Posts Tagged ‘pension funds’

Ties Surface in Pension Chief’s Exit?

Ties Surface in Pension Chief’s Exit 

Courtesy of Leo Kolivakis

Via Pension Pulse.

Michael Syre of the Boston Globe reports, Pension chief says he’ll quit over pay:

Michael Travaglini, who as head of the state’s pension fund is among the highest-paid government employees in Massachusetts, plans to quit next month, citing as a reason efforts by legislators to limit what he and his staff can earn. 

In his six-year tenure as executive director, Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management ran one of the top-rated public pension funds in the nation — until last year, when losses from the financial crisis made it one of the worst.

Prior to that downturn, the pension fund’s high performance earned Travaglini a $64,000 bonus in 2008, on top of his $322,000 salary. But now he cites the legislative backlash to that bonus system as a factor in his decision to leave June 11 and go to work for a Chicago investment firm.

“The issue of incentive compensation here is back on the front burner,’’ said Travaglini, who will formally announce his resignation June 1. “If you need the context for my decision, it’s an entirely personal one. I have a wife and three children, and I’m going to provide for them.’’

Under the bonus system, which Travaglini helped to create three years ago, he can make as much as 40 percent more if the pension fund exceeds certain investment benchmarks on a three-year basis. Bonuses for other pension fund employees range from 30 percent to 40 percent.

Travaglini said two legislative proposals would limit such bonuses, and thus make it harder to attract and retain talent to run the state’s $44 billion pension fund. One would limit the ability of state workers to earn more than the governor, whose annual salary is $143,000. Another would block bonuses for the years in which the fund lost money, regardless of how it performed against its benchmarks.

“Someone else can hang around for that, but it’s not going to be Mike Travaglini,’’ said Travaglini.

“Most people will say, ‘Good riddance. If you want to make more money, go do it in the private sector,’ and that’s what I’m going to do. But there’s a real threat to not being able to recruit and retain competent people here.’’

He added: “People can vote with their feet, and that’s


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Climategate, UK Edition: Following the Money, All €4 Trillion of It

Climategate, UK Edition: Following the Money, All €4 Trillion of It

Courtesy of Octave Tockfield writing at Big Journalism and at the Tick Tock Blog  

There’s a question oft-posed by the proponents of global warming… or of “climate change,” as the new term of art has it, thus allowing warmists to claim both the snowstorm now blanketing America’s East Coast, as well as the melting of that snow, as evidence for their theory.

“To what end?” the warmists ask the skeptics.  Or, in the lingua franca of conspiracy theorists everywhere: “Cui bono, my friend, cui bono?”

Well, lots of people are benefiting from the practical implications of this theory. There’Nobel Laureate Al Gore for one, who is on track to become the first green billionaire:  

al-gore-thumbs-up

Then, at the UN there is the organization that shared Gore’s Nobel Prize, the IPCC, and its controversial director Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, a railway engineer with no back ground in climate science who lives what has been described as a lavish lifestyle in Delhi. Publicly he oversaw a report issued with the imprimatur of the UN that the Himalayan glaciers that feed India’s rivers will have melted by 2035. Privately he has been acting as a director or advisor to a score of companies, including Pegasus Capital Advisors, GlorOil, Toyota, and Deutsche Bank, as revealed by Christopher Booker of the Telegraphhere and here.

But hard-core warmists, intent on skepticizing the skeptics, invariably ask: “why would the media go along with this poppycock?”

Yes, why are the media so invested in the warming notion, given the countervailing evidence, the fact that the last climate theory (the global cooling scare of the 1970s) was so quickly disproven, and that it is self-evident that CO2, that most persecuted of molecules, is essential for life… for plant life.  (When an elephant sighs, a tree smiles.)

bbc-logo

Well, the BBC, a prime proponents of warming theory, or AGW, has heavily invested its pension fund in the theory, and thus have had a major non-Scientific reason for their bias.  As revealed this weekend in The Express:

The corporation is under investigation after being inundated with complaints that its editorial coverage of climate change is biased in favour of those who say it is a man-made phenomenon. The £8billion pension fund is likely to come under close scrutiny over its commitment to promote a low-carbon economy while


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Prichard Alabama Files Bankruptcy Over Pensions; Wildcat Strike In Philadelphia; Oregon’s Financial Gamble

Prichard Alabama Files Bankruptcy Over Pensions; Wildcat Strike In Philadelphia; Oregon’s Financial Gamble

Courtesy of Mish 

Man falling as pedestal tumbles from beneath him

Inquiring minds are noting another city has been driven to bankruptcy because of pension promises that cannot possibly be met.

Please consider Prichard Alabama Files For Bankruptcy.

Prichard Mayor Ron Davis released the following statement Wednesday morning:

“I have looked at every opportunity available to obtain money to help fund the retirement plan for the City of Prichard. After careful review of all of our options, bankruptcy protection seems to be the only solution left at this time.

