Pension Scandal

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tom Robbins, columnist for the Village Voice, and Peter Lattman, Wall Street Journal reporter, talk about allegations of "pay-to-play" deals for New York State pension fund investments.


Peter Lattman and Tom Robbins

Comments [8]

Coming to this conversation via recorded podcast but must contribute this thought:

The crucial link between face to face relationships between business people in Manhattan, and large fees that you are calling transaction fees, is what guarantees that so much finance stays in the city.

Isn't it all about lunch, really?

That's why I always laugh when so many businesses, etc. have held the city's tax authorities hostage with their threats of "moving to Peoria". The day Ratner shmoozes Bloomberg over a Grand Slam off the Nebraska Intersate is a far off one indeed.

Apr. 22 2009 01:26 PM
John from New York

Hi Brian,
I work for an ad agency that specializes in pharma. That doesn't make me an expert, but it does give me a vested interest in this discussion, one that should put me heavily on the side of big pharma.

But the fact of the matter is, the therapeutic difference between branded agents and the corresponding generics is negligible. If there were a real distinction, big pharma agencies wouldn't have anxieties about losing share to the generic market. But the do.

Yes, there are differences between branded agents and their generic equivalents. Think of it as the same distinction you find between Kellog's Corn Flakes and generic corn flakes. Kellogs Corn Flakes have subtle attributes that would allow an aficionado to distinguish between them and the corresponding generic brand of corn flakes. But it doesn't mean that generic corn flakes don't sate hunger or that generic corn flakes are unsafe.

Apr. 21 2009 11:52 AM
Leo from Queens

Good job Michael D. White #2!!

Apr. 21 2009 10:26 AM
Leo from Queens

Brian, I think that to dismiss this corruption scandal as being just another scandal from Hevesi's time will only cloud the problem. - The real problem is the culture of corruption in Albany and NYC and the fact that there is no transparency or accountability. This is a structural problem for a system which needs to be reformed. But the oligarchy and politicians in the state won't do it. And the media will only touch this on the periphery!

Apr. 21 2009 10:25 AM
Nick from NYC

NY invested in the CARLYLE GROUP? Can you mention just what the reputation of this entity is?

Apr. 21 2009 10:24 AM

Brian, Can you please get back to the RATNER aspect? You started to ask about it, but was thrown off track by the guest...

Apr. 21 2009 10:19 AM
Michael D. D. White from Brooklyn Heights

If it turns out that Steven Rattner, of Quadrangle Group, (who arranged for this private equity firm investment firm to pay $1.1 million to obtain New York State pension business) does not play strictly by the rules it is a serious problem since Rattner is a close friend of NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg and his firm, Quadrangle was named by Bloomberg “to manage the personal and family foundation assets.”

The integrity of relationship of individuals handling Mr. Bloomberg’s personal and foundation assets is very important because Bloomberg is officially supposed to be subject to restrictions on the way that his private funds are invested and what he is allowed to know or have communicated to him about them.

See the NY Times: Ruling Allows Wider Investment Options for Bloomberg and His Foundation, by Ray Rivera, December 27, 2007.

See also:
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Keeping up with Bloomberg and Friends: Stark New Scandals and Is it True WSJ Readers Don’t Commit Murder?

Michael D, D, White
Noticing New York

Apr. 21 2009 10:17 AM
Robert from NYC

Hm, corruption in NYS/NYC govt!! Oh my goodness, I'm shocked.

Apr. 21 2009 10:12 AM

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