I'm a lazy writer this week. Short article on politics are sometimes included in my economics newsletter ... this was in my July-August 2015 newsletter:
The Clinton Political Machine
& Slush Fund
Over the past 50 years the Clintons developed an expectation that others would take care of them financially.
They have been well taken care of, including huge speaking fees for Bill, even from foreigners and foreign companies with business before his wife's State Department.
The Clintons have been exceptional at selling access and favors since the 1970s, making themselves extremely rich.
They haven't completely covered their tracks, but enough paper documents and eMail evidence have mysteriously "disappeared" to keep them from being prosecuted.
Hillary Clinton was mentioned for the job of Obama's Secretary of State.
Four days later TD Bank (Canada's largest) hired Bill Clinton to give speeches for an amazing total of $1.8 million.
The bank was hoping for approval of the Keystone XL pipeline.
Presidents' speaking fees usually decline a lot over time after they leave office.
That was true of Bill Clinton until his wife began running for President, and especially after Hillary became Secretary of State.
11 of 13 of Bill's $500,000 or higher-paid speeches were made when Hillary was Secretary of State.
Were people and companies, some foreign, trying to buy access and favors from a Secretary of State, widely expected to be the next President in 2016? Of course they were.
Hillary the "Commodity Trader"
In the 1990's the New York Times, a pro-Democrat newspaper, wrote this about the Clintons after investigating a commodities broker who took Hillary Clinton's $1,000 investment and gave her almost a $100,000 profit in less than a year:
"… at every turn of their financial life … (the Clintons) were receiving financial favors from individuals who had something to gain from having friends in high places.", and confused their own interests with the public interest.
In October 1978, three months before Arkansas Attorney General Bill Clinton became Arkansas Governor, Hillary Clinton began commodities trading for the first time in her life.
She invested only $1,000 with broker Robert "Red" Bone of the Ray E. Friedman Company.
Bill was making $26,000 a year as Governor, and Hillary was making $46,000 a year as a Rose Law Firm partner.
At different times Hillary has claimed she made the trades alone by studying the Wall Street Journal, and she has also said others gave her advice.
In fact, she made none of the trades.
At one point Hillary controlled 115 commodities contracts worth $3.2 million when her account equity was negative -$18,000.
In July 1979, Hillary forever walked away from commodities trading with a $98,000 profit in ten months.
Hillary's broker, Robert Bone, had been previously suspended from commodities trading for 11 months in the early 1970's, and was under investigation the whole time he was trading for Hillary.
In December 1979 the Friedman Company was fined $250,000 (biggest fine ever for a Chicago Mercantile Exchange member), and Robert Bone was suspended from trading for an amazing three years.
His crime: Making discretionary trades, failing to file discretionary trading forms, and self-allocating the profitable trades to his favorite customers, including the Governor's wife Hillary.
Several other customers successfully sued the Friedman Company for being stuck with Robert Bone's losing trades.
Hillary also invested $2,100 in a cell phone franchise operated by a Bill Clinton advisor and made a $46,000 profit.
Whitewater and Castle Grande "Investments"
This Clintons "investment" with their friends in Arkansas ended up sending their friends and business partners (Madison Guaranty S&L CEO James McDougal and his wife Susan), and over ten other people, to prison.
On August 2, 1978, Arkansas Attorney General Bill Clinton (three months before he was expected to be elected Governor) and his wife Hillary suddenly became 50% owners of 230 acres of land along the White River in the Arkansas Ozark Mountains worth $200,000.
This was a sweetheart deal -- friend James McDougal invested his own money for the 10% down payment and borrowed the rest from his bank.
There’s no evidence the Clintons invested any of their money, yet they could claim half of the profits, or write off half of the losses on their income taxes.
Arkansas land and tax records show Whitewater estates took in about $300,000 from 1979 to 1985 lot sales, but no owners ever reported a profit.
Some things the new Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton did quickly to make his Whitewater "investment" more valuable:
- Bill fired the Arkansas Game and Fish Commissioner and installed a crony who agreed to build a boat ramp on the White River, on Whitewater property donated to the state.
The previous Commissioner had refused.
- Bill fired the Arkansas Highway Commissioner and installed a crony who agreed to build a two mile access road from Highway #101 to the Whitewater property.
The old Commissioner had refused to build a "road to nowhere", saying "You guys bought the land … Don't ask Arkansas taxpayers or the Federal Government to foot the bill (for the road)."
So he was fired, and the new Commissioner built the road with Marine Fuel Tax funds advanced by the Federal Government.
