Wilbur Ross banked $53-$127 Million on the side while he was Secretary of Commerce. Now he’s working at his $300 million business in the Cayman Islands set up while he was in office.
According to a report from the HuffPost, former Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross was busy attending to his own financial well-being while serving under Donald Trump — raking in at least $53 million and starting up a new business in the Cayman Islands.
Ross, who was recently accused of creating “an environment of paranoia and retaliation” at Commerce, was working on the taxpayers’ dime while keeping his business deals ongoing during his tenure.
“Ross is already engaged in a new enterprise, a special purpose acquisition company that reportedly attracted $300 million from investors. He established the company in the Cayman Islands in January while he was still in public office, ” the report states.
During his time in the Donald Trump’s cabinet, Ross faced multiple complaints about his business dealings, with CREW accusing him “possible insider trading and other violations when he reportedly shorted Navigator stock after learning that a negative story was coming out in The New York Times about his links to the company,” among other ethical issues.
If you are surprised that a cabinet member might set up such a company while still technically in office—Ross’ term didn’t end until the next day, January 20—then you might need an introduction to the former commerce secretary. Three former colleagues have accused Wilbur Ross of taking or stealing their private equity interests. In 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission fined his firm, WL Ross & Co., for allegedly breaking laws that prohibit misleading investors and defrauding clients. While in office, he issued false statements, held ethically dubious meetings and engaged in suspiciously timed trading.
But Ross has a knack for slipping out of scandals. He settled the cases with his former colleagues, signing confidentiality clauses to keep the troubles under wraps. Six months after his firm settled with the SEC, he abandoned it for Washington. He managed to operate in government for years, even as his office apparently lied about the existence of a commerce department investigation, then brushed aside its findings when they finally came out in December 2020.
Ross is now back in business, having found a new set of people willing to trust him—just as he always has. “Wilbur, to me, was the master negotiator,” Ross’ former right-hand man, David Storper, explained in a 2019 interview. “Because he could end up picking somebody’s pocket across the table, but they would also end up thanking him for it.”
A comparison of the results with vote totals from the 2020 election reveals that eight of the 10 least educated states voted for President Donald Trump last year:
New Mexico (Biden)
South Carolina (Trump)
West Virginia (Trump
A study released last month by WalletHub analyzing education in all 50 states used 18 metrics to gauge educational attainment and quality of education for each, and then ranked the states from most to least educated.
Educational attainment was calculated based on the percentage of adults, 25 years and older with each of the following: a high school diploma; some college experience or an associate’s degree; a bachelor’s degree; or a graduate or professional degree.
Quality of Education and Attainment Gap used several indictors of k-12 education and a few measures pertaining to higher education. Included were such items as the quality of the state’s public school system, the number of Blue Ribbon Schools per capita, high-school graduation rate, National Assessment of Educational Progress scores, Advanced Placement test performance, the quality of the universities in the state and the number of students per capita enrolled in top universities, whether states have voucher programs and have passed summer learning legislation, whether states have free community college, and the size of racial and gender gaps in the percentage of residents with bachelor’s degrees.