As a gubernatorial candidate, Chris Christie blasted then-Governor Jon Corzine for using high risk “alternative investment” strategies for New Jersey pension funds. But once Christie became governor, his appointees doubled the allocation of pensions going to “alternatives” like hedge funds, says Nation contributing writer Lee Fang on All In with Chris Hayes. Only now, the hedge funds where pension money is invested include ones run by major contributors to Christie's political campaigns. “They’ve received millions of dollars in fees regardless of the performance of their funds, so they’re helping Chris Christie’s political career and receiving a lot of money,” Fang says. Even leaving politics aside, "alternatives" probably aren't the best pension investment strategy, Fang adds. Drawing on his article in The Nation, he notes that research on both the right and the left shows pension funds perform better with more conservative investment strategies than with alternatives like hedge funds. What's more, "hedge funds and other alternative investments have huge fees associated with them, so even when they do return a high value, that’s eaten away by these fees.”
Justine Drennan