SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Who knew?

Wednesday, Oct 17, 2012

* Last night, Gov. Mitt Romney said this in response to President Barack Obama’s claim that Romney had invested in some Chinese companies

“Any investments I have over the last eight years have been managed by a blind trust. And I understand they do include investments outside the United States, including in — in Chinese companies,” Romney said.

Romney then asked: “Mr. President, have you looked at your pension?”

Obama responded: “I don’t look at my pension. It’s not as big as yours so it doesn’t take as long.”

Romney then charged that Obama holds investments in companies based in foreign countries

“Look at your pension,” Romney said. “You also have investments in Chinese companies. You also have investments outside the United States. You also have investments through a Cayman’s trust.”

* From Fox News

Asked to substantiate the nominee’s claim, the Romney campaign pointed primarily to the president’s Illinois pension fund.

According to Obama’s latest financial disclosure form, the assets in that account are between $50,000 and $100,000. And the 2011 report from the Illinois State Board of Investment listed dozens of Chinese companies from China Mobile to China Oilfield Services.

It’s unclear how many of those Chinese firms are in Obama’s specific portfolio. The board estimates that across all its funds, 19 percent of the assets are in foreign securities.

What Fox doesn’t mention is that the “president’s Illinois pension fund” is via the Illinois General Assembly Retirement System. From the Washington Post

To our mind, there’s a qualitative difference between a pension-plan investment portfolio and earning returns from contemporary stock investments.

The Romney campaign explains that his point was that international investments are a crucial part of investing today — and that just as Obama has no control over the investments made by his pension fund, Romney has no control over investments made by funds that are part of his blind trust. The Romney campaign says that 19 percent of the Illinois pension fund’s investments are in foreign companies, including dozens of Chinese companies.

“Obama has a pension, managed by the IL Pension fund. He has no control over how they invest it, and they invest some of it in Chinese companies,” a Romney spokesman said. “Romney has a blind trust. He has no control over how the trustee invests it, and the trustee invests some of it in funds that invest in Chinese companies.”

So, will Democratic and Republican legislative challenges now start beating up incumbents for investing in China and having money in a “Cayman’s trust”? Stay tuned, campers.

That’s snark, of course.

Then again, the state House Democrats have been sending mailers blasting just about every Republican candidate for wanting to decimate Medicare and Social Security. At least the Chinese/Cayman claim is somewhat based in reality.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


26 Comments
  1. - Michelle Flaherty - Wednesday, Oct 17, 12 @ 3:51 pm:

    How about a law that prohibits any investment in China. That should put the nail in the coffin of the pension systems


  2. - MrJM - Wednesday, Oct 17, 12 @ 3:56 pm:

    “My opponent enjoys chicken lo mein so… you know…”

    – MrJM


  3. - OneMan - Wednesday, Oct 17, 12 @ 3:57 pm:

    If you own a mutual fund, invest in a 401K etc. odds are you are invested in China.

    Pure and simple..


  4. - J - Wednesday, Oct 17, 12 @ 3:59 pm:

    $20 says we see at least 1 pension fund investment related mail piece some time before election day.


  5. - Anon - Wednesday, Oct 17, 12 @ 4:09 pm:

    Senator Obama was one of the 4 elected members of the General Assembly Retirement System charged with making investment decisions.


  6. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Oct 17, 12 @ 4:17 pm:

    Anon, he split in 2005.


  7. - Disconnect - Wednesday, Oct 17, 12 @ 4:39 pm:

    pretty funny to see Dems on this issue, like Bustos. Everyone with investments gets it pounded into them about diversification, including overseas. Hopefully this silly issue gets taken off the table in the future.


  8. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Oct 17, 12 @ 4:39 pm:

    ===“You also have investments in Chinese companies. You also have investments outside the United States. You also have investments through a Cayman’s trust.”===

    Yep, these are exactly the same.

    You’d think a businessman with a Harvard MBA would understand that a $100,000 in a pension plan is different than $100,000,000 in a blind trust.

    I guess he missed that day in class or something.


  9. - John Galt - Wednesday, Oct 17, 12 @ 4:50 pm:

    Yep. It’s a silly argument. Pretty much anybody getting a pension–including people getting Social Security–have “investments in foreign countries”–likely China too.

    If anything, that’s a symptom of a bigger problem, not a problem in and of itself. Prudent investments means diversification of funds and investing in strong assets. If China is where it’s at for investment purposes, then so be it.

    The root problem is: “why is China the place to invest?” Investment decisions are lagging indicators of public policy. It’s true for when companies choose not to invest in Illinois, and it’s also true for why companies choose not to invest in the US & invest in China instead.