Over the past 50 years, the pension plan was amended by the Legislature more than fifteen times, and always the economic burden on the City was increased. This has been a long term problem that was unfortunately inherited by this administration.

After several lawsuits filed by pensioners, it has forced us to come to this decision, one that will protect the city and its residents. I hope that a solution can soon be found that will be fair to all. As Mayor, it is my duty to make sure that the City of Prichard continues to move forward by providing essential municipal services and to operate for the benefit of its citizens.”

Commuter Strike in Philadelphia

The unions in Philadelphia have not gotten the message there is no money and their over-bloated pension plans are unsustainable.

Proof of the above is in the Philly report SEPTA strike catches commuters off guard.
 

Tue, Nov. 3, 2009
Hundreds of thousands of commuters scrambled this morning to find a way to work or school after SEPTA’s largest union staged a surprise predawn strike, shutting down all subway, bus and trolley service in the city.

The walkout by Transport Workers Union Local 243, which began at 3 a.m. and caught commuters off guard, also affected Frontier Division buses in Bucks, Montgomery, and Chester counties.

The walkout even caught some members of the striking union unaware. Sly Wagner, a train operator for 17 years, showed up at the Fern Rock station ready to go to work. "I’m like everybody else," he said. "The only way I found out was when I went to the station and the gates were locked."

In the end, it was a difference over wages that sparked the walkout. Earlier Monday, transit


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City of Houston is Bankrupt (So are California, Oregon, and Pension Plans in General)

City of Houston is Bankrupt (So are California, Oregon, and Pension Plans in General)

Courtesy of Mish

Man being confronted by his shadow

Houston, we have a problem. We are bankrupt.

That is the finding of Bob Lemer, CPA, Retired Partner at Ernst & Young; Aubrey M. Farb, CPA, Retired Partner at Grant Thornton; and Tom Roberts, CPA, Retired Partner at Fitts Roberts.

Cover Letter

October 22, 2009
Name, Title and Address [see list below]
Subject: Finances of the City of Houston
Dear : [see list below]

Enclosed is our partial analysis of the very serious financial situation at the City of Houston. We would be derelict if we failed to share this financial analysis with you. This financial heads up will assist you in meeting your fiduciary responsibilities to Houston voters, taxpayers, readers, viewers or investors—as the case may be.

We feel a public discussion of the City’s financial situation is necessary and firmly believe that addressing the City’s financial condition is in the best interest of the Houston economy and Houston taxpayers. We believe the sooner the City of Houston addresses the financial shortfall the better.

Please bear in mind that the Houston City elections are on November 3, 2009, with early voting having commenced on October 19, 2009. Recent history has shown a large portion of voting occurs during early voting.

We trust that the attached article is of significant assistance to you.
We may be reached at boblemer@sbcglobal.net.

The above was sent to:

City of Houston—Incumbent Mayor, City Controller, and City Council Members
City of Houston—Non-Incumbent City Candidates
Greater Houston Partnership—Board Members
Houston Chronicle—Editorial Board Members
Houston TV Stations—CEOs
Houston Business Journal—Editor
Houston Community Newspapers-Editor
Houston Press-Editor
Municipal Bond Rating Agencies—CEOs
Wall Street Journal—Editor
Barron’s-Editor
Investor’s Business Daily-Editor
USA Today-Editor
Texas Monthly—Executive Editor
Deloitte & Touche LLP—Houston and New York

Executive Summary

City of Houston
Disturbing Financial Facts—October 2009
By: Bob Lemer, Aubrey M. Farb and Tom Roberts

The City of Houston is financially broke and it appears that the mayor who takes office in January 2010 may have to captain the City through bankruptcy procedures. The City’s unrestricted assets were $1.2 billion short of the already recorded corresponding liabilities these assets were needed to pay as of fiscal year end June


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Zero Hedge

Citigroup Shutters Retail Options Market-Making After Losing War Against HFTs

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Anyone following market dynamics in recent months would have been left with the impression that whereas other securities may have had a rather somnolent third quarter, option market makers would be printing cash hand over fist, thanks mostly to the recent boom in retail call option buying, which as shown in the chart below, has seen nearly a doubling in option trading volumes in the past few months and hitting a record 18.4 million in August.

...



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Phil's Favorites

SPACs are still bulls***

 

SPACs are still bulls***

Courtesy of 

I almost slipped and bought into the SPAC Renaissance. Almost.

Draftkings looks legit. But Draftkings could have been a true IPO. The SPAC wrapper was beside the point. Chamath and Ackman will probably do something legit, those guys usually find a way to win. Maybe a few others. The rest are / will be garbage. My first impression was right.

Nikola’s stock has now fallen from near 100 down into the 20’s as the guy’s whole story has unraveled. Then the guy stepped down and ran away. None of this had to happen. But Nikola arrived on the markets as the quarry of a Special Purpose Acquisit...



