Buy Me a Beer

Here's where I shamelessly beg for patronage. If you like what I'm doing, I dunno, maybe buy me a beer? I need your shares and tweets too! Thanks for reading.

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If you've ever been arrested on a drug charge, if you've ever spent even a day in jail for having a stem of marijuana in your pocket or "drug paraphernalia" in your gym bag, Assistant Attorney General and longtime Bill Clinton pal Lanny Breuer has a message for you: Bite me.

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."

Readers may recall an ugly story that broke earlier this summer, when New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman rebuked the news/business information firm Thomson Reuters for selling access to key economic survey data two seconds early to high-frequency algorithmic traders. The story strongly suggested that some Thomson Reuters customers were using their two-second head start (an eternity in the modern world of computerized trading) to front-run the markets.