consultants are sandburs

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Give the guy a hammer and sickle, (even though his software was to outsource worker jobs). Oh, wait, that was yesterday, before the oligarchs of great wealth and will to buy influence took over. During the Cold War before this new one.

Cowgirl breaks a "put a fork in him" story for Montanans, by linking to INTERESTING news at Guardian. Cowboy posting on Cowgirl blog, excerpts and links, here, at Guradian. And Cowgirl analyzes, so read the Cowgirl's latest post for that. Guradian reported;

GOP candidate has financial ties to US-sanctioned Russian companies --
Congressional candidate Greg Gianforte owns shares in Russian index funds --
$250,000 invested in funds with holdings in Gazprom and Rosneft --
Ben Jacobs in Washington - Friday 28 April 2017 14.54 EDT

According to a financial disclosure filed with the clerk of the House of Representatives, the Montana tech mogul owns almost $150,000 worth of shares in VanEck Vectors Russia ETF and $92,400 in the IShares MSCF Russia ETF fund. Both are indexed to the Russian equities market and have significant holdings in companies such as Gazprom and Rosneft that came under US sanctions in the aftermath of the Russian invasion of the Crimea.

The holdings, while substantial, make up only a small portion of Gianforte’s wealth. [...]

Richard Nephew, the former principal deputy coordinator for sanctions policy at the state department, told the Guardian that “there is definitely a question here but my initial reaction is that this is not something to freak out about” [... but] it did raise some concerns from “a Russia policy perspective” as a conflict of interest because “betting on Russia’s economy is problematic”.

Shane Scanlon, a spokesman for Gianforte, told the Guardian that the Republican candidate did not oversee his portfolio on a day-to-day basis. Instead, Gianforte focused on the “overall performance”, he said.

[Guradian's linking omitted]

Well, gee. Portfolio so big a mere six-figure chunk of it can be dismissed as unimportant. Oligarchs use that kind of cash to light their cigars. Greg and Susan are attuned to the portfolio in toto. Boy, that's a relief. Yet, "not day to day" really says little about how long the bet on the Russian energy sector has lingered. Nor, more importantly, why the investment's been kept given sanctions in place against that very Russian energy sector, over Ukranian incursions by the portfolio's Russians. As if, by some action, sanctions could lift.

You'd think a politician holding out the Trump kid all around the State of Montana would have changed the portfolio first; FBI investigations being pending as they are in the direction they are taking. A savvy politician at least. Not a tone-deaf one.

So now we know. No wonder he's campaigning with Trump Jr. Of a feather. Flocking together, and borscht anyone? Just not this borscht, not Ukranian. Make it good ol' Mother Russia. But wait - isn't that getting into policy things the Russian investor might have to vote about, if he ever makes it to Congress?

An earlier but recent post is in a way related.

Quist verbally jabs at GOP opponent in 'health care town hall' in Missoula
By DAVID ERICKSON Mar 30, 2017

[...] Quist’s personal health issues have been in the media spotlight lately. The Billings Gazette has quoted Quist attributing his 16-year debt trail to 20 years of sporadic illness due to a botched gallbladder surgery in 1996. The Gazette also reported this week that, according to court documents, Quist said he was too sick to work and make mortgage payments in 2011, even though he played 35 shows with the Mission Mountain Wood band that year.

[...] “My health care issues have been splattered across the state,” he said. “This is something I have not hidden from. I kind of laid out all my issues in gory detail in my first speech at the Missoula Public Library.”

[...] “I challenge Gianforte and all their media mouthpieces to come listen to the stories today,” he said. “Greg Gianforte has $2.5 million in stock for some of these pharmaceutical companies that are charging such high prices. We need to reject Mr. Gianforte and the dinosaur he rode in on.”

[italics added] At a guess, most Montanans cannot understand the love between a rich man and his portfolio management goals and decisions: Keep betting on the Russians, and expect sanctions relief. Sometime. Somehow. Keep riding the profit-gouging Pharma-Industrial complex. It's good for one's money to do so.

How many Montanans might regard six-figure blocs of a portfolio as miniscule? Of little consequence? As not influencing policy likelihoods, were the portfolio holder to ever have a Congressional vote? As irrelevant to that?

As a bet, more Montanans live paycheck to paycheck and have suffered one time or another horrendously at the hands of "healthcare delivery costs" and pharmaceutical profiteering than have the money allocation concerns the Gianforte portfolio entails, or ones like it. You can trust Quist will make Congressional decisions in tune with his experiences, and you might expect that Gianforte might make decisions in tune with his investments.

In closing, perhaps it's an uncalled for jab, but Noah did not have a portfolio to comfortably sit on, he had an ark. Something useful.

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