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Frerichs has new idea

Tuesday, Jul 22, 2014

* Greg Hinz followed up on our post yesterday and this morning’s Capitol Fax with a piece on the dustup over the state treasurer’s investments in Israeli government bonds.

Sen. Mike Frerichs then volunteered another idea

But — without prompting — he then went on to say that the state should divest itself of any pension investments in companies “that move jobs overseas out of Illinois.”

Mr. Frerichs gave no examples, but as treasurer he would be a voting member of the Illinois State Board of Investments, which handles money management for some of the state’s pension funds.

Asked whether he would divest shares of Deerfield-based Walgreen if it indeed moves its headquarters to Switzerland, Mr. Frerichs said he’d wait for a while “to see how they manage this…what is the number of jobs they move out of the state.”

Mr. Cross countered that the treasurer’s job is to “maximize returns and minimize risks.” In the case of Walgreen, “you have to have the basic philosophy to get the best return,” he said.

Your thoughts?

- Posted by Rich Miller        


64 Comments
  1. - A guy... - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 3:16 pm:

    Frerichs keeps finding new ways. Wow.


  2. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 3:22 pm:

    @FakeMikeFrerichs - I will just keep doing as I always do; say whatever pops in my head. If I mess up like always, I’m still tall #ShrinkingVioletToFactsOrPlans

    So…when a company moves, Illinois divests, and if a company stays or moves in, are we, as a state required to invest?

    Amateur hour. The big kid table is now moving farther away from the long arms of Mike Frerichs.


  3. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 3:28 pm:

    Is it the Treasurer’s role to invest based on their personal economic, social and political ideology? To be an activist investor?

    Or to invest based on the best returns possible for the state and taxpayers?

    And why stop at == companies “that move jobs overseas out of Illinois.” ==? Why not “companies that move jobs over state lines out of Illinois”?


  4. - RNUG - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 3:32 pm:

    The Treasurer’s job, when investing taxpayer funds, is to get the highest return with the lowest risk, period. Unless directed by the GA via state law, anything else is pandering to one voting block or another.

    Cross gets it. Frerichs doesn’t.


  5. - Lil Squeezy - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 3:35 pm:

    You do make investment related decisions based upon location if the location creates risk. I would suggest that Switzerland is stable enough.

    Your fiduciary responsibility is to act in the best interest of the participant. In other words, “maximize returns, minimize risk”.

    Divestiture policies only work when instituted on a large scale, preferably initiated by the federal government. Anything less is nothing but political. Never thought I would vote for Tom Cross for any office, but if he keeps this up I might be forced to.


  6. - Bluefish - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 3:40 pm:

    Illinois needs the investment revenue. Frerichs needs a filter.


  7. - Empty Suit - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 3:42 pm:

    Frerichs = Democrat version of Jason Plummer


  8. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 3:42 pm:

    @FakeMikeFrerichs - if a company has a pretty logo, or has the word “Mustard” in its name, those are slam dunk invests. If a company has a rabbit as a mascot, no invest #FudiciaryResponsibilitySaysWhat


  9. - Precinct Captain - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 3:44 pm:

    It’s amazing that investing in Illinois is so controversial among Illinoisans. Maybe we should invest in Texas state bonds since Rick Perry loves to pick on us so much. That way we will all know our state investments are made building poor infrastructure on the backs of poor people with terrible jobs and few worker protections. What does it say when our own Treasurer’s Office says “okay” to cutting American jobs and tax dodging? It’s “activist” to invest in our own people in our own backyard? I guess it was “activist” to promote disinvestment from South Africa, just ignore the racist repression part, it’s a great return! Same for factories in Bangladesh and China! At some point you have to put your values into practice, otherwise they’re meaningless. I suppose all you return is king folks said you never boycotted something last week or the week before in the QotD. After all, return, return, return!


  10. - Lil Squeezy - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 3:45 pm:

    I also want to note that the participant is “John Smith” not “John Smith from Illinois”. Illinois has nothing to do with your responsibility on ISBI but John Smith does.

    Not to say that Illinois businesses cannot directly benefit John Smith due to there location. If all things are equal you choose the firm/business in IL over the firm/business in New York because they are more accessible to you. But again, that is only when all things are equal.


  11. - DuPage Bard - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 3:46 pm:

    Needs to get in control of his people and his messaging. This is going to be a very short race.


  12. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 3:46 pm:

    There’s no one way to “maximize return, minimize risk”. If there was, you wouldn’t need all those financial advisors.

    And you sure wouldn’t be investing Illinois dollars in Irsaeli Bonds. There are many investment grade sovereign bond funds that pay better than Israeli Bonds. That investment wasn’t political?

    The treasurer’s office has had linked-deposit programs for decades to leverage small-business and farm loans in Illinois communities. They don’t earn “maximum return” but they provide some capital in some underserved areas. It is a capitalist system, and you need some of that.


  13. - Lil Squeezy - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 3:53 pm:

    Precinct Captain-

    Money held by the Treasurer is a state investment, money held by the IL State Board of Investment is not. It’s a participant investment.

    Divestiture in South Africa was initiated by the federal govt. and other nations. Thats why it helped.

    On the other hand, IL divestiture in Sudan has done nothing but annually costs pension systems money and has resulted in very little divesture of assets.


  14. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 3:59 pm:

    @FakeMikeFrerichs - I would also invest in the Co. that has “Mr Peanut” because that peanut guy is tall, and any Co. that Shaq is in commercials for too, obviously. #RandomThoughtsIsstSoundInvesting


  15. - Langhorne - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 4:01 pm:

    Someone always wants to reset the moral compass on investments every few years. Northern ireland. South africa, etc. also objections to the nature of the products–tobacco, for ex


  16. - Lil Squeezy - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 4:02 pm:

    “There’s no one way to “maximize return, minimize risk””

    There sure is. We are not talking about a magic wand here. We are talking about working with your qualified investment staff and consultants to determine what investments you believe best maximize return and minimize risk. The decisions are based on data and analysis, not political talking points.

    I am not trying to suggest the data and analysis is always correct, but I think its safe to say that it is better to use data and analysis over political talking points.

    As to investments in the Treasurers office, statute provides that those types of loan programs are in the best interest of Illinois. I would prefer it not, but I have no real problem with that.


  17. - Kerfuffle - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 4:02 pm:

    ===The big kid table is now moving farther away from the long arms of Mike Frerichs.===

    He’s not even in the same room. If he keeps this nonsense up, pretty soon he’ll be eating scraps off the floor with the dog - that is if he is even invited to dinner!


  18. - Lil Squeezy - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 4:06 pm:

    And I agree that investing in Israeli bonds is a poor investment (that is also political) compared to other alternatives. But I am guessing we do not have a candidate running for office that agrees with me.


  19. - Kerfuffle - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 4:06 pm:

    So if I have 1,000 jobs and move half of them overseas do you divest entirely in my company or just 50% of the state’s holdings?


  20. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 4:12 pm:

    –We are talking about working with your qualified investment staff and consultants to determine what investments you believe best maximize return and minimize risk–

    And all staff, consultants and advisors agree on the “one way” all the time? There are no differences of opinion, based on analysis, on the “right” path when it comes to investing?


  21. - Big Debbie - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 4:16 pm:

    This thread shows me why having a progressive back in charge of our state investments is necessary. The clowns on wall street have the same “quick buck” mentality as Tom Cross. Is it really that hard to think why investing inside the state of Illinois when possible is the best practice, or investing in companies that are creating jobs here? Should there really be no moral judgment at all as long as money is being made? Invest in a child labor mill in China because of QUICK PROFIT! Think long-term. I wish those on Wall Street during the mortgage backed securities boom did. In the short term, you might make a quicker buck with Tom Cross’ plan, but at the long term expense of jobs and economic development here in Illinois. I’ll take the long term bet and stick with Mike Frerich’s plan.

    And do you guys really think that saying we should favor investments in companies creating jobs in voters’ community is bad messaging? How about an out of touch millionaire, with an out of touch billionaire at the head of the ticket, saying all that matters is profit for state coffers, not jobs for main street? I think Cross had a good hit on the Israeli bonds, but walked right into a trap with this one.


  22. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 4:22 pm:

    - Big Debbie -

    So it may not be construed as “pay to play” that the Illinois Treasurer will invest or divest in a company leaving or staying or moving in Illinois, no matter the financials?

    How big of a company? Invest more into a company that stays, or invest more monies to a company moving here?

    Confusing, but Mike Frerichs is tall.


  23. - Powell - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 4:23 pm:

    The treasurer is very limited in the investments they can make under law. Israel bonds outperform us treasury bonds and many agency bonds.


  24. - DateNight - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 4:24 pm:

    Cross lacks Frerichs’ education and may be having trouble understanding key issues. For his part Cross graduated from Yorkville High School, Illinois Wesleyan University and was given a J.D. from law school in Alabama. Meanwhile his Democratic opponent, Mike Frerichs graduated from Rantoul Township High School and then earned a degree from Yale University, where he majored in German studies. Upon graduation, Frerichs moved to Taiwan and studied Chinese at National Cheng Kung University while teaching English. Cross clearly received a much less rigorous education in Alabama than did Frerichs at Yale.


  25. - D.P.Gumby - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 4:25 pm:

    Economic pressure on South Africa by disinvestment helped end apartheid. If Walgreens leaves the state as a tax dodge, the state should not be investing in Walgreens no matter what its return. Like CVS dumping tobacco. Even the state should not put money before philosophy.


  26. - Steve - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 4:30 pm:

    - Precinct Captain -

    You are a funny guy. How horrible it is to make $50,000 a year and pay no state income tax. The shock! Roads, bridges, and public schools without a state income tax! How horrible. What would we ever do without unions ?


  27. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 4:32 pm:

    - DateNight -

    ===…and was given a J.D. from law school in Alabama.===

    “given”?

    Explain “given”?

    If Mike Frerichs received such a more rigorous education, how do you explain Mike Frerichs’ complete lack of understanding his own voting record? lol

    You stay classy.


  28. - Judgment Day (on the road) - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 4:33 pm:

    Mike Frerich just put himself in a trap of his own making. If I’m handling investments for the State and I want to create ‘churn’ (more fees) by rapidly turning over positions, he just gave me perfect cover. Exercising ‘moral judgment’ on investments is great cover to up my activity fees and will work just fine, thank you.

    Btw, we’re talking about investing in what is called ‘investment grade securities’. I seriously doubt that any “Invest in a child labor mill in China because of QUICK PROFIT!” would qualify as ‘investment grade’, and if Finch, S&P, or Moody’s were incredibly stupid enough (after 2007-2008) to rate that type of investment as ‘investment grade’, that’s multiple lawsuits waiting to be filed.

    I can imagine the ‘Investment Plan’ that Mike Frerich would put out there, which as I remember, is required by state law. Hopefully, it will come with a self winding coo coo clock.


  29. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 4:34 pm:

    “Mr. Cross countered that the treasurer’s job is to “maximize returns and minimize risks.” In the case of Walgreen, “you have to have the basic philosophy to get the best return,” he said.”

    I don’t like Tom Cross but due to this I will vote for him. I am also voting against Rauner which means that I will hold my nose and vote Quinn another term.

    Invest for returns, yes. We all have different morals but returns are what the pension funds need.

    People need to only look at returns, Period.


  30. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 4:35 pm:

    DateNight, your comment is totally unrelated to Frerichs’ quote.

    That said: Should only Ivy Leaguers hold office? Why was Cross “given” a J.D. while Frerichs “earned” his Yale degree? I know it’s frustrating to see your man struggle, but please try to make some sense!


  31. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 4:36 pm:

    People need to only invest for the returns. This is what the Pension funds need.


  32. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 4:38 pm:

    Word, there is no “one way” to get maximum return and minimum risk. The previous commenter is simply wrong.

    Even if a perfect situation existed where the ideal asset mix could be selected (and no one’s figured out that one yet) variations caused by the selection of investment managers could meaningfully impact actual results.


  33. - Archimedes - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 4:43 pm:

    Rather than “punishing” firms that move out of Illinois by not investing in them, how about doing all we can to make sure their decision to leave or stay is not due to frustration with Illinois government and regulation/administration?

    This is pulling the wrong lever to achieve our goals.


  34. - Da Bulls - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 4:53 pm:

    I have absolutely no problem with divesting in WAG if they use the loophole considering 20% of their profits come from Medicaid/Medicare proceeds. I think you may even see widespread boycotts of them if they were to.

    If they use the loophole before its closed, that is their right. It’s the obligation of government officials to respond.


  35. - Lil Squeezy - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 4:55 pm:

    If you are outperforming your peers with lower risk, then you are maximizing returns and limiting risk.

    If there is disagreement between your staff and advisors the board takes into account the arguments and makes a decesion. This is not a perfect science.

    You should not make that decesion based on talking points.

    If these boards are not trying to maximize returns and minimize risk, what would you suggest they are actually doing?


  36. - Dan Johnson - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 4:56 pm:

    This is a great debate and a core example of how absolute devotion to money can lead to some bad results for the economy. The bigger picture purpose of state government — including the Office of the Treasurer — is to improve our economy and improve our standard of living. Leveraging our massive public pensions to do that is great policy and it’s unfortunate that Leader Cross dismisses that power altogether.

    We need innovative thinking to improve our standard of living and use every single tool at our disposal to do that. It’s short-sighted and a bit lazy to ignore the potential impact of our investments beyond a financial return — and that’s a dig on everyone who takes the view that the Treasurer ought not be working on leveraging our (emphasis on *our*) investments for the benefit of our entire economy.


  37. - Paddyrollingstone - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 4:56 pm:

    I had the opposite response when I read his comments. I thought it was politically kind of a smart move from the standpoint that we should ask our companies to have some type of economic patriotism and threatening to withhold investments by public bodies in companies that don’t pay their fair share (or any) taxes is one way to enforce that. I could be wrong, though.


  38. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 5:09 pm:

    == I guess it was “activist” to promote disinvestment from South Africa, just ignore the racist repression part, it’s a great return! Same for factories in Bangladesh and China! ==

    Is this portion satire or serious? It so drastically mutilates the sentiment being expressed by most commenters that it is difficult to tell.

    No one is suggesting Illinois buy bonds from the Weimar Republic or saying that values are irrelevant.

    They are saying that Frerichs’ idea is ridiculous.


  39. - frustrated GOP - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 5:09 pm:

    I think you can use the state dollars as a carrot and a stick. What might make sense as a private investor doesn’t always make sense for state and local government. I think we can use our money to leverage and punish business. Europe does.


  40. - Greg C from Pawnee - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 5:10 pm:

    Frerichs would immediately be violating his fiduciary duty if he took up this investment strategy, putting the whole board at risk of suit. If I was a pensioner in Illinois, and I will be soon enough, I would immediately take on the board for risking my pension’s future for the political future of Mike Frerichs.

    How long till Yale calls and asks for that Germanic Studies degree back?


  41. - Lil Squeezy - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 5:13 pm:

    Dan,

    The treasurer’s investments are the state’s money. Some assets invested by ISBI are as well. The assets of SERS, GARS, and JRS are not. Those systems are federally protected trusts. Their money is invested by ISBI, but not owned by ISBI.


  42. - Responsa - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 5:21 pm:

    In an election cycle that has no Jason Plummer or Scott Lee Cohen we should thank God for giving us Mike Frerichs! :)


  43. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 5:22 pm:

    As for why it is ridiculous, a few reasons stand out right away.

    This insular approach to investing would artificially narrow the pool of investment options, thereby increasing risk and limiting potential return.

    It places “retribution” and his personal ideology before his mandate as Treasurer to maximize return while minimizing risk.

    It creates a double standard. Companies moving jobs “out of the state” to Canada must be punished, but companies moving jobs “out of state” to Texas are just fine.

    It appears to have been suggested on a whim during the interview, seeing as “Mr. Frerichs gave no examples”.

    For starters.


  44. - Big Debbie - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 5:33 pm:

    ===that’s multiple lawsuits waiting to be filed===

    Speaking of which, reminds me that we already were on the verge of a lawsuit under a previous treasurer when he bought into Wall Street’s promises of hugh profits by Oppenheimer. Thinking that hedge funds, bonds, mutual funds, and other securities are pure and on the level because they are afraid of lawsuits is way off base. Do we really want the only protection from bad investments to be, well if what Wall Street says isn’t true, we can always sue them? That mentality doesn’t work out as well as you may think.

    Kudos to Frerichs for thinking outside of the limited interest of going with the promise of huge returns from Wall Street. The State of Illinois has been burned by such promises once already by Oppenheimer, it will happen again. Why not look toward a more sustainable way to invest, like investing in companies growing jobs right here in Illinois?

    Really, I don’t understand how anyone can think such an idea is idiotic or politically stupid. You may have more questions about how it can be enacted, but Frerichs provided a lot more details than just what is quoted in this post. Just before the quoted text here, the article linked also states:

    ===However, Mr. Rutherford, who is retiring, has been too quick to ignore investments in Illinois companies, Mr. Frerichs said, pointing to a 2011 law that authorized the state to invest up to 3 percent of of its $13 billion portfolio, or nearly $400 million, in a tech-development fund here. In fact, Mr. Rutherford has invested only 0.34 percent, about $44 million, Mr. Frerichs said. “That 3 percent sounds like a good number to me,” he added.

    Mr. Frerichs said he would stick with that 3 percent figure as an overall goal and make other investments based on market returns.===

    As a resident of Champaign, where the Research Park is driving technology business here, Rutherford’s failure to use his power to invest in technology companies here in Illinois is upsetting.

    Glad to see Frerichs sticking up for good policy, and citing a specific example of how he would have the power to enact that policy if he were Treasurer. Not so glad to see Tom Cross endorse the current status quo of not investing in jobs and companies in Illinois - because his Wall Street banker said Oppenheimer Funds is a sure bet!

    When it comes down to it, the types of investments made by the state funds and pension funds, all have some risk associated with them. I’d prefer to make a bet on Illinois and jobs for people in Illinois, not a bet with Wall Street.

    Wall Street always makes their money. Actually there was a very good article that Rich linked a long time ago that showed how Wall Street firms bilk pension funds with high fees, yet have no greater return than the average of the DOW.


  45. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 6:05 pm:

    == pointing to a 2011 law that authorized the state to invest up to 3 percent of its $13 billion portfolio, or nearly $400 million, in a tech-development fund here. In fact, Mr. Rutherford has invested only 0.34 percent, about $44 million, Mr. Frerichs said. “That 3 percent sounds like a good number to me,” he added. ==

    #Facepalm

    Why does Mr. Frerichs think that only 0.34 percent was invested instead of 2 or 3 percent? Any chance it’s because that money was put into the best investments possible regardless of geography?

    That 3 percent is an authorization, not a quota. Who knows how much money Illinois might have lost in this case alone if we were forced to invest in weaker opportunities just because they are “local”.


  46. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 6:10 pm:

    We have all sorts of development grants and loans for that sort of stuff. Use that to invest in riskier opportunities at home.

    Not the pension money.


  47. - face planted - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 6:10 pm:

    FKA

    The tech fund is a long term venture. Investments take years to mature and may never materialize. Far better option in better cash flow times. Terrible choice now


  48. - Lil Squeezy - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 6:19 pm:

    Big Debbie, I personally agree with your ideology, but if Sen. Frerichs is running to change the rules of the game he is running for the wrong office. Trustees of these boards are personally liable for their decesions as fiduciaries.

    His statements are misleading because, if elected, he will make his best effort to invest in IL businesses within his capacity as a fiduciary. Sounds different doesn’t it. Look I like Mike and will vote for him. But it’s still ok to call out the bs.


  49. - 1776 - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 6:31 pm:

    As a business leader who was leaning to Frerichs because of Cross’ overly political actions during session, I’m extremely disappointed with Frerichs latest pandering.

    Illinoisans want leaders and solutions - not platitudes and political gimmicks. I don’t care if you’re running for Governor, Treasurer or dog catcher. Respect the voters and the serious nature of your offices.


  50. - DateNight - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 6:41 pm:

    Oswego Willy -

    “…and was given a J.D. from law school in Alabama.”

    “given”?

    Explain “given”?

    The largest and longest running assessment of U.S. education performance shows Alabama lagging far behind the rest of the nation in all subjects.

    The latest available data from the National Assessment of Education Progress or NAEP shows Alabama fourth and eighth grade graduates garnering average scores well below the national average in all subjects.

    Most notably, the state’s eighth graders ranked 50th of 52 states and non-state school jurisdictions in math, and Alabama’s fourth graders ranked 47th in math.

    Just 25 percent of eighth graders and 30 percent of fourth graders garnered scores of proficient or better in mathematics.

    If Alabama doesn’t care about educating it’s children imagine what the results of children from other states attending school in Alabama would be. Hence, the term “given” was appropriately used to describe Mr. Cross’ educational attainment.

    Any other questions Willy? Do you want to have a conversation about how Mike Frerichs stands tall for Illinois and Cross is short little fella with no legislative accomplishments?


  51. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 7:04 pm:

    Big Debbie, you have a whole fruit salad of comparisons in your posts here. Let me try to unravel a couple:
    1) the previous Treasurer allowed an Oppenheimer mutual fund to be a college savings fund option. The fund strayed far from its permissible investment guidelines and families lost big. The Treasurer failed to exercise fiduciary oversight over the fund. That’s only tangentially relevant to the issue at debate here, investment of State funds in the State Treasury.
    2) Tech investments are fine as part of a venture capital portfolio, but you will not find an investment professional who would recommend that they anchor a portfolio.
    3) if that Research Park over there is shooting the lights out, why is the guy who started it moving to North Carolina to open a bunch of Jimmy John’s?


  52. - Timmeh - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 7:38 pm:

    DateNight:
    What part of Alabama’s middle school deficiencies applies to a law school, or to Tom Cross, who graduated high school in Illinois?

    And as an aside, BREAKING NEWS! People make it out of crappy schools, may go on to college or otherwise lead productive lives. Start thinking of people like human beings and stow your condescending tone. People in Alabama aren’t pieces of crap because they graduated from a crappy school.

    Regardless of education, each person has an ability to be correct. When Tom Cross say that the job of treasurer is to “maximize returns and minimize risks.”, that sounds pretty correct to me.


  53. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 7:38 pm:

    - DateNight -

    Abraham Lincoln didn’t go to any law school…

    You’re welcome.


  54. - Big Debbie - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 7:40 pm:

    AA:

    The Bright Start was an investment fund managed by the Treasurer’s office, so even though it did not involve state funds it is relevant.

    ===The fund strayed far from its permissible investment guidelines and families lost big. The Treasurer failed to exercise fiduciary oversight over the fund.===

    That’s the public spin. The truth is that Oppenheimer committed fraud by rating other Oppenheimer securities at a level commensurate with the investment strategy of the fund, and buying them with the fund, knowing that rating was inflated. Oppenheimer got a sweet deal by getting out for fifty cents on the dollar.

    If you are unable to follow my logic, let me put it this way:

    Tom Cross’ plan is to “maximize returns and minimize risks.” But what does that really mean to him? Basing investments off of Wall Street ratings and past performances. That is not a bad way to go, but hardly a guarantee of success as the state of Illinois already has a history of giant losses because of fraudulent ratings and past performances not being indicators of future performance.

    Mike Frerich’s plan is to prioritize investment in the state of Illinois, starting with utilizing the already-existing power to invest in local tech companies. Perhaps a start-up tech company is a “risker” option, but when weighed against the pro of creating jobs and investment in our state, perhaps it is not. Perhaps that is the safest way to go.

    As to your point three, it is wrong. He has already said he is living in Champaign and working on more investments here, while also doing other investments in North Carolina. I view it more that he is expanding his successful investment strategies surrounding a University/Technology hub outside Champaign to the research corridor in North Carolina. In fact, he did just announce a large new development for Research Park.

    It is a shame that Tom Cross doesn’t also support Research Park and other technology investment in Illinois like Frerichs does, but it may be because Frerichs had such a big role in getting Research Park started at U of I that he just understands better how, when you invest locally everyone succeeds.

    I think everyone is going a little wild here. It is not as if he said he is going to take all investments in all state controlled funds, including all pensions, and invest them in some local mom and pop shop. We are taking about increasing investment in local technology companies about 2 percentage points of total investments in one fund. It’s a good idea, we need the jobs and the economic growth. I’m behind it.


  55. - Commonsense in Illinois - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 8:08 pm:

    Its hard to be a progressive when applying commonsense…Try just being you, Mike…it’s what’s worked for you up to now. Quit pandering because something sounds good.


  56. - Oneman - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 8:59 pm:

    DateNight…

    Well usimng your logic

    Tom Cross received a law degree from a private school in a state with below par education so therefore the degree was given not earned…

    Am I with you so far.

    I suspect you would also then state any graduate of the following schools was also given their degrees since the public schools in their city were significantly deficient in terms of student performance vs other schools.

    UIC — actually a public school
    U of Chicago
    Loyola
    DePaul

    But thanks for playing, I would make some snarky comment about your logic and how you are obviously a Democratic voter, but to be frank, I know there are lots of very logical Democratic voters whom I may disagree with, but I can see how they come to different conclusions as to the best path and it would be unfair to label you with them.


  57. - WatchDog - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 9:22 pm:

    - Commonsense in Illinois

    “Try just being you, Mike…it’s what’s worked for you up to now. Quit pandering because something sounds good.”

    This IS Mike just being Mike…there’s just more scrutiny now that he’s stretching for something that’s too big for him, even though he is very big (tall).


  58. - Filmmaker Professor - Tuesday, Jul 22, 14 @ 10:17 pm:

    George W. Bush is also a graduate of Yale. So obviously, all Yale graduates are geniuses.


  59. - Precinct Captain - Wednesday, Jul 23, 14 @ 12:50 am:

    Mike Frerichs, certified public finance officer
    Tom Cross, thinks the treasurer should be running prosecutions

    Enough said.


  60. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Jul 23, 14 @ 8:32 am:

    Frerich has to do something to change the dynamics of this campaign. That is what he is doing with this radio interview. He is tying a conversation regarding what he would do as treasurer and separate himself from Cross in a meaningful way.

    He is the Democratic candidate, remember? If he doesn’t have an emotional appeal, he wouldn’t be the Democrat. Cross can be the accountant, but Frerich has to be more than that as the Democratic candidate. He has to be the ethical and moral and emotional accountant treasurer.

    That is what he is doing. He is trying to find a way to appeal differently from the boring “its all about return” blather of Cross.

    Either you support this Democrat or watch him lose. Beating him up like this when he is attempting to change up this campaign and find an edge, is foolish if you are a Democrat.

    This is a campaign and it only has three months to go. And he is losing. Doing nothing might be OK for you, but it isn’t for him or his supporters.


  61. - Snucka - Wednesday, Jul 23, 14 @ 8:45 am:

    DateNight: you used “it’s” as a possessive during your little screed on the public education system in Alabama.

    Anyway, if your fact-checking is as rigorous on serious matters as it is with nonsense, Mike could use you on his team.


  62. - GetToTheChopper - Wednesday, Jul 23, 14 @ 8:48 am:

    Snucka - I think DateNight is already on Mike’s team… or is a family member.

    Either way, Mike is in trouble; lets see how he uses the large money gap to get out of it.


  63. - Easy - Wednesday, Jul 23, 14 @ 9:16 am:

    precinct captain-
    that’s what makes what frerichs says all the more frightening.


  64. - Dan Johnson - Wednesday, Jul 23, 14 @ 9:30 am:

    Thanks LilSqueezy.

    Is CALPERS a federally protected trust? They seem to have figured out how to manage assets in a smarter way than just give it to Wall Street.

    And I wonder how the Ontario pension funds are structured differently — they look to be the best example in North America of building a sustainable economy as well as delivering returns to pensioners.


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