U.S. military pensions to get invested in Chicom assets?

Military pensions are important, and it's natural that the agencies investing them would want to get them the best possible returns.

But a new report from John Solomon's JustTheNews site suggests that something a little disturbing is going on:

U.S. military and other federal pensions are apparently going to be invested Chinese entities if a new investment setup goes through. Christine Dolan of JustTheNews writes:

In November 2017, FRTIB Chairman Michael Kennedy, who is Managing Director of Korn/Ferry International, and his board decided to change $50 billion in U.S. government retirement funds to a new global investment index known as the MSCI ACWI Index. The board hopes the change allows for greater returns on investments in emerging Asian markets but critics warn the index would allow investments in adversarial nation-owned companies in Russia and China.

The board is in the final stages of completing that transition this month, despite repeated and vocal objections ranging from former Navy Secretary Richard Spencer, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and a bipartisan group of lawmakers led by Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H.

In their October letter to the pension board, Rubio and Shaheen wrote, "This decision would effectively invest the retirement savings of America’s civil servants and military personnel in constituent companies of the ACWI ex-US IMI that assist in the Chinese government’s military activities, espionage, and human rights abuses, as well as many other Chinese companies that lack basic financial transparency."

Up until now, critics, who have been sounding the alarm for a couple of years now, have warned that U.S. military pensions could then be financed by "sanctions violators, fraudulent actors, intellectual-property thieves and human rights abusers."

But with the coronavirus pandemic, how China really does its business has come to light.

In the case of medical supplies, China has demonstrated its willingness to monopolize the manufacturing through cheap labor costs, and then when the crunch came, keep the supplies all to itself, despite its much touted participation in the "global supply chain." This in turn has drawn U.S. officials from the Trump administration to question just why all of the medical supplies and many drugs we use are completely dependent on China and its willingness to sell them to us. If China wills it, good. If China doesn't, too bad, they aren't selling.

So much for a 'global' supply chain. What's happening is classic mercantilism monopoly behavior.

Already many nations are questioning the value of China's money given the strings the country holds for the use of it. In Africa, support for China's Belt And Road Intiative, where China offers the use of its money to build roads and bridges, but in exchange, gets to get its hands on strategic ports and other infrastructure if a nation finds itself unable to pay, is growing very unpopular. Maybe that money isn't such a good idea after all, given what China does. Again, it's classic mercantilism is at work.

The same thing could happen with U.S. pensions. China could get the hooks in so deep for investment it will take the money and use it to construct military hardware usable against the U.S. The U.S. might not be free to pull its money out, for one, if China decides to change investment rules, and then in any case the U.S. may be on the hook for bad behavior from Beijing using all that investment cash for its nefarious aims.

There could be other scenarios negative to American military interests as well.

It' sounds like a bad idea even if the money is good. As the coronavirus pandemic demonstrates, money for China is just bait, the aim always is to get the participant hooked.

Image credit: MaxPixel public domain

Military pensions are important, and it's natural that the agencies investing them would want to get them the best possible returns.

But a new report from John Solomon's JustTheNews site suggests that something a little disturbing is going on:

U.S. military and other federal pensions are apparently going to be invested Chinese entities if a new investment setup goes through. Christine Dolan of JustTheNews writes:

In November 2017, FRTIB Chairman Michael Kennedy, who is Managing Director of Korn/Ferry International, and his board decided to change $50 billion in U.S. government retirement funds to a new global investment index known as the MSCI ACWI Index. The board hopes the change allows for greater returns on investments in emerging Asian markets but critics warn the index would allow investments in adversarial nation-owned companies in Russia and China.

The board is in the final stages of completing that transition this month, despite repeated and vocal objections ranging from former Navy Secretary Richard Spencer, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and a bipartisan group of lawmakers led by Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H.

In their October letter to the pension board, Rubio and Shaheen wrote, "This decision would effectively invest the retirement savings of America’s civil servants and military personnel in constituent companies of the ACWI ex-US IMI that assist in the Chinese government’s military activities, espionage, and human rights abuses, as well as many other Chinese companies that lack basic financial transparency."

Up until now, critics, who have been sounding the alarm for a couple of years now, have warned that U.S. military pensions could then be financed by "sanctions violators, fraudulent actors, intellectual-property thieves and human rights abusers."

But with the coronavirus pandemic, how China really does its business has come to light.

In the case of medical supplies, China has demonstrated its willingness to monopolize the manufacturing through cheap labor costs, and then when the crunch came, keep the supplies all to itself, despite its much touted participation in the "global supply chain." This in turn has drawn U.S. officials from the Trump administration to question just why all of the medical supplies and many drugs we use are completely dependent on China and its willingness to sell them to us. If China wills it, good. If China doesn't, too bad, they aren't selling.

So much for a 'global' supply chain. What's happening is classic mercantilism monopoly behavior.

Already many nations are questioning the value of China's money given the strings the country holds for the use of it. In Africa, support for China's Belt And Road Intiative, where China offers the use of its money to build roads and bridges, but in exchange, gets to get its hands on strategic ports and other infrastructure if a nation finds itself unable to pay, is growing very unpopular. Maybe that money isn't such a good idea after all, given what China does. Again, it's classic mercantilism is at work.

The same thing could happen with U.S. pensions. China could get the hooks in so deep for investment it will take the money and use it to construct military hardware usable against the U.S. The U.S. might not be free to pull its money out, for one, if China decides to change investment rules, and then in any case the U.S. may be on the hook for bad behavior from Beijing using all that investment cash for its nefarious aims.

There could be other scenarios negative to American military interests as well.

It' sounds like a bad idea even if the money is good. As the coronavirus pandemic demonstrates, money for China is just bait, the aim always is to get the participant hooked.

Image credit: MaxPixel public domain