Randy Wieck is a Kentucky history teacher. He has a simple question. Who is investing his retirement savings and how is it being invested?
He has written me a number of times asking for help or commenting on pension issues. And he has filed suit in Kentucky to get some answers to his questions.
I feel bad because Randy way overstates my power to help.
If I had the power I would use it here. However, Illinois has built the same wall of denial of transparency in the public employee pension fund investments as Kentucky created.
If you want something else to be worried about, Google “risky” and “public pensions” and see what the first thirty articles are.
Even the elected representatives of current retires and members of the pension systems who sit on the board of trustees of the Illinois Teacher Retirement System are not allowed to know.
This has raised questions about pension fund investors making political contributions to both the Rahm Emanuel and Bruce Rauner campaigns.
Writes David Sirota in today’s International Business Times:
Last month, Illinois officials denied an open records request for information identifying which financial firms are managing that state’s pension money. Like their Kentucky counterparts, Illinois pension officials asserted that the firms’ identities “constitute trade secrets” and argued that publicly releasing the information “would cause competitive harm” to the firms. Illinois’ Freedom of Information Act includes special exemptions for information about Wall Street firms, and the state legislature has in recent weeks been considering proposals that transparency advocates say would further narrow the open-records statute.
Apparently the Illinois Freedom of Information Act allows right-wing crazies to get a hold of my work emails when I was a teacher, but allows secrecy in the Wall Street high-risk trades of millions of dollars of teachers’ retiree pension savings.
Keeping Wall Street trading practices a secret.
What could go wrong?