With Rhode Island General Treasurer Seth Magaziner taking the lead, the Rhode Island employees’ Retirement System has joined a lawsuit against the social media company Pinterest, “claiming they fostered a culture of discrimination and retaliation that also hurt its financial success”:
Rhode Island Treasurer Seth Magaziner said in an emailed statement that “the Pinterest board’s deference to a culture of sexism and systemic discrimination has impaired Pinterest’s value and the value of the system’s investment in Pinterest.”
Take the culture war specifics out of this move for a moment. The specific legal claim of Magaziner and the state pension fund is that a social or cultural bias among the leaders of the company has cost its shareholders money, thus creating a “breach of fiduciary duties.”
Only in a state where he knows he will never be questioned on ideological grounds could Seth Magaziner join in on a lawsuit like this. Wind the clock back to January 2020 (I know, I know… it’s only pretend):
The Rhode Island public pension fund will stop investing in companies that either operate private for-profit prisons or make assault-style weapons that are sold to civilians, General Treasurer Seth Magaziner announced Wednesday.
“We don’t want to be associated with businesses that we think are fundamentally immoral,” Magaziner, a Democrat, said at a news conference attended by representatives of several gun control groups including Moms Demand Action and the Rhode Island Coalition Against Gun Violence.
Here we see Magaziner, as the chief fiduciary of the state’s pension fund, pulling investments out of perfectly legal businesses because of his social or cultural bias. How has that affected the state’s investments? This is just one quick result from an Internet search:
Shares of gunmakers Smith & Wesson (NASDAQ – SWBI) and Vista Outdoor (NYSE – VSTO) have more than doubled since March, while Sturm, Ruger & Co’s stock (NYSE – RGR) is up 30% – far outpacing the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index during the same time period.
So who’s going to sue Magaziner for costing his shareholders money? Or is it OK to harm the financial well-being of Rhode Island’s government employees as long as it’s done in the name of the progressive ideology?