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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

More on UC Regents conflict of interest

The Berkeley Planet reports that since 2003 Gerald Parsky, Richard C. Blum, and Paul Wachter, all financiers themselves have steered UC investments and pensions towards risky private equity and real estate instruments. In order to maintain the appearance of propriety, they got UC to hire private money managers with high fees. Not only were private managers paid handsomely, their investment choices have suffered much more than blue chip stocks and bonds. $2 billion were steered toward risky financial instruments and the losses that UC suffered are negatively impacting its retirement and endowment funds. Blum, once again, reveals himself to be a beneficiary of his regental position: after being appointed to the board in 2002, $745 million of UC money was invested in seven private equity deals involving either Blum or his firm, Blum Capital Partners. People, offense is the best defense. Kudos to Berkeley Planet for excellent investigative reporting. In July, the LA Times ran Mike Hiltzik's column covering UC Regents' conflict of interest news.


Anonymous said...

The Regents' conflicts of interest, especially Blum's, have been widely reported already, although not in the LA Times or the Sac Bee. One has to wonder why nothing sticks. What is it going to take for people to notice?

cloudminder said...

the UC student regent posted this story yesterday on his blog


no discussion of this other story on his fellow colleagues - the regents and possible financial misdeeds

perhaps he can't post it - perhaps there are restrictions on him?

but students should know who sits at that regent table- and about the folks their student regent and faculty rep and staff advisors are sitting next to at regents meetings.

btw the sac bee puff piece on katehi is getting raked hard over the coals in the comments- no mention in the story of the operational excellence initiative at uc davis-- something on the minds of the thousands of staff members and davis residents -- but the sac bee reporter on that "story" - like the student regent- just keeps whistling along, head in clouds

the LA Times - newspapers, tv in Santa Barbara or San Diego

anyone who cares about this should contact their local news print and tv media personalities and ask why they aren't covering it-

tweet, facebook whatever.

because UCOP certainly is talking to them to present what they want us to see.

also, folks should contact Matt Lauer who will be doing a sit down with Whitman, Brown and Schwarzenegger at Maria Shriver's Womens Conference in Long Beach -- UC issues have to be included in some of the questions Lauer asks and it can't be soft ball.

Anonymous said...

Great reporting!

Anonymous said...


In 2007 The East Bay Express ran this story.

Anonymous said...


Sorry, I forgot to make a tiny URLL
The above link will take you to the East Bay Express story from 2007

cloudminder said...

Please Note:
Whitman, Brown and Schwarzenegger set joint appearance for campaign's final week

Gubernatorial candidates Meg Whitman and Jerry Brown are scheduled to appear on stage with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger just days before the Nov. 2 election in what is being billed as a conversation about the future of California.

The three will appear together at the Women’s Conference 2010 in Long Beach. The three will discuss the state of the state in a conversation moderated by NBC's Matt Lauer.

Brown and Whitman are scheduled to meet in four debates before election day. The first will take place Tuesday on the campus of UC Davis. The Long Beach appearance is the only Southern California event at which both gubernatorial candidates are scheduled to appear.

The joint appearance was announced by California First Lady Maria Shriver's office Wednesday. Others scheduled to appear at the conference include Oprah Winfrey and former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

-- Anthony York in Sacramento

And, Matt Lauer will be doing a one on one interview with President Obama specifically on education you will recall that UC was the major donor to President Obama in 2008 and Regent Blum sat next to him at the inauguration- and we also know the recent revelations on Regent Blum. President Obama has discussed the many areas in need of reform in higher education. Now is a good time to ask President Obama about his thoughts on all of the recent events, staff downsizing, funding at UC, CA budget crisis, and the need for transparency at UC etc..
NBC would like to know what questions we would like to ask- the interview will occur on Monday September 27th.
You can pose a question here at this link

You might also use that same link to pose your question that you would like Matt Lauer to ask Brown, Schwarzenegger, Whitman in Long Beach. I am sure NBC would forward those questions to him for his reference as he prepares for his sit down with Brown, Schwarzenegger, Whitman.

Catherine Liu said...

More reporting on Blum's hypocrisy. Even as we try to get MSM's attention (and the LA Times did report on this -- I will try to find it), we have to bring students, staff and faculty up to speed on Regental corruption. I think it is a good idea to send in questions directly to Obama about his ideas about education, and to recognize that his administration has started and must continue to investigate diploma mills and accreditation. For profit universities are profiting from Federal Student Aid meant to help the poorest students. Obama's admin should immediately disqualify for profit universities from taking Federal Student Aid, pending further investigation of unethical recruiting practices. Tell everyone you know about the Regents, especially student protestors and student groups. Make sure they understand what Blum and Company are doing. Embarrass the UC Regents with their financial practices on every occasion. And yes, ask Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman what they will do to replace this rotten bunch of self-serving, greedy philistines who have so much power over the future of the UC.

cloudminder said...

yes, the Mike Hiltzik's column referenced Peter Byrne's original reporting. --but much of the original reporting has been left to the northern california papers and frequently the stories are not picked up in So Cal- in part a result of UCOP being in Oakland but also due to the So Cal readers not demanding the coverage or sometimes not knowing a story broke. this explains why UCOP hates the San Francisco Chronicle in particular.

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