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State pension board made expensive bet on hedge funds

Philly.com – Back in 2006, the Pennsylvania State Employees Retirement System (SERS) and its board, headed by ex-state Rep. Nicholas Maiale (D., Phila.), gave more than $3 billion to six private investment firms so they could use it to buy high-priced hedge fund investments, in hopes of fat profits.

The goal was to beat the sluggish stock and bond markets and ease the system’s deficit, which had been growing since Gov. Tom Ridge boosted pensions in 2001 but failed to pay for the increase.

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