Lehman Collapse Ripples in New Jersey

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Just a few months ago New Jersey public pension managers bought $120 million in the now bankrupt Wall Street investment bank Lehman Brothers. WNYC's Bob Hennelly has more.

REPORTER: A spokesman for New Jersey Treasurer David Rousseau confirms the $120 million ill-fated Lehman stock purchase back in June, but says it has to be seen relative to the state's almost $80 bllion pension portfolio.

State Treasury Department officials say that since July of 2007 state money managers were prescient when they started to unload the financial sector stocks held by the state pension fund.

Currently officials say the state's pension fund has been strengthening its balance sheet but is still carrying a $28 billion unfunded liability. For several years the state did not make any cash contributions into the state employee pension fund while at the same time increasing benefits.

The Corzine Administration has added over $3 billion in the last three years and increased the retirement age for state new hires from 55 to 6O years of age. For WNYC I am Bob Hennelly.


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