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CalPERS: Even It Bet Wrong On Real Estate

If the nation's largest public pension fund, which prides itself on being savvy, takes a beating in real estate, well, then, who didn't? CalPERS is reaping the bad seed sown in certain deals over the last few years.

This week we learned the fund's nearly $1 billion investment in LandSource is at risk, as that company sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Now the company is reportedly looking at its entire $2 billion portfolio of land holdings, trying to decide which, if any, to unload in this environment. Good luck with that. This as the fund has seen its investment in troubled home builder Standard Pacific go from $20 million to less than $2 million in a couple of years--further diluted by a half billion dollar infusion from MatlinPatterson to keep StanPac afloat. This all happened as the fund's CEO and Chief Investment Officer resigned. The company calls it a coincidence.

Sure, real estate is "only" $22 billion out of CalPERS' $250 billion in investments, but many California state employees are probably struggling to make mortgage payments at the moment. The last thing they need to worry about is their pension fund making bad bets.

EMAILS ON THE OFFICE WORKER WHO WENT BERSERK
Check out the post from Monday on the office worker who just lost it (sounds like they're speaking Russian),

From Ed L.:
"I laughed my (butt) off at the 10 other guys in the room hiding behind the women..."

From Jeffrey F:
"If it was in the US someone would have called 911 and/or onsite security and security or police would have arrived (moreover someone would have been screaming call 911 or call the police or call security or all three...most of the on-lookers would have fled the room as they would not know if the nutcase would not pull out a weapon and start doing injury to others...Everyone standing around and just watching and chattering and taking photos with their cell phones is not realistic..."

From Jason J: "Someone should have told him decaf is the orange handle…"

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