<p>Baltimore poised for economic catastrophe</p>

A report released on Wednesday, February 6 that was commissioned by the City Council of Baltimore produced some rather grim results: unless the current economic trajectory that the metro is on is reversed or altered, chronic budget deficits could force the local government into bankruptcy.

According to The Associated Press, Public Financial Management Inc. of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, compiled the study, which showed the city is poised to accrue $745 million in consistent budget deficits between now and 2023. Additionally, the projected budget shortfall could reach $2.2 billion if you include alternative expenses such as current and past employee pension and health care costs.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, who originally proposed the initiative, told the source that the report is a big wake-up call for city officials. While Baltimore has averted financial disaster in the past – including in 2010, when a $121 million deficit was closed with temporary measures, these chronic issues could pose serious problems for a city plagued by falling incomes and population levels.

“When you have budget after budget and you know that there are systemic problems, I felt an obligation to do more than what we have done in the past,” Rawlings-Blake told the source. The forecast, she said, shows that the city needs to address its financial woes “before it’s too late, and somebody is coming in and making these choices for us.”

One economist, speaking with the AP, proposed that the city adopt a policy of creating multi-year budgets as opposed to annual ones. While this could create a level of economic inflexibility, Baltimore could benefit from instituting a long-term deficit reduction strategy.

Economic weakness on this scale poses significant risks for the larger U.S. economy, and as such investors may want to pay attention to these microeconomic developments as they occur. On the other hand, it does present certain opportunities, including cash flow real estate in cities with low-cost housing markets. To learn more, visit GreatWealthStrategies.com today and download a “Free Game Plan Report.”