- Bill fired the Arkansas Securities Commissioner and installed a crony who had previously done legal work for Madison Guaranty.
The crony, Beverly Bassett Schaffer, approved McDougal's scheme to sell preferred stock to re-capitalize his failing S&L (stock that was essentially worthless) that the previous Commissioner had rejected.
- Bill appointed Madison CEO James McDougal to the Arkansas Savings & Loan Board,
- Bill pressured McDougal to pay Hillary $2,000/month as a retainer for her legal services, and
- Hillary, the Governor's wife, lobbied her husband's appointees for Madison Guaranty while being paid by them for legal work, and making investments with the bank's owners, funded by loans from the bank.
Whitewater lots were mainly bought by retired blue collar workers.
If they failed to pay their monthly installments for over 30 days, previous payments were reclassified as "rent", and all their equity was lost.
Most buyers lost their lots and equity.
Some lots were repossessed and resold over and over.
Susan McDougal shipped all Whitewater documents to Hillary (she’s a good ‘editor’).
The Whitewater real estate investment was one example of James McDougal looting his Madison Guaranty Savings & Loan Bank to make high risk real estate investments to enrich friends and business partners who were unlikely to repay their loans, which he knew when the loans were made.
McDougal also knew the government deposit insurance program would bail out depositors when his bank failed.
The US government eventually shut down Madison and US taxpayers were left with a $60 million bill.
At his trial, McDougal said "every bit" of the money the Clintons put into Whitewater was "income (from him) they didn't report."
In May 1996 James McDougal was convicted on 18 counts involving bad loans: Fraud, conspiracy and false statements.
His wife Susan McDougal was convicted on four counts.
They both went to prison.
For the Castle Grande real estate investment, which was a Ponzi scheme, Hillary Clinton drafted the key legal document that made Seth Ward (Webster Hubbell's father-in-law) a "straw man" purchaser who didn't risk a penny of his own money, but "earned" a $300,000 "sales commission".
Madison Guaranty issued loans for people to buy lots at Castle Grande that McDougal didn't expect to be repaid, nor did he care.
In 1988 Hillary Clinton directed the Rose Law Firm to destroy all her Castle Grande files.
That's unethical and unusual, but typical Hillary.
Other Rose records concerning Castle Grande "mysteriously disappeared" when Bill was running for President in 1992.
In the 1990s Hillary denied doing any legal work on Castle Grande.
In 1996 some Rose Law Firm billing records for Castle Grande "mysteriously" showed up in the Clinton White House.
The FBI found Hillary's fingerprints on two pages.
The records showed Hillary had billed more hours for Castle Grande legal work than any other Rose Law Firm partner.
Another big "favor" was Chelsea Clinton being hired at a $600,000 annual salary in her first job as a TV reporter.
Chelsea ended up earning $26,000 for each minute she was on the air before "leaving her job" (fired) after her huge salary leaked out, and more competent employees were furious. New York magazine said "she will no longer pretend to be a reporter", and called Chelsea "one of the most boring people of her era".
The Clintons have been dishonest and smarmy for almost 50 years. Not only concerning money.
Their bizarre open "marriage" includes dozens of Bill Clinton affairs, and multiple sexual harassment charges that Hillary tried to cover up by character attacking the women, but never her husband, when his bad behavior became public news.
Hillary also hired investigators to dig up "dirt" on the women, and shut them up by threatening to make their private lives public.
Some of the women claimed they, or their family, were threatened with physical harm.
Bill Clinton has had a one-man war on women -- married women, single women, female employees -- he doesn't seem to care that he is married.
Hillary accepts his offensive behavior so she can continue ‘riding on his coattails’.
She sets a horrible example for other married women by consistently 'looking the other way', even when Bill paid over $800,000 to Paula Jones, and lost his Arkansas law license, for sexually harassing her.
After five decades of the Clintons' sleazy behavior, it should be no surprise that Hillary Clinton used a personal server in her home for State Department eMails, personally decided which eMails concerned Libya and Benghazi (and may have edited them), ran hard copies of only those e-Mails, and sent only hard copies of the eMails she wanted to send to the State Department in response to Congressional subpoenas.
We already know 15 eMails sent to Hillary concerning the situation in Libya and Benghazi, from Clinton Foundation employee Sidney Blumenthal, were not included among those hard copies (nine completely missing, and six incomplete), per the State Department). Typical Hillary Clinton.
The New York Times reported this on page 14.
Typical New York Times.