Silicon Valley and other hotbeds of innovation would wither on the vine without venture capital, that angel-of-mercy investment money that can turn an idea into the next Google or Facebook. 

But now that the biggest pension fund in the U.S. is moments away from curtailing its venture capital adventures, the entire venture capital market could be in for a long cold winter.

The nation's largest public pension fund, the California Public Employees' Retirement System, has decided to get out of the venture capital business, according to a recent Reuters article. "One [reason we are getting out] is that venture [capital] has been the most disappointing asset class over the past 10 years as far as returns," said Joe Dear, CalPERS' chief investment officer.

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