When you look at proposals and bills related to public pensions, there is one thing to keep in mind: we’re talking about an amazing amount of money. In just one fund, the Kentucky Retirement Systems fund, there are assets worth over $12 billion. ($12,250,960,799.44 to be specific.)
And just as Willie Sutton said he robbed banks because “that’s where the money is,” Wall Street firms love to help pension systems manage their money – because if you get the right deal on the right terms, there’s a lot of money to be made.
So, it pays to pay attention to what is happening with public pension systems – including changes to the boards. Shifting the balance of power on a pension board can make it easier for unscrupulous people to get their hands on all that money. And sometimes, they will make it look like they are actually trying to save the pensions. “What we’re doing is for your own good!” they will say, even as they pocket huge fees.