The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation is the federal agency that insures YOUR pension. It collects insurance premiums from all the private pensions, and holds them in reserve to cover some of the losses if things go bad so you get at least some of your money.
But under Bush, they decided — just as the stock market started to drop — to put most of the money into stocks. It had been in bonds. See Pension insurer shifted to stocks – The Boston Globe,
Just months before the start of last year’s stock market collapse, the federal agency that insures the retirement funds of 44 million Americans departed from its conservative investment strategy and decided to put much of its $64 billion insurance fund into stocks.
This wasn’t stupid — it was most likely a way to enrich certain friends of The Party, buying from them just as the bottom fell out. We need to look at the specific beneficiaries of this money to find out.
There are many instances of Bush and other Republicans putting government money into enriching friends by buying up the problems just as their own holdings became worthless. For example, under Jeb Bush Florida put state pension money into Enron stock just as Enron started to collapse.
In 2005 I wrote “If you live in a state where Republicans run things, this might be a good time to see if the money is still there.” Now we’re finding out that applies to countries, too.
(And never forget that Bush gave the contract for filling the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to Koch Oil, a funder of a lot of the right’s organizational infrastructure. They also used government money to buy high and sold low.)
Anyway, here’s the thing. Direct corruption or ideologically-driven incompetence, either way… Republicans understand how to pound a point home and teach the larger lesson. This is just one more thing that drives home the point about how conservative ideology is harmful to people. Drudge has giant headlines for any smallest example of something that reinforces an ongoing narrative that liberals are socialists, etc., always teaching the larger lesson. We need to learn how to explain to the general public why progressive values and policies are better for them than conservatives. Especially now when the lesson can be taught so clearly. This story should be all over the place.