A new report from Mother Jones reveals that while unelected “political mega-donor,” pandemic profiteer, and richest senator Kelly Loeffler was an executive at Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), her company “provided a platform for highly speculative unregulated energy trading that ended up causing an Enron-like scandal and costing residents of Georgia millions of dollars.”
ICE allowed a “rapacious hedge fund” known as Amaranth Advisors to take advantage of the so-called “Enron loophole” and “manipulate prices” in natural gas commodities on its unregulated trading platform. While ICE “profited off Amaranth’s unregulated trading,” its “relative lack of oversight” on its platform eventually caused Amaranth to crash and shut down. According to a U.S. Senate investigation, the hedge fund’s “excessive speculation” inflated natural gas prices and caused Georgia families to pay $18 million more to heat their homes in one winter.
When Loeffler left ICE to be appointed to the Senate, the company still run by her husband “changed compensation terms” to allow Loeffler to walk away with a hefty golden parachute, “transforming about-to-become-worthless securities into a seven-figure windfall.” Loeffler still owns up to $25 million in ICE stock.
This isn’t the only time Loeffler’s company has engaged in shady practices to boost its bottom line. ICE also “sought to profit off the pandemic’s impact on the housing market and the mortgage industry” while Loeffler was opposing additional emergency aid in the Senate for Georgia families on the verge of losing their homes due to the crisis. Loeffler also helped ICE market an offshore tax dodge for the world’s biggest banks after the Great Recession through a Cayman Islands subsidiary registered at “one of the most notorious locations for offshore tax shelters.”
“Senator Loeffler owes Georgians an explanation for how she allowed her company’s unregulated corporate greed to run wild and leave Georgia families out in the cold,” said DSCC spokesperson Helen Kalla. “Kelly is for Kelly – and her toxic record of enriching herself at Georgians’ expense is exactly why they’ll vote her out in January.”
By David Corn