The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

December 30, 2011
Poll: Is CalPERS investment strategy suspect?

Barron's, a publication that focuses on investments, criticizes CalPERS' strategy in a recent editorial: "In 2008 and 2009, Calpers met the panic with panic. Because its newer private-equity and real-estate deals required cash infusions, the funds had severe liquidity problems. The system sold stocks as the market declined, partly to try to dodge the downturn in equities and partly to meet its obligations."

The piece rehashes some of CalPERS' best-known failings and concludes that public pension funds "aren't managed by people who have the taxpayers' interests at heart. Most managers are beholden to public- employee unions; some are themselves public employees more interested in their benefits than their costs. ... Boards have taken far more risk, tolerated lower contributions, and given more generous promises than what the residual owners of the funds--taxpayers--would have permitted."

Click here for the Barron's editorial by Thomas G. Dolan.

What do you think? Is Barron's on target?

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About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at


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