Regarding the SEC finding that the state committed fraud in its statements and omissions about pensions, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan said yesterday that “[t]here are no victims here. Nobody’s lost any money.”

Hiding the reality that Illinois pensions likely would NEVER be able to reach acceptable funding levels (which the state’s own consultant said, but the state hid) didn’t harm anybody?

The state’s credit isn’t further damaged?

Bond purchasers who bought through fraudulent offering documents didn’t pay more than they they would have had proper disclosures been made?

Downgrades in bond ratings that lowered bond values wouldn’t have come sooner had the disclosures been timely made?

The state’s image isn’t further smeared by international news coverage ridiculing the state, driving still more people and employers away?

There’s no harm in substituting fraud for honesty as a societal norm?

Remember that the SEC’s order included this: “a pension consultant retained by the Governor’s Office of
Management and Budget wrote in August 2009 that ‘the Illinois pension system is now so underfunded that the State likely [would] never be able to afford the level of contributions required to ever reach’ even 90 percent funding.” [Emphasis added.]

Is there no end to this madness?

Mark Glennon