Pensions as Political Calvin Ball - NY Attorney General Investigating

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and the SEC are investigating Pension Placement Agents:

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and the SEC say they’re investigating agents and money managers who used ties to public officials and kickbacks to buy and sell access to pension funds.

Placement agents call on institutions and wealthy individuals to sell investments on behalf of hedge, private- equity and venture-capital funds. Their targets go beyond public pensions, which held $2.23 trillion at the end of 2008, the U.S. Census Bureau said. They include corporate retirement plans, foundations, insurers and endowments. Such institutions held $27.1 trillion in assets at the end of 2006, according to the New York-based Conference Board’s latest annual tally.

They are uncovering a Calvinball of political insiders, a network of revolving door connections and massive fees as political operatives turn themselves into sales & marketing folks for private equity and hedge funds to peddle off to large pension plans.

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I hope the Illinois Attorney General is taking notes.

This is such a common practice in Illinois and one that got some of Blagojevich's friends in trouble with the Feds. Cuomo is uncovering an incredibly lucrative business for political insiders and their political beneficiaries.

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