880 million reasons to diversify one's portfolio
Chavez wants nuclear power:
"In Venezuela we are interested in development of nuclear energy, of course for peaceful purposes, for medical purposes, for purposes of electricity generation," Chavez said at a political rally.
"Brazil has various nuclear reactors, so does Argentina. We will have ours."
Chavez noted that Venezuela, which is a member of the oil-producing cartel OPEC, developed a nuclear reactor decades ago but abandoned it under pressure from the United States.
He said Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin had offered help with a reactor, adding that "we already have a commission working on this issue."
"Of course for peaceful purposes" - Oh, to see the look on Condi's face when she heard that. not quite worth the threat of nuclear obliteration, but still - you got to love a wind up. Chavez is a sort of Winston Peters of South America: mischievous, arrogant, friends with lefty autocrats, protected by bullies and surrounded by eternal enemies and their proxies.
The other alarming news this morning was the Cullen Fund's (much expected) drop in value during the period of recession or near recession in the West - preceeding this month's financial turbulence that will register negatively in their next report - was quite some hit. The press reporting:
The New Zealand Superannuation Fund, which has been operating since 2003, had an after-tax loss of $880.75 million for the year to June, compared with a $1.09 billion profit last year.
The result represented, pre-tax, a negative return of 4.92 percent. The before-tax loss was $716.46 million.
It is the first time the so-called Cullen Fund, nicknamed after architect Michael Cullen, has lost money.
Ouch. This is the nation's retirement fund we are talking about here - so this hurts us, in particular future us:
By law the government can't draw on the fund till 2020. By 2025 it is estimated that the fund will be worth $109 billion.
Well if we had bought Euro denominated securities - back when our dollar could get 58c Euro then we may have been in a better position. I hope the Guardians made some wise calls. Our medium-long term exchange rate with the Euro is more likely to average under 50c.