Magaziner Exemplifies State’s Skewed Priorities

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One can just about sympathize with Democrat General Treasurer Seth Magaziner.  When taxpayers across the state are complaining on talk radio that the tax return checks with his name on them seem greatly delayed and when the pension fund under his control is actually losing money, the politician must feel an intense pressure to come up with newspaper headlines that somebody might see as positive:

On Wednesday, Rhode Island Gen. Treas. Seth Magaziner announced a new policy that seeks to use the proxy-voting power that comes with Rhode Island’s billions of investment dollars to encourage companies to place more women and racial minorities on their boards of directors.

Unfortunately, many people fall for foolish politically correct showboating.  Heretofore, the state’s index-fund manager, State Street Corp., has done the voting to which Rhode Island’s investments entitle the state.  Presumably, State Street’s votes have been cast with an eye toward maximizing returns on its clients’ investments.

But maximizing returns is clearly not the priority of Rhode Island’s chief fiduciary, Seth Magaziner.  Worse still, not only does Magaziner acknowledge that Rhode Island’s votes may make little difference, but the method by which it will cast them is hot-pan-on-a-silk-tablecloth dumb:

“Any time a man is nominated to be a director at a company where fewer than 30 percent of existing directors are women (or racial minorities), we will vote no. If we end up voting no at a high rate, we will be making an important statement on the financial materiality of board diversity,” Magaziner said.

No individual consideration.  All that matters is body parts and skin color.  Of course, I’m making an assumption, there; Providence Journal reporter Kathy Gregg didn’t ask Magaziner if the vote will be cast according to biological fact or by the personal assertions of the nominee.



  • stuckinRI

    Unfortunately it is of NO surprise and VERY telling that this guy got voted into office in this state. Same could be said for AG and the Governor. Has ANYONE heard anything from the-guy-who-really-lives-in-Florida ?

  • Rhett Hardwick

    One has to wonder, first the state selects the security and lower fees of an index fund, then they want to muddle. There are “green” funds they could invest in. Is there data to support the idea that a “diverse” board increases profits?

    State Street has been around a long time. In the distant past, they were known for ridding themselves of bad investments by “selling them to the trust department”. So, I guess no one is perfect.

  • Mike678

    Forget picking the best and most experienced no matter what race or sex. Nope…we have to pander to the sexist and racist and distract from his department’s incompetence. Seth…do us a favor and quit so we can pick a deserving person with the right skin pigmentation and/or sex organs. But first, send me my check.

    • know it all internet tough guy

      Let’s not forget the real incompetence in RI, the republican party. The reason this guy is in office was his republican opponent…no one.

      • Mike678

        Hi Troll…

        We agree! The Republican party in this state is, in general, dysfunctional. But it is getting better, while many Dem’s seem to be in denial and/or defensive. Times change.

        BTW, Ernest A. Almonte ran as an independent against Seth and had Republican support. The sheeple had a choice–and they chose this clown.

        Do you ever get tired of being wrong?

        • know it all internet tough guy

          Your arrogance clearly exceeds your reading comprehension. Maybe the sheeple lost in the election. I’m curious, do you try your pseudo intellectual act outside of internet message boards? It doesn’t appear to be very effective here either.

          • Mike678

            How, so, Troll? Please tell me where I was wrong…I clearly explained where you were wrong.

            When people have no rational argument or position, they often go for insults or an ad hominem–like you. Sad that some can’t think…too tied to ideology that their brain can’t accept the facts in front of them. Pity…

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