Thursday, July 1, 2010

BFD of the day

Gavin Newsom's wife's trust held stock in Transocean, the company that owned the drilling rig that is now permanently ruining the Gulf Coast. BFD.

It turns out that San Francisco's eco-conscious Mayor Gavin Newsom and his wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, own a piece of the deepwater rig at the center of the gulf oil disaster.

According to the mayor's most recently filed economic disclosure statement, last year the couple invested between $10,000 and $100,000 in Transocean Inc. - the company whose ruptured deepwater rig, which is leased to BP, is spewing millions of gallons of oil, endangering wildlife and beaches all along the Gulf Coast.

So what? I'm sure my mutual fund is invested in baby seal coats and Bible stores and whatever. I have no Earthly idea what I'm invested in. I highly doubt Gavin knew either. And if he knew, through some weird circumstance, that his wife was invested in Transocean, do you think he did some due diligence and found out that Transocean ran deepwater drilling rigs in the Gulf of Mexico? Please.

Yes, it would be best if we researched every company that our spouse's trust is invested in to make sure they're all in line with what we believe, but who really does that? Besides Ed Begley? I mean, the new chancellor of UCSF had a substantial investment in tobacco stock. Tobacco! And she's the chancellor of a medical school with a famous anti-smoking crusader on the faculty! She had that stock from August of last year until someone noticed last week. See my point?

Generic thinks this will cost him the race for Lieutenant Governor. I say it costs him, at the outside, a few hundred votes. The majority of Californians will never hear about this story. Gavin may lose for other reasons - namely, that there are a lot of Republicans in California - but this? Hardly.


subframe said...

My understanding is that the investments weren't just part of some fund or whatever, like you get with your 401k. It sounds like they were direct investments, made consciously.

There are also apparently investments in a bunch of other oil/mining companies.

So I don't think it's okay to let Newsom off the hook because he probably didn't know, or didn't understand... When you're investing 100k in something, you take the time to do the research, and you act accordingly. It's hard to see how the Newsoms could have accidentally invested hundreds of thousands in these companies without knowing what they were doing...

Tamagosan said...

What's this about an oil spill?

TK said...

I don't know, subframe, we're talking about people with shitloads of money to invest. With the size of their portfolio, an investment of $10,000 to $100,000 is probably not one that gets individual attention.

That being said, if it turns out that Gavin personally selected Transocean to invest in and knew the company was involved in offshore drilling and invested deliberately in it anyway, then he's a hypocrite. But I still kind of doubt that happened.

Tamagosan, Obama caused a huge oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and then wouldn't help clean it up. That's what I heard on Fox News, anyway.

Tamagosan said...

All clear now, thanks. :-)

This may make me look like the our scary friends at Fox News, but:

Whirlwind said...

in the same vein, i don't think meg whitman's Goldman Sachs connection is going to hurt her.

Stoney said...

I think it's a blind trust. I doubt the other shoe will drop.

scramble_roger said...

Sounds like the Mayor is going to fire his broker. However, I wonder if George Soros just accidentally pumped $800 million into Petrobras...and his timing was impeccable.