In CalPERS’ first press conference since a Detroit judge said pensions are fair game in bankruptcy, California’s state pension giant said … well, no, they’re not.
I didn’t join the press call-in. But if this SacBee story accurately documents CalPERS’ arguments, the the pension giant’s got nothing but the old argument that state law is on its side — which federal judges in both Stockton’s and Detroit’s cases have said does not provide a magic exemption from the haircuts which follow a city’s insolvency.
CalPERS position is sounding more and more like denial. Bankruptcy, like dying, seems to have five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. But unlike death, a city goes on, consequently so does the bargaining, only with a changed balance of power.