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I just talked to Dan McAllister, the county’s treasurer and tax collector. He has some interesting things to say.

You’ll remember in a post below I talked about an article that had been written about David Deutsch in a magazine called Alpha. It caters to “alternative-investment” pros. It was a very flattering profile of Deutsch and his decisions to invest the county’s retirement assets in hedge funds.

McAllister, who sits on the board that oversees the retirement system, also appeared in the article. He, however, was very skeptical of the investments.

Today’s news obviously didn’t change his mind.

“I think we need to look at all the facts and figures and listen to what we hear before making directional decisions with regard to this situation,” McAllister said. “I still stand behind my earlier position: If an investment is tough to understand, tough to explain and tough to monitor than it may not be something we should invest in.”

Sounds pretty logical to me. Hedge funds, purposefully, are secretive and unbound by the regulatory environment that covers most market relationships. They charge enormous fees, don’t file public reports and they don’t face much scrutiny from the SEC.

“This may be the premier example of an investment that wasn’t monitored well by someone,” McAllister said.

  • One final note: What does amaranth mean? An amaranth is a flower. It has “colorful leaves and showy, tassel-like flower heads.” It probably makes you sneeze.

SCOTT LEWIS

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