Edward “Ted” Siedle launched a blistering attack on Treasurer Gina Raimondo in a Forbes.com post Thursday that suggested her changes to Rhode Island’s $7 billion pension system are leading to a “Wall Street feeding frenzy.” Raimondo’s critics seized on Siedle’s broadside immediately, while others wanted to know more about his charges.
Raimondo responded to the Forbes piece Friday in an interview with WPRI.com, defending the State Investment Commission she chairs for moving aggressively to create and expand a portfolio of hedge funds. This transcript has been lightly edited for length and clarity.
Let’s jump right to it. Did you read the article, and what was your reaction?
I did read it. It’s not an article – it’s an opinion blog, and obviously there’s a number of inaccuracies, and I disagree with the overall tone of the blog.
Did the author ever reach out to you or your office, do you know?
So there was no effort to discuss it?
Looking for a thesis in the article, Siedle writes: “There’s no prudent, disciplined investment program at work here – just a blatant Wall Street gorging, while simultaneously pruning state workers’ pension benefits.” I know you’ll disagree with that, but what’s your response?