Thursday, August 20, 2009

Major Problems at California's Public Pension Fund, CalPERS And: A Mandy Rice-Davies Moment!

One of these days I'll have to tell the story of how CalPERS got to this point. It is an ugly tale. For now we'll just post the slow motion train wreck.
On a positive note: Mandy Rice-Davies* moment ahead!
From Economic Policy Journal:
How bad?

It would require up to a 50% payroll tax to pay for pension commietments.

Ron Seeling, the CalPERS chief actuary, said at a confrence in Sacramento:
I don't want to sugarcoat anything. We are facing decades without significant turnarounds in assets, decades of -- what I, my personal words,nobody else's -- unsustainable pension costs of between 25 percentof pay for a miscellaneous plan and 40 to 50 percent of pay for asafety plan (police and firefighters) ... unsustainable pensioncosts. We've got to find some other solutions.
"I actually think it is sustainable," said Terry Brennand of the Service Employees International Union. He said the basic problem is investment losses, not high benefit levels.

Is there a Federal bailout in the future?
*"Well he would, wouldn't he?"

We first heard from Mandy in October 2007. Since then she visits the blog to point out any self-serving comment that strikes her as especially bald-faced:

*Mandy was a whore with a minor role in the Profumo scandal of 1963.
Here's how Wikipedia tells the story:

...Rice-Davies came to London , where she met Christine Keeler and a well-connected osteopath Stephen Ward. As a result of her involvement in Ward's social set, she became intimate with many powerful people, including the then Viscount Astor. She never in fact met John Profumo, whose brief relationship with Keeler, with whom Rice-Davies shared a flat, was at the centre of the affair that caused him to resign from the government in June 1963. Rice-Davies had been one of the mistresses of notorious slum landlord Peter Rachman who had owned the flat she shared with Keeler.

"He would, wouldn't he?"

While giving evidence at the trial of Stephen Ward, Rice-Davies made the quip for which she is most remembered and which is frequently used by politicians in Britain[2]. When the prosecuting counsel pointed out that Lord Astor denied having an affair or having even met her, she replied,
"Well, he would, wouldn't he?"
  1. ^ This quote later became a common saying in British politics, often altered to "He would say that, wouldn't he?" Examples follow in these links: