Stanley Brand Quoted in Bloomberg News Story on Ethics Rules for Government Appointees

Bloomberg News has quoted Akin Gump litigation senior counsel Stanley Brand in the article “Cohn’s Goldman Shares Sold as He Touted Financial Overhaul.” Gary Cohn is President Trump’s top economic advisor and a former investment bank executive; some of his shares in the bank are reported to have been sold on the same day that he publicly promoted the administration’s plans to overhaul financial regulations. The article reports it is not clear whether Cohn was personally aware of the stock sale, which was worth as much as $5 million.

Federal ethics rules, the article notes, do not specify how government appointees should divest assets that might present conflicts of interest. According to Brand, some appointees have individual ethics agreements specifying that a third party, “someone with discretion,” will make the sales without the appointees’ involvement.

Brand further stated, “The thing is, as long as he was executing the agreement he made with the Office of Government Ethics, the timing just becomes a factor of the practicality and logistics.”