« | »

Durbin Cashed Out After Treasury Briefing

From Bloomberg News:

Durbin Invests With Buffett After Funds Sale Amid Market Plunge

By James Rowley

June 13 (Bloomberg) — The Senate’s No. 2 Democrat, Dick Durbin, sold more than $115,000 worth of stocks and mutual-fund shares as U.S. stock markets plummeted last September, using much of the money to invest in Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

The Illinois senator’s 2008 financial disclosure statement shows he sold mutual-fund shares worth $42,696 on Sept. 19, the day after then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke urged congressional leaders in a closed meeting to craft legislation to help financially troubled banks. The same day, he bought $43,562 worth of Berkshire Hathaway’s Class B stock, the disclosure shows.

Altogether, Durbin sold investments worth $116,000 in September. By Oct. 2, he had invested $98,046 in Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire Hathaway, the form shows.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index plunged 4.7 percent last Sept. 15 after the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and Bank of America Corp.’s government-engineered takeover of Merrill Lynch & Co. By the end of October, the index had fallen 22.6 percent.

“Durbin was doing what a lot of other people were doing, taking a look at their savings” and seeing it “start to tank and trying to preserve some level of wealth by getting out of the market,” said spokesman Joe Shoemaker.

Shoemaker said Durbin didn’t capitalize on anything Paulson and Bernanke told congressional leaders at the Sept. 18 meeting. Whatever information Paulson gave lawmakers wasn’t secret or classified and was disclosed publicly the next day, Shoemaker said.

The presentation by Paulson and Bernanke kicked off the Bush administration’s campaign for the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program that Congress passed in early October to help shore up distressed banks.

After the meeting in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Capitol office, Paulson told reporters that he and Bernanke were seeking an “expeditious solution” to “deal with systemic risk and the stresses on our capital markets.”

While lawmakers gave no details at the time, Pelosi has repeatedly said since the meeting that Paulson and Bernanke warned that if Congress didn’t act quickly the U.S. economy would collapse.

Over four days from Sept. 16 through Sept. 19, Durbin sold $83,156 worth of shares in mutual funds that invested in China and Latin America and in the RS Global Natural Resources Fund, which invests in mining, oil and other natural resources companies.

Durbin sold shares in the Fidelity Southeast Asia Fund, the Matthews China Fund, the T. Rowe Price Latin America Fund, and Janus Overseas Fund, and the Aberdeen Natural Resources Fund.

Most of the trades involved holdings in Durbin’s individual retirement account. Shoemaker said Durbin, 64, traded the shares himself, through an electronic account at San Francisco-based Charles Schwab Corp.

In addition, the disclosure form shows that during the week that started with Lehman’s bankruptcy, Durbin shifted $52,180 from “riskier funds into safer funds” in his government investment plan, Shoemaker said.

Those retirement-account transactions, listed by Durbin on the financial disclosure form, weren’t included in Bloomberg’s computation of the trades for the period.

On Dec. 31, Durbin and his wife, Loretta, sold $31,476 worth of the Berkshire Hathaway shares, taking short-term capital losses totaling $10,419, according to a copy of the couple’s 2008 tax return filed with the disclosure form.

How typical.

Like Democrats always do, Mr. Durbin was just ‘looking out for the little guy.’ Meaning, himself.

Shoemaker said Durbin didn’t capitalize on anything Paulson and Bernanke told congressional leaders at the Sept. 18 meeting. Whatever information Paulson gave lawmakers wasn’t secret or classified and was disclosed publicly the next day, Shoemaker said.

“The next day,” being the operative word here.

Luckily, Mr. Durbin is a Democrat.

And being a Democrat means never having to say you’re sorry.

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, June 14th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

9 Responses to “Durbin Cashed Out After Treasury Briefing”

  1. Enthalpy says:

    What should we be expecting from a United States Senator who has called our soldiers Nazis?

  2. proreason says:

    “Durbin was doing what a lot of other people inside traders were doing, taking a look at their savings” and seeing it “start to tank and trying to preserve some level of wealth by getting out of the market make sure he used his inside knowledge to maximize his profits,”

    fixed that

  3. Confucius says:

    Durbin should be prosecuted for insider trading. He can take Martha’s room at Camp Cupcake.

  4. MinnesotaRush says:

    C’mon! Cut ’em some slack.

    “While lawmakers gave no details at the time, Pelosi has repeatedly said since the meeting that Paulson and Bernanke warned that if Congress didn’t act quickly the U.S. economy would collapse.”

    So she and o-blah-blah IMMEDIATELY went to work to make it happen!

    Aren’t they doing just a swell job!?!?!?

    God help us!

  5. MinnesotaRush says:

    “Shoemaker said Durbin didn’t capitalize on anything Paulson and Bernanke told congressional leaders at the Sept. 18 meeting.”

    I have a picture in my mind of the end of that meeting. It’s like a herd of cockroaches scampering from light.

  6. BK says:

    In the private world that is called “insider trading” which is illegal.

    From Wilipedia:

    “Insider trading is the trading of a corporation’s stock or other securities (e.g. bonds or stock options) by individuals with potential access to non-public information about the company. ”

    “The United States is generally viewed as having the strictest laws against illegal insider trading, and makes the most serious efforts to enforce them.”

    So isn’t illegal when Durbin “the day after then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke urged congressional leaders in a closed meeting to craft legislation to help financially troubled banks”?

  7. heykev says:

    Insider Trading – yes

    Despicable – absolutely

    But that’s just business as usual here in Illinois. It’s a daily occurrence here that some politician is either indited, shown to pocket from his position or have his relatives hired for make work jobs. Like MR said “It’s like a herd of cockroaches scampering from light.” but in this case it’s Illinois politicians and not members our illustrious Legislative branch of government.

    Here’s one today that surfaced:

    “C harles Flowers is a good family man. Many politicians make that claim, but Flowers now has an audit, conducted by the state, to prove it.

    Flowers, superintendent of the Suburban Cook County Regional Office of Education, not only hired his two sisters and a nephew to work for him but has dipped into the office cash when the paycheck wasn’t enough for his relatives.

    Less than a year after his election, he approved a $6,000 cash advance to sister Barbara Flowers.

    “Repayments were to occur each pay period starting on April 4, 2008. The payroll register does not show any repayments between this date and June 30, 2008,” according to a report by the state’s auditor general, who this week called on the Illinois attorney general and Cook County state’s attorney to investigate Flowers’ operation of the office. …

    Everyone knows these are difficult economic times. Most of us have family or friends who are struggling to get by.

    Flowers didn’t wait for some federal bailout to help his people. He just stuck his hand into the office kitty and began handing the money out. I mean, it’s sort of like the GM and Chrysler bailouts, only without the red tape.

    And Flowers is a hard-working fellow. I know that because every time I call and ask to speak to Flowers one of his sisters tells me he’s out of the office and in the field.

    This guy isn’t the sort to sit behind a desk. For example, Flowers took $6,669 in cash advances on his office credit card for personal trips in Mississippi and Illinois to purchase a vehicle and furniture for his office, according to the auditor’s report. He also purchased airline tickets to Mississippi for family members and paid for a rental car.”

    Full article:
    http://www.southtownstar.com/news/kadner/1621037,061409Kadner.article

    That my friends, is how Illinois works.


« Front Page | To Top
« | »