Pension Funds and Social Investment

Pension Funds and Social Investment

American workers have more than two trillion dollars in their pension funds. They own about onequarter of all the corporate shares on the New York exchange and account for almost half of daily trading activity. Having tripled in size in the 1980s, these funds are bigger now, in dollars and power, than even those of us close to them imagined ten years ago.

Growth in the labor force and growth in earnings alone would have guaranteed a growing pool of pension fund savings. But, in addition, the past decade’s booming capital markets (and the wonders of compound interest) generated spectacular growth. On average, pension funds returned 12 to 15 percent per year in the 1980s; annual inflation averaged
about 5 percent.

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Lima