To hedge or not to hedge? by E.J. McMahon | | NYTorch

The $300 billion California Public Employees' Retirement System (Calpers), America's largest public pension fund, is eliminating its $4 billion stake hedge funds due to their "complexity, cost, and the lack of ability to scale," the fund's interim chief investment officer has just announced. But the the $180 billion New York State and Local Retirement System (NYSLRS), the nation's second largest public pension fund, is poised to move in the opposite direction.

Wage law pushes up local infrastructure costs by E.J. McMahon | | NYTorch

New York's local governments are falling behind in "meeting their responsibilities to adequately maintain and improve" their physical infrastructure, says a new report from state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli's office.

However, as the report points out, the problem isn't just a lack of money.

The internal politics of public unions by E.J. McMahon | | NYTorch

Public-sector unions are only "superficially" democratic, often leading them to take positions opposed by a substantial number of their members and to take more interest in retirement benefits for older members than in wages and working conditions, according to a new study.

Eat your heart out, upstate NY by E.J. McMahon | | NYTorch

A Rust Belt industrial "boom" spurred by new energy production is the focus of a front-page story in today's New York Times — highlighting, once again, the sort of growth upstate New York is not experiencing while Governor Andrew Cuomo continues to stall the issuance of regulations allowing hydraulic fracturing to produce shale gas.

“Utica” gas, but Pennsylvania profits by E.J. McMahon | | NYTorch

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There’s been a huge increase in gas production in the Utica shale region, including two highly productive finds just across the New York border in northern Pennsylvania. And so the economic opportunity cost of New York State’s moratorium on shale gas exploration keeps on rising.

Still a bomb in the making by E.J. McMahon | | NYTorch

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It’s no surprise that Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli was able to announce another decrease in the tax-funded employer contribution rates to the state's biggest public pension fund. But the fund remains a bomb in the making.

New Yorkers favor choice by Tim Hoefer | | NYTorch

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A recent online survey asked, "should employees have the right to decide, without force or penalty, whether to join or leave a labor union?"

Nearly 83 percent of New York respondents said yes, they should.