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[29 Jul 2016 | No Comment | ]

Dick Durbin’s lack of confidence in the Democrats winning the U.S. Senate in November is on display.

Expect Dick Durbin’s decision on 2018 gubernatorial bid in November: https://t.co/D6OOozuFYU #ChicagoTonight pic.twitter.com/ASSp7N9voO

— WTTW (Chicago PBS) (@wttw) July 29, 2016

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[27 Jul 2016 | No Comment | ]

The L.A. Times reports:

The $300-billion California Public Employees’ Retirement System this month reported its worst investment returns in almost a decade: 0.6%. Bad years come and go, just like good years, and large pension funds count on time healing the deepest wounds. But this particular bad year pushed CalPERS’ long-term average into dangerous waters, which suggests it’s time for the fund to rethink — again — just how well it expects its investments to perform in the coming decades.

It’s not a mere accounting exercise. The assumptions CalPERS makes about its returns affect taxpayers and beneficiaries in at least two important ways. The more conservative CalPERS’ assumptions are, the more employers and workers have to contribute to the fund to cover the projected cost of pension benefits. (And in this case, “employers” translates to state and local governments, or taxpayers.) But the higher the expected rate of return, the more aggressively CalPERS has to invest to meet its goals, and thus the greater the volatility and the risk of losses.

Difficult times.