    So it really is a silly issue generally. But if it were to be considered seriously we ought to look at the root cause, not just the symptomatic effects.


  10. - Excessively Rabid - Wednesday, Oct 17, 12 @ 5:26 pm:

    Things that should go: legislative pension system. Social Security and a deferred comp match, that’s all, and the individual chooses the funds. Problem solved. You’re welcome.


  11. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Oct 17, 12 @ 5:42 pm:

    False equivilency.

    Most of Romney’s considerable wealth was made via off-shore accounts and companies entirely controlled by him, and by other investments directly made by him in companies he leveraged by selling assets and moving jobs to China — all BEFORE he set up the current blind trust.

    Of course that’s too complicated for some voters to understand.


  12. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Oct 17, 12 @ 5:50 pm:

    Fox’s reporting is a bit off point.

    See 40 ILCS 5/2.153.

    GA members, or any participants in any State pension system, do NOT own shares of stock. They have an “undivided interest” in the assets of the fund.

    It’s in the eye of the beholder, I suppose, but that statute could be read to either support or refute Romney’s point.


  13. - western illinois - Wednesday, Oct 17, 12 @ 5:52 pm:

    Anon is right of course but there is a very good chance Obama is Bain ionvestory That is where the so called private equity firms get the equity


  14. - OneMan - Wednesday, Oct 17, 12 @ 6:05 pm:

    Most of Romney’s considerable wealth was made via off-shore accounts

    Ummm, you don’t make money in off-shore accounts, there is no secret bank for rich people on some island someplace paying 10% a year interest (a classic ponzi scheme btw to claim that).

    So anonymous, just for reference if someone comes and tells you they can make you money just like Mitt did by putting money in off-shore accounts, it is likely a scam.


  15. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Oct 17, 12 @ 6:10 pm:

    Western, you have got to be kidding.

    Obama an investor in Bain Capital funds?

    Don’t you think we might have heard about that by now?

    Geez.


  16. - Leave a Light on George - Wednesday, Oct 17, 12 @ 6:25 pm:

    “Things that should go: legislative pension system. Social Security and a deferred comp match, that’s all, and the individual chooses the funds. Problem solved. You’re welcome.”
    ???
    I was in deferred comp for a lot of years. All the $ that went into it was mine. State didn’t match anything. I had to make the investment choices from among the available funds.


  17. - mushroom in the dark - Wednesday, Oct 17, 12 @ 7:02 pm:

    CAT in China

    http://china.cat.com/cda/layout?m=63735&x=7

    So if you own CAT stock…..

    QED


  18. - steve schnorf - Wednesday, Oct 17, 12 @ 7:21 pm:

    I don’t think the legislators on the GARS board make investment decisions, I think the State Board of Investments does, but I could be wrong


  19. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Oct 17, 12 @ 7:41 pm:

    Steve, you are correct.


  20. - railrat - Wednesday, Oct 17, 12 @ 8:58 pm:

    dont pension funds have fiduciary responsability to its participants? vs. an agressive approach to making income/profit regardless of effect?


  21. - western illinois - Wednesday, Oct 17, 12 @ 9:26 pm:

    AA I was being snarky ….Pension funds provide most of the equity that Bain gets. I think Oregon was a big Bain investor. If Illinois were a Bain investor then Obama would be by the same logic that he is a China investor. Mitt Romney and all these PE guys get rich because they cant lose. They make their money by fees at every stage and get the debt and equity from others
    The State Pension funds are one of their biggest sources.


  22. - Excessively Rabid - Wednesday, Oct 17, 12 @ 9:42 pm:

    LALOG - Deferred comp plans commonly include some sort of match. Since I’m talking about an imaginary system that will probably never exist, I get to set the rules, OK?


  23. - mythoughtis - Wednesday, Oct 17, 12 @ 9:48 pm:

    Where would you suggest that the money is invested instead? It is not financially prudent to invest ALL of a portfolio in the USA.


  24. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Oct 17, 12 @ 10:23 pm:

    Western, that would be hard to discern from your original post.
    Not that you are apparently overly concerned with facts.
    I am no apologist for Romney or Bain Capital, but I do like the correct information.
    Public pensions account for around 10% of the invested capital in Bain, far from a majority. FWIW, Oregon has never invested a dime with them. You may be thinking of another big PE firm that starts with “B.” Foundations and Endowments invested a larger slice, including a number of university endowments and AA’s personal favorite, The Oprah Winfrey Foundation.

    L


  25. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Oct 17, 12 @ 10:27 pm:

    Oops.
    The sole Illinois public pension investment in a Bain fund was by the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund through a “fund of funds” investment vehicle and totalled around $2 million.


  26. - Sideliner - Thursday, Oct 18, 12 @ 9:10 am:

    IL should be so lucky as to have Bain as a major component of the state pension systems investments.

    I don’t see where the IL GA on either side of the aisle can lay claim to any superior fiscal chops, but maybe IL has come roaring back and everyone missed it.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Rauner admin won't deny plan to use National Guard in strike
* Question of the day
* A wedge that might work
* Because... Madigan
* This is what's known as "lip service"
* Reforms are having an impact
* De-escalation
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Rate Mark Kirk's new online ad
* The never-ending stalemate
* Weirdest. FOIA denial. Ever.
* Today's quotable
* Rauner admin claims it wants Teamsters-like bargain with AFSCME
* It's time for the top dog to act like it
* While I was away...
* Yesterday's blog posts

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............


Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

          
        * Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2015 event confirmed for Aug. 13
        * ZenFone 2 can run CyanogenMod 12.1, read step-by-step guide here
        * Baidu launches new DU Privacy Vault app
        * DraStic DS Emulator for Android gets an update
        * More Neo Geo titles get added to latest Humble Mobile Bundle
        * [Deal] HTC RE Camera only $99 at Best Buy
        * User guide of Sony Xperia C5 Ultra surfaced

        * Slumping LaRoche to sit out two games
        * Samardzija deflects uncertainty ahead of start
        * Podcast: Sweet Sweeping
        * No Middle Ground - A Boston Red Sox preview
        * White Sox Minor League Update: July 26-Aug. 1
        * Rodon helps White Sox finish 4-game sweep
        * Limiting free passes key to White Sox run

        ...............


        Main Menu
        Home
        Illinois
        YouTube
        Pundit rankings
        Obama
        Subscriber Content
        Durbin
        Burris
        Blagojevich Trial
        Advertising
        Updated Posts
        Polls

        Archives
        July 2015
        June 2015
        May 2015
        April 2015
        March 2015
        February 2015
        January 2015
        December 2014
        November 2014
        October 2014
        September 2014
        August 2014
        July 2014
        June 2014
        May 2014
        April 2014
        March 2014
        February 2014
        January 2014
        December 2013
        November 2013
        October 2013
        September 2013
        August 2013
        July 2013
        June 2013
        May 2013
        April 2013
        March 2013
        February 2013
        January 2013
        December 2012
        November 2012
        October 2012
        September 2012
        August 2012
        July 2012
        June 2012
        May 2012
        April 2012
        March 2012
        February 2012
        January 2012
        December 2011
        November 2011
        October 2011
        September 2011
        August 2011
        July 2011
        June 2011
        May 2011
        April 2011
        March 2011
        February 2011
        January 2011
        December 2010
        November 2010
        October 2010
        September 2010
        August 2010
        July 2010
        June 2010
        May 2010
        April 2010
        March 2010
        February 2010
        January 2010
        December 2009
        November 2009
        October 2009
        September 2009
        August 2009
        July 2009
        June 2009
        May 2009
        April 2009
        March 2009
        February 2009
        January 2009
        December 2008
        November 2008
        October 2008
        September 2008
        August 2008
        July 2008
        June 2008
        May 2008
        April 2008
        March 2008
        February 2008
        January 2008
        December 2007
        November 2007
        October 2007
        September 2007
        August 2007
        July 2007
        June 2007
        May 2007
        April 2007
        March 2007
        February 2007
        January 2007
        December 2006
        November 2006
        October 2006
        September 2006
        August 2006
        July 2006
        June 2006
        May 2006
        April 2006
        March 2006
        February 2006
        January 2006
        December 2005
        April 2005
        March 2005
        February 2005
        January 2005
        December 2004
        November 2004
        October 2004

        Blog*Spot Archives
        November 2005
        October 2005
        September 2005
        August 2005
        July 2005
        June 2005
        May 2005

        Syndication

        RSS Feed 2.0
        Comments RSS 2.0
        WordPress

        Loading


        * Texas prosecutor names committee to review Sandra Bland case
        * Banks' estranged wife says he had dementia when signing will
        * Opening statements made in alleged officer killer's trial
        * Several dogs survive southern Illinois house explosion
        * Mitsubishi, UAW to work together on buyer for Illinois plant
        * Report: Illinois retirees contacted about working if strike
        * Illinois hosted 109.4M visitors in 2014, up 3.5 percent
        * Mitsubishi, UAW to work together on buyer for Illinois plant
        * Mussel survey must be done before Sylvan Island bridge fix
        * Podiatrist donates shoes to Fairdale tornado victims

