As the nation's largest public pension fund, CalPERS has a particular responsibility to continually strive to invest in ways that not only unequivocally meet its fiduciary obligations, but also strengthen our economy and society.
For the sake of current and future teachers - not to mention the kids they serve - K-12 educators and their union representatives would do well to seriously consider the defined contribution model that has served higher education so well.
We are accountable for our decisions, our investments, our respect for law, and our moral choices. Every day would seem, then, to be a moving calculation of multiple accountabilities - a ledger of life, with surpluses and, yes, deficits.
Sam Levenson once observed, "The reason grandparents and grandchildren get along so well is that they have a common enemy." The same could be said for a new alliance between groups who have often been at odds: large institutional shareholders and corporate directors.
Doctors and hospitals are businesses after all, and account for 50 percent of our health care cost (see chart below). Besides, what kind of business either doesn't know or won't tell you what it charges for standard goods or services? I ask this as a small business owner myself.
Around the country, Americans are not only lobbying their Congressmembers to support legislation to reduce gun violence, they are also voting with their dollars -- through pension funds, government purchasing policies, and university endowments.
Impact investing is likely to be difficult. It may even be costly, requiring the support of dedicated internal resources. But it is prudent and it is worth every dime. Clients are demanding it. Fund beneficiaries, and their communities, are counting on it.
The budget woes of Wisconsin and other states were not caused by overspending on employee benefits. The "cure" is to get credit flowing again in the local economy, and this can be done by using state assets to capitalize state-owned banks.