Sunday, January 20, 2008

Jeb Bush does a little business

Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush does a little business with a New York bank. Next thing you know, Florida taxpayers are holding the bag for billions.

Corruption, thy name is Bush! This story has the makings of another Carl Hiaasen novel. All it still needs is a sexy blonde and a fisherman who finds his bone-fishing grounds occupied by a politician fellating a banker.

Remarkably, it appeared here on

The nub of it

Here are a few choice excerpts from the Bloomberg News story:

Jeb Bush, who incorporated Jeb Bush & Associates in February 2007, a month after completing his second term [as Governor], had been hired as a consultant to Lehman Brothers in June. Bush is the brother of President George W. Bush.

`Do Something Quickly'

In November, school districts and local agencies that kept their cash in the state pool rushed to withdraw $12 billion, or 46 percent, of the money in the fund. On Nov. 29, the state froze the fund to stop all withdrawals. ``If we don't do something quickly, we're not going to have an investment pool,'' [Carl] Stipanovich [executive director of the state board of administration] told the board that day.

Until November, the Florida pool was the largest public money market fund in the U.S. It held cash for about 1,000 school districts, towns and local agencies in Florida.

Stipanovich resigned on Dec. 4. He declined to comment.

And furthermore:

What Stipanovich, 58, hadn't told his boss, Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, was that Lehman Brothers was the same firm that had sold the state fund $842 million of mortgage- backed debt in July and August. Those securities defaulted within four months, and totaled more failing debt than any other bank sold the state, Florida records show. `

`At the time, I never knew it was Lehman Brothers that actually sold us these investments,'' Sink says.

Florida CFO Sink is riled up about more than Stipanovich. She says JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Lehman Brothers were offloading tainted debt on Florida and other states at a time when those assets were plummeting in value.

So now, if you’re still following all this:

Ex-governor Bush, the President's brother with deep political ties in Florida, sets up a consulting business. Lehman becomes his client. Next thing you know, the taxpayers are stuck with a bunch of nearly worthless paper from Lehman. The public is screwed.

You don’t suppose George Bush’s new U.S. Attorney General appointee, Michael Mukasey, will bring corruption charges, against Jeb, do you?

Nah, I don’t think so either.

New York Senator Charles Schumer (Democrat), who rammed Mukasey’s approval through the senate, please take note. After all, the AG is now your boy.

Labels: Banks, corruption, Florida, Jeb Bush, public funds

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