Hivemind Question: is This a Real Issue?

The New York Times has a story about Obama’s financial transactions. What stands out is that on his behalf his accountant made a highly speculative stock purchase that coincided with his major donors’ investments, which Obama sold at a loss after finding out about. However, the purchase included a biotech buy, two weeks after which he began making fighting avian flu a priority (though the corporation in question hasn’t received any federal funds for avian flu).

Is this a real issue? I’m too cynical to care about ethics issues – in my mind, every politician is as ethical as Vito Corleone, but some are better than others at hiding it – but your mileage may vary. Do you think it’s a real instance of corruption, or a legitimate dealing?

7 Responses to Hivemind Question: is This a Real Issue?

  1. muppt says:

    Joemama Obama

  2. SLC says:

    Re muppt

    This soundl like the kind of shenanigans that Canadians indulge in.

  3. SLC says:

    In the latest go round, Mr. Obama claims that he knew nothing of the investments. The question is, should he have known? Clearly, if he had known, he should have recused himself from advocating legislation that benefited those companies.

  4. Patness says:

    I tend not to engage in such shenanigans.

    The way I see it, though, it’s business. If he’s in a position to see the potential growth of a company, and sees its profitability, he’s going to invest in it, provided he has the power to do so. He has that power.

    Asking anything else is rather idealizing the whole mess.

  5. SLC says:

    Re Patness

    The problem is that he was backing legislation that would have benefited the company he was investing in. That’s considered a conflict of interest. His excuse is that he was unaware of the investment because his investments had been put into a blind trust administered by an outside party.

  6. Patness says:

    “That’s considered a conflict of interest.”

    I’m aware of this, and I don’t like it either. However, I tend not to let the notion of ethics play an influential role in that judgement. If I dislike his actions, I must take action to discourage them. Talking about whether or not they are ethical is aside from the matter, as they will be taken regardless of whether or not they are, in fact, ethical.

    The world spins on it’s axis, not it’s ethic.

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