Saturday Pension Ripoff Reading

Wall Street is Taking Over America’s Pension Plans
By Murtaza Hussain

November 21, 2014 “ICH” – “The Intercept” – Coverage of the midterm elections has, understandably, focused on the shift in political power from Democrats toward Republicans. But behind the scenes, another major story has been playing out. Wall Street spent upwards of $300M to influence the election results. And a key part of its agenda has been a plan to move more and more of the $3 trillion dollars in unguarded government pension funds into privately managed, high-fee investments — a shift that may well constitute the biggest financial story of our generation that you’ve never heard of.

Illinois, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island all recently elected governors who were previously executives and directors at firms which managed investments on behalf of state pension funds. These firms are now, consequently, in position to obtain even more of these public funds. This alone represents a huge payoff on that $300M investment made by the financial industry, and is likely to result in more pension money going into investments which offer great benefits for Wall Street but do little for the broader economy.

But Wall Street’s agenda goes beyond any one election cycle. It has been fighting to turn public pensions into private profits for quite some time, steering retirement nest eggs into investments that are complex, charge hefty fees, and that generate big profits for management firms. And it has been succeeding. Of the $3 trillion in public assets currently in pension funds throughout the country, almost a quarter of that has already found its way into so-called “alternative investments” like hedge funds, private equity and real estate. That translates to roughly $660 billion of public money now under private management, invested in assets that are often arcane and opaque but that offer high management and placement fees to Wall Street financiers.

Our recent financial crisis demonstrated just how risky and potentially destructive these types of assets can be — so the question becomes, why is so much money going into them?



About Den

Always in search of interesting things to post. Armed with knowledge and dangerous with the ladies.
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29 Responses to Saturday Pension Ripoff Reading

  1. Den says:

    Saturday and no shortage of greed in sight, the grubbing for bucks continues it’s relentless pursuit for higher profits and more walking around money for a very few that do not need it while the rest of the country wallows in working poverty while foolhardily investing in a pension fund thinking it will be there when they are ready to retire only to find they are left out in the cold to freeze by the treacherous ones not needing more money but stealing it legally anyway.


    • º¿carol says:

      History has to repeat itself here, it seems. They’ve bumped off most pensions, tossed everyone into a 401(k). Unions mostly gone. No good jobs, almost a depression except America is a great place to be poor.

      People are going to have to rebuild everything eventually, take back the society that was hard won and raised all boats. America needs a leader.


    • º¿carol says:

      I remember a bunch of years back when United Airlines announced they were ditching their pension system. I SCREAMED TO THE WALLS, NOOOOOO! I told everyone that would listen a new precedent had been set. I’m a seer! It came to pass.


  2. David B. Benson says:

    My pension is doing well.


  3. David B. Benson says:

    Everything takes about an hour.


  4. º¿carol says:

    Den says:
    November 21, 2014 at 9:27 PM

    DISCLAIMER: DWF does not discriminate on the basis of Nation of Origin, or State of Mind,
    Thank you, the management.
    What’s that mean? Is it now politically incorrect to say what nationality someone is? For instance, Dombrowski is a Polish name. We can’t say it is anymore? *scratching head*


    • Den says:

      Comedy, Carol, comedy. 😉


      • º¿carol says:

        I’m so glad you were just being funny. I thought I missed something again and didn’t know I couldn’t mention nationality. *phew*

        It’s really, REALLY hard to be politically correct after going a lifetime saying certain things. Some things that have changed I agree with, others I don’t. I’m all for not using the N word for instance but I still don’t see anything wrong calling a football team the chiefs. No, that wasn’t the one, it was the Red Skins.

        And calling some jerk retarded? I can’t wrap my head around why that is wrong. I would never, and have never called a person with mental problems retarded. I do call the people in the republican party retarded ALL the time.

        Anyway, I took you seriously, like there was something else I didn’t get. SO HAPPY YOU WERE BEING FUNNY!


    • David B. Benson says:

      Polish origin name. But might be a citizen of any country by birth.


  5. David B. Benson says:

    Second task complete. One more to go.


  6. º¿carol says:

    I clicked on “The Intercept” link and the site opened right up. I use Firefox exclusively.


  7. º¿carol says:

    I’ve been laying around with this cold the past couple days, watching “Firefly” again. Then this afternoon I watched “Transformers,” one of my favorites, because “Transformers 3” is in my living room. Of course, I’ll have to squeeze in “Transformers” 2 first.

    I still had kitchen work, was in there for a few hours.

    The snow melted, it got up to 47°. It’s getting warmer, it was only 42° most of the day, now up to 47°. Maybe I’ll be able to plant those last tulip bulbs yet AND drag the lawn roller around to iron out the mole tunnels and mole hills.

    Pete’s are coming over tomorrow but I won’t have any dinner for them, all I have are a few leftovers for Bobber.


    • jim hitchcock says:

      God I love Firefly. Saw it for the first time about three years ago when (probably) the Sci-Fi channel did a marathon. For whatever reason I was thinking about it on the drive home last night. Best Space Western ever.


      • º¿carol says:

        That’s probably about the time I first heard of it, and watched it. This is my 3rd time going through it and I KNOW I’ll watch it again sometime. I love every character in it.


  8. David B. Benson says:

    Sky ice during third errand.


  9. David B. Benson says:

    Oregonians vote more. Also have no sales tax.


    • º¿carol says:

      I think Oregonians can mail in their vote unlike the rest of us who have to find a way to get to the polls on a Tuesday, a work day.

      Isn’t it the same in Washington? I think there are just the two states you make it easy to vote like that. Should be done like that nationally. Of course, that will never happen now, now with the republicans evolved into imbeciles.


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