North Kingstown, RI – Seth Magaziner, the socially responsible investment banker who is running for General Treasurer, joined me, Mark Gray and Kristina Fox for the RI Future Review, our weekly podcast.
Magaziner told us he doesn’t support divestment from fossil fuel companies in public investment funds, though he’d like to see such options for retirees in the defined contribution portion of their pensions. He also said he wouldn’t support defaulting on the 38 Studios moral obligation note if it would put struggling cities’ bond rating in jeopardy.He said pension reforms were tragic but necessary because the legislature didn’t properly fund the public sector retirement plan for decades. Magaziner added that Rhode Island taxpayers have been asked to pay about a third a cost of the reforms through re-amortization.On hedge funds he said the fees are “outdated and outrageously high” but as an investment strategy he said there may be times when it is a wise strategy. “Now, I think, is one of these times,” he said.
He also talked at length about what it means to be a socially responsible investor and how he would advocate for more partnerships between local banks, credit unions and the community to foster a better financial atmosphere for the Rhode Islanders who have been left behind by the current structure.