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Are Pensions the Next AIG?

Are Pensions the Next AIG?

Tyler Durden of Zero Hedge posted an excellent comment, Illinois Teachers’ Retirement System Enters The Death Spiral: AIG Wannabe’s Go-For-Broke Strategy Fails As Pension Fund Begins Liquidations.

I quote the concluding remarks, but it’s worth reading the entire comment: Alas, at this point it is too late: for TRS, and likely for many, many other comparable pension funds, which had hoped that the Fed would by now inflate the economy, and fix their massively incorrect investment exposure, the jig may be up. As liquidations have already commenced, the fund is beyond the point where it can “extend and pretend”, and absent the market staging a dramatic rally, government bonds plunging, and risk spreads on CDS collapsing, the fund is likely doomed to a slow at first, then ever faster death.

Then one day, Goldman’s risk officers will call the TRS back office, and advise them that due to its “suddenly riskier profile” established in no small part courtesy of Goldman’s investment allocation advice, the collateral requirements have gone up by 50%. The next step is either Maiden Lane 4… or not. For the sake of the 355,000 full-time, part-time and substitute public school teachers and administrators working outside the city of Chicago, we hope that the TRS has now been inducted into the hall of the Too Big To Fail, as otherwise roughly $34 billion in (underfunded) pensions are about to disappear. You can read the Bloomberg article, Illinois Pension May Sell $3 Billion of Assets to Pay Benefits as well as the Chicago Tribune article. According to Barry Burr of Pensions & Investments, the system is the fifth Illinois statewide defined benefit plan to sell off investments this fiscal year to pay benefits:

http://pensionpulse.blogspot.com/

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