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Cabinet: SBA can weather fall

TALLAHASSEE — Florida Cabinet members on Tuesday said they felt confident that state investments are diversified enough that they can weather the downfall of Lehman Brothers.

"Our investments in Florida are very well diversified," said Gov. Charlie Crist, who oversees the State Board of Administration along with Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink and Attorney General Bill McCollum. The board is charged with investing money for government entities, from the pensions for state and local government workers to the holdings of the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund.

SBA interim director Bob Milligan praised the long-term health of the state's pension fund during a presentation to SBA trustees.

He said troubled investments accounted for $2.6-billion or less than 2 percent of $150-billion in all funds managed by the SBA. But Milligan only includes in that group Lehman Brothers, Washington Mutual, AIG and Merrill Lynch. At the end of August, the state also had another $6.6-billion in the troubled government-backed mortgage lenders Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

The state's $24-billion treasury is expected to lose about $35-million from Lehman Brothers stock, Sink said.

Jennifer Liberto, Times staff

Cabinet: SBA can weather fall 09/16/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 17, 2008 2:22pm]

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