California continues to be at the epicentre of the Great Recession. Cities around the state are facing a multiple-fronted assault on their fiscal situation. Although not new - the state's precarious financial situation is the stuff of legends - the cutting in federal reserves, together with the decline in property taxes stemming from the drop in house prices and the rising costs of servicing debt incurred through years of speculative growth strategies have left a number of city governments in the state horribly exposed. This paper explores the place of a number of Californian cities in the context of the wider onset of US austerity urbanism. This constitutes a deepening and widening of some aspects of earlier neo-liberalization.