Geithner’s replacement at Treasury, Lew, stashed money in Cayman Islands

Surprise! President Obama’s new Treasury Secretary nominee, Jack Lew, had up to $100,000 in investment in an offshore tax haven in the Cayman Islands.  The investment fund “home” was a PO Box.

As I said when President Obama first nominated Jack Lew for Treasury Secretary, Lew is part of the banking problem, not the solution. Jack Lew may not have dumped as much money into offshore locations as, say, Mitt Romney, but like many others from the banking world, he was using the tax-avoidance tools mostly available to only 1% types.

Lew didn’t create the offshore fund, but you have to love that once again, Citi – the bank that loves taxpayer money so much it’s practically addicted to it – offers easy ways for employees to once again avoid paying their fair share to the country that kept them alive to the tune of $336.1 billion.

This is another example of what the President says (said) he wants to shut down, but then reinforces:

A political ad targeting Republican candidate Mitt Romney during the 2012 presidential campaign asked, “Why would Mitt Romney invest millions in the Cayman Islands?”

Because he wanted to be Obama’s Treasury Secretary?

Take a guess how this is all going to work out.

NBC News:

Mitt Romney needs to answer basic questions about his offshore millionsJack Lew, President Barack Obama’s Treasury Secretary nominee, previously held up to $100,000 in investments in an offshore hedge fund located in the Cayman Islands, according to financial disclosure forms.

Lew’s financial disclosure forms, filed in 2009 and 2011, showed that Lew had invested between $50,000 and $100,000 in a fund called Citigroup Venture Capital International Growth Partnership (Employee) II, L.P. — the very type of fund President Obama has repeatedly criticized.

The fund is an international venture capital fund for employees of Citigroup. According to his official White House biography, Lew served as managing director and chief operating officer of Citi Global Wealth Management and then Citi Alternative Investments (CAI) from 2006 to 2008.

It’s bad enough that Lew “doesn’t believe that deregulation was the proximate cause” of the banking collapse of 2008, but now we know he was using offshore accounts to avoid paying US taxes.  Some things just don’t change in Washington.  And they really should.

An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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19 Responses to “Geithner’s replacement at Treasury, Lew, stashed money in Cayman Islands”

  1. mr_ed says:

    Who vets these people? Sheesh!

  2. bejammin075 says:

    Nominate someone patriotic instead!

  3. Gonzalo Jalles says:

    Is really amazing how uninformed most of you are. Have you even once tried to understand why these structures exist and to what extent they don’t pay taxes?
    Funds are not created exclusively for US investors or French investors, or whatever. This fund likely was open to all employees of Citibank worldwide or at least in more than one jurisdiction, as such somebody living in the UK should not have to pay US taxes on that fund, however if the fund is created in the US the fund pays and the structure is effectively unaccessible for non US investors as they would pay double taxes or go through complicated double taxation treaties and re-funds.
    Off shore jurisdictions offer tax neutrality not tax free. The fund does not pay but the investors still have to pay taxes in their respective jurisdictions and by the way for over 20 years now Cayman had a tax information exchange agreement with the US so there is no hiding for US investors in Cayman..
    If Geithner included the fund in all his IRS submissions there is nothing wrong and you all need to stop fantasizing, if he didn’t he violated US tax law and should go to jail, it is quite simple.
    Gonzalo Jalles
    CEO – Cayman Finance

  4. pappyvet says:

    “The disposition to admire, and almost to worship, the rich and the powerful, and to despise, or, at least, to neglect persons of poor and mean condition is the great and most universal cause of the corruption of our moral sentiments.”Adam Smith

    “Poverty is an anomaly to rich people. It is very difficult to make out why people who want dinner do not ring the bell.”Walter Bagehot

  5. Sweetie says:

    Bad analogy.

  6. usagi says:

    I used to think all the talk about the US becoming a third-world country was hyperbolic. Now I’m concerned it’s not hyperbolic enough. This is straight up banana republic stuff.

  7. BeccaM says:

    Funny how the jobs they create are mostly limited to themselves, their financial brokers, their accountants and lawyers, and their underpaid household servants.

  8. lynchie says:

    My dear old Dad always used to tell us kids always speak truth to power. It never occurred to him that those in power don’t give a shit and don’t listen to the 99%

  9. lynchie says:

    But BeccaM they are the job creators

  10. perljammer says:

    When Richardson decided against allowing sales of “contaminated” scrap metal back in 2000, he said he found no evidence the public would be harmed but that the
    department needed to improve radiation monitoring, record keeping and
    independent verification. As far as I can tell, the metal currently being considered is from file cabinets, tools, equipment and structural steel from demolished buildings and is not contaminated; the fact that it’s from sites like Los Alamos is what has people stirred up.

