Romney Won't Say Where His Money Is

Confidentiality agreement allows him to keep Bain holdings vague
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 6, 2012 8:50 AM CDT
Romney Won't Say Where His Money Is
US Repulican presidential candidate Mitt Romney addresses the Newspaper Association of America in Washington, DC, April 4, 2012.   (Getty Images/AFP)

What companies is Mitt Romney invested in? Your guess is as good as the Office of Government Ethic's. Romney's money is largely parked in 48 Bain Capital accounts, and because those accounts are all protected by confidentiality agreements, he's not required to disclose any of their underlying assets, the Washington Post reports. While the approach appears to be legal, it makes it impossible to know what conflicts of interest Romney might have if elected.

"His approach turns the whole purpose of the ethics statute on its ear," says one Republican lawyer who has represented Rick Santorum. The loophole Romney is using was ironically pioneered by John Kerry, whose wife has a confidentiality agreement-protected account with—you guessed it—Bain Capital. But the Bain fund represents a much larger part of Romney's holdings. And while other nominees are required to divest undisclosed assets when they get into office, that rule doesn't apply to presidents. (More Mitt Romney stories.)

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