In the annals of bad timing, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation's decision to put much of its $64 billion insurance fund into stocks last year, as the Boston Globe reports, must rank pretty high. The federal agency insures the retirement funds of 44 million Americans and now owes more in pension obligations than it has. But according to Charles Millard, the former director who implemented the strategy, "the new investment policy is not riskier than the old one." (The agency's big stock losses were first reported back in October.)
Also, the Center for Public Integrity's PaperTrail blog got its hands on an Excel document that was circulated in Congress in 2007 and shows earmarks requested by members of the House of Representatives. What's notable is that the file was created by "ken" of "The PMA Group," the now-defunct lobbying shop tied to Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) and under investigation by the FBI. A congressional staffer wrote in the accompanying e-mail, "Don't you just love how Murtha's lobbyists had this list before most people in Congress had it?"