It’s a Start

Maryland just passed a law requiring that the state pension fund publicly report all fees charged to it by Wall Street.

While this is not my preferred solution, I would prefer the Banksters be kicked out of public pensions completely, but I think that this is a step to that path:

A new Maryland law requires greater transparency in disclosing millions of dollars in fees paid by the state’s pension system to Wall Street investment firms.

The Maryland State Retirement and Pension System has reported paying about $370 million annually in fees to the firms that invest its $51 billion in assets.

But the real amount of fees paid is anywhere from $460 million to $570 million. That’s because so-called “carried interest fees” — a cut of the Maryland fund’s profits that goes to the outside investment managers — have not been not disclosed publicly.

That’s about to change.

At one point, the legislation sought to cap the amount of fees the firms could charge the pension system, but it was amended to become a bill requiring greater disclosure. Both chambers of the General Assembly passed the revised bipartisan legislation unanimously and Republican Gov. Larry Hogan signed it into law.

The pension system now must publicly disclose the amount it pays in carried interest fees by the end of each calendar year. The first report, due Dec. 31, will include the fees from fiscal years 2015 through 2019.

It’s a start.

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