Loomis Sayles & Co. declined to invest [in the SIV rescue plan] after receiving one of 16 invitations for a meeting earlier this month with current Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, said Daniel Fuss, who oversees $22 billion as chief investment officer at the Boston-based firm. The Securities Industries Financial Markets Association trade group extended the invitations, Fuss said.
The meeting was a general session initiated by the trade group to discuss current market developments and led to “some very candid give-and-take,” said Richard Hunt, SIFMA’s senior managing director for government relations. Spokeswoman Michelle Smith at the Federal Reserve confirmed the meeting took place.
“It’s so nice to get a personal invitation to go to Washington and have a one-hour visit with Ben Bernanke,” said Fuss, who decided participating wasn’t worth the risk to his firm. “Oh, boy, did I feel important for about 27 seconds, and then you smell a rat.”
As we have noted, the plan depends on the participation of institutional investors, and the story also featured critical comments from them.