When the No. 2 House Republican fights tooth and nail to keep millionaires and billionaires from having to play any part in the “shared sacrifice” of having to pay a cent more in taxes, he fights with the conviction of someone with skin in the game, so to speak.
From an interesting Salon item we learn, “Disclosure forms indicate that Cantor has considerable personal assets, including real estate in Virginia worth up to $1 million, and a number of six- and seven-figure loans to private entities and limited liability companies.”
But that’s not all, folks, because Cantor has some serious conflict of interest going on, in the form of money invested in a fund that shorts U.S. Treasury bonds — meaning that Cantor stands to profit when T bonds decline in value.
Last year the No. 2 Republican in the House, had between $1,000 and $15,000 invested in ProShares Trust Ultrashort 20+ Year Treasury EFT. The fund aggressively “shorts” long-term U.S. Treasury bonds, meaning that it performs well when U.S. debt is undesirable. (A short is when the trader hopes to profit from the decline in the value of an asset.)
According to his latest financial disclosure statement which covers the year 2010 and has been publicly available since this spring, Cantor still has up to $15,000 in the same fund. Contacted by Salon this week, Cantor’s office gave no indication that the Virginia Republican, who has played a leading role in the debt ceiling negotiations, has divested himself of these holdings since his last filing. Unless an agreement can be reached, the U.S. could begin defaulting on its debt payments on Aug. 2. If that happens and Cantor is still invested in the fund, the value of his holdings would skyrocket.
So, despite the fact Cantor owns some T bonds, the drastic downgrading of those that will follow the first default on debt payments in U.S. history would put money in Cantor’s pocket.
That’s clearly a conflict of interest. It’s clearly a reason Cantor might have no problem forcing a default on U.S. debt repayment by refusing to raise the debt ceiling — a move that could plunge the U.S. economy into its second disastrous decline in four years precipitated by Republican stupidity, selfishness and crookedness.
While hundreds of thousands to millions more Americans would be thrown out of their jobs, homes and see their small businesses go under, Cantor would be counting substantial gains made on betting against the Treasury bonds that finance U.S. debt, so much of which has been racked up by a Republican president and Republican-controlled congresses from 2001-2006.
It’s entirely fitting Cantor made it to a House leadership position and is considered a rising star in the Republican Party. He is that despicably corrupt and selfish.