    Amazon lists a radiation detector (they don’t call it a Geiger counter) for $120. They also have an EMF radiation detector for around $35, for people who worry about those pesky power lines running past their houses.

  11. Naja pallida says:

    As far as I know, it’s valid. People in the DoE have been trying to offload stockpiles of irradiated materials for years, and thankfully some sensible people, like Bill Richardson, have been there to stop it from happening. But really, there is no required testing for imported goods either… so it is only purely by accident that goods coming in from India or China are discovered to have low levels of radioactivity. Such products are probably more common than we actually know. Time to invest in a home Geiger counter.

  12. Tor says:

    The Rebubs certainly won’t take issue with this one, tiny flaw.

  13. karmanot says:

    Another glorious pick by our Thief of State.

  14. swoone says:

    There really is no government of the people, etc., there is only the illusion of government of the people.

  15. BeccaM says:

    Always remember: Fixed-income Gramma and Grandpa simply MUST give up Social Security pension increases that keep up with their actually experienced cost-of-living and pay ever higher Medicare premiums so that men like Lew and Geithner and Romney can continue to avoid paying their fair share of federal taxes.

  16. Drew2u says:

    Any validity to this?

    “U.S. Dept of Energy Secretary Steven Chu plans to dump 14,000 tons of radioactive scrap metal into the marketplace for use in the manufacturing of consumer products.1 This means that your everyday purchases, such as silverware, zippers, belt buckles, eyeglass frames, jewelry, watches, toys, pet bowls, and leashes could soon be made with radioactive scrap metal.”

  17. RepubAnon says:

    Earl Warren was nominated to the Supreme Court because he was an ex-prosecutor, and was thought to be tough on crime. This backfired – Earl Warren also knew how police treated suspects, and gave us things such as the Miranda decision.

    I’m not so much concerned with Jack Lew’s having an off-shore account as I am with the fact that he sees nothing wrong with it.

    On a side note – everyone on the austerity side proclaims that we must cut social spending to avoid becoming Greece. The major problem in Greece seems to have been widespread tax evasion by the rich and powerful. In short – informal tax cuts for the rich meant that the social programs became unsustainable. (Notice how there hasn’t been any big push to force Greece to collect back taxes from the rich?)

    If we really want to avoid the problems Greece is facing, we need to eliminate the unfair tax breaks accessible only to the rich and powerful. Instead, the push is to inflict the pain on those least capable of surviving it: the folks with the least political clout.

  18. nicho says:

    Jack Lew may not have dumped as much money into offshore locations as, say, Mitt Romney

    As the old saying goes, all you have to do is suck one cock — and it makes you a cocksucker.

  19. lynchie says:

    I love the fuck you attitude of this White House. They continue to put the crooks in charge. Geithner, Brennan, Lew, and listen to the very same people who shit all over 99% of americans because they knew the government would bail them out. Same with Ronnie Raygun, he created the S & L fiasco, bailed out all the loan companies and they walked away with billions. Fast Forward to 2007 and we have same shit new day.

    Is there no one more qualified that the people who have been consistenly wrong about all the loopholes and shitty regulations that are designed not to be effective in preventing the financial community from stealing from the taxpayers.

    The people who run our country, and I don’t mean congress, now openly laugh in our faces at their greed and know that accountability does not apply to them. They live the grand life, big bonuses, 2 or 3 homes some with a car elevator, offshore bank accounts to avoid taxes and they continue to target the poor and elderly as somehow not worth of the same treatment that they have. They own Congress and there is not one person in Washington who isn’t awash with bags of money, trips, gifts, cushy jobs when they are tired of doing nothing but represent the wishes of the wealthy. We have a media who are owned and operated by they same people who frame the issues from the perspective of the 1% so that Joe Six Pack believes there are hundreds bilking welfare, UI and who don’t deserve SS and Medicare. We are told that unemployment is the fault of the Government not the greedy companies who moved offshore and their employees in Congress wrote laws to give them tax breaks and incentives not to employ americans.We are told what a threat illegal immigrants are, but neglect to point out that most of the immigrants are employed by the same 1% who benefit from not having to pay a fair wage along with payroll taxes. The average american does not have the money to hire them.

    Yeah, Jack Lew douchebag of the week.

    The American Dream is to be able to earn enough

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