Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Mass. Workers Pension Takes it in the Fannie, Freddie!

Please see: Mass. Pension Fund Goes Pfffft! and The Massachusetts Piggy-Bank.

And not only that, the fund was MISMANAGED by the STATE HIRE!!!

"Pension fund has millions at stake; State pool cut Freddie holdings" by Beth Healy, Globe Staff | September 9, 2008

The Massachusetts state workers' pension fund has lost about $25 million on Freddie Mac stock and has another $27 million at risk in the government takeover of Freddie and its sister company, Fannie Mae, a fund official said.

The fund also owns $238 million in the bonds of the two companies, which could partially offset the stock losses. The bonds rallied yesterday on the rescue plan.

But the $51.3 billion state fund is taking its lumps on the companies' stocks. In early August, the pension fund fired Legg Mason Inc. portfolio manager Bill Miller for poor performance - but not soon enough to avoid $25 million in losses on his Freddie Mac holdings. By the end of July, the value of the state's Freddie Mac holdings in Miller's Legg Mason Value Trust had fallen to $10 million from $35 million, according to the fund's executive director, Michael Travaglini. And it's likely that some or all of the remaining $10 million has been lost since Aug. 6, when the pension board voted to stop doing business with Miller's fund.

The pension fund had a total of $680 million with Miller, Travaglini said, but, "We finally ended the Bill Miller experiment."

Isn't it nice that YOUR RETIREMENT was an EXPERIMENT to the Travaglini crook?

Did you see the Massachusetts Piggy-Bank?

Miller had continued to bet on Freddie's comeback through July. According to a regulatory filing, Legg Mason funds owned 12.4 percent of Freddie Mac's common stock on July 31, or nearly 80 million shares. That was up from 53 million shares on June 30. Legg Mason declined to comment yesterday on Miller's behalf.

Other firms managing the state's money also had believed Freddie and Fannie would pull through without government intervention. Index funds manage $6 million in Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae stock for the pension fund. And the state has $11 million in the preferred stock of the mortgage concerns in a high-yield fund managed by Boston's Loomis, Sayles & Co.