Capital, as 'managed' pension funds aren't new in the north American context either. In some states, pension funds, managed by union-paid firms are the single largest pools of liquidity. The problem is that the powers of attorney that are signed over to these gigantic (one local teachers fund in Washington, for example, holds >50 billion) entities cuts them off legally from direct control. Some progress *has* been made in getting the charter documents changed to reflect more *progressive* investments (but they are piffling compared to the general line of march of the Wall St. boys who run them). Essentially, union members have little access to and almost no control over the disposition of their money. Mumia is absolutely right to highlight this scandal. Thank you for posting it.
The above is a thoughtful comment on an entry I posted on another blog....at last we can get Mumia's ideas out on the blog-o-sphere....I think incidentally I should be blogging more on the economic crisis...going to be talking about it at Green Party Conference in February