How Pension Funds Die, CalPERS Edition

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by John Rubino, Dollar Collapse:

Say you’re running a big pension fund that – according to the politicians who are handing out ultra-generous benefits to public sector employee voters – has to generate 7% annual returns in order to meet the resulting obligations. But the bonds you used to rely on now yield between 0% and 2%, depending on how far out on the yield (that is, risk) curve you’re willing to go.

Stocks, meanwhile, have been rising, but can also go way down. You remember the near-death experiences of 2008 and this past March, and you never, ever want to experience another such nightmare.

So what do you do? Well, if you’re extremely brave and your family already has plenty of money, you stand up, tell your bosses that their goals are impossible to achieve, and hold your head high as security escorts you to the door.

If you’re less brave and/or rich, you might roll the dice and bet the farm on high risk/high potential return strategies, and just hope that it all works out. Worst case, you’ll collect another couple years of big paychecks before security comes for you.

That’s what the biggest pension fund just decided to

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