- Rep. Dean Phillips’ office explains his investment in a fund based in the Cayman Islands
- Rep. Michael McCaul likes Facebook, sells Buffett
- Congressional hopeful Steve Miller in North Carolina showed some extreme transparency
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Members of Congress routinely trade stocks, buying and selling the shares of companies that often have significant business before the federal government — and sometimes spend lots of money to lobby lawmakers.
Insider dug through congressional financial disclosure records federal lawmakers filed in recent days. Here are the latest highlights from what we’ve found.
Phillips explains investment in Cayman Islands fund
Rep. Dean Phillips is one of Congress’ wealthiest members with his money invested in hundreds of stocks, bonds, and other financial vehicles, according to the Minnesota Democrat’s most recent annual personal financial disclosure filing.
One investment stands out, if only for its name: “CD&R Fund X Private Investors, Cayman LP,” in which Phillips disclosed investing between $250,000 and $500,000. (Lawmakers are only required to list the value of such assets in broad ranges.)
During 2019, the investment generated between $15,001 and $50,000 in “partnership income,” his disclosure states.
No further details are listed.
Financially speaking, the Cayman Islands are notable for their long history as a tax haven for wealthy individuals and companies. The particular Cayman Islands fund in which Phillips is invested was created in 2017 by J.P. Morgan Private Investments Inc., according to US Securities and Exchange Commission records.
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Insider this week posed several questions to Phillips’ office about this investment. Among them: why did Phillips make this investment, does he reap tax benefits from it, and does he or a financial advisor manage his investment portfolio?
Bryan Doyle, Phillips’ communications director, replied with a statement.
“Congressman Phillips receives no special tax benefits for this investment, which was made by financial professionals at J.P. Morgan in 2017, not at his direction. As a member of the Ethics Committee, Dean adheres to the highest ethical standards, which is why he does not accept PAC money, federal lobbyist money, or donations from other members of Congress,” Doyle wrote.
“He has not initiated any investments — directly or by proxy — since becoming a member of Congress in 2019, and is in the process of placing all eligible investments into a blind trust, which is currently under review at the Ethics Committee,” Doyle continued. “The only aspect of his financial life that he plays an active role in is as the owner of Penny’s Coffee, a local chain of coffee shops in the Twin Cities area.”
McCaul’s major haul
Rep. Michael McCaul, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, made dozens of stock trades during February.
Among the Texas congressman’s stock purchases: up to $250,000 in Facebook, up to $100,000 in Amazon.com.
Sales include up to $250,000 worth of stock in Berkshire Hathaway, billionaire Warren Buffett‘s holding company.
Extreme transparency for North Carolina congressional candidate
Democrat Steve Miller is running for Congress in North Carolina’s 7th District, a generally conservative district that Republican Rep. David Rouzer won in November by more than 20 percentage points.
How does Miller intend to beat long odds and stand apart?
“To start, I want to be the most transparent candidate in the history of the United States,” he told Insider.
He’s already made good by one measure: The personal financial disclosure he and other House candidates must file with Congress includes much more information than federal law requires. Included are 129-pages worth of Fidelity Investments financial statements — Miller is a millionaire — and Internal Revenue Service tax returns.
“I figured more was better than less,” said Miller, who, if elected, would become one of Congress’ oldest freshmen — he’s today 76 years old. “I have no secrets about my financial situation.”