Jan 30, 2017

Trump HHS pick took company offer to buy biomedical stock on the cheap

Representative Tom Price (AP)

The Wall Street Journal reports Rep. Tom Price, Donald Trump's choice to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, received a privileged, discounted offer to buy stock in a small biomedical company, contrary to what he claimed during a Senate confirmation hearing this month.

In June Price bought shares of Innate Immun at a 12% discount, a sale price that was only offered to the public in Australia and New Zealand, and with volume restrictions. Price was one of fewer than 20 American investors who were offered the discount.

Why it matters: Price told a Senate hearing that this discounted purchase wasn't "a sweetheart deal," but these revelations call the statement into question. Price also played an important role in writing new legislation that if passed would have benefitted his investment, like rules speeding up the approval process for new drugs. A Price spokesman didn't respond to WSJ requests for comment..

Why it doesn't matter: Senate Democrats don't have the votes to derail his nomination over these issues.

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Photo: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Catch up on today's biggest news:

  1. Mike Bloomberg offers to release women from 3 NDAs
  2. Wells Fargo agrees to pay $3 billion to settle consumer abuse charges
  3. Bloomberg campaign says Tennessee vandalism "echoes language" from Bernie supporters
  4. Scoop: New White House personnel chief tells Cabinet liaisons to target Never Trumpers
  5. Nearly half of Republicans support pardoning Roger Stone

Wells Fargo agrees to pay $3 billion to settle consumer abuse charges

Clients use an ATM at a Wells Fargo Bank in Los Angeles, Calif. Photo: Ronen Tivony/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Wells Fargo agreed to a pay a combined $3 billion to the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday for opening millions of fake customer accounts between 2002 and 2016, the SEC said in a press release.

The big picture: The fine "is among the largest corporate penalties reached during the Trump administration," the Washington Post reports.

Bloomberg offers to release women from 3 nondisclosure agreements

Mike Bloomberg. Photo: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Mike Bloomberg said Friday his company will release women identified to have signed three nondisclosure agreements so they can publicly discuss their allegations against him if they wish.

Why it matters, via Axios' Margaret Talev: Bloomberg’s shift in policy toward NDAs comes as he tries to stanch his loss of female support after the Las Vegas debate. It is an effort to separate the total number of harassment and culture complaints at the large company from those directed at him personally. That could reframe the criticism against him, but also protect the company from legal fallout if all past NDAs were placed in jeopardy.