Cantor Has Up to $15K Bet on Government Default

It's just a teeny tiny conflict of interest, Jonathan Easley argues
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 28, 2011 9:16 AM CDT
In this June 13, 2011 file photo, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., meets with reporters in his office on Capitol Hill.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

(Newser) – As Eric Cantor last week negotiated an increase in the federal debt ceiling, he had between $1,000 and $15,000 invested in a fund that aggressively shorts US bonds, according to his latest financial disclosure statement. If Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling and the US defaults, the value of that investment would skyrocket—in fact, it’s already up 3.3% since Cantor walked away from negotiations on Thursday, Jonathan Easley of Salon writes.

The investment makes up a relatively small part of the millionaire congressman’s assets, and a spokesman stresses that Cantor also holds a lot of Treasury bonds. But the investment still represents an unseemly conflict of interest, one Motley Fool writer says. “We can only guess how much he understands about what’s in his portfolio, but you’d think a politician would know better. It looks bad.”

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