If Made Secretary of State Kerry will Sell Oil Assets to Avoid Conflict of Interest
Senator John Kerry and his wife intend to divest holdings in dozens of companies, including oil company Exxon Mobil Corp and drug maker Pfizer Inc, to avoid conflicts of interest if he is confirmed as U.S. secretary of state.
The investments Kerry and his wife have agreed to divest include holdings in telecommunications giant AT&T Inc, manufacturer 3M Co, insurer Metlife Inc, defense contractor Raytheon Co, payroll firm Paychex Inc, Tractor Supply Co, Coca-Cola Co, Microsoft Corp, several international banks and private equity funds and H.J. Heinz Co.
Kerry also pledged to resign from his positions with the non-profit American Security Project and Harvard University if he is confirmed as secretary of state.
This seems an incredibly honourable thing to do for a politician. Probably all part of his campaign to be voted into office as secretary of the state.
If just a ploy to gain office, then the aim could be to help oil companies in the long run by approving the Keystone XL pipeline. Once secretary of state he would be able to approve the pipeline and it wouldn't be beyond the realm of possibility that for this action he will be rewarded by the oil industry, thereby making more money than he lost from selling his assets.
Who is he selling them to, for how much, and what will it cost to buy them back? If the answers are "a friend, $1, $1" then it is obviously a sham. But I would expect them to be able to hide it better than that.
John Kerry is the wealthiest U.S. senator, and his net worth is estimated to be in the range of $230-$320M. He's the beneficiary of 4 Forbes family (not the magazine one) trusts. His wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, has a net worth estimated at $750M-$1.2B. Divesting himself of assets which could create a conflict of interest as Secretary of State is not "honorable" IMO, nor does it automatically mean that he'll suffer any kind of financial losses by doing so. He's just doing what he should do -- nothing more, nothing less. As far as I know, it simply involves a reallocation of the assets in his portfolio. The guy is mega-wealthy, and it's not like he's losing $$ or giving it away to charity. In 2003, the last time the Kerrys publicly disclosed their tax statement, they paid an effective Federal tax rate of 12%. How much are you paying?
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