Carl Ichan has an estimated net worth of 18.8 BILLION DOLLARS. Before his inauguration, Donald Trump appointed Ichan to be “special adviser to the president on regulatory reform.” He said Icahn would help him deal with “the strangling regulations that our country is faced with.”
At the time of the appointment, many were critical of the pick. Explanations for the objection included that Icahn did not hold an official job, he had access but had conflictsof interest, and Icahn could both influence and profit from administrative decisions.
In May of 2017, it was reported that Robert Weissman, president of the watchdog group Public Citizen, said:
“It’s not that he’s on the outside buying influence. He’s on the inside.” Asked if anyone else in recent American history has had this combination of access to the president, a sweeping portfolio and freedom from ethics laws, Weissman said, “It is just extraordinary. And no, I cannot think of anything like it.”
It was December of 2016 that Icahn warned that:
“If you get into a trade war with China, sooner or later we’ll have to come to grips with that.”
In August of 2017 Icahn resigned his position. Gary Cohn, the top economic adviser to Trump has announced his resignation after he lost a fight over Trump’s plans for hefty steel and aluminum import tariffs.
On Friday, Peter Navarro, the director of the White House national trade council, defended President Trump’s plan to impose tariffs on aluminum and steel by citing Trump’s win in the 2016 Republican primary.
During another part of the interview, Navarro dismissed concerns among auto manufacturers about tariffs raising the cost of production, and hence prices for consumers, as “fake news.”
Navarro went on to make a case that the price effects of the tariffs will be “negligible.”
Today America is witnessing the result of Trump’s tariffs on aluminum and steel. The “negligable” impact was that stocks fell sharply after Trump’s latest threat to China increased fears of an impending trade war between the world’s largest economies.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 400 points, with Boeing, DowDuPont and Caterpillar as the worst-performing stocks in the index. The 30-stock index also erased all of its gains for the year.
To make matters worse it appears that Icahn, the Trump insider, has benefitted from inside information. Carl Icahn dumped a million shares of stock that were tied to the steel industry just a week before the president announced 25 percent tariffs for foreign-made steel.
A Feb. 22 SEC filing shows Icahn sold off his $31.3 million stake in the Manitowoc Company, which is a leading global manufacturer of cranes for heavy construction based in Manitowoc, Wis., according to the company’s website. Since Trump’s announcement of the tariffs on Chinese aluminum and steel, Manitowoc’s stock plummeted to about $26. This isn’t the first time Icahn’s investment decisions seem to have forseen the Trump administration moves.
One of Icahn’s investment firms, Icahn Enterprises, owns a large stake in CVR Energy, a Sugar Land, Texas-based petroleum refining company. The Renewable Fuel Standard required companies to blend ethanol into their products or purchase credits called “Renewable Identification Numbers.” The price of these credits rose in 2016, according to The New Yorker. The company was spending $200 million a year on the credits — and the firm’s stock had dropped by 70% from the previous year. Icahn’s position did not require him to divest from any of his holdings or make disclosures about his conflicts of interest.
While serving in the advisory role, Icahn pushed for the rule to be changed. The stock for CVR doubled in the months after the election —”a surge that is difficult to explain without acknowledging the appointment of the company’s lead shareholder to a White House position,” the New Yorker wrote. “When you give someone a title, you make him your agent,” Richard Painter, the White House chief ethics lawyer under George W. Bush, told The New Yorker.
James D. Cox, believes that Carl Icahn’s sale of more than 1 million shares of a steel-related stock just days before President Trump announced plans to impose steep tariffs on steel imports was “awfully suspicious” and “unquestionably” warrants a federal investigation.One of the nation’s leading experts in insider trading,
The clear indication is that when it comes to Donald Trump, it is not enough to show that he is personally making money off his position as President. He is making sure that friends and family are enjoying the benefits of his position as well!