Would Increasing Taxes on Hedge Fund Managers Harm Pension Plans?

Just a quick note on something you may not want to miss, while I work on something more elaborate and, to me, thought provoking to post either later today or on Monday; those of you interested in hedge funds and pension investments may want to take a look at this article in today’s New York Times on Congressional hearings into taxation of hedge funds. The point of the article is whether increasing tax rates on hedge fund income will affect pension plan returns. The tone of the article is skeptical that it would have any significant effect, and much of the testimony at the hearing appears to have been along those lines. Obviously, though, as you can see from the article, many of those who would get hit with the higher tax rate think otherwise.

I’m really not enough of a tax expert - and I don’t play one on the internet either - to comment on this issue in any depth, although I do think the truth is probably in the comments of Russell Read, the chief investment officer of Calpers, who noted that “[i]t’s hard to tell what the effect [on returns by pension plans] would be” as a result of a change, but who “hopes” - I would substitute the word expects for the word hopes - “that it would be small.”