Michael Froman is President Obama's nominee to be the new U.S. Trade Representative, the government's top international trade agreement negotiator. Also, Michael Froman has cash stashed in the Cayman Islands and takes advantage of tax loopholes Obama has publicly railed against. Hmm.
The NYT reports on the results of Froman's financial disclosure forms, handed over to the Senate committee handling his nomination process. Well now, let's see here, we need a squeaky clean representative of America's financial policies, everything seems to be in order here... oh, well, one thing:
According to a 2011 financial document, Mr. Froman held $490,845 in Citigroup’s CVCIGP II U.S. Employee L.P. fund, based in Grand Cayman’s Ugland House [pictured], a modest, white-washed building that has been widely cited as a symbol of tax avoidance since it is home to nearly 19,000 business entities seeking favorable tax treatment.
Yeah...and the other thing, while you're down there:
Mr. Froman’s 2009 financial disclosure forms showed holdings in three different Citigroup accounts that maximize profits through “carried interest,” a tax loophole that allows private equity and hedge fund managers to claim compensation as capital gains, thus paying a lower tax rate than if that pay is taxed as income.
A loophole that Obama is currently trying to close, to the dismay of the hedge fund industry! In conclusion, this guy should not be U.S. Trade Representative, if such financial policies are taken to represent actual values (which they should), because he has flouted those actual values for his own financial gain, and the fact that he only did what it is standard practice to do in the finance industry is no excuse, because Obama is trying to change the standard practice, because that standard practice is in fact detrimental to America, both financially and morally, as it is one of the most shockingly regressive taxation loopholes in all the land. So unless Obama really only, wink-wink, thinks these rules he's proposing are for other people, why not find a better U.S. Trade Representative, like, I dunno, Ralph Nader.
[NYT. Photo: AP]