Calpers Prepares To LBO California, Or At Least Create The Scariest TBTF Monster Ever Conceived
File this one under the category of "creating TBTF Frankensteins" - Reuters has reported that as part of arranging rescue pre-petition financing for the broke state of California, Arnie is now in discussions for a $2 billion loan from Calpers which will help close the state's $19 billion budget deficit by about 8%. Of course, the balance would come from the FHA, or Goldman, both of which will see this as a lucrative mezz-IRR type toehold investment (with no downside, remember - there is no risk if you work for the government or are Goldman) in the world's 7th biggest economy. Of course, we jest about the latter. For now. What is truly ironic is that Calpers itself is in no danger of every being able to fund its own future pension obligations, which means this is merely a way to intertwine Calpers and the state of California, creating the most ridiculous TBTF public-private behemoth ever seen, which would mean that the collapse of either would be promptly preempted with more Federal taxpayer dollars. Well played, Ahhhnold, well played.
California's $211 billion pension fund for public employees has been speaking with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's administration about providing it a $2 billion loan to help close the state government's $19 billion budget gap, a spokesman said on Wednesday.
The spokesman for the California Public Employees' Retirement System, best known as Calpers, said the talks about the loan plan, proposed by Schwarzenegger, are informal and that it is uncertain the fund can lend the money.
"We do have significant concerns about legal issues and actuarial soundness issues," the spokesman added.
California's state government is in its 77th day without a budget for its fiscal year that began on July 1 and analysts expect the impasse over a spending plan between Democrats and Republicans in the state capital of Sacramento may last several more weeks.
What is unclear is whether as part of the "efficiency streamlining" operation, Calpers will also follow California's example and issue IOUs to its millions of pensioners.