FLORIDA CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER ALEX SINK'S WEEKLY NEWSLETTER
Volume 5, Number 7, February 15,
This Sunday, thousands of Americans
will travel to Florida for the 50th running of the Daytona 500.
Nearly a quarter of a million people, including CFO Sink, are
expected to gather at the Daytona International Speedway to watch 43
of NASCAR’s finest drivers race 200 laps-- 500 miles-- to victory.
Last year, the winner’s share of the purse was just over $1.5
million; and this year it’s expected to be as much or higher.
However, the race car drivers are not the only winners on Sunday.
The Daytona International Speedway generates an economic impact of
nearly $2 billion in our state, and creates almost 32,000 direct and
indirect jobs. With these significant contributions, NASCAR helps
our tourism industry be a major economic driver for our state.
We encourage you to watch the race this weekend and enjoy one of our
state’s sources of pride.
Idea of the Week
Review Incidental Spending
With family budgets getting tighter, now is the time to
review your spending and see the how everyday incidentals can really
add up. Here are a few examples of how you can stretch your dollars.
Instead of eating in restaurants during the work week, bring your
lunch to work. You could save you an estimated $720 dollars a year.
Save your loose change. Putting aside even fifty cents a day over
the course of a year will allow you to save nearly $200 dollars.
Substitute regular coffee for your daily latte, which could add $550
dollars to your pocketbook in just one year.
Every week, look here for a “Money-Smart” idea from
the Office of the Chief Financial Officer.
JOINS U.S. AND EUROPEAN INVESTORS CONFRONTING CLIMATE CHANGE
RISKS AND OPPORTUNITIES
Bold Commitments to Energy Efficiency and Other Clean
Technologies, Require Closer Scrutiny of Carbon-Intensive
Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink joined
nearly 50 leading U.S. and European institutional investors
managing over $1.75 trillion in assets in releasing a climate
change action plan at the United Nations that will boost
investments in energy efficiency and clean energy technologies
and require tougher scrutiny of carbon-intensive investments
that may pose long-term financial risks.
The action plan was announced at the Investor Summit on Climate
Risk, hosted by Ceres and the United Nations Foundation and
attended by more than 450 investor, financial and corporate
leaders from around the world. Signatories to the action plan
include state treasurers, controllers, pension fund leaders,
asset managers and foundations from London, California, Florida,
New York, Connecticut, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and a dozen
"With today’s action plan, investors are advancing the need for
closer scrutiny of investments to include the financial risks of
climate change, while also harnessing emerging opportunities,"
said Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink. "Florida is on
board as the first State Treasury in the nation to require fund
managers to disclose how they incorporate climate risk into
prudent investment management."
Noting that climate change presents both material risks and
significant opportunities, the investors pledged to collectively
invest $10 billion in clean technology opportunities over the
next two years and to incorporate green building standards —such
as LEED (Leadership in Energy Efficiency and Design) and Energy
Star — into their investment decisions. Calling energy
efficiency "one of the fastest, easiest and cheapest ways to
significantly reduce emissions and improve the bottom line," the
investor group pledged to reduce energy use in core real estate
holdings by 20 percent over the next three years.
A new McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) report, also announced at
the investor summit, concludes that major investments over the
next decade in energy productivity — the level of output
achieved from the energy consumed — could earn double-digit
rates of return for investors. Such investments would cut global
energy demand growth by at least half and achieve up to half of
the reductions of greenhouse gas emissions that experts say is
required to prevent the world's mean temperature from increasing
by more than 2 degrees centigrade.
The action plan calls for a series of specific steps by
investors to address the growing risks and opportunities from
climate change. The nine goals include policy actions aimed at
the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Congress,
engagement with companies to improve their disclosure and
responses to climate change, minimizing climate investment risks
and maximizing climate-related investment opportunities. Among
the investor commitments:
• Support clean technology, with a goal of deploying $10 billion
collectively over the next two years.
• Aim for a 20 percent reduction in energy used in core real
estate investment holdings over a three-year period, and
consider green building standards in making investment
• Require and validate that investment managers, investment
consultants and advisors report on how they are assessing
climate risks in their portfolios, whether from new
carbon-reducing regulations, physical impacts or competitive
• Encourage Wall Street analysts, rating agencies and investment
banks to analyze and report on the potential impacts of
foreseeable long-term carbon costs, in the range of $20 to $40
per metric ton of CO2, particularly on carbon-intensive
investments such as new coal-fired power plants, oil shale, tar
sands and coal-to-liquid projects.
• Push the SEC to issue guidance leading to full corporate
disclosure of climate risks and opportunities.
• Push Congress for a mandatory national policy to reduce
national greenhouse gas emissions in accordance with the 60-90
percent reductions below 1990 levels by 2050 that scientists
suggest is urgently needed to avoid the worst and most costly
impacts from climate change.
"This action plan reflects the many investment opportunities
that exist today to put a dent in global warming pollution,
build profits and benefit the global economy," said Mindy S.
Lubber, president of the Ceres investor coalition and director
of the Investor Network on Climate Risk. "Leveraging the vast
energy efficiency opportunities at home and abroad holds
especially great promise for investors."
