This just makes me furious. There is no excuse for this.
A ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee has proposed legislation that would allow public pension funds to buy preferred stock from ailing U.S. banks, prompting apprehension from public pension plan trustees.
The legislation introduced by Rep. Gary Ackerman, D-N.Y., offers public pension funds a guaranteed rate of return in exchange for buying the preferred stock, or for loaning the government their money to loosen the credit freeze.
"By guaranteeing public employee pension fund investments in financial institutions, the federal government will use its balance sheet as a way to inject much needed funds into the nation's banking system rather than using more public money," the New York Democrat said.
However, trustees of pension funds for teachers, police officers, firemen, and state and local municipality workers are fretful that the attractive arrangement could lead to some government restrictions on funds down the road.
Easing the economic downturn and mitigating the use of taxpayer dollars to achieve that has caused lawmakers and financial regulators to propose unconventional ways to deal with the financial crisis.
Ackerman said there is roughly $250 billion to $300 billion in total public pension fund assets that's "just sitting out there."
"Just sitting out there"?!? Have you lost your frickin mind?