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Pension Fund Politics: The Dangers of Socially Responsible Investing (Business Economics) Paperback – January 4, 2006

2.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jon Entine, AEI and Miami University, Ohio; Jarol B. Manheim, George Washington University; Alicia H. Munnell, Boston College; Charles E. Rounds Jr., Suffolk University Law School and American College of Trust and Estate Counsel; Annika Sunden, Boston College.
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Product Details

  • Series: Business Economics
  • Paperback: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Aei Press (January 4, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 084474218X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0844742182
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 0.4 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,872,606 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
I bought "Pension Fund Politics" in an attempt to balance the views expressed in another purchase, "Socially Responsible Investing". Balance and revelation are not quite what I found in this little tome. For example, Entine's introductory chapter asks, "Should we encourage public pension funds to boycott tobacco companies, natural resource firms that do not embrace global warming initiatives, or firms that utilize genetic engineering in agriculture ... ?" Yes. I'd say a pretty clear yes to that.
In the second essay, Munnell and Sunden conclude with "The primary goal of investing retirement funds ... should be achieving the maximum returns for a given level of risk." According to each of our values, I think these words speak clearly for themselves.
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Format: Paperback
The idea of corporate executives looting and mishandling pension funds (defined benefit programs) and harming their retiree's sickens all of us. Those that abuse these trusts (sacred trusts, in my book) should be punished. And if the law can't get them, they deserve every bit of public opprobrium we can send their way. However, it is vital to realize that the boardroom is not the only threat to pension fund well being. This book talks about the threat from those who would use the treasury of the funds they have been entrusted to administer for political and social engineering ends; too often at the cost of the people who depend on that money for their retirement.

This book consists of four essays; each discussing a different aspect of the ways in which the politicization of the administration and investing of pension funds puts the beneficiaries (actually, owners) of the funds at risk. While the book does not claim that pension funds are currently at risk of failing because of this activity, it does point out the ways in which such activities are costing retirees millions upon millions of dollars. That some claim this is small potatoes compared to the billions under management shows the danger of this collectivist mindset. If those millions are measured against each individual retiree, how many pensions are effectively squandered? That it might be claimed it is only pennies is beside the point. Whose pennies and dollars and tens of millions of dollars are being co-opted to indulge someone else's agenda?

The first essay by the editor, Jon Entine, lays out the nature and scope of the problem. While still small, the Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) movement is a disturbing trend.
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