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September 20, 2011

Obama's Relationship With LightSquared Goes Back A Ways

Back in 2007, Obama was questioned very, very softly on some of his investments.

"What I wanted to make sure is that I didn't want to invest in companies that potentially would create conflicts with my work here," said Obama, who has campaigned on the need for stronger congressional ethics rules. "Obviously, the thing didn't work the way I wanted it to."

Obama purchased $5,000 in shares for AVI, which was developing a drug to treat avian flu. Two weeks after buying the stock, as the disease was spreading in Asia, Obama pushed for more federal funding to fight the disease, but he said he did not discuss the matter with any company officials.

Obama also had more than $50,000 in shares of Skyterra, a company that had just received federal permission to create a nationwide wireless network that combined satellite and land-based communications systems.

Among the company's top investors were donors who raised more than $150,000 for Obama's political committees, the New York Times reported Wednesday. The stock holdings were first examined Monday by the financial Web site, Thestreet.com.

The reports found no evidence that any of his actions ended up benefiting either company during the roughly eight months he owned the stocks. Obama lost about $15,000 on Skyterra and earned a profit of about $2,000 on AVI. Skyterra stocks continued to drop after Obama divested.

So he did not make money on Skyterra, but he had a cash-money relationship with Skyterra's biggest investors.

And why is that important? Because Skyterra is now known as LightSquared.

Thanks to Todd.


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posted by Ace at 04:41 PM

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