One-Two Punch

I wrote several weeks ago regarding Kip McDaniel’s foresight in his initial ai5000 cover story on the problems brewing in Dubai. Now we know that there were deep-seated debt problems that could only be abated by Abu Dhabi extending a $10B lifeline, with lots of strings attached. This month in the Winter Issue of ai5000, Asset International’s founder Charles Ruffel opens with an editorial on the suit that California Attorney General Jerry Brown has initiated against State Street Bank. He writes:

"Litigation, like castor oil, is a necessary evil–it should be taken out of the cupboard only when reason fails. This is particularly true when attorneys general, generally amid much clamor, brandish the power of their writ in the institutional financial services industry.

The leverage that the threat that such suits can deliver–a threat that can, and sometimes should result in settlement–can be utterly undermined when attorneys general tilt at windmills. The present effort by California Attorney General Jerry Brown to go after State Street for ‘unconscionable fraud’ is purely quixotic. It is based on a farcical misinterpretation of the law."

Charlie delivers a strong left to Jerry Brown’s next run for the state house to succeed the Terminator!

Kip delivers this issue’s knockout cover story, “America’s Pension Hell is in a Little Slice of Heaven: The Puerto Rico Employees Retirement System, America’s worst-funded public pension plan, reeks of competency and a willingness to do what it takes to raise its 15% funding status. Can the rest of the world learn best-in-class practices by looking into this tropical pension abyss?”

You can also read Sara Nelson’s insightful book reviews, “Curse of the Mogul,” by Knee, Greenwald and Seave and “Wired,” by Stibel.

Finally, meet the talented Richard Schwartz, who is usually found in our sister publication in London, The Trade, who contributed “The True Cost of Trading” to this outstanding issue.

In the holiday spirit, we are asking you to recommend a colleague or colleagues that you would like to receive a free subscription to ai5000, with your compliments.

Happy Holidays!