Friday, September 27, 2013

Wall Street hedge funds are stealing public workers’ pensions

In his latest piece for Rolling Stone, Matt Taibbi detailed how private companies are enriching themselves by bankrupting public workers’ retirements and savings in the name of “saving” them.

“I think everyone realizes that states are in fiscal crises or having trouble paying out their obligations to workers,” Taibbi told hosts Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzales. “One of the reasons is that at least 14 states have not been making their annual required contributions to the pension fund for years and years and years. So essentially, they have been illegally borrowing from these pension funds, sometimes going back decades.”

Taibbi’s research found that in many cases, such as in the state of Rhode Island, the hedge funders brought in to reorganize the state governments are getting paid the exact amounts of money that are being cut from public pensions.

“So essentially it is a wealth transfer from teachers, cops, and firemen to billionaire hedge-funders,” he said. The billionaires are then taking the leftover funds and applying the same risk-centric strategies that sank the economy in 2008.

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