Monday, June 27, 2005

Scandal with a Schmear

The Ohio rare-coin scandal gets a little meshuggeh.

Risky investments by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation didn’t end with rare coins and a Bermuda hedge fund. Add bagels to the list. Bureau officials have more than $346 million in venture capital funds, which typically provide start-up financing or loans to firms that have had trouble borrowing from conventional sources.

The list of firms in which the bureau has an interest includes the Colorado parent of the Einstein Brothers bagel chain, which is struggling to emerge from years of red ink.

It’s one thing to invest in non-traditional funds with your own money…it’s your risk and your fortune on the line. But when it’s the funds that are invested by taxpayers to pay for the medical and living expenses of injured workers in the state of Ohio, that’s something else entirely. And if this is the kind of mentality that’s behind the idea of private accounts for Social Security, well…