U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross does things a little bit differently. He dresses differently. He sees brutal theocratic dictatorships differently. He counts differently. Most importantly, he has novel and innovative ideas about things like conflicts of interest and transparency, which mostly add up to the conclusion that the former do not exist and the latter is not important.
Apparently, this memo has not reached Dublin or Brussels, where there is suddenly much hand-wringing and finger-pointing about the former private-equity titan’s suspiciously lucrative three-year investment in the Bank of Ireland.
Earlier this year, Luke Ming Flanagan, an Irish politician and member of the European Parliament, the European Union’s governing body, commissioned a report on the 2008 eurozone banking crisis…. The report alleges that when Ross sold off his holdings in the bank for a massive profit in 2014, he possessed inside information that the bank was relying on deceptive accounting practices to mask its losses and embellish its financial position….
Ross “had access to the loss details that Bank of Ireland kept hidden from retail shareholders,” the report states. “The profit that Mr. Ross accumulated was largely at their expense….”
“Wilbur Ross and others have serious questions to answer on the purchase of Bank of Ireland shares,” he said in the statement.
We’re sure he’ll get right on that, Luke. In the meantime, we have a serious question for you: While you’ve been diligently plugging away on this report, have you had occasion to catch any of the headlines emanating forth from this side of the Atlantic vis-à-vis these sorts of things?