Sunday, March 8, 2009

How to deal with bad news

As of December 31, 2008 the assets of the five NYC pension funds were worth $82.5B.

After being pressed by the media the Comptroller released a statement at 4:30 PM on Friday, February 6, 2008. In a one line sentence the Comptroller let the world know that the funds had lost $12.5B in the last three months of 2008.

He then in a following sentence stated that his diversification had shielded us from crippling losses and positioned us to better weather this downturn.

He followed that up with a list of the names and titles of everyone of the 46 trustees of the five pension funds. The mayor is mentioned twice, his Finance Commissioner four times, and his Police, Fire and Education Commissioners once each. He wanted to make sure the mayor got full credit for the outstanding job.

It was John F. Kennedy who said, "Success has many fathers. Failure is an orphan." It's good to know that this was a success and not a failure.

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