the one in which we find ourselves, reality sets in. Promises made during the prior economic autumn season are broken but not intentionally. It’s just if there is no money to pay the benefits, the benefits won’t be paid.

"In the case of Canada, I would argue that the country is lagging the U.S. by seven or eight years," notes Tubbergen. "The real estate market there is looking shaky and the problem of underfunded pensions is beginning to reach the front pages of newspapers. In an economic winter season, no country is spared the consequences; it’s just a question as to how severe the consequences are."

To read Tubbergen's blog in its entirety go to and select his August 22, 2013 entry.

Tubbergen’s syndicated radio show can be heard on metro Michigan stations WTKG 1230 AM and WOOD Newsradio1300 AM and 106.9 FM.

Dennis Tubbergen has been in the financial industry for over 25 years and has his corporate offices in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Tubbergen is CEO of PLP Advisors, LLC and has an online blog that can be read at To view Tubbergen’s latest Moving Markets? newsletter, go to

The opinions expressed herein are those of the writer and not necessarily those of USA Wealth Management, LLC. This update may contain forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, statements as to future events that involve various risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause actual events or results to differ materially from those that were forecasted. Therefore, no forecast should be construed as a guarantee. Prior to making any investment decision, individuals should consult a professional to determine the risks, costs, benefits and fees associated with a particular investment. Information obtained from third party resources is believed to be reliable but the accuracy cannot be guaranteed.