Thursday, October 14, 2010

Reckless Alexi and Bright Start: The Lies Continue

He didn't just mismanage his now taxpayer bailed out family bank, which funded loans to mob-linked felons fueled with pricey hot money deposits, he recklessly pursued risky investments with Illinois parents' college dollars. Some investors seek high-risk, high-reward funds--but this was not appropriate for these college funds--they were not presented to parents that way--and Alexi went ahead anyway. (Is Alexi Giannoulias, a predatory state Treasurer?). Tribune:

As the economy began its meltdown in 2008, Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias was faced with a dilemma over the state's college savings plan for families.

Giannoulias had made revitalizing the underperforming program a key component in his successful 2006 campaign, and the investment firm he selected to turn around Bright Start was making positive changes. But the fund manager also made a decision to heavily invest in volatile securities tied to the housing market.

Documents and e-mails recently obtained by the Tribune under the state's open records law show the rookie treasurer and his staff were concerned early on about the aggressive move by OppenheimerFunds Inc. in what was supposed to be a more conservative fund in the Bright Start program.

But at each turn Giannoulias stuck with the firm's strategy, even as the housing market soured and losses accelerated.

Read on. He's still lying about this. I'll call it lies. Savage is more polite.

Sun Times financial columnist Terry Savage is livid at his shading the truth on Bright Start at every stage and the fact that he still retains Oppenheimer to handle the fund. This was back in August:

Listen to the full interview here

Key Excerpts:

Starting at 5:30: “Everything [Giannoulias] said about [Bright Start’s] losses was an absolute, outright, disingenuous statement, if not a lie. The fact of the matter is, Bright Start’s losses in this one safe, alternative fund had nothing whatsoever to do with the stock market or the economy….

“…Similar funds that were investing in similar safe instruments actually made money during this period as money rushed to the safe alternatives that they invested in. But these guys invested in derivatives and all kinds of wild speculations that hit this one fund particularly hard…”

What would Alexi Giannoulias do in Washington as a Senator? Will he cut spending, safeguard taxpayer dollars, or recklessly pile up debt and be less than transparent with us while doing it.

You know the answer Illinois.

More. UPI: Ill. college savings plan a campaign issue:

OppenheimerFunds Inc. had put part of the money into risky, complicated investments instead of conservative assets, and the fund -- one of 21 into which Bright Start invested -- lost $150 million in 2008 amid the general financial meltdown.

Giannoulias's handling of the Bright Start program is now a major campaign issue in the tight Senate race for the seat held by Roland Burris.

Alexi still hasn't fired Oppenheimer.

"Our office was concerned, upset, with the performance of that fund and wanted an explanation," Giannoulias told the Tribune. "We pressed hard on Oppenheimer. They continued to reassure our office that their strategy was appropriately positioned especially when the markets restabilized."
Hahaha. What a joke of an explanation, one in a long series of ludicrous excuses. He didn't pull the plug on a reckless investment, he didn't pull the plug on a reckless firm.

And he's still lying about it.

Pull the plug on Alexi, Illinois.

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