Permanent Fund Improves Performance

The Alaska Permanent Fund has increased by more than 7% in the first six months of its fiscal year, which runs from July to July. The fund is the financial base for Alaska’s Permanent Fund Divided, a small and variable basic income for all Alaska residents. The state of Alaska deposits a small amount of its oil revenue into the fund, which is invested in stocks, bonds, and other assets around the world. Each year, each Alaskan receives a share of the returns to that fund in the form of a cash dividend. Dividends have been declining gradually since the financial crises began to affect dividends in October of 2009. Usually between $1000 and $2000 per person per year, the dividend was only $878 in October of 2012. If this year’s performance continues, the dividend will start going up again in 2013. According to the Alaska Dispatch, the fund rose by 4.6% in the first quarter of the fiscal year and 2.7% in the second quarter for a total of 7.3% this year. That would be a solid increase even if the fund were to stagnate for the rest of the year. The fund is now at an all-time high of $44.6 billion.

For more on the fund’s recent performance, see: “Permanent Fund is off to a roaring start this fiscal year,” Alaska Dispatch, Jan 24, 2013:

About Karl Widerquist

Karl Widerquist is a Visiting Associate Professor at Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Theory from Oxford University and a Ph.D. in Economics from the City University of New York. He is coauthor of Economics for Social Workers and coeditor of the Ethics and Economics of the Basic Income Guarantee. He has contributed to journals such as Politics, Philosophy, and Economics; Political Studies; and the Eastern Economic Journal.
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