Apr 11, 2017

Country's largest pension fund plans big changes

When Real Desrochers stepped down suddenly last week as head of private equity at the California Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS), we noted that the nation's largest public pension was being kind of cagey about his eventual successor. It named an interim head (Desrochers deputy Sarah Corrs), but no official search process. Now we know why:

The news: Per board meeting documents published yesterday, CalPERS investment staff (read: CIO Ted Eliopoulos) is recommending that the systems's $26 billion private equity program be merged with the public equities program.

What's coming: More details will be disclosed during upcoming board meetings, but it sounds like CalPERS is thinking about adopting more of a Canadian pension strategy of big direct investments (as opposed to solely being a passive investor in PE funds). Perhaps, then, it's not surprising that a source tells Axios that Eliopoulos has been spending lots of time lately with BlackRock, the current home of Mark Wiseman ― who is largely credited with developing the direct investment strategy while leading the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board

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House Democrats lose appeal to force McGahn testimony

Photo: Alex Wong / Staff

Democrats in the House lost an appeal to force former White House counsel Don McGahn to comply with a subpoena, Politico was the first to report.

Why it matters: McGahn was seen as a crucial witness in the House investigation into whether President Trump tried to obstruct the Mueller inquiry. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled 2-1 on Friday that it did not have the authority to resolve the dispute between the executive and legislative branches.

The Americans who can't hide from coronavirus

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The stock markets are in bad shape, but for the millions of Americans who aren’t invested in stocks, coronavirus is presenting a far more imminent concern.

Why it matters: Quarantines usually work with at least 90% participation, but many Americans lack the flexibility to work remotely, take a sick day or absorb having schools close.

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Wall Street notches worst week for stocks since 2008

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photo: Scott Heins/Getty Images

Stocks closed down about 1% on Friday, ending the worst week for Wall Street since the financial crisis.

Why it matters: The stretch of declines came after a spike in coronavirus cases around the world earlier this week. The steep losses prompted questions about the fate of the record-long economic expansion, as well as a rare statement from the Federal Reserve.

Go deeper: The growing coronavirus recession threat