Friday, 29 June 2012

NYC pension funds in the hands of Al Gore - probably not very smart

If I were a present or future New York City pensioner, this piece of news would definitively not cheer me up:  

Embattled city Comptroller John Liu has delivered a $16.56 million contract to the former vice president's environmentally-friendly investment firm, Generation Investment Management, to help manage hundreds of millions of dollars in city pension funds, the New York Post has learned. 

The Comptroller's Office had previously awarded Gore's firm $12.8 million in pension-fund business under Liu's predecessor, Bill Thompson. 

Since 2009, state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli has approved $6 million in contracts to the firm, co-founded and chaired by Gore. Generation now manages nearly a half-billion dollars of state pension-fund investments, records show. 

Bill Gunderson, the owner of Gunderson Capital Management, is - rightly - not impressed by Al Gore´s "green" business or green investments in general: 

I'm sorry if I am as skeptical of Al's financial acumen as I am of his meteorological expertise. But green investments are terrible performers.
More than a year ago I told my clients and readers to 'sell everything under the sun.' I shorted First Solar, America's largest solar manufacturer.
The stock was at $120. Today is at $14.
Line 'em up: The green energy cars, green battery companies, green solar, green wind, green you name it: They are toxic to a portfolio. Unless of course you short them.
Four years ago, the Solar Index -- TAN -- was $307 a share. Today is is $19.
The Wind Index was $31 a share. Today it is $6.
Vestas Wind was $25 in 2009. Today is $1.70.
The list of lousy green stocks is just about the closest thing we have to an infinite renewable resource.
Curious how almost all of investments in green energy that Al would make for public employees require public subsidies and regulatory relief from the same people who are investing in the technology.
These are also the people who issue the numbers on Green Job growth. If you drive a bus, you have a green job. If you push a broom at the bus station, you have a green job. If you type a memo to the bus drive, you have a green job.
Remember that the next time some green broker tells you about the growth in the hundreds of thousands of green jobs in this country.
Months before President Obama made his now infamous visit to Solyndra, I wrote about how Solyndra was 'not a going concern' in several papers throughout the country.
A lot of people in the investment business knew it. If any reporters did, they did not see fit to share it with us. Maybe they were in it for the long term.
But the money still poured in.
That is green investing: If it feels good, do it. If you can brag about it at a dinner party, tell your broker to buy it. If Al Gore likes it, that's all you need to know.
But if your state pension fund actually needs the money, don't.

Read the entire article here

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