First they came for the government pensions

This part of the throne speech reply concerns me. I like the general idea of a Bermuda fund which Bermudians can freely invest in but I don’t like the idea of seeding it with pension money.

Startups are incredibly high risk and most startups fail.  Don’t think so?  Take a quick look at CB Insight’s ever growing list of post-mortems of well funded startups that failed.  It’s a sobering read, especially for anyone stupid enough to try to actually build a tech startup like your’s truly.  Startups are a terrible investment for pensions and thinking that we can suddenly create a successful venture capital fund when none exist on island and we have zero expertise in it is concerning.

This would be a great initiative if we had a budget surplus, no debt and a sovereign wealth fund we could play with.  It definitely is what we should have created in the boom years rather than growing the civil service to incredible girth, throwing money at failed projects and running up debts getting Beyonce in to entertain us.  The problem we’ve got is that we have no reasonable source of funding left. We invested money we didn’t have in cricket and football, remember?

One of the big concerns I see with the opposition’s approach to solving our problems is that it too often seems to whittle down to “throw money at a big idea”.  It hasn’t worked time an again and we’re now heavily in debt.  We need ideas that don’t require money.  Less bureaucracy and more accountability in government would be a great start.

Instead, now that we can’t really borrow money anymore we’re hearing a new source of money being floated.  Government pensions.  It’s a scary and possibly slippery slope.  What happens if that fails?  Will they raid it again?  What about private pensions?  Are they at risk too?  One of my fears is that my generation will never see our pension contributions either public or private because they are either underfunded or at risk of being raided by a desperate government in need of funding.