Financials 12010 — Stress Tests

Picking up from yesterday’s post on Assessments and Valuations, I wanted to highlight a relevant piece of financial analysis if you really want to assess the state of the city’s finances.

Again, the Office of State Comptroller has an Excel worksheet to help you crunch the numbers to get a sense of the fiscal stress of the city. (The spreadsheet is captured in the document below).

From my understanding of the city’s finances, most of the numbers required for the spreadsheet are not known and hence the subject of the audit and the controller and the entire cluster surrounding the city’s finances , as of now, seems largely driven by speculating on ‘what if’ versus ‘what is’.

Let me be clear: the uncertainty surrounding the financials is certainly a problem but uncertainty should not drive one to conclude that it necessarily means bankruptcy. Nuance is important here which means that a rational discussion of the policy in light of nuance is utterly doomed– nuance never trumps demagoguery or misinformation.

Speaking of policy, let’s remember that the budget is shaped by a budget committee and ostensibly guided by an elected comptroller. I find it interesting that in light of the issues with the budget process and stewardship, the resolution to amend the charter to perhaps avoid these circumstances was defeated last year.

But that’s already been said.

More tomorrow (probably).

[scribd id=169687909 key=key-hmipdon81m1unpwnulf mode=scroll]

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