Gretchen Morgenson had a good piece this weekend on fees paid by public pension funds. These fees are large and have grown rapidly in recent decades. The fees go to some of the richest people in the country, such as private equity and hedge fund managers (think of Peter Peterson or Mitt Romney).

The fees often do not correspond to any benefits to the pension funds in the form of higher returns. In other words, these fees are the equivalent of a massive welfare program under which the taxpayers are putting money in the pockets of some of the richest people in the country — for doing nothing.

A simple way to combat this taxpayer handout to the very wealthy is strong transparency requirements. If pension funds were required to public post the full terms of all contracts with pension fund advisers, private equity companies, and others involved in managing their money, along with the returns on the assets, it would likely cut down on the heist.

It's simple, but probably too big of a lift in the corrupt political environment of the U.S. today.