The summit comes as worldwide investor attention on climate
change dramatically increases. In the last two years, investor
and asset manager participation in the Investor Network on
Climate Risk has more than doubled, to more than 60
institutional investors and with collective assets totaling $4.5
trillion. At today's summit, Deutsche Asset Management, which
manages over $800 billion in assets, announced it was joining
INCR, increasing INCR's total member assets to over $5 trillion.
Today's climate risk meeting was hosted and organized by the
United Nations Foundation, the United Nations Fund for
International Partnerships and Ceres, which directs the Investor
Network on Climate Risk. Ceres is a U.S. coalition of investor
and environmental leaders that has spearheaded national and
international investor activity on climate risk issues. A
webcast of the summit and press conference can be found at
CFO SINK VISITS THE
FLORIDA STATE FAIR
CFO Alex Sink’s office have been on hand everyday at the Florida State Fair
in Tampa. The Department of Financial Services booths offer a variety of
topics and information, and specialists can give assistance on-the-spot to
consumers with financial and insurance questions.
CFO Sink was master of ceremonies at the Governor's Day luncheon on Monday.
Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Charles Bronson and
Governor Charlie Crist were guest speakers.
From now until Monday,
February 18, 2008, representatives from the department will be located in
the Fair Expo Hall and Midway at the Florida State Fairgrounds. Come check
out our displays: Bureau of Unclaimed Property, My
Safe Florida Home program, Division of Consumer Services, Division of
Insurance Fraud, State Fire Marshal’s
Office, and Division of Workers’ Compensation.
Homeowners can sign up
for free home inspections under the My Safe Florida Home Program and learn
how to harden their homes against hurricanes. Everyone can search for names
of those who have money or property held for them by the State of Florida –
unclaimed property is returned to owners and heirs free of charge at any
GOVERNOR CRIST, CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER SINK, AND ATTORNEY
GENERAL McCOLLUM CONFIRM RECOMMENDATION OF FEDERATED INVESTORS INC.
TO MANAGE LOCAL GOVERNMENT INVESTMENT POOL
Governor Charlie Crist, Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink and
Attorney General Bill McCollum today, acting as Trustees for the
State Board of Administration (SBA), confirmed Interim Executive
Director Bob Milligan’s recommendation to hire Federated Investors
Inc. to manage the Local Government Investment Pool.
Governor Crist, CFO Sink and Attorney General McCollum also offered
the following statement:
“Federated Investors’ tremendous experience and 53 years of past
performance in investment management makes this firm an excellent
choice to manage Florida’s local government investment pool. Its
outstanding record, along with its high quality customer service,
will be a benefit to Florida’s local leaders seeking a
conservatively-managed investment fund.”
IRS WARNS OF EMAIL
AND TELEPHONE SCAMS USING THE IRS NAME
The Internal Revenue Service has warned taxpayers to beware of several
current e-mail and telephone scams that use the IRS name as a lure. The IRS
expects such scams to continue through the end of tax return filing season
The IRS cautioned taxpayers to be on the lookout for scams involving
upcoming advance payment checks. Since the government has enacted an
economic stimulus package in which the IRS will provide advance payments,
known informally as rebates to many Americans, a scam which uses the
proposed rebates as bait has already cropped up.
The goal of the scams is to trick people into revealing personal and
financial information, such as Social Security, bank account or credit card
numbers, which the scammers can use to commit identity theft.
Typically, identity thieves use a victim’s personal and financial data to
empty the victim’s financial accounts, run up charges on the victim’s
existing credit cards, apply for new loans, credit cards, services or
benefits in the victim’s name, file fraudulent tax returns or even commit
crimes. Most of these fraudulent activities can be committed electronically
from a remote location, including overseas. Committing these activities in
cyberspace allows scamsters to act quickly and cover their tracks before the
victim becomes aware of the theft.
People whose identities have been stolen can spend months or years — and
their hard-earned money — cleaning up the mess thieves have made of their
reputations and credit records. In the meantime, victims may lose job
opportunities, may be refused loans, education, housing or cars, or even get
arrested for crimes they didn't commit.
The IRS has seen several variations of a refund-related bogus e-mail
which falsely claims to come from the IRS, tells the recipient that he or
she is eligible for a tax refund for a specific amount, and instructs the
recipient to click on a link in the e-mail to access a refund claim form.
The form asks the recipient to enter personal information that the scamsters
can then use to access the e-mail recipient’s bank or credit card account.
In a new wrinkle, the current version of the refund scam includes two
paragraphs that appear to be directed toward tax-exempt organizations that
distribute funds to other organizations or individuals. The e-mail contains
the name and supposed signature of the Director of the IRS’s Exempt
Organizations business division.
This e-mail is a phony. The IRS does not send unsolicited e-mail about
tax account matters to individual, business, tax-exempt or other taxpayers.
Filing a tax return is the only way to apply for a tax refund; there is
no separate application form. Taxpayers who wish to find out if they are due
a refund from their last annual tax return filing may use the “Where’s
My Refund?” interactive application on this Web site, IRS.gov. The only
official IRS Web site is located here at
Consumer Services Helpline