You know, the Trump administration is starting to look more and more like an open casting call for roles in “Ocean’s Eleven.”You have Steve Mnuchin, treating government transportation like a taxpayer funded Uber service, taking his bridezilla all over the place on our nickel. Then you’ve got Ryan Zinke, who uses government transportation like a teenager going to the prom in a limo paid for by Daddy, and who also pimped for a hometown electric company with two full time employees to get a $300 nillion contract to restore power in Puerto Rico. And who can forget Tom Price, the Healt and Human Services Secretary who was so profligate with using government charters for personal use that he had to resign, even though he offered to reimburse the taxpayers for his seat on 10-18 passenger charter flights. But actually, Price is lucky, his taking a hike stalled what could have been an extremely embarrassing ethics investigation about him pulling an Ivan Boesky, buying and selling medical stocks whose price would be directly impacted by decisions he made as chair of a congressional committee. Quite the rogues gallery, huh?
And now you can add Wilbur Ross, the Commerce Secretary onto the pile. Ross was an apple with a bruise to start with, what with being the co chair of a bank in Cyprus, whose other co chair was a Russian oligarch whose name has come up repeatedly in the Trump-Russia investigation, and the bank itself is known as an industrial size washing machine for Russian laundered rubles. And let’s nor forget that Paul Manafort had more Cyprus bank accounts under various names than Tom Brady has Super Bowl jerseys.
But now, Ross is in trouble in a different way, only much more serious trouble, and from an official accuser. The Daily Beast is reporting that the European Parliament is accusing Wilbur Ross of being an inside trader. It turns out that back in 2008, Ross held a long position in The Bank of Ireland. Apparently the bank was a rather randy lad, holding investments in several rather questionable offerings. According to the report released to the Parliament members last week, Ross got out of his positions at a very fortunate time, right before the bubble burst on the bank. The problem is, the report alleges that Ross “had access to the loss details that kept hidden from retail shareholders.” This allowed Ross to sell his shares at a profit while the rest of the world thought that the banks shares were doing just ducky, which is kind of like getting off of a bus two blocks before ait crashes without telling any of the other passengers that you smelled alcohol on the drivers breath.
Knowing no more about European banking regulations than I do about fancy French wines, I have no idea if there are any potential criminal or civil liabilities for Ross across the pond for his churlish behavior, but one can only hope so. Back here n the good old US of A, I can easily see this as costing Ross his cushy job. Not so much for being a criminal investor, but for not offering to cut the idiot Godfather in the White House in on the action. Such is the world we live in these days.