What’s With The Israel Angle Re: Makov?

I was listening this past Friday to National Public Radio and their program called On The Media. They were talking about the Craig story and journalistic philosophies about “outing,” that is, printing stories about someone being gay. When is it appropriate to “out” someone famous or to expose their personal sins in a news story? With Craig, as with similar stories, reporters felt justified because they believed his anti-gay positions in the Senate made exposing a hypocrite a compelling proposition, no pun intended. In other words, it’s OK to print the story when the person has been hypocritical, the information tells us something important about the person’s background, or when exposure explains the motivation for their actions or attitudes.

So what does being a “trader” and from Israel have to do with Mr. Makov’s involvement in the KPMG tax shelter case? When I first saw the following headline, I immediately Google searched because that was the first I’d read about him being from Israel or being an “ex- derivatives trader.” That job title seems to imply something more sinister than “investment advisor,” the title most other media have been using. The WSJ did also slip in the Israel angle, but ever so slightly, and at the end of their story on August 21st. But coincidentally, this info is in the last line of the story but that detail that makes up the blurb for the story when seen as the result of a Google search.

But for the International Herald Tribune and the Associated Press, “Ex-Trader” and Israel are the lede.

Ex-trader from Israel pleads guilty to conspiracy in KPMG caseThe Associated Press Published: September 10, 2007

NEW YORK: A one-time currency and fixed-income derivatives trader from Israel pleaded guilty to conspiracy in connection with an alleged scheme to market fraudulent tax shelters developed by KPMG LLP…

There is nothing else in the story that tells us why these two pieces of information are relevant.