Ex-Silver Pointer, Comptroller Candidate Blasts N.Y. Pension Plan

Jun 15 2010 | 1:15am ET

Former alternative investments executive Harry Wilson has a long way to go if he is to be elected New York state’s comptroller in November. But incumbent Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s fellow Democrats may be conspiring to help the Republican Wilson.

New York Gov. David Paterson—who is not running for reelection—and the state’s Democratic-controlled legislature are working on a controversial plan to close the state’s yawning budget gap by allowing the state and municipalities to effectively borrow from the state’s public pension fund. And Wilson, who worked for Silver Point Partners, the Blackstone Group and Clayton Dubilier & Rice, wasted no time pointing the finger at his opponent.

“Hands off the state pension fund,” Wilson said. “Borrowing against the fund to make up a shortfall is fiscal madness.”

DiNapoli, who initially held his tongue on the plan, has since moved to distance himself from it. “Let me be very clear: The pension fund will not be used to balance the budget.”

“Shame on those individuals who are playing politics, trying to mislead taxpayers and scare members and retirees who rely on the fund for their financial security,” DiNapoli added. “The fund,” the New York State Common Retirement Fund, “is not a political football.”

But Wilson shot back that DiNapoli himself had backed such a plan last year, only to see it defeated in the legislature.

“Our unelected state comptroller’s office is now dubiously suggesting that he has not been briefed on the governor’s proposal, yet he proposed a nearly identical plan himself a year ago,” he said.

Wilson is widely seen as the Republican’s best hope to win a statewide election in heavily Democratic New York. But he trails DiNapoli in the most recent Siena Research Institute poll by 19 percentage points. Still, only 23% of voters want to see DiNapoli, who took over from disgraced former Comptroller Alan Hevesi after he resigned in 2006.


In Depth

Whisky Business: The Ultimate Liquid Alternative Investment

Sep 15 2014 | 7:02am ET

David Robertson knows his single-malt whisky—he was the Master Distiller at the...

Lifestyle

Hedgies Rock Out For Children's Charity

Sep 15 2014 | 8:40am ET

It's that time of year again—when hedgies trade in their spreadsheets for guitars...

Guest Contributor

Volkered: How Financial Sector Reforms are Creating Opportunities for Hedge Funds

Sep 16 2014 | 11:28am ET

New regulations have dramatically curtailed proprietary trading activity in investment...

 

Editor's Note

    Get A Sneak Peak Of The Alpha Pages

    Aug 25 2014 | 11:21am ET

    As many of you know, FINalternatives was recently acquired by the owners of Futures magazine, a firm called The Alpha Pages LLC. Today marks the soft-launch of a new sister site for both publications. As its name suggests, The Alpha Pages will cover all types of alternative investments, going far beyond the more well-known ones such as hedge funds and private equity. Read more…

 

Futures Magazine

September 2014 Cover

The London Whale: Rogue risk management

The London Whale saga is a twist on the typical rogue trader story as the rogue trader recognized the error of his ways and was prepared to take his medicine but was instructed by superiors to “defe...

The Alpha Pages

TAP July/August 2014 Cover

The Alpha Pages Interview: Senator Rand Paul

Senator Paul sat down in the debut series of the Alpha Pages Interview to discuss the broken tax code, regulation surrounding Bitcoin, and his plans for the 2016 Presidential election.