September 20, 2005
Wow, a blind trust with 20/20 foresight:
WASHINGTON (AP) - Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, a potential presidential candidate in 2008, sold all his stock in his family’s hospital company about two weeks before it issued a disappointing earnings report and the shares tumbled nearly 15 percent.
Frist, who held an undisclosed amount of HCA Inc. stock in a blind trust, instructed the trustee June 13 to sell his shares, said Frist spokeswoman Amy Call. The Tennessee Republican asked that his wife and children’s shares be sold as well.
The value of the stock was not disclosed. Earlier this year, Frist reported holding blind trusts valued between $7 million and $35 million.
Frist requested the stock be sold days before the stock peaked and one month before the biggest drop in price. Frist’s shares were all sold by July 1, and his wife and children’s shares by July 8, Call said.
… Call said Frist had no control over when the shares would actually be sold.
“(The trustees) could have held it for another six months for all he knew, it was at their discretion,” she said. “To avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest Senator Frist went beyond what ethics requires and sold the stock.”
… To keep the trust blind, Frist was not allowed to know how much HCA stock he owned, Call said, but he was allowed to ask for all of it to be sold.
And what incredibly lucky timing—fortune has truly smiled on the Frist family.
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