"Did Education Department officials leak market-sensitive info to stock traders?" That’s the provocative headline from Project on Government Oversight reporting on a probe by the agency’s inspector general into controversial claims that may implicate Education Secretary Arne Duncan.
IG Kathleen Tighe will "examine whether confidential DoED information and draft documents, including one produced by her own office, were transferred to Wall Street short-sellers seeking informational advantage in their bets on the future of the $35 billion for-profit education industry. Beyond the propriety of the Education Department’s conduct, the phenomenon raises broader questions about the integrity of government decision-making in the face of relentless Wall Street scrutiny," reports POGO’s Adam Zagorin.
One of the more damning revelations hidden in a trove of documents was an email sent by a short-seller banned by U.S. regulators from the banking industry. Manuel Asensio wanted changes to a then-confidential audit on Iowa-based Ashford University which would have negatively impacted the for-profit’s bottom line.