Is Buying Stock The Same As Providing Capital?

A report issued earlier this week by the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) implies otherwise.  The report entitled “CalPERS for California 2014” trumpets CalPERS’ investment in California businesses and its indirect support for jobs here.  CalPERS claims to have invested in 615 publicly traded companies headquartered in California.  In 21 of these companies, CalPERS’ investment

CalPERS Board Member Contests Attorney General’s Conflicts Position

Last December, I wrote about J.J. Jelincic, a long-term CalPERS employee who was elected for a four-year term to the Board of Administration of the California Public Employees Retirement System (aka CalPERS). Following Mr. Jelincic’s election, CalPERS’ Board voted to release him from his duties as a CalPERS employee so that he could work full-time

CalPERS Global Governance Program Targets Income Inequality

The Investment Committee of CalPERS’ Board of Administration will meet next Tuesday.   The committee, which is comprised of all 13 members of the Board of Administration, is responsible for, among other things, investment strategies and policies.  On the agenda is for next week’s meeting is an update on the fund’s strategic priorities.  The slide

CalPERS Continues To Take Shots At The Press

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I continue to be shocked at CalPERS’ vitriolic approach towards the press.  In the last 12 months, CalPERS has taken on The Wall Street Journal, Fox News, several California metropolitan newspapers, several local newspapers, and bloggers.  According to CalPERS, these news organizations are misleading readers, uninformed, off base, wrong, and in need of fact-checking.  The tone of CalPERS’ responses is highly intemperate for any governmental

Muzzling Directors Who Don’t Agree

In September, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) selected Theodore “Ted” Eliopoulos as its Chief Investment Officer.  This appointment was unanimously approved by the members of the Board of Administration who voted.  One member, J.J. Jelincic, did not vote because he is on paid leave from the CIO post while serving on the CalPERS board.

Commissioner Rings Pension Fund Tocsin

In a speech given late last month, SEC Commissioner Daniel M. Gallagher warned that “for years, state and local governments have used lax governmental accounting standards to hide the yawning chasm in their balance sheets.”  According to Commissioner Gallagher, pension funds have been committing two fundamental errors.  First they are overstating investment returns.  He noted that

Those Who Hold Themselves Apart Seem To Be Getting All The Attention

Who knew that abstentions were so newsworthy?  Here are three recent news stories involving abstentions at annual meetings: Warren Buffett Defends Coca-Cola Abstention at Berkshire Meeting (May 3, 2014) CalPERS Shareowner Proposal Successful at Nabors Industries (June 3, 2014) Cheniere CEO Risks Losing $133 Million Amid Investor Suit (June 9, 2014) CalPERS’ shareholder proposal seems confused, misleading and internally

CalPERS Allowed To Continue Rating Agency Suit

In 2009, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System filed a lawsuit alleging negligent misrepresentation and negligent interference with prospective economic advantage against Moody’s Investors Services, Inc., Moody’s Corporation and The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.  The defendants filed a special motion to strike the complaint under California’s anti-SLAPP statute, Cal. Code Civ. Proc. § 425.16.  The trial

Why Urge Pay For Performance And Then Ignore Performance?

CalPERS’ Global Principles of Accountability for Corporate Governance declare: Compensation programs are one of the most powerful tools available to the company to attract, retain, and motivate key employees to optimize operating performance, profitability and sustainable long-term shareowner return.  CalPERS considers long-term to be five or more years for mature companies and at least three

CalPERS Proposes To Amend Global Principles

Next Monday, the Investment Committee of CalPERS’ Board of Administration is scheduled to consider several amendments to CalPERS’ Global Principles of Accountable Corporate Governance.  Among other changes, the committee will consider adding the following principle with respect to board tenure: Boards should consider all relevant facts and circumstances to determine whether a director should be