April 17, 2013 |
BOSTON - Lu Lingzi learned Sunday that she had passed a major exam for her studies at Boston University. The next morning, the test and a major project behind her, the 23-year-old Chinese graduate student and two friends headed over to watch the Boston Marathon. They chose spots near the finish line. Hours later, two bombs exploded there. It was midafternoon in Boston, the middle of the night in China. As hours ticked by and Lu still hadn't called, her parents and grandparents grew panicked.
January 24, 2012 |
The nation's largest public pension fund, the California Public Employees' Retirement System, posted a 1.1% return on its investment portfolio in 2011, Chief Investment Officer Joseph Dear told his board. The 2011 performance was well below the estimated average annual return of 7.75% that the fund's actuaries say is needed to meet current and future obligations to its members. The $229.5-billion CalPERS provides retirement and other benefits for 1.6 million state and local government employees and their families.
July 20, 2010 |
For the first time in three years, California's second-largest public pension fund reported positive annual earnings. The $130-billion California State Teachers' Retirement System posted a 12.3% return Monday for the fiscal year that ended June 30, a step toward recovering from steep losses during the recession. The CalSTRS portfolio lost 25% of its value in its previous fiscal year and dropped 3% for the 2008 fiscal year. "We've taken steps to position the portfolio for long-term growth, but we're not out of the woods yet," said Christopher J. Ailman, CalSTRS' chief investment officer.
July 15, 2010 |
David Axene was flat on his back in a hospital bed with a swollen left leg. His kidneys had shut down. His blood pressure had plunged. Doctors pumped him with potent antibiotics to stave off a deadly infection. Yet there he was sifting through spreadsheets on his laptop, cradling his cellphone to his ear, waving off doctors to finish another conference call. California's top insurance watchdogs had hired Axene to scour Anthem Blue Cross' files for any flaw in the voluminous paperwork that accompanied its rate hikes of up to 39%. Anthem's plan to impose higher premiums March 1 had outraged consumers and politicians alike.
April 13, 2010 |
Thousands of worried Californians who buy individual insurance policies from Anthem Blue Cross will soon learn whether they face rate increases of up to 39% that were put on hold for two months amid a public outcry that helped revive national healthcare legislation. California's largest for-profit health insurer agreed to postpone the increases for many of its 800,000 individual policyholders until May 1 while an outside actuary, appointed by state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner, evaluated its spending practices.
January 29, 2010 |
Another pension alarm bell is ringing in Sacramento, this time at the teachers retirement system, where the nation's second-largest public pension fund is reporting a $43-billion shortfall. The California State Teachers' Retirement System said that as of June 30, 2009, it could meet only an estimated 77% of its future pension obligations -- far less than the 100% recommended by actuaries. Known as CalSTRS, the fund took a big hit during the 2008-09 fiscal year, losing a quarter of its value.