End the Political Games With Public Pensions

There’s a link on New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer’s website to an outline of his office’s Powers and Duties Under New York State Law. The 159-page overview covers an extensive spectrum of legal responsibilities, ranging from arts and cultural affairs to worker compensation. Nowhere does the list reference shareholder activism, directing city environmental policies, or — for that matter — leveraging the $190 billion in pension fund assets his office stewards to pursue a political agenda.

And yet that’s exactly what Mr. Stringer is doing. The professional investment managers of the city’s five public-sector pension funds, their board members, and Stringer himself are all exploiting their positions as custodians of the retirement savings of the city’s workers to promote their own political objectives. Politics seems to pervade every action of the city comptroller’s office, which just last month announced a plan to divest pension holdings from fossil-fuel interests, regardless of the impact on financial performance.

Read the full piece at RealClearPolicy.com:

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