PDA

View Full Version : Can you be so wealthy, you even forget what you own?



Norman Bernstein
01-19-2017, 10:35 AM
Evidently, Steven Mnuchin is... if you believe his 'inadvertent' omissions from his financial disclosure forms:


President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the Treasury Department initially failed to disclose his interests in a Cayman Islands corporation as well as more than $100 million in personal assets, according to a memo by Democratic staffers on the Senate Finance Committee that was obtained by The Washington Post.

Steven T. Mnuchin is slated to face lawmakers Thursday in what is expected to be a testy confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee. Mnuchin has already come under fire (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/12/30/democrats-are-already-building-a-case-against-trumps-pick-to-lead-treasury-department/?utm_term=.736c893251a7)for his management of a controversial California bank accused of aggressively foreclosing on homeowners and discriminating against minorities — charges that he denies. Democrats have also sought to highlight the former Goldman Sachs executive’s deep ties to Wall Street in hopes of undercutting Trump’s populist appeal, and the new details of his financial holdings are likely to provide them more ammunition.

"The reason nominees are allowed to amend their disclosure forms is to ensure that all the information provided is correct," Mnuchin spokeswoman Tara Bradshaw said. "That is why we have provided the appropriate amended forms to the committee."

According to the memo, Mnuchin submitted answers Dec. 19 to a standard committee questionnaire seeking information about his financial and business interests. At the time, Mnuchin verified that those responses were accurate and complete.

However, Mnuchin had left out $95 million in real estate from his initial disclosures, according to the memo. Those assets included a co-op in New York City and homes in Southampton, New York, and Los Angeles. In addition, the memo revealed that Mnuchin possesses about $15 million worth of real estate in Mexico.

Mnuchin also at first failed to disclose his role as director of Dune Capital International, which is incorporated in the Cayman Islands, the document shows. He also holds positions in nine other business entities and three trusts, including one connected to Sears Chief Executive Edward Lampert, Mnuchin’s former college roommate.

According to the memo, Mnuchin characterized the missing information as inadvertent mistakes, and he updated his answers to the committee’s questionnaire on Saturday, less than a week before his hearing.

Mnuchin is just one of the ultra-rich advisers that Trump has picked to fill his Cabinet, which is expected to be the wealthiest in modern American history. Billionaire investor Wilbur Ross is the nominee to lead the Commerce Department, while Education Department nominee Betsy DeVos is the daughter-in-law of Richard DeVos, the co-founder of Amway. Trump’s pick for secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, retired as chief executive of ExxonMobil following his nomination with a retirement package of $180 million.



The nominees’ extensive and complicated financial ties — coupled with the fact that many of them have never served in government — have overwhelmed the government’s ethics office as well as committee staff responsible for vetting them. Delays in paperwork and financial disclosures forced hearings to be delayed for several Cabinet picks, including labor secretary nominee Andrew Puzder, chief executive of CKE Restaurants, which owns burger chains Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s.

"Mr. Mnuchin’s failure to disclose his Cayman Islands holdings just reeks of the swamp that the President-elect promised to drain on the campaign trail," Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in a statement Thursday. "In nominee after nominee, [Republicans are] tolerating a dramatically lower bar for ethical standards, something Washington and America will soon regret.”

Someone ought to ask him WHY he has an interest in a corporation in the Cayman Islands.

David G
01-19-2017, 10:37 AM
Sure. Happens to me all the time.

outofthenorm
01-19-2017, 10:46 AM
Sure. Found a set of taps and dies the other day that I didn't know I owned. Of course, I found it just after buying a new set.

amish rob
01-19-2017, 11:04 AM
I know a guy just left a house out when he was counting them. He has 19 homes, so I forgive him. No, they are not rentals.

And, no. He WON'T spring for coffee...:)

Peace,
Robert

TomF
01-19-2017, 11:06 AM
Life savings and more for some is pocket change for others. I'd be surprised if their accountants don't know what these folks own though.

Bob Adams
01-19-2017, 11:35 AM
Sure. Found a set of taps and dies the other day that I didn't know I owned. Of course, I found it just after buying a new set.

Yup. Been there, done that.

Norman Bernstein
01-19-2017, 11:39 AM
Sure. Found a set of taps and dies the other day that I didn't know I owned. Of course, I found it just after buying a new set.

I'm looking right now, at four different hex key sets that I own... each one, but the first, bought because I couldn't find the last :)

Ian McColgin
01-19-2017, 11:43 AM
I guess I could see being so rich that I'd forget that $100 million and so busy that I'd forget attending directors' meetings of an off-shore corporation that I set up to hide assets, but when you're making disclosures you hire people and review the work to be sure it's wrong.

