Issue #283

Warren Buffett’s warning to SF spotlights the dangers of Wall Street’s “alternative investment” schemes

Investor Warren Buffett

Buffett

As the process of financializing the American economy accelerates, high-flying private equity executives, venture capitalists, and hedge fund managers are increasingly reaching their tentacles into everything. From tech to energy to health care, you name the sector and a so-called alternative investment company and its profit-taking fees are usually lurking somewhere in corporate financial statements. Yet, as inexorable as this all seems, there is now a growing debate over whether or not it is appropriate for lawmakers to continue using more public money to support the trend. And San Francisco suddenly finds itself squarely in the middle of the fracas. In the data-obsessed Bay Area, the wide divergence in public investment strategies have prompted an empirical question: which strategy is the most prudent for governments, taxpayers and retirees? David Sirota, Pando Daily, 6-17-14.