Alaska’s Finances Aren’t as Bad as You Think

If you happen across some information about Alaska’s current financial situation, you probably get the impression that we are in dire straights. When oil prices crashed 77% in late 2014, the State’s oil revenues collapsed – leaving a gaping hole in the budget. By all accounts, we’ve been deficit spending ever since. But that is[…]

The Death of the Permanent Fund Dividend

Alaska is blessed with natural beauty and natural resources. In many ways, our State is the envy of governments around the world. People from outside spend thousands of dollars to enjoy what we see every day. Meanwhile, we pay no income or sales tax, plus receive a dividend check each year. Unfortunately, that last sentence[…]

Alaska by the Numbers – March 2020

March was a crazy month. It’s almost unbelievable how quickly the world changed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are some quick highlights about how Alaska’s finances and economy were impacted by the pandemic. The Stock Market Collapsed March began with the Dow at 26,703. By the end of the month, it was down[…]

The Economic Damage of the Pandemic

At this point, you’ve probably heard more about the COVID-19 than you can stand. I feel you. And I don’t want to pile on to the discussion about the disease itself. But, the measures to protect public health will have economic consequences. While doing a full analysis of that economic damage is more work than[…]

Fixing Alaska’s Investment Earnings Paradox

I wrote a piece a few weeks back about how Alaska’s current investment earnings laws don’t work together. They create a paradox in which the budget deficit gets smaller if investment earnings get worse. In the extreme, we could balance the budget by losing $7 billion in the stock market. Because that makes absolutely no[…]

Alaska By The Numbers – December 2019

Now that the holidays are over, it’s time to turn our attention back to Alaska’s financial problems. Here are some of the highlights of what happened in December 2019. The Governor Released His FY21 Budget Proposal The governor rolled out his proposed FY21 budget on December 11th. To the surprise of many observers, Governor Dunleavy[…]

Alaska By the Numbers – August 2019

A lot happened in Alaska during the month of August. Here’s the run down on how we read the headlines. BP and Hilcorp Agreed to Terms on Alaska Assets The news that broke the internet in Alaska last week was a press release from BP. They announced that they were selling all of their remaining[…]