Treasurer Loftis' calls for more Wall Street transparency and accountability featured in Sunday New York Times front page Business section
June 11, 2012
(Columbia, SC) - Sunday’s New York Times highlighted on the front page of its business section South Carolina State Treasurer Curtis Loftis’ calls for increased ethical standards, disclosure requirements and more meaningful oversight of the investments of our nation's public pension funds.
The facts show that state employees, retirees and taxpayers across the country are not getting maximum value when it comes to public pension plans. For many plans, fees are skyrocketing and there is little transparency and even less accountability. This is simply unacceptable.
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As the article shows, the Treasurer has recently scored taxpayers a big victory by pressing the issue.
According to the Times piece, "Mr. Loftis decided to take a closer look at the fees charged by just one of the state’s dozens of outside fund managers. The examination reduced the state’s fees by $18.1 million, Mr. Loftis said. He added that the fund manager called the difference a “reporting error.”
“When I go to Cracker Barrel for lunch, you give them $8, and they give you lunch and a receipt,” Mr. Loftis said. “But in this world, we’re prepared to pay millions of dollars in fees on somebody else’s word, and we ought to do better than that.”
Treasurer Loftis believes the New York Times story will continue a national discussion on how state governments need to hold Wall Street accountable.
“Pension problems are the largest financial issue facing most states, and pension funds are the largest influx of cash into Wall Street," Treasurer Loftis said. "We deserve to know how our money is being invested. We deserve an exact accounting of all fees and expenses. Many of my fellow State Treasurers are concerned about this issue and this national conversation will cause fees to decrease, and plan returns to increase."
Treasurer Loftis is pushing for greater access to investment contracts and information which are considered confidential. Under such agreements, only a handful of people are allowed to review these files. Excluded from inspecting the files are the lawyers for the Treasurer, Governor and even the Attorney General.
“Pension plans invest the hard earned money of public service employees and taxpayers,” Treasurer Loftis said. “These groups deserve the highest standard of care and a dogged vigilance to transparency and accountability.”