Sunday, October 26, 2008
How many shoes have dropped so far?
Yes, it's come down to this: The nation's largest public pension fund needs cash. As explained by the WSJ, Calpers has to meet commitments to various investors - among them private equity firms and real estate partners - and only 2 percent of its assets on hand is in cash. That’s not enough to cover its obligations, so a bunch of stocks are being sold - fast. This need to raise cash quickly could partially explain why stocks have fallen so sharply so quickly. Hedge funds face much the same problem because many of them are so highly leveraged. And because they don't have to file financial reports, no one knows how many more of their dominoes will fall.