As a Goldman Sachs exec, Hormats had some dubious ties to the genocidal regime in Sudan through a Chinese oil deal. In the name of accountability, we published a report exposing his background and listed questions we wanted lawmakers to ask Hormats during the confirmation process.
The Financial Times and Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone both used our report to expose Hormats’ past in articles today. The story has also been picked up by the Huffington Post, Attackerman, and Open Left.
The Financial Times portrayed our research as a “campaign to derail the nomination” — perhaps because the questions we raise may seriously threaten Hormats’s chances with the Senate. Kevin is quoted in the article:
“Hormats’s role in the PetroChina deal raises serious questions about his fitness to serve in a post that will give him substantial influence over international economic policy and US-China relations,” it added.
Neither Mr Hormats, Goldman Sachs nor the White House immediately responded to requests for comment.
But Kevin Connor, co-director of the Public Accountability Initiative, said: “Money is fungible and the funds raised from the PetroChina IPO freed up funds that could be used elsewhere [by its parent]”.
Given everything that’s gone on recently, I just don’t get what’s going on with Obama’s appointments. You’ve got to fill a key post at State, and you can’t find someone who isn’t a former Goldman banker with a controversial human-rights profile? There are an awful lot of people on the earth; why this clown? I find it impossible to believe that the administration is not sensitive to the current unpopularity of this bank, which begs the question of what the message is here. Even leaving aside the moral aspect of this, politically it just seems like such a strange move.
Maybe they didn’t think anyone would notice?
We’ll continue to track the story here at E/T.