        * More Illinois residents feel pain as budget impasse drags on
        * New UIS Public Safety Building is another budget casualty
        * ACLU pushes for change in 'right of conscience' law
        * Study finds Illinois in middle of pack when it comes to key ethics laws
        * Data show drop in Illinois prisoners but still overcrowded
        * Hundreds of NIU employees want to join state worker union
        * Debate over rising Illinois lawmakers' salaries ignites again
        * Illinois budget impasse may mean no free ACT tests
        * State retirees contacted about returning to work if AFSCME goes on strike
        * Rauner's borrowing from special funds could have effect on state finances

        * CPS credit ripped to junk again
        * CPS credit plummets to junk again
        * Sky-high costs prompt gas-main reboot by new Peoples Gas owner
        * Peoples Gas fires chief pipe-replacement contractor as cost soars past $8 billion
        * Fired! Peoples Gas sacks chief pipe-replacement contractor as cost soars


          * Another ratings agency downgrades CPS' debt to junk status
          * 2 teens wounded in West Garfield Park shooting
          * Man stabbed to death on Southwest Side
          * Joliet man found not guilty in 2012 shooting outside restaurant
          * Walker chomps double cheeseburger, Trump's tweet
          * Mysterious big cat eludes capture and easy explanation in Milwaukee
          * Charges: Milwaukee father took blame for son's fatal hit-run
          * Setback for man suing over wrongful conviction in Lake Co. rape case
          * 2010 killing of Chicago cop detailed at trial; man claims self-defense
          * Former Indiana first lady Susan Bayh has brain tumor removed


          * New UIS Public Safety Building is another budget casualty
          * More Illinois residents feel pain as budget impasse drags on
          * ACLU pushes for change in 'right of conscience' law
          * U.S. Attorney Jim Lewis: Public safety is everyone's responsibility
          * Study finds Illinois in middle of pack when it comes to key ethics laws
          * Data show drop in Illinois prisoners but still overcrowded
          * Hundreds of NIU employees want to join state worker union
          * Debate over rising Illinois lawmakers' salaries ignites again
          * Illinois budget impasse may mean no free ACT tests
          * Statehouse Insider: Cullerton goes from nice guy to villain in one day


          * News-Gazette Sports Page 07-27-15
          * Street closures listing
          * PODCAST: Jeannie Cisney 07-27-15
          * Martinez joining women's basketball staff
          * Search of car on I-57 leads to multiple charges
          * Heat advisory issued for Tuesday
          * Champaign County has most of state's mumps cases
          * 'Just the ticket': 4-star solution to nuclear Air Force ills
          * Obama chides 2016 candidates for 'ridiculous,' 'sad' remarks
          * Extra: Education & Involvement


          * North: Cubs loss to Phillies was on Joe Maddon
          * Cubs' Castro gets in some extra hitting work
          * Images: Chicago Cubs vs. Colorado Rockies
          * Images: Chicago White Sox vs. Boston Red Sox
          * Cardinals name woman to training camp coach position

          * House lawmakers overcome hurdle on key tra...
          * Rodney Davis talks funding with Bloomingto...
          * The agency that fought Illiana gets a new ...
          * Rep. Dold takes educational cruise down Ch...
          * Lawmakers decry high turnover rate of VA h...
          * CBD Oil, and politics
          * Simon considering state Senate bid
          * Killer Congressman Tom MacArthur trying to...
          * Shutdown? State may not notice
          * Rep. Bob Dold

          * Durbin, Gutierrez Urge Cooperation To Expe......

          * Rate Mark Kirk's new online ad - The Capit......

          * Thought Catalog: 5 Ways To Make Every Job A Stepping Stone
          * Chicago Aldermen Seek Answers About Unprocessed Rape Kits
          * Chicago Pension Overhaul Deemed Unconstitutional
          * Chicagoland Coalition Marks ADA's 25th Anniversary With New Initiatives
          * Report: Higher Ed Investments Key To Closing Racial Unemployment Gap In Illinois
          * Poll: Just 37 Percent Of Americans Say Race Relations In U.S. Are Good
          * Illinois Activists Protest Against State Budget Cuts, Coal Industry Subsidies
          * Effects of the Proposed TOD Expansion on Uptown
          * Andrzejewski: Why Does IL Attorney General Lisa Madigan Refuse To Prosecute Public Corruption?
          * Di Leo: Of Presidents and Presidencies, and Things Presidential


          * Time Running Out to Stop Legislator Pay Raise
          * Governor Announces Appointments
          * Governor Takes Bill Action
          * Governor Signs Historic Anti-BDS Law in Illinois
          * Governor’s Office Statement




              Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller