WCG Pension Fund Insolvency?

The graph in question is not of the plummeting income or disappearing assets of the WCG. It is a graph of the declining stock price of Wachovia Bank. Wachovia Bank is the financial trustee for the WCG pension fund, and Wachovia Securities provides investment advice to the WCG. (WB Quote, Profile, Research).

Investors sued U.S. bank Wachovia Corp and its affiliates on Monday, charging them with causing losses through the incorrect valuation of a now-defunct bond fund's shares and making risky investments in the fund. The lawsuit is against Wachovia Bank, two of its affiliates and two group executives over bond fund losses. Not exactly stellar investment advice from a firm standing to profit from such investments.

The lawsuit charges in the suit filed in a federal court in Boston that the Bank and the other defendants "incorrectly" valued and sold the shares of Evergreen Ultra Short Opportunities Fund "at an artificially inflated price" between August 2007 and June 2008. Could some WCG pension assets be invested in this Wachovia promoted fund, sold by Wachovia to the WCG as a "prudent" investment? The WCG has invested money in bond offerings before. Tkach refuses to say how much he invested. While Wachovia Bank may get taken over by the FDIC, how much money has the WCG retirement fund made or lost on these so called "prudent" Wachovia Securities investments?

Early in May, Wachovia's then CEO and Chairman Ken Thompson was forced to give up his chairmanship after the bank released dismal numbers. The second shoe has now fallen. Wachovia's board yesterday gave Thompson the boot and forced Thompson to resign his CEO post as well:
... the board blamed him for losses that cost the lender more than half its market value in the past year. The stock fell as much as 4 percent.

Chairman Lanty Smith was appointed interim CEO, the Charlotte, North Carolina-based company said today in a statement that cited " a series of previously disclosed disappointments and setbacks'' for the change. Thompson quit at the board's request, the statement said.

Wachovia reported a record quarterly loss of $8.9 billion for the last quarter, and Wachovia’s stock has lost 65% of its value so far this year.

In response to these developments, Wachovia hopes to dispose of certain parts of its business. Last week, reports suggested that the bank might even be willing to part with Wachovia Securities. In addition, Wachovia hopes to pare expenses by $2 billion, has drastically cut its dividend and has announced plans to cut some 6,000 workers. The company also stated its intent not to fill approximately 4,400 positions that are currently open.

During the last month, Wachovia has experienced serious problems at its securities division. Wachovia Securities’ headquarters in St. Louis was raided by a task force of state regulators investigating the company’s auction rate securities practices. During that raid, at least 12 Wachovia Securities’ executives and employees were issued subpoenas to provide evidence to the task force. Is Wachovia Securities then a prudent place for the WCG to invest any assets?

Under pressure, banks have been fervently trying to separate the CEO from the board chairmanship positions to try to allay growing unhappiness by shareholders. Maybe the WCG should now do the something similar with the WCG governance structure- to alleviate some long-standing inherent conflicts of interest between the unincorporated WCG Association and the WCG corporation. Armstrong and Tkach Sr. should never have been permitted to engage in thievery in dishonest insider transactions; such as leasing posh jet planes from the church accountant, by taking millions of dollars stolen from third tithe fund donations given for the truly needy, and other such schemes. All while the books were supposedly thoroughly audited annually, backwards and forwards, up and down, with the WCG's patented "clean bill of health" for some phony donor reassurance. Even so, likewise the WCG today spends on a monthly basis tens of thousands of unreported dollar amounts flying Tkach Jr. first class and his inner circle of cronies on one WCG credit card or another to every conceivable annual board meeting and annual conference and special meeting and coffee klatsch for who knows what, literally around the world on the church's dime. Instead of Tkach Jr. running the whole show, as in the previous corruption, there should be a WCG corporation president primarily responsible for many of the financial aspects of running the church, who reports to an independent board Tkach Jr. has no direct influence over. This would help deter some of the financial hanky-panky coming from the office of the jet fuel engine tithe burning, yacht rental, limousine-loving, or all-expenses-paid fall festival luxury-cruising Pastor General, as has been the case in the WCG. It would help in today's era to keep Tkach's hands off the blank WCG checkbook, and keep the church honestly informed of WCG first class corporate travel, luxury hotel, car rental, meals, credit card and other major expenses, for which there is zero reporting or accountability to the congregations footing the bill today.

Underfunded, underperforming, bankrupt pension funds headed for or already in bankruptcy are a major problem in the U.S. to the tune of billions of dollars, partly due to a lack of proper oversight and deceptive use of creative accounting. Unlike the field ministry, no matter how much money the WCG Pension Committee loses, Tkach will get all of his money out of the WCG. The church is contractually obligated, no matter what happens in the stock market to pay and retire the Tkachs, costing the church members millions of dollars in salary and pastoral benefits.

Just how much money has the WCG made and lost investing through mismanaged Wachovia Bank? To know that, you'd have to know how many millions Tkach squirreled away in that particular WCG hole in the first place. Tkach isn't telling. And any losses or shortfalls will have to be made up ultimately by the hard-working church members. Members who may not have anything to fall back on due to decades of triple-tithing poverty, mortgaging their homes for the church, and making special offerings into various mysterious, now-defunct WCG church funds.

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