Weekend Read: The Pension Fund That Ate California
Posted by Larry Doyle on February 16, 2013 9:38 AM |
If anybody still has any confidence in the manner in which our nation’s largest state has been run, this is a MUST READ. Steven Malanga of City Journal writes of how California has methodically gone about screwing its future generations.
CalPERS’s corruption, insider dealing, and politicized investments have overwhelmed taxpayers with debt.
After spending years dogged by unpaid debts, California labor leader Charles Valdes filed for bankruptcy in the 1990s—twice. At the same time, he held one of the most influential positions in the American financial system: chair of the investment committee for the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, or CalPERS, the nation’s largest pension fund for government workers.
Valdes left the board in 2010 and now faces scrutiny for accepting gifts from another former board member, Alfred Villalobos—who, the state alleges, spent tens of thousands of dollars trying to influence how the fund invested its assets. Questioned by investigators about his dealings with Villalobos, Valdes invoked the Fifth Amendment 126 times.
What happens when public officials are given the keys to the candy store and there is no meaningful oversight or accountability?
I have no business interest with any entity referenced in this commentary. The opinions expressed are my own. I am a proponent of real transparency within our markets so that investor confidence and investor protection can be achieved.