House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is not a happy camper. Steve Kroft, veteran CBS News “60 Minutes” correspondent, attended Leader Pelosi’s news conference when she refused to grant his request for a one on one interview. Kroft was eager to hear Leader Pelosi’s response to allegations in last Sunday’s “60 Minutes” broadcast that she and her husband received windfall profits from an IPO investment in credit card giant Visa while legislation affecting the credit card industry was making its way through the House of Representatives. According to Kroft’s report, Leader Pelosi was Speaker of the House when the transaction occurred in March of 2008.
The exchange went something like this:
Kroft: Madam Leader, I wanted to ask you why you and your husband back in March of 2008 accepted and participated in a very large IPO deal from Visa at a time there was major legislation affecting the credit card companies making its way through the —through the House.
Nancy Pelosi: But —
Kroft: And did you consider that to be a conflict of interest?
Pelosi: The — I — I don’t know what your point is of your question. Is there some point that you want to make with that?
Kroft: Well, I — I guess what I’m asking is do you think it’s all right for a speaker to accept a very preferential, favorable stock deal?
Pelosi: Well, we didn’t.
Kroft: You participated in the IPO. And at the time you were the speaker of the House. You don’t think it was a conflict of interest or had the appearance–
Pelosi: No, it was not —
Kroft: — of a conflict of interest?
Pelosi: —it doesn’t — it only has appearance if you decide that you’re going to have — elaborate on a false premise. But it — it — it’s not true and that’s that.
Kroft: I don’t understand what part’s not true.
Pelosi: Yes sir. That — that I would act upon an investment.
Leader Pelosi’s office responded in a separate swipe at Kroft and “60 Minutes” this past Monday, saying that “Congress has never done more for consumers nor has the Congress passed more critical reforms of the credit card industry than under the Speakership of Nancy Pelosi.”
The IPO or initial public offering, was offered to then Speaker Pelosi’s husband by his broker, Wells Fargo Shareholder Services, on “a limited basis to institutional investors and a group of specially selected individuals” at $44 per share. Leader Pelosi and her husband bought 5000 shares. Within a day or two, the stock shot up to $64 per share, yielding a tidy profit. The stock trades somewhere north of $93 today. It is estimated that the Pelosi’s currently own 19,000 shares of Visa stock.
Dreadmonger contacted Minority Leader Pelosi’s office for a comment about “specially selected individuals” but, thus far, they have not returned our calls.
- Pelosi defends record after “60 Minutes” report (cbsnews.com)
- ’60 Minutes’ to Look at Lawmakers and Stocks (thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com)