During this week's presidential debate, GOP challenger Mitt Romney claimed that President Obama had made investments in the Cayman Islands and in China, a claim that has become a GOP talking point.
Romney said to Pres. Obama: "Let me give you some advice. Look at your pension. You also have investments in Chinese companies. You also have investments outside the United States. You also have investments through a Caymans trust."
According to his campaign, Romney was referring to investments that were actually made by the Illinois State Board of Investment on behalf of the state employees’ retirement system, reports Politifact.com.
Pres. Obama was an Illinois state senator from 1997 to 2004 and is a participant in the General Assembly Retirement System in Illinois, according to William Atwood, executive director of the Board of Investment.
The Illinois pension fund has several foreign investments, including Chinese companies and Advent International GPE VI-A, a limited partnership organized in the Cayman Islands.
Atwood told Politifact.com that Pres. Obama [or any other participant in the retirement system] does not have any say when it comes to selecting investments for the fund.