This seems like madness until you understand the method.
The California Legislature has unanimously approved a Bay Area lawmaker’s proposal to create the nation’s first state-run pension fund for mixed-martial arts fighters.
Assembly Bill 1136 by Asm. Matt Haney (D-San Francisco) passed the State Senate with a 34-0 vote and the Assembly on a 76-0 vote this week, sending the bill to Gov. Gavin Newsom for his signature.
“We are providing mixed martial arts athletes with an opportunity to secure their financial future and ensuring they have money set aside when needed,” Haney said. “This groundbreaking initiative sets a new standard in the sport, further demonstrating California’s unwavering commitment to MMA fighters who risk their lives for the sport.”
It’s not just MMA fighters. California’s one-party state has been aggressively expanding the scope of its pension assets.
Last year, Sacramento unleashed CalSavers. Employers are obligated to turn over the names of employees to CalSavers who are then automatically signed up and have a portion of their paycheck deducted unless they know enough to opt out.
Calsavers now has over $600 million in assets from around half a million people to manage. About a third were wise enough to drop out. Most weren’t.
David Teykaerts, the head of CalSavers was brought in from the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS).
How is CalPERS doing?
The California Public Employees’ Retirement System performed worse on average than other large U.S. public pension systems over the last decade, missing out on billions of dollars in potential earnings, Chief Investment Officer Nicole Musicco told the system’s Board of Administration this week.
Not like the pensions of a huge chunk of the public bureaucracy and employees of the state are on the line.
The pension fund staff calls it a “prudent” calculated risk. Critics call it a desperation move. Both agree that the fund — which faces hundreds of billions in unfunded future pension debt, persistently basement-scraping interest rates and now a pandemic-ravaged economy — is under pressure to perform.
CalPERS’ turn to direct lending is part of a broader rethinking of the pension fund’s money-making strategy, approved by the organization’s board last month. The plan also allows the fund to borrow up to $80 billion to goose potential profits — an 11-figure sum has generated skepticism from some financial experts and howls of protest from some corners of the political and financial commentariat.
Now many more Californians at CalSavers can enjoy the high standards of the CalPERS approach.
Does this matter to anyone outside California? Yes.
These people don’t care about pensions except as assets they can play with. Gobble them up, make money playing with them, dedicate them to politically correct causes, and then weaponize them.
Here’s what New York is doing.
New York City’s pension funds sued the Fox Corporation and its board on Tuesday, accusing the company of neglecting its duty to shareholders by opening itself up to defamation lawsuits from the persistent broadcasting of falsehoods about the 2020 presidential election.
Controlling billions in assets means that you can force companies to bow to your political agenda. The retirees whose pensions you’re playing with can go to hell. It’s all about leveraging and weaponizing maximum political power.