Friday, June 25, 2010

Judge Martin Feldman May Have Lied

Or he may have been confused, or he may be senile. We genuinely don't know.

But here's what we do know, at least per the Wall Street Journal: that on last Tuesday, Feldman sold his ExxonMobil stock, worth something less than $15,000. And that Feldman has said, in a letter to the Administrative Office of the US Courts, "that he sold his shares at the opening of the stock market on Tuesday, 'prior to the opening of a court hearing on the spill moratorium case.' "

If true, this would mean that Feldman had removed a potential appearance-of-conflict-of-interest, just a few hours before issuing a judgment. If true. The problem is that the court hearing wasn't held on Tuesday. It was held on Monday.

So, um, which part of his letter is false? We aren't sure, but we expect somebody will figure it out soon enough.

Oh, and here's another point of confusion: How much energy-sector stock does Feldman really own? One of our commenters (and about a million others elsewhere on the Net) place it at something like $15k, which isn't a lot of moolah by the standards of an affluent judge. (By the standards of an impecunious preacher man, it's quite a bundle. But we digress.)

The WSJ piece says that Exxon was the only company "affected" in which Feldman appears to own any stock. But this article lists several others companies in his portfolio whose financial interests might be linked to the fate of BP. We expect that it's a matter of definitions, but still -- the guy has some interest (however slight) in Halliburton, which -- in addition to being profoundly evil for other reasons* -- "provided the failed cement casings on the Deepwater Horizon."
* Do we really need to spell it out?


PS (PSanafter-thought) said...

How many of the rest of us who might have small, medium, or large investments in various mutual funds are also invested in BP and other oil companies and don't even know it?

Father said...

Many of us. But for the moment, only Feldman is being asked to render a legal judgment.

But only for the moment. I think an appeal goes to the heavily-oil-invested 5th circuit.