In light of Mitt Romney’s curious shell corporation in Bermuda, quietly transferred to his wife’s name to avoid disclosure laws, ABC News ran an item yesterday with a needlessly provocative headline designed to get far-right links: “On Obama Adviser’s Disclosure Form: ‘Bermuda.’”
Naturally, it had the intended effect, with Republicans pouncing on the notion that Valerie Jarrett engages in offshore investments in Bermuda, just like the GOP presidential candidate. Hypocrisy! Scandal! OMG tweets!
Indeed, Steve M. noted, right on cue, the story was quickly picked up by National Review, Free Republic, Lucianne.com, Michelle Malkin’s Twitter feed, various talk radio Web sites, and many more.
As much as I hate to disappoint over-eager conservative media figures, they probably should have read the ABC report past the headline.
It appears that Jarrett borrowed money from JPMorgan Chase, which has a subsidiary in Bermuda – not unusual for insurance companies that want to lay off some of their risks. It doesn’t mean that Jarrett sought any sort of transaction from Bermuda, but rather that the bank could be using its Bermuda subsidiary on credit forms.
In other words, routine credit card statements can include references to Bermuda simply because insurance companies have subsidiaries there.
So, are there any similarities at all between this and Romney’s shell corporation and cash in the Caymans? Not even a little. The headline was designed to generate conservative traffic, and you might get an email about it from your crazy uncle, but there’s nothing here.