Saturday, July 15, 2006

Fun With Stock Ownership

A Joe Lieberman mailer suggests that Ned Lamont, Lieberman's anti-war primary opponent, is a hypocrite because he has invested in the defense industry. Apparently, Lamont owns some Halliburton shares.

I've been looking through Lieberman's financial disclosure form for 2005. It's a mostly boring document that shows that the Senator owns way too many overlapping mutual funds and that he should fire his financial advisor. It also shows a bit of Lieberman's own hypocrisy. Back in 2002, Lieberman chaired the Government Affairs Committee in the Senate. In this release, he trumpets his committee's finding that Merrill Lynch had colluded with Enron in order to defraud the public.

Well, despite finding that Merrill had gotten itself involved with a major corporate scandal, Lieberman has handed over most of his financial planning business to... Merrill Lynch. He and his wife have managed accounts at Merrill and also a Merrill sponsored college savings plan. They own a slew of Merrill Lynch mutual funds.

Politicians should be careful when accusing their opponents of hypocrisy based on investments. If there's something wrong with owning Halliburton stock and opposing the war then there's certainly something wrong with handing over your own business to a company that your own Senate committee helped to expose as one that defrauded the investing public.


At 11:24 PM , Blogger Jon E. said...

No, silly. See, it's hypocrisy when Ned Lamont does it. Ned Lamont. He's a bad man.

It's not hypocrisy when Joe Lieberman does it. Joe Lieberman's a Senator. From Connecticut. Not a hypocrite.


At 8:05 PM , Blogger matt said...

I think both sides have been hypocritical about it. It's why I haven't gotten into it...

At 10:30 PM , Blogger Mike M. said...

Lieberdem: I admit... I'm a Lamont guy. But, I see your point and feel it too... this stock ownership debate is just the wrong debate. Both candidates invest and neither have claimed that they invest based on social or political ideas, so, to me, this is, in the broad sense, a non-issue.

BUT... Lieberman brought it up and so I posted my reply.

In the larger sense, I agree with you that this is so picayune as to be meaningless.

However, Lieberman's camp made it part of the primary debate. I simplu suggest that if it is part of that debate that both parties have investments to answer for.


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