Alabama Economic Woes

The crisis has lowered the value of
state pension fund, reduced earnings in a plan to send students to
college and eaten up more than $100 million of a state budget that
pays for prisons, state troopers and Medicaid.
But state officials says the long-term financial outlook of
these government operations is still sound. The most obvious impact
could be to the Retirement System of Alabama.
The RSA pension fund's values are down 8 percent to 12 percent
because of the turmoil on Wall Street. The pension funds total
about $32 billion.
But RSA chief David Bronner says the Alabama fund is in better
shape than most because of a conservative and diversified
investment plan.
RSA has invested in or owns golf courses across Alabama,
newspapers and broadcast stations and even a large New York City
office building.
Bronner says the different investments help in a huge way.
He also says the losses this year follow the RSA's gains of
about 17 percent the previous year.


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