Japan nightmare has effect on Carbon retirement fund
Carbon County's retirement fund is feeling the aftershocks from the earthquake and tsunami in Japan last week.
During the monthly meeting of the county retirement board, county controller Robert Crampsie, who is also the secretary of the retirement board, reported that the retirement fund portfolio has been hit by the disaster.
Crampsie said that the portfolio value as of Feb. 28 was $65,189,496.
"We were looking pretty good at the end of February," he said, "but I can't say we're we're looking that good as of March 17. I looked at it (the portfolio) yesterday, for the month of March we gave back $2.7 million so far. That relates more or less to the disaster in Japan."
Crampsie noted that the USA Today reported that "historically the market bounces back pretty fast after disasters," but he doesn't know if that's going to be the case with this disaster, which rocked the Pacific earlier this month, killing thousands and causing a nuclear reactor to release radiation into the atmosphere.
Crampsie added that the market did see an increase in trading yesterday.
Commissioner Charles Getz asked if the portfolio value was near the all-time high that was recorded in 2007.
Crampsie said the county was only about $1 million way of the all-time high of $66.1 million before the disaster occurred.
"All the gains we had for 2011 have been given back," Crampsie said. "We have to hold tight and see where we go from here."
The Carbon County retirement fund has been on a roller coaster over the last few years, posting a significant loss after a very volatile stock market sent it crashing down by the end of 2008.
By the end of that year, the fund's balance was $47,684,152, which represented a negative 24-percent return for the year.
In the first two months of2009, the fund dropped even further, but beginning in March 2009, the county posted its first positive month in the stock market.
Since then, the fund had performed well, recovering nearly all of the money that was lost during the recession two years ago.