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

Fed Funds Prints 2.30%, Breaching Target Range, As Libor Replacement Soars To "Remarkable" 5.25%

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

If today's second consecutive repo was supposed to calm the stress in the secured lending market and ease the funding shortfall in the interbank market, it appears to have failed. Not only did O/N general collateral print at 2.25-2.60% after the repo operation, confirming that repo rates remain inexplicably elevated even though everyone who had funding needs supposedly met them thanks to the Fed, but in a more troubling development, the Effective Fed Funds rate printed at 2.30% at 9am this morning, breaching the Fed's target range of 2.0...



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The Technical Traders

SAFE ASSETS - A TRADING STRATEGY FOR UTILITIES, GOLD, AND BONDS

Courtesy of Technical Traders

Chris Vermeulen, Founder of The Technical Traders shares his trading strategy for safer assets. While precious metals and bonds had a great run, the charts are showing the utilities could be the place to be in the short term. It’s important to note we are not saying the other safe havens are going to crash but it’s all about the time frame and playing the sector that could pop first.

LISTEN HERE NOW

...



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Phil's Favorites

How does the 'unidentified political object' that is the European Union really work?

 

How does the 'unidentified political object' that is the European Union really work?

European Union flags at the EU headquarters in Brussels, Sept. 11, 2019. AP/Virginia Mayo

Courtesy of Garret Martin, American University School of International Service

In the run-up to the 2016 Brexit referendum in the United Kingdom, “Take our country back” became a rallying slogan for the campaign pushing for ...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Stocks, Oil, and Bond Yields At Critical Bullish Breakout Tests!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

It’s not often that three asset classes reach similar important trading points all at once.

But that’s exactly what’s happening right now with stocks, crude oil, and treasury bond yields.

And this is occurring on Federal Reserve day no less! Something has got to give.

In the chart above y...



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Insider Scoop

Economic Data Scheduled For Wednesday

Courtesy of Benzinga

  • The MBA's index of mortgage application activity for the latest week is schedule for release at 7:00 a.m. ET.
  • Data on housing starts and permits for August will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET.
  • The Energy Information Administration’s weekly report on petroleum inventories in the U.S. is schedule for release at 10:30 a.m. ET.
  • The Federal Open Market Committee will announce its policy decision at 2:00 p.m. ET.
  • The Fed Chairman Jerome Powell will hold a press conference at 2:30 p.m. ET.

Posted-In: Economic Data...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Is The Drone Strike a Black Swan?

Courtesy of Lee Adler

Pundits are calling yesterday’s drone strke a “black swan.” Can a drone strike on a Saudi oil facility, be a “black swan.”

According to Investopedia:

A black swan is an unpredictable event that is beyond what is normally expected of a situation and has potentially severe consequences. Black swan events are characterized by their extreme rarity, their severe impact, and the practice of explaining widespread failure to predict them as simple folly in hindsight.

I seriously doubt that no one expected or could have predicted a drone strike on a Saudi oil facility.

Call Me A B...

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Chart School

Crude Oil Cycle Bottom aligns with Saudi Oil Attack

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Do the cycles know? Funny how cycle lows attract the need for higher prices, no matter what the news is!

These are the questions before markets on on Monday 16th Aug 2019:

1) A much higher oil price in quick time can not be tolerated by the consumer, as it gives birth to much higher inflation and a tax on the average Joe disposable income. This is recessionary pressure.

2) With (1) above the real issue will be the higher interest rate and US dollar effect on the SP500 near all time highs.

3) A moderately higher oil price is likely to be absorbed and be bullish as it creates income for struggling energy companies and the inflation shock may be muted. 

We shall see. 

...

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Digital Currencies

China Crypto Miners Wiped Out By Flood; Bitcoin Hash Rate Hits ATHs

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Last week, a devastating rainstorm in China's Sichuan province triggered mudslides, forcing local hydropower plants and cryptocurrency miners to halt operations, reported CoinDesk.

Torrential rains flooded some parts of Sichuan's mountainous Aba prefecture last Monday, with mudslides seen across 17 counties in the area, according to local government posts on Weibo. 

One of the worst-hit areas was Wenchuan county, ...



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Biotech

The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

Reminder: We are available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

Courtesy of  , Visual Capitalist

The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

As evidence of cannabis’ many benefits mounts, so does the interest from the global pharmaceutical industry, known as Big Pharma. The entrance of such behemoths will radically transform the cannabis industry—once heavily stigmatized, it is now a potentially game-changing source of growth for countless co...



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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:

...

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Members' Corner

Despacito - How to Make Money the Old-Fashioned Way - SLOWLY!

Are you ready to retire?  

For most people, the purpose of investing is to build up enough wealth to allow you to retire.  In general, that's usually enough money to reliably generate a year's worth of your average income, each year into your retirement so that that, plus you Social Security, should be enough to pay your bills without having to draw down on your principle.

Unfortunately, as the last decade has shown us, we can't count on bonds to pay us more than 3% and the average return from the stock market over the past 20 years has been erratic - to say the least - with 4 negative years (2000, 2001, 2002 and 2008) and 14 positives, though mostly in the 10% range on the positives.  A string of losses like we had from 2000-02 could easily wipe out a decades worth of gains.

Still, the stock market has been better over the last 10 (7%) an...



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Promotions

Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"

 

 

Here's a free ebook for you to check out! 

Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.

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