The rumour mill has been abuzz with how much David Shearer has
squirrelled away hidden from the public since his “I forgot” secret US bank account has come to light. Of particular interest has been the suggestions coming from the left that Helen Clark was involved in Shearer’s sudden memory recovery.
A more relevant question though is just how much is in the account?
A reader who is used to giving advice to people of high net worth emailed me:
How come the media are letting Shearer off scot-free on this secret US bank account? It seems to me beyond belief. If this was someone in National or ACT the media would be hounding until every last transaction was disclosed (remember Pansy Wong’s husband?).
Worse, while we know that Shearer forgot at least $50,000, we do not yet know how big the amount was. If it was only fifty thousand, then for someone like Shearer (who would have earned around ¼ of million for a decade while working for the UN) forgetting an offshore asset of less than $100 thousand could be understandable. But, what we don’t know is whether it is even more than that. If he was earning a quarter million for a decade, it is quite imaginable that he has accumulated well-over a million. If so, not declaring the bank account because he forgot just doesn’t stack up. It points to incompetence – or worse.
I’ve worked with clients preparing financial affidavits and foreign disclosures, I assume similar to the disclosures MPs must complete. Surely Shearer would have run his disclosure documentation past his accountant. It seems extremely unlikely that any professional who would have on file interest earnings from a US account (due to it being included in a tax return), would not consider that it must also be included in the MP’s asset register. Shearer’s story just doesn’t make sense.
Maybe the reason that Shearer is trying to stall and not tell us how much he is worth, is that he is desperately moving the money back to New Zealand (or elsewhere in amounts less than $50 thousand) so that if he does have to answer how much is in the account later, he doesn’t look like a complete twat. But why are the media letting him get away with it?
Keep up the good work on the blog.
Interesting point. Shearer has suggested that it is more than $100 thousand. If so, how much more? 250 thousand? Half a million? A million?