CalPERS takes the really long view

Posted by: Peter Carbonara on July 22

Putting the best possible face on terrible financial news is something investor relations departments have had to get good at over the last year. Submitted for your approval, California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS)’s announcement yesterday of preliminary investment performance for the year ended June 30.

CalPERS conceded that the 23.4 percent haircut it took was the fund’s “most severe single year decline” (or as the folks at Dow Jones’ Private Equity Beat blog neatly summarized: “Worst. Year. Ever.”) Total assets fell from $237.1 billion last year to $180.9 billion. Still CalPERS chose to accentuate the positive (and also not mess with Mr. Medium-term Return )by pointing out that “even with this decline, its long term 20-year investment return remained positive at 7.75 percent.”

In the same “Stocks for the Long Run” vein, chief investment officer Joe Dear was quoted saying, “This result is not a suprise … The good news is we have the opportunity to capture future retuns because of our long-term investment horizon.” Of course, if your investment horizon is essentially “forever” then nothing short of a meteor destroying the Earth would qualify as a “material adverse event.”

Let’s start a collection of awful annual performance releases couched in reassuring language. Anybody seen a particularly choice one?

Reader Comments

rick arvielo

July 22, 2009 04:21 PM

A very optimistic way of looking at things

http://www.rickarvielo.com

Bob Kratchet

July 22, 2009 04:22 PM

The biggest baddest communist group in the world. Couldn't happen to a better bunch of thugs!

trustee

July 22, 2009 05:07 PM

They act and talk this way right up to the point of quietly requesting a bailout from govt. and not a minute before.

Chuck Brooks

July 23, 2009 09:09 AM

Easy for government drones at CalPERS to take a long view: It's not their money, and they know they can always get more where that came from. Failure is its own reward.
Chuck Brooks
FutureWare SCG

Chuck Brooks

July 23, 2009 09:09 AM

Easy for government drones at CalPERS to take a long view: It's not their money, and they know they can always get more where that came from. Failure is its own reward.
Chuck Brooks
FutureWare SCG

Thank you for your interest. This blog is no longer active.

 

About

BusinessWeek's Adrienne Carter, Jessica Silver-Greenberg, and David Henry deconstruct the mysteries of high finance, Wall Street, and hedge funds for pros and ordinary investors. E-mail them directly if you've got tips about big deals, a hedge fund, or even securities industry gossip.

BW Mall - Sponsored Links

Buy a link now!