Investments in infrastructure, education, job creation, and defense all make frequent appearances in political stump speeches. Less often discussed in the direction of taxpayer dollars are those investments not made into public goods but rather directly into private potential. Institutional investments into stocks and bonds are made by public agencies throughout the government.
As recent Securities and Exchange Commission filings from the Alaska Department of Revenue show, these investments can cover the gamut of companies, as one might expect from a diversified portfolio.
The greatest share of the agency’s holdings go to the Simon Property Group, known for their development of shopping and outlet malls throughout the country; the State holds over $20 million in their shares. Other real estate and communications groups, like American Tower Corporation and Verizon, technologies like Intel and Microsoft, and chemical giants like Clorox, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson, also make the top of the Alaskan investment list.
Also appearing on the list are the two largest private prison companies in the country: CoreCivic and GEO Group. The holdings consist of 44,380 shares of the former, worth about $1,085,000, and 28,680 of the latter, worth about $1,030,000.
The number of shares and their market value were released as part of the Department’s regularly required Form 13F filings to the SEC, the necessary report for investments over $100 million. Though not every public agency that invests in the stock market is required to file the form, it does begin to give us insights into the ways that our tax dollars are redirected back into the private sector.
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