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Missouri State Treasurer Vivek Malek Disappointed in MOSERS Board for Rejecting His Effort to Move State Pension Fund Investments Out of Communist China

Monday, November 20, 2023
Treasurer's name


Contact: Ray Bozarth, 573-298-1654 

JEFFERSON CITY, MO – Missouri State Treasurer Vivek Malek issued the following statement about Thursday’s rejection by the MOSERS Board of his motion to divest state employee pension funds from investments in Communist China:

“I am deeply disappointed by this failure of the Missouri State Employees’ Retirement System Board of Trustees. Not only is Communist China America’s adversary – China is just a bad investment. As the State Treasurer of Missouri, it is my duty to ensure that the State’s investments provide taxpayers with the best rate of return possible. This is especially important when it comes to safeguarding the value of our hard-working state retirees’ pensions. It is risky to have our Missouri state retirees’ pension funds tied up in Communist China, because China’s overt aggressive actions and alliances could create dangerous economic fallout. With deflation,[1] its shrinking workforce,[2] and a slow recovery from the pandemic, Communist China is the wrong investment. On top of all that, China gave us the COVID19 pandemic,[3] floated spy balloons over Missouri,[4] and is responsible for the flood of Fentanyl coming across the border.[5] Communist China also allies itself with Russia, and other bad actors on the international stage – and I note that MOSERS acted last year to disinvest in Russia.[6][7] And, senior U.S. military officials have argued China is preparing to invade Taiwan,[8] which could escalate conflict. It is my hope that the MOSERS Board will reconsider its position and do the right thing.”

Research by MOSERS investment advisor Verus indicates multiple risks of investments in China, including its continuing economic deflation, and that investments in Emerging Markets ex-China (or without China) have outperformed Emerging Markets with China during the last several years. Treasurer Malek’s motion that was rejected would have allowed the MOSERS Board to set divestment from Communist China as a priority as its asset allocation study approaches, culminating with a vote setting new portfolio benchmarks in February 2024.




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