Feb 7, 2017

Anti-tobacco policy has cost California pensioners bigly

The California Public Employees' Retirement System, America's largest public pension system, has lost out on nearly $3.7 billion through its 16 year-old decision to divest from tobacco companies, according to new documents.

Background: CalPERS originally agreed to divest from tobacco in 2000 on public health grounds, but continued to allow third-party managers to retain existing positions (a policy that was reversed at the end of 2016).

Impact: Pension advisor Wilshire Associates reports that the cumulative loss of the tobacco divestment policy was $3.68 billion through the end of last June. That is substantially more than the system's divestments in firearms ($7 million loss) or in Iran and Sudan ($293 million gain). The only larger divestment-related loss for CalPERS was in South Africa, which cost the system $4.94 billion.

Context: CalPERS reports around $308 billion in current assets under management.

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The growing coronavirus recession threat

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

In just a matter of weeks, top economists and investment bank analysts have gone from expecting the coronavirus outbreak to have minimal impact on the U.S. economy to warning that an outright recession may be on the horizon.

What's happening: The spread of confirmed coronavirus cases in Europe, the Middle East and the U.S., and the speed at which they are being discovered has set the table for the outbreak to have a larger and much costlier impact.

Mass shooting in Milwaukee: What we know

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in 2012. Photo: John Gress/Corbis via Getty Images

Six people died in a shooting at the Molson Coors Brewing Company in Milwaukee on Wednesday, including the gunman, Mayor Tom Barrett told reporters at a Wednesday evening press conference with local police.

Details: All of the victims worked at the brewery complex, as did the shooter who died of "an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound," police confirmed in a statement late Wednesday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus updates: South Korea case count tops 2,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

33 people in California have tested positive for the coronavirus, and health officials are monitoring 8,400 people who have recently returned from "points of concern," Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,850 people and infected over 83,000 others in some 50 countries and territories. The novel coronavirus is now affecting every continent but Antarctica, and the WHO said Wednesday the number of new cases reported outside China has exceeded those inside the country for the first time.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 8 hours ago - Health