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New Jersey’s State Pension? Fuhgeddaboutit!!

Posted by Larry Doyle on August 19, 2010 7:35 AM |

In a state that has a reputation for putting the ‘organized’ in ‘organized activities,’ is anybody surprised that New Jersey has been charged with misrepresenting the health of its state pensions? (The state has already settled). How do you think politicians get elected? Line the pockets of the unions with lavish pensions and perks, then stick it to future generations. This scam has been played for years. What’s new now?

The Wall Street Journal provides further details on this story in reporting, SEC Sues New Jersey as States’ Finances Stir Fears:

The Securities and Exchange Commission, in its first securities-fraud case against a state, accused New Jersey of misleading investors about the health of its two largest state pensions while selling billions of dollars in bonds.

State authorities settled the case without admitting or denying wrongdoing.

While it singled out New Jersey, the SEC is conducting several investigations into what other states disclosed about their weakened finances.

States ranging from California to Illinois to New York have been thrown into financial difficulty by the economy but have been able to avoid disaster by selling bonds to investors, many of them individuals seeking safe, tax-free income.

States as a whole face a trillion-dollar gap between the pensions, health care and other retirement benefits they have promised to public employees, and the money set aside to pay the benefits, according to a report by the Pew Center on the States. The SEC said it is concerned about how these problems are disclosed to investors.

Concerned? The SEC is “concerned?” Oh, how gracious.

Should the SEC be merely ‘concerned’? Are we supposed to believe that state pension finances are accurately reported and disclosed? Are we supposed to believe the New Jersey state pension provided proper disclosures? Believe me, there is lots more where this came from. For more info, please check out Sense on Cents/Pensions.

What are American investors to do? Should we take our cue from the ‘good fellas’ pictured above. What might they say about the problems within New Jersey’s pension? 

“Fuhgeddaboutit!!”

If it were only that easy!!

Larry Doyle

I have no affiliation or business interest with any entity referenced in this commentary. As President of Greenwich Investment Management, an SEC regulated privately held registered investment adviser, I am merely a proponent of real transparency within our markets so that investor confidence and investor protection can be achieved.

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  • Tony

    “You got a problem with that?”

    • Always Learning

      “You talkin’ to me?”






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