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Looting Public Pensions: A New Think-Tank Study

So we have a new feature out today, "Looting the Pension Funds," that looks at the blame game being played with state and municipal fiscal crises and the hiring of ultra-expensive "alternative investments" like hedge funds as a key trend in an evolving pension reform movement. The story looks at the role in the organized nationwide "pension reform" movement played by right-wing financiers like former Enron billionaire John Arnold and fee-hungry Wall Street honchos like Third Point billionaire Dan Loeb.

In his latest article for Rolling Stone, Matt Taibbi reports that Wall Street firms are now making millions in profits off of public pension funds nationwide. "Essentially it is a wealth transfer from teachers, cops and firemen to billionaire hedge funders," Taibbi says. "Pension funds are one of the last great, unguarded piles of money in this country and there are going to be all sort of operators that are trying to get their hands on that money."

In a post at his blog, New York Times columnist and award-winning economist Paul Krugman argues that while it may appear the rich want to destroy all forms of government, that isn’t the case. What they really want to do, Krugman writes, is destroy all forms of government that don’t benefit themselves.