"Soros turns up in Obama's LightSquared Imbroglio" is the headline over Timothy Carney's Washington Examiner article moving ahead a story originally developed by my old New York Sun and Forward colleague Eli Lake about how the Obama administration appears to have intervened with elements of the government in favor of a wireless company. The headline I'd have put on it is "Norman Brownstein turns up in Obama's LightSquared Imbroglio." Anyway, it's wonderful to see an example of the administration trying to clear regulatory obstacles for a private enterprise rather than trying to erect new ones; one wishes that this were a matter of general policy rather than what appears to be an unusual case. My favorite sentence in the Carney article is this: "Finally, there's the eye-catching detail that another Obama donor, George Haywood, steered then-Sen. Obama to invest $90,000 in the company (then named SkyTerra) back in 2005."
A March 2007 New York Times article reports that Mr. Obama bought the SkyTerra stock in early 2005 and sold it for a $15,000 loss on November 1, 2005. The Times quoted an Obama spokesman who "said Mr. Obama's broker [at UBS] bought the stocks without consulting the senator." It seems to me that $90,000 would be a relatively big bet to place on a wireless startup for someone with Mr. Obama's assets in 2005, but, hey, I'm not a UBS broker. The lack of consultation might be explained by the idea that this was the beginning of a "blind trust" established to avoid conflicts of interest between the senator's investments and his legislative duties. But I wouldn't be surprised to see some enterprising Republican congressman try to get Mr. Obama and his UBS broker separately under oath on this precise point of whether he was consulted on this stock purchase, not to mention try to see if UBS has any emails, trading records, or recorded phone calls that might bear on the point.
Maybe if the president had more of his own money today invested in high-tech startups as opposed to in Treasury bonds, he'd have some more pro-growth policies.