Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Obama responds to the NY Times article

As I expected, the article on the front page of today's NYT was nothing but a hatchet job.  Obama did exactly the right thing here -- both in relation to the two stocks in question, as soon as he learned about them, and with his investments going forward:

Obama said at some point in fall 2005 he got a stockholder letter. He said he believes it was from AVI or Skyterra, but he couldn't remember which company. But he decided to liquidate the quasi-blind trust and put his money in mutual funds and money market accounts that wouldn't raise such questions.

"It's at that point that I became concerned that I might not be able to insulate myself from knowledge of my holdings, that this trust instrument might not be working the way I wanted it to," Obama said.

Obama said he didn't invest in a standard blind trust because it wouldn't allow him to limit which companies he invested in, such as those in the tobacco industry and other areas that he did not want to support.

"At this point, I'm only invested in mutual funds or cash or money market accounts. That's my instruction to my accountant," Obama said. "We are not going to own individual stocks precisely because it raises questions like this."

PS--He should have just bought one A share of Berkshire -- Buffett would have been flattered!
"I thought about going to (billionaire investor) Warren Buffett, and I decided it would be embarrassing that I only had $100,000 to invest," Obama said.

Obama says he didn't aid companies he held stock in

POSTED: 3:54 p.m. EST, March 7, 2007

Story Highlights

NEW: Obama says he didn't direct how stocks were invested, broker did
• Illinois senator lost $13,000 in the transactions, spokesman says
• One company was developing avian flu drug; other was wireless network
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said Wednesday that he was not aware that he had invested in two companies backed by some of his top donors and did nothing to aid their business before the government.


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