Archive for the ‘New Jersesy Pension’ Category

Update to The Hedge Fund Mirage

One of the chapters in Simon Lack’s Wall Street Potholes is on the dangers of investing the way the New Jersey retirement system is doing it.

Excerpts from that chapter follow:

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New Jersey Stays With Hedge Funds

The New Jersey State Investment Council met today and, according to an nj.com story, the focus was on alternative investments and apparently conducted in a knowledge-free vacuum:

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New Jersey’s Pension Surplus

In local budgeting having a surplus is often a good thing providing a cushion against unexpected  downturns.  For example in the 2016 Union County budget it was reported:

Faella said the county’s surplus increased from $31 million last year to $55 million this year, which has maintained the county’s bond rating.

New Jersey also has developed a surplus account (though they define it as ‘pension contribution’) and it looks like they may need to tap it again.

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NJ Power Broker’s ‘Better Way’ to Solve Pension Crisis

The nj.com story does not mention it so you have to listen to the podcast to find out what Thomas Bracken, New Jersey Chamber of Commerce‘s president and CEO, thinks about the state’s pension crisis.
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Lies, Incorporated with a NJ Pension Example

The book came out last month looking to expose biased and paid-for research that pollutes public debate on:

  1. Tobacco
  2. Climate Change
  3. Health Care
  4. Debt
  5. Immigration Reform
  6. Guns and Lies
  7. Voter I.D. Laws
  8. Abortion
  9. Gay Marriage

Around the same time this podcast interview with Union Boss Hetty Rosenstein offered a concrete examples of the process as applied to the New Jersey Retirement System.

First excerpts from the introductory chapters of Lies, Incorporated and then Rosenstein’s lies:

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Pension Prelude to Bond Defaults

Coincidentally both Puerto Rico and Atlantic City faced default on bond payments today but they have something else in common.

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Only Occasionally Spineless?

There was a conference yesterday covering “the year’s developments in the public employment sector” with “updates on collective negotiations, pensions, health benefits and more” at which it was reported that Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) admitted:

“(New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney) may be an honorable man and intend to do that, but let me tell you, when you get the Legislature collectively together, occasionally we’re spineless,” he told the crowd. “If you’re going to try to get those reforms done after you’ve done the constitutional amendment guaranteeing the payments, I know several unions … will declare victory and will pound members of the Legislature into not coming back to the table to demand reforms. It simply will not happen unless you do the two things together.”

This stratagem was tried in 2011 when, among other things, cost-of-living-adjustments (COLAs) were eliminated in exchange for contractually obligating the state to make their predefined contribution payments. Two things have changed since then complicating another go at this tradeoff: Continue reading

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