We've got a pattern here of admitting when caught but no evidence that there is not more, no reason to believe any statement is at last complete. This omission is a permanent disqualifier.

That's on top of his other disqualifiers like his predatory foreclosure for profit practices.

I don't expect Trump to nominate anyone with whom I can agree on matters of policy. I do expect any president to nominate and any Senate not ideologically devoted to domination at the expense of governance to reject people of demonstrated incompetence, dishonesty, or opposition to the rule of law.

Norman Bernstein
01-19-2017, 11:52 AM
So, yeah, I could see a rich man not remembering what all he owned.

...including when the guy is nominated for a cabinet position, is specifically asked to report his assets, and is aware that past nominees have been 'sunk' by failing to disclose?

LAME excuse... VERY lame.

Lew Barrett
01-19-2017, 12:13 PM
Some time back I was using a hacksaw to cut through a 1/2 inch stainless steel rod. Had it clamped in the vice and was really working that saw. My youngest son came up behind me and said,"don't you have an air powered hacksaw?"......... I had forgotten I owned it. Isn't the first time I've forgotten that I actually already owned a certain tool..... sometimes I buy duplicates by mistake.....

So, yeah, I could see a rich man not remembering what all he owned.

Let's examine this for a moment. You forgot your saw while he overlooked an account in the Cayman Islands with a balance of $100,000,000. Is it a wonder you've got less than nothing? Maybe I can see the symmetry if I squint.

jack grebe
01-19-2017, 12:22 PM
When you are a multi billionaire, having others over see your investments,


Yeah, I can see it. I have a very large collection of tools, I couldn't
Possibly remember every one.....or even come close .

Lew Barrett
01-19-2017, 12:37 PM
Well, that saw is worth more to me than that $100 million is to him.

You don't find "overlooking" an account in the Caymans with $100 million a problem for the guy about to take over the Treasury?
I have to admit, I'm OK with you forgetting about your hacksaw.

Norman Bernstein
01-19-2017, 01:16 PM
Some time back I was using a hacksaw to cut through a 1/2 inch stainless steel rod. Had it clamped in the vice and was really working that saw. My youngest son came up behind me and said,"don't you have an air powered hacksaw?"......... I had forgotten I owned it. Isn't the first time I've forgotten that I actually already owned a certain tool..... sometimes I buy duplicates by mistake.....

So, yeah, I could see a rich man not remembering what all he owned.

Just think about this, for a second.

Mnuchin himself didn't fill out his disclosure forms; someone worth billions of dollars has a team of lawyers on retainer, to do that stuff. These lawyers were quite aware that he was a nominee for a cabinet position, and they were quite aware that what they were doing was making an ethics disclosure.....

....so you think his team of lawyers merely 'forgot' about the Cayman Islands, or the property in Mexico?

Or is it vastly more likely that they thought they could get away with not mentioning it, unless some staffer or reporter uncovered them... and then simply submit an 'amended' disclosure form? "Gee, we're sorry, we forgot about all that stuff..."

Like Judge Judy says: don't pee up my leg and then tell me it's raining.

amish rob
01-19-2017, 01:37 PM
Really? This is WHAT THEY DO! The whole reason for teams of lawyers and offshore holdings is to hide money.

Should he be in charge of the Treasury? Why not? Look at the ghouls who run the Fed. I'm sure they are all clean and nice Bankers, who follow all the rules to the letter.

Let's go back to the good old Clinton days, eh? Bankers Gone Wild.:)

Are we mad that this type may get into the government, or that this type exists, at all?

Peace,
Robert

Too Little Time
01-19-2017, 01:53 PM
You don't find "overlooking" an account in the Caymans with $100 million
Not to pick on you, but the account in the Caymans and the $100 million are separate and distinct.

If I was given a list of my assets, I might not be able to pick out the one or two that someone did not put on the list.

But it is remarkable the guy missed such a large percentage of his wealth. Perhaps he should not run the Treasury.

Lew Barrett
01-19-2017, 04:25 PM
So, did he steal the money? Is he just using a tax haven? You do know the USA is one of the top tax havens in the world.

Who said he stole it? You do know that this is real money even for a rich man. Is a guy who forgets $100,000,000 accounts all that savvy, or does he have something he'd rather not disclose?

Ted Hoppe
01-19-2017, 04:30 PM
Yep. A job creator for sure. I am wondering if we can cross reference him with the released Panama papers?