Dear was his normally steady self when it came to the impact of the Washington Mutual write-off. It amounts to fraction of one percent of the $78 billion combined funds that pay for public employee golden years. Even combined with the $130-million Lehman Brothers loss, it's 0.22 percent.
But Dear wasn't kidding around about the need for that bailout plan that the president, the would-be presidents, and Congress are all arguing about. He said prolonged instability threatens the fund's long-term goal of 8 percent returns.
"That's why this situation is so serious, and why it's important that Congress put the Treasury behind these securities," he said.
A longtime critic of exorbitant pay for CEOs, Dear said concerns about punishing those who caused the credit crisis should come after ending it with taxpayer funds.
"We should not act out of spite for those who benefited enormously from the boom to the detriment of ourselves and our communities," he said. "We can sort out whos to blame later. But people should not expect there is a painless solution, or that we will not have to make difficult choices. This is not a false alarm."