The Missouri State Employees Retirement System (MOSERS) is estimated to have lost $1 million due to its investment in FTX.
MOSERS administers disability benefits, insurance, and retirement for most Missouri state employees. This includes higher education personnel, judges, and state officials.
Under the leadership of its beleaguered CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, FTX has become the third-largest crypto exchange by volume with over a million users averaging around $10 billion in trading volume per day at its peak in 2021. The Bahamas-based cryptocurrency exchange filed for bankruptcy protection on Nov. 11 due to a liquidity crunch, forcing customers to abandon the platform.
On Friday, MOSERS chief investment officer TJ Carlson informed the pension system’s board of directors of the loss, The Kansas City Star reported. The private equity firm in which the pension fund has invested has been identified as BlackRock, the New York-based asset management firm.
A spokesperson for MOSERS Candy Smith said in an email Friday to the outlet that the system had approximately $1.2 million in exposure to FTX at the time of the bankruptcy filing.
“This represents approximately 0.01% of the total exposure of the MOSERS portfolio, or approximately 1 basis point”, says Smith. MOSERS had $8.2 billion in assets as of June 30.
Republican Senator Josh Hawley from Missouri, sent a letter (pdf) on Friday to the heads of the Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the US Commodities Future Trading Commission, asking the agencies to provide any documents between the agencies, the Biden administration and the Democratic groups involving any correspondence regarding FTX or its sister company, Alameda Research.
“The success of Mr. Bankman-Fried’s criminal enterprise has made him one of the wealthiest men in America,” Hawley wrote. “And he deployed his ill-gotten gains in service to the Democratic Party, emerging in recent years as its second-biggest individual donor behind only George Soros.”
Hawley, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, also wrote that Bankman-Fried allegedly withdrew deposits from FTX customers to offset Alameda’s losses. This would represent a violation of the exchange’s terms of service.
“Customers are now left with the bag,” wrote Hawley, who went on to accuse Bankman-Fried of “fraudulent acts” as well as donating millions of dollars to the service of Democratic candidates, including the President Joe Biden.
Other institutional investors with direct or indirect exposure to FTX include the $77.3 billion Alaska Permanent Fund Corp., the $182.3 billion Washington State Investment Board , and the $182 billion Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.