Do California Teachers Know They're Investing in Keystone?Topic: School News
According to The Daily Ticker, the California State Teachers Retirement System has sent a letter to Facebook as a potential investor in the company complaining about how much voting control founder Mark Zuckerberg has. While Zuckerberg's control of Facebook is what The Daily Ticker's post is about, I found myself fascinated more about the notion of the California State Teachers Retirement System and who it invests in.
According to CalSTRS website, it is the nation's second-largest pension fund and it has assets of more than 144.8 billion. CalSTRS membership and beneficiaries as of 2010 were 852,316 and its total benefit payments were $9.4 billion. $67.06 billion was invested in global equity in 2010. The list of companies those investments involve is massive. And there are some very familiar names. Perhaps what is most interesting is the teachers' seemingly large interest in oil.
Do the teachers in California know their pension fund invests in TransCanada? CalSTRS has more than $44 million invested in the company. TransCanada is owner of the Keystone XL pipeline -- the same pipeline the Obama administration denied a construction permit for and the Republicans in Congress are vowing will be approved.
Are teachers in California big fans of Pakistan's oil industry? According to CalSTRS list, it has $17 million of the retirement fund tied up in stocks with two Pakistani oil companies.
It would appear the teachers in California really like the energy industry overall. There are a slew of stocks of international companies involved in oil, uranium and mineral extraction held by CalSTRS totaling millions of dollars, and on the U.S. side, with names such as Exxon (of which CalSTRS owns over $1 billion worth of stock), Cabot, Peabody and Halliburton.
While energy is not the only thing the pension fund is invested in, companies in the industries of oil and gas, uranium, coal and solar certainly see a share of the wealth of the California State Teachers Retirement System.