Sacramento, Minneapolis, St. Louis
Teachers’ retirement fund to divest from gun makers
The nation’s largest teacher pension fund took the first step Wednesday toward divesting from companies that make guns and high-capacity ammunition magazines that are illegal in California.
State Treasurer Bill Lockyer made a motion to begin the divestment process after pension fund officials determined that the fund invests in the owner of a company that manufactured one of the weapons used in the Connecticut school shooting. The California State Teachers’ Retirement System’s investment committee unanimously approved the motion.
The pension fund has investments in private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP, which owns the manufacturer of an assault weapon used at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. The pension fund also owns shares of Sturm, Ruger & Co. and Smith & Wesson Holding Corp., two publicly traded gun-makers.
Then what? Where do they expect to park that money to find anything close to a return? I really don’t anticipate that much outside of firearms stocks and American T-Bills will be shakin’ in 2013. Maybe that’s the answer: I can see Obama’s hand in the background here. Maybe he wants CalSTRS to park all its money in T-Bills.
Strangely, Cerberus is in the news locally today, too. SuperValu, the Minneapolis-based supermarket chain that owns the Shop n Save locations in and around St. Louis, as well as all Save-a-Lots, is going to sell most supermarket chains it owns to Cerberus, but not SnS or SAL. With last year’s droughts expected to jack food sky high, food might be another good business to be in at least temporarily in spite of it being a low margin business otherwise. This means that because it will be involved in both food and guns, Cerberus at least through much of 2013 will be rolling in money. Yet, CalSTRS doesn’t want to be invited to that party.
A certain someone reading these words should probably put off those retirement plans for a few more years.