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The Richest Man In The World? New York State's Comptroller
December 27th, 2006

In a column in the New York Sun entitled
Control The Comptroller, Herbert London, a former candidate for the office, focuses on the potential for corruption in the office of New York State Comptroller .

“If asked, ‘Who is the richest man in the world?’ likely responses might be the Sultan of Brunei, Bill Gates, or Warren Buffett, but the correct answer is…the New York State comptroller, for he has unilateral control of a $145 billion pension fund.”

What sole control has meant is that the comptroller decides which companies manage the assets of the fund and collect high and easy commissions for doing so. Not coincidentally, those very firms have been responsible for most of the campaign contributions to the comptroller.

“A correlation between commissions and campaign contributions is undeniable,” London writes. “What is at stake… is far more egregious than the roughly $200,000 of taxpayer money Hevesi used for limousine transportation and household services to assist his wife… [T]he fund should not be used as a way to solicit campaign contributions.”

London suggests that New York do what most states have already done and “follow the practice of California, where that state’s legislature monitors the California Pension Fund, the largest pension fund in the country.”

By on December 27, 2006, 6:40 am
In category: Public Finance | 7 Comments »

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