Friday, March 03, 2006
Crooks. Dubai Ports Deal. Why is Bush so adamant? Follow the Money, Stupid.
How come whenever there's a big deal, one of them owns the company, or used to own the company, or used to run the company that owns the company, or used to run the company that sold part of the company to the company that's making the deal? And probably owns a lot of stock in the company (or the parent company or the company that invested in the company)? And we don't? And it's a company we never heard of before? Like CSX or Dubai Ports World.
In case you haven't been following this, Treasury Secretary John Snow used to be the CEO of a company called CSX, an international transportation company, which sold its international terminal business to Dubai Ports World in 2003, the same Dubai Ports World that's buying Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation (P&O) which is how they're going to end up managing all those U.S. Ports...
Anyway, I looked up John Snow's financial disclosure statement and, let me tell you, the Secretary of the Treasury is a seriously rich fellow. There are all these boxes that you check that define how much of a stock you might own, $5000-$10,000, $50,000-$100,000, 1,000,000-5,000,000 and there's a box that's $25,000,000-$50,000,000 and Secretary Snow has checked it more than once. And, in one instance, that little $25,000,000-$50,000,000 box is checked in relation to CSX. I've never checked that box. I didn't even know that box existed.
Now, John Snow's right-hand man at CSX was a fellow called David Sanborn who then went to work as a senior executive at Dubai Ports World until a month ago when (this deal was surely already afoot) President Bush nominated him to be the new U.S. Maritime Administrator.
So, when Treasury Secretary John Snow (who in addition to being Treasury Secretary is the head of the "Committee on Foreign Investment, the committee that vets and signed off on this deal to begin with) said two weeks ago, that he didn't know anything about the Dubai Ports World deal until he heard about it in the press, I didn't believe him. Is Secretary Snow so out of touch with his old colleagues (nobody even gossips with him) and his own staff that he didn't know anything about a 6.8 billion dollar deal (involving a company he has intimate knowledge of), which even by John Snow's standards is a pretty big deal? I don't believe it. So, why is he saying that he didn't know? Is there something about it that would seem improper?
In any event, Treasury Secretary Snow's financial disclosure statements are only available on-line for the years 2002, 2003 (has he forgotten to file them?) but as soon as he posts the new ones, I'm looking them up and I'm calling my broker.