Monday, June 11, 2012
South Carolina’s Pension Push Into High-Octane Investments
MANY mornings, the yellow Lamborghini would swing into view, sweep past tree-softened streets with a low, smooth rumble and throttle down outside an office near the State House downtown.
Behind the wheel was a financier named Robert L. Borden. Around Columbia, a city decidedly more Ford than Lamborghini, his exotic supercar gave him the air of a Wall Street hotshot. In truth, Mr. Borden was a civil servant — a very highly paid one. Until recently, he was the investment chief of South Carolina’s giant public pension system.
It turns out that Mr. Borden liked his investments the way he liked his cars. Which is to say,
. With the help of some big names on Wall Street and a nod from officials here, he transformed this state’s go-slow public pension system into one of the most high-octane in the nation. So far, though, the results have been mixed. The long-term consequences — for retirees, public workers and taxpayers here — are as yet unknown.