Sunday, October 30, 2016

Not so much being asked to dig your own grave, as being charged for the shovel

This appears to be our busy season so I'll just pass on the following from Charles Pierce without comment:

The indefatigable David Sirota, and his team at The International Business Times, has been doing god's work tracking how the various hedge-fund cowboys and Wall Street sharpers who have been tasked with "managing" the pension plans of various states have, in turn, shoveled millions in campaign donations to those same politicians who handed them the pension money in the first place.
Ceresney, who is head of the SEC's division of enforcement, said his team is now working with other federal law enforcement agencies to do "all we can to shine light in this opaque area." His warning spotlighted the fact that — six years after the SEC enacted its pay-to-play rule — financial executives have found ways around the strictures as they seek lucrative deals to manage portions of the nation's $3 trillion public pension system. A new International Business Times/MapLight review found that in the 2016 cycle, executives at firms managing state pension money have donated nearly $1.3 million to the Republican Governors Association, on top of the more than $6.8 million such firms gave to the RGA in 2013 and 2014. Those donors gave to the RGA while the group was helping the campaigns of governors with influence over state pension funds — funds that have invested with the donors' firms. Democrats weren't forgotten: the Democratic Governors Association received $151,000 from firms managing public pension money in states where the DGA was involved in gubernatorial races in the 2014 election cycle.
And now this Circle of Grift has come around to Massachusetts. It seems that the Wall Streeters who have been "managing" the pension money of the state's public school teachers have been plowing cash into support for the ballot question to lift the cap on charter schools. In other words, the state's public school teachers are fighting a juggernaut for which their own money paid. Again, from the IBTimes:
"This is a morally bankrupt situation," said Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, which opposes the ballot measure. "These managers are using money they've earned from teacher pensions to try to destroy the same public education system that teachers have worked in mightily to help children." "It's the most insulting f___ing thing, and it makes me so angry," said Laura Henderson, an 11-year veteran of Massachusetts public schools, who now teaches English and special education in Newton. She spends many of her weekends going door to door, trying to persuade voters to oppose Question 2. For Henderson, more charters means fewer unionized teaching jobs and the erosion of public education standards. In her view, the money behind Question 2 is motivated by a desire to ultimately privatize public education.
No, Laura. It's all for poor children. Can't you see that? The noted compassion for the poor that has been a hallmark of the modern Wall Street financiers is once again in evidence. (As is their long record of careful oversight of public pension money.) And I am the Tsar of all the Russias.

1 comment:

  1. Mark:

    Before the recent push for charter schools, the big thing was school vouchers. And the "it's all for poor children" reminds me of this from a few years ago: