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Today’s number: 0.006 percent

Friday, Mar 17, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Illinois Policy Institute

Documents show the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund may have taken a multi-million dollar hit when Silicon Valley Bank recently collapsed.

The latest report of detailed investments available from the IMRF shows the fund had over $4.5 million invested in 12,621 shares of SVB Financial Group, the parent company of Silicon Valley Bank. Those shares had a fair market value of $8.6 million at the end of 2021 when the stock had a value near $700 per share.

Incomplete data makes it difficult to say what the IMRF’s exposure was when SVB went belly up.

This is apparently stirring up the same very online people who always seem to be easily stirred up. And oftentimes they’re stirred up for no good reason.

* So, I reached out to the IMRF’s John Krupa…

IMRF does hold some shares in Silicon Valley Bank Financial Group. As of a few days ago, these shares represented a market value of about $3 million. While we are always concerned about any losses, for context, IMRF holds about $49 billion in assets. So, these shares make up a very small part of our total portfolio - about 0.006% (a fraction of a percent). Any potential losses will have no impact on IMRF’s ability to pay benefits. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and adjust in accordance with our investment policies.

In your article, please consider adding the context that nearly every large institutional investor with index fund holdings has some exposure here. I think the recent coverage linking IMRF and SVB Financial Group is incomplete and confusing for readers. It’s almost as though IMRF’s name was “picked out of a hat” and linked with SVB. This connection is ironic considering we are widely considered the “gold standard” in the public pension industry. We are one of the best-funded pensions in America at 98%, and our local government contribution rates remain stable. We have even won a presidential award for performance excellence (The Baldrige National Quality Award).

So, in summary, IMRF’s SVB Financial Group losses are regrettable, and we take them seriously. But this is an industry-wide issue; it’s not unique to IMRF. And in our individual case, it’s having a de minimis impact on our overall portfolio and IMRF members, employers, and taxpayers should rest assured that the fund remains healthy and strong.



  1. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Mar 17, 23 @ 1:12 pm:

    === So, these shares make up a very small part of our total portfolio - about 0.006% (a fraction of a percent). Any potential losses will have no impact on IMRF’s ability to pay benefits.===

    IPI’s task is two fold.

    Grift off small marks.
    Grift big donor checks by saying what they want to hear.

    It’s not like IPI knows anything about how to govern or honesty to any governing, their sole purpose is to exist so as an entity they can get monies from marks that want to believe what they want to believe by a “source” they can have for reference.

    IPI… It’s a bunch a folks getting paychecks by being living, breathing bots of misinformation.

    It’s the worst thing to have on a work resume.. IPI

    The only thing worse is IPI *and* Rauner. Whew.

  2. - JS Mill - Friday, Mar 17, 23 @ 1:27 pm:


    IPI readers might not understand that number. It is small.

  3. - Demoralized - Friday, Mar 17, 23 @ 1:37 pm:

    The Illinois Policy Institute does what they always do and turn every article they publish into a screed about public employee pensions and push their agenda of taking away those pensions. They truly are a one hit wonder.

  4. - Demoralized - Friday, Mar 17, 23 @ 1:44 pm:

    ==Any potential losses will have no impact on IMRF’s ability to pay benefits.==

    Maybe the IPI should pay attention instead of spouting their propoganda.

  5. - PublicServant - Friday, Mar 17, 23 @ 1:45 pm:

    Except for the “Wonder” part

  6. - Poor Taxpayer - Friday, Mar 17, 23 @ 2:00 pm:

    When I read the headline, I thought the post was about the size of my raise this year.

  7. - Chris - Friday, Mar 17, 23 @ 2:07 pm:


    Put another way, that’s $6 out of $100,000. Like leaving your lunch on the roof of your car and driving off.

  8. - Stix Hix - Friday, Mar 17, 23 @ 2:11 pm:

    Thank you, IMRF, for the monthly check you send me. You’re doing a great job.

  9. - downstate dem - Friday, Mar 17, 23 @ 2:13 pm:

    Well, $3 million market value a few days ago. Right now, it’s $1.3 million, and will be pennies on the dollar soon. Even if it’s marginal, it’s not nothing, and adding context wasn’t a great defense in March 2007 either.

  10. - Rich Miller - Friday, Mar 17, 23 @ 2:14 pm:

    ===Even if it’s marginal, it’s not nothing===

    Did anyone say it was nothing?

  11. - Back to the Future - Friday, Mar 17, 23 @ 2:19 pm:

    The loss seems to be 8.2 million.
    That is a lot of money and frankly the pension fund fellow should take losing money more seriously or find another job.
    Managing money as a fiduciary is a tough business. In a lot of places his attitude about losses would be enough to be fired on the spot.
    I understand that losing money is part of the investment business, but every loss is a personal failure that should be taken very seriously and dealt with in a respectful manner.

  12. - NickNombre - Friday, Mar 17, 23 @ 2:21 pm:

    My diversified portfolio lost only 0.005% due to SVB. It is sad when an amateur like me is doing better than the professionals at IMRF. They all need to be fired! /s

  13. - SomeGuy - Friday, Mar 17, 23 @ 2:37 pm:

    If people are this up in arms about 0.006%, just wait until they find out how much the daily market fluctuations can affect the funds…

  14. - The Dude Abides - Friday, Mar 17, 23 @ 2:38 pm:

    =The loss seems to be 8.2 million.
    That is a lot of money and frankly the pension fund fellow should take losing money more seriously or find another job.=

    Given wider context, you choose to ignore it because it doesn’t fit your pre-conceived notion.

    Last I checked, it wasn’t the IMRF that drove SVB into the ground. Somehow you, the jackwagons at IPI and some other commenters here also missed (or, more likely, chose to ignore) that inconvenient fact.

  15. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Mar 17, 23 @ 2:43 pm:

    === That is a lot of money and frankly the pension fund fellow should take losing money more seriously or find another job.===

    You complain when they lose 0.006%, you complain they don’t make enough return when they are making money.

    Seems as though you’ll never be happy and these folks should focus on what they can do

  16. - Suburban Mom - Friday, Mar 17, 23 @ 2:43 pm:

    And did IPI support the removal of the regulations that would have prevented SVB collapse? Because I’m pretty sure they did, and it’s very convenient for them to call out IMRF without mentioning that this was exactly the outcome that IPI lobbied for, and was paid to lobby for.

  17. - Back to the Future - Friday, Mar 17, 23 @ 2:45 pm:

    Absolutely not saying IMRF was the cause of SVB troubles.
    Just don’t think the employee’s attitude on the loss was appropriate.

  18. - Back yo the Future - Friday, Mar 17, 23 @ 2:49 pm:

    Also never been a fan of IPI.

  19. - Stormsw7706 - Friday, Mar 17, 23 @ 3:08 pm:

    I have Index funds. They hold huge baskets of stocks. That’s what limits their losses. Plus it save investment fees. Very prudent investing actually. By holding these funds they have saved IMRFa ton of money on fees and probably limited a much larger exposure. But if I recognize this I can’t whine and complain. And that feels so good.

  20. - Huh? - Friday, Mar 17, 23 @ 3:10 pm:

    Interesting context. 0.006%. Not even change from the couch cushions. Perhaps a penny on the sidewalk.

  21. - Homebody - Friday, Mar 17, 23 @ 3:18 pm:

    Spelunkers gonna spelunk.

  22. - downstate dem - Friday, Mar 17, 23 @ 3:26 pm:

    Rich, I think the implication from IMRF’s John Krupa writing “a very small part of our total portfolio - about 0.006% (a fraction of a percent)” is that it was nothing. If detailing a large loss from a portfolio in that matter means something else, then I’ve been reading quarterly reports wrong for 40 years…

  23. - Rich Miller - Friday, Mar 17, 23 @ 3:46 pm:

    ===is that it was nothing===


    Whatever. I’m not getting into a goofy semantics argument on a Friday afternoon.

    Argue what was said.

  24. - Rich Miller - Friday, Mar 17, 23 @ 3:55 pm:

    Also, I’ve been noticing a whole lot of semantics arguments recently. People here need to up their games.

  25. - The Dude Abides - Friday, Mar 17, 23 @ 3:56 pm:

    =If detailing a large loss from a portfolio in that matter means something else, then I’ve been reading quarterly reports wrong for 40 years…=

    You’re moving goalposts. And if you think this loss is “large” within the context of the IMRF investment portfolio, as well as the wider context of the loss itself, then I would argue that yes, you have been reading quarterly reports wrong for 40 years, since you seem to lack the knowledge and judgment necessary to fully grasp what is contained within those reports.

  26. - Bigtwich - Friday, Mar 17, 23 @ 3:57 pm:

    == every loss is a personal failure t==

    You really don’t understand index funds.

  27. - Rich Miller - Friday, Mar 17, 23 @ 4:13 pm:

    ===And if you think this loss is “large” within the context of the IMRF investment portfolio===

    If a $10,000 investment lost 0.0006 percent of its value, that would be a decline of 6 cents.

    Some folks need a bit of perspective here.

  28. - Huh? - Friday, Mar 17, 23 @ 4:27 pm:

    Rich - I think you are off by a factor of 10. It should be 60 cents loss on a $10k investment.

    Not the price of a cup of Casey’s coffee. Not even a rounding error in $49 billion.

  29. - Rich Miller - Friday, Mar 17, 23 @ 4:28 pm:

    ===It should be 60 cents===

    Yeah, I accidentally added another 0.



  30. - Back to the Future - Friday, Mar 17, 23 @ 4:31 pm:

    Perhaps Scottish parents raised my concerns over losing money to a higher level than the state employee involved in this.
    Explaining how the loss took place and if it was just limited to an index fund would be a better approach then not explaining the loss.
    Someone worked very hard to contribute that (now) 8.6 million that has disappeared. Thinking the gentleman should be more respectful of the work that goes into making the contributions that play a role in paying his salary.

  31. - back to the Future - Friday, Mar 17, 23 @ 4:36 pm:

    It is a Friday.
    I give up.
    Hope every has a Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

  32. - RNUG - Friday, Mar 17, 23 @ 4:38 pm:

    Much ado by IPI about pretty much nothing.

    Nobody wants losses, but it part of the investment business. Percentage wise, I’ve had worse losses from well known investments over the past few years. Heck, I’d have a much bigger percentage loss from the sales commission if I just sold one investment and bought a different one.

  33. - Rich Miller - Friday, Mar 17, 23 @ 4:49 pm:

    I see what I did now. lol

    I was looking at the URL address when doing the calculation. So, 0.006 percent looks like 0006 percent. Darnit.

    Have a great weekend!

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