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ValueWalk

FDA's New Moves Can't Allay Coronavirus Vaccine Fears

By JOHN F. BANZHAF. Originally published at ValueWalk.

FDA’s New Moves Can’t Allay Vaccine Fears; Weaker Standards and Political Pressures Worry Many Experts

Q2 2020 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

FDA's New Standards On Coronavirus Vaccine

WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 23, 2020) -  In an effort to repair its badly damaged reputation, and convince the public that they should take any vaccine it authorizes, the FDA is issuing new standards, but they probably will not convince either experts nor the public that it will be safe and effective, says public interest law professor ...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Is Gold/US Dollar Ratio Sending Bearish Signal To Precious Metals?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Last month, I featured this Gold / US Dollar ratio chart in an article warning of the potential for a trend reversal.

While the broader bullish trend is still intact (higher lows since 2015), it could be time for Gold to take a breather.

Looking at today’s “updated” chart, we can see that the ratio formed a “doji star” candle last month with momentum running at peak levels (concerning). And this month we are seeing follow through to the downside (in the form of a red candle).

As well, this bearish reversal pa...



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Politics

'Colossal Backdoor Bailout': Outrage as Pentagon Funnels Hundreds of Millions Meant for Covid Supplies to Private Defense Contractors

 

'Colossal Backdoor Bailout': Outrage as Pentagon Funnels Hundreds of Millions Meant for Covid Supplies to Private Defense Contractors

"If you can't get a Covid test or find an N95, it’s because these contractors stole from the American people to make faster jets and fancy uniforms."

By Jake Johnson

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mark Milley hold an end of year press conference at the Pentagon on December 20, 2019 in Arlington, Virginia. (Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Instead of adhering to congressional inten...



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Biotech/COVID-19

How and when will we know that a COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective?

 

How and when will we know that a COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective?

How much longer must society wait for a vaccine? ANDRZEJ WOJCICKI/Getty Images

By William Petri, University of Virginia

With COVID-19 vaccines currently in the final phase of study, you’ve probably been wondering how the FDA will decide if a vaccine is safe and effective.

Based on the status of the Phase 3 trials currently underway, it i...



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Chart School

Stocks are not done yet - Update

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

There are a few times in history when a third party said this US paper (stocks, funds or bonds) is worthless.

Here is two.

1) 1965 Nixon Shock - The French said to US we do not want your paper dollars please pay us in gold. This of course led to the US going off the gold standard.

2) 2007 Bear Stern Fund Collapse - Investors said their funds collateral was worth much less than stated. This of course was the beginning of the great america housing bust of 2008.


In both cases it was stated .."look the Emperor is naked!"... (The Empe...

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Digital Currencies

Cryptocurrencies Rarely Used To Launder Money, Fiat Preferred

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Authored by Shaurya Malwa via Decrypt.io,

Traditional channels continue to dominate the estimated $2 trillion global money laundering racket instead of cryptocurrencies, a report says.

In brief
  • Money laundering via cryptocurrencies is not a preferred tool for criminals, a report said...



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The Technical Traders

Adaptive Fibonacci Price Modeling System Suggests Market Peak May Be Near

Courtesy of Technical Traders

Our Adaptive Fibonacci Price Modeling system is suggesting a moderate price peak may be already setting up in the NASDAQ while the Dow Jones, S&P500, and Transportation Index continue to rally beyond the projected Fibonacci Price Expansion Levels.  This indicates that capital may be shifting away from the already lofty Technology sector and into Basic Materials, Financials, Energy, Consumer Staples, Utilities, as well as other sectors.

This type of a structural market shift indicates a move away from speculation and towards Blue Chip returns. It suggests traders and investors are expecting the US consumer to come back strong (or at least hold up the market at...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Texas, Florida, Arizona, Georgia - The Branch COVIDIANS Are Still Burning Down the House

 

Texas, Florida, Arizona, Georgia – The Branch COVIDIANS Are Still Burning Down the House

Courtesy of Lee Adler, WallStreetExaminer 

The numbers of new cases in some of the hardest hit COVID19 states have started to plateau, or even decline, over the past few days. A few pundits have noted it and concluded that it was a hopeful sign. 

Is it real or is something else going on? Like a restriction in the numbers of tests, or simply the inability to test enough, or are some people simply giving up on getting tested? Because as we all know from our dear leader, the less testing, the less...



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Insider Scoop

Economic Data Scheduled For Friday

Courtesy of Benzinga

  • Data on nonfarm payrolls and unemployment rate for March will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET.
  • US Services Purchasing Managers' Index for March is scheduled for release at 9:45 a.m. ET.
  • The ISM's non-manufacturing index for March will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET.
  • The Baker Hughes North American rig count report for the latest week is scheduled for release at 1:00 p.m. ET.
...

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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:

...

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