CBAC Economics and Public Policy Forum - Public Pensions

Chicago Booth Alumni Club of Chicago

February 22, 2012: 12:00 PM - 1:15 PM

The Economics and Public Policy Forum is a monthly discussion group of Booth alumni and students who gather over lunch to discuss a pre-selected topic and reading material. This is a collegial gathering of equals and we do not present speakers. The TOPIC and PRE-READING are:


At the suggestion of several of our members at our January forum, this month we will be discussing public pensions. Why should we care about them if we are in the private sector? What is their impact on the economy as a whole? Are they adequately funded? Do they affect the overall quality of life for the larger community? Please read the following short articles and join us for a discussion with your peers over lunch:

Assigned Reading:

The Liabilities and Risks of State-Sponsored Pension Plans, by Robert Novy-Marx and Joshua D. Rauh, Journal of Economic Perspectives—Volume 23, Number 4—Fall 2009—Pages 191–210

READ the following sections: Why Do Public Pension Funding and Investment Policy Matter? and the Conclusion on Pp. 205-209 (4 pages total).

Pensions, like life, aren't fair, The Economist, Dec 1st 2011, 12:47 by A.C.S. | NEW YORK (2 1/2 pages)

Why Public Pensions are so Rich, Andrew G. Biggs, Jason Richwine, the Wall Street Journal, January 4, 2012 (2 pages)

State and City Pensions Could Destroy U.S. Economy, The Fiscal Times, By October 13, 2010, by The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University (2 pages)

Additional Reading (Optional):

Illinois State Pension Systems: A Challenging Position, by State of Illinois Comptroller Judy Barr Topinka, May 2011 Issue

Private Workers, Public Pension, by Jodi S. Cohen and Jason Grotto, Chicago Tribune, December 17, 2011

The Trillion Dollar Gap Grows Wider, States' Fiscal Health, The Pew Center on the States, April 25, 2011

Governor, Sign this Pension Abuse Bill, Chicago Tribune, November 30, 2011


Kopecky, Schumacher & Bleakley, P.C.
Suite 1620
203 N. LaSalle St.
Chicago, Illinois


$15.00 for Chicago Booth Alumni Club Members and current students

$16.00 for all others

Box lunch is included


Register Online

Deadline: 2/21/2012


12:00 PM-1:15 PM: Box lunch is provided

Speaker Profiles

Elizabeth Bleakley (Moderator) '02
Principal, Kopecky, Schumacher & Bleakley, P.C.


Elizabeth Bleakley, '02 
President, Chicago Booth Alumni Club