California Government Code Section 7603 is short and unambiguous:
All loans of securities shall be made pursuant to one of the standardized security loan agreement forms, as developed by the administrators of the State Pooled Investment Account (as authorized by Section 16481 of the Government Code) or the Public Employees Retirement System or the State Teachers’ Retirement System and as approved by the Commissioner of Corporations.
Nearly five years ago, in October 2012, I wrote to the Chief Executive Officer and General Counsel of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System about the CalPERS’ failure to comply with Section 7603. In the ensuing years, I’ve periodically inquired whether CalPERS is in compliance with the law. Nearly five years on and the answer continues to be not yet. Like Vladimer and Estragon, I continue to wait.
I was intrigued by the title of Holman W. Jenkins, Jr.’s Op-Ed that was published yesterday in The Wall Street Journal – “Trump Agonistes”. Was this intended to be a reference to John Milton’s heroic Samson Agonistes or T.S. Eliot’s less than heroic Sweeney Agonistes? Perhaps, the intent was not to make a literary allusion at all. The Greeks used the word ἀγωνιστής (agonistes) to refer to someone who struggles for something, a champion or hero. The Greek word ἀγών (agon) that forms a part of ἀγωνιστής (agonistes) means an assembly or gathering. The English words “agon”, “agony”, “agonist”, “antagonist”, and “antagonize” each have their roots in this Greek word.