Bush: Read my stock tips
Former president joins telecom elite as
speech reaps $14M bonanza
March 19, 1999: 8:59 a.m. ET
LONDON (CNNfn) - Former U.S.
President George Bush has made one of
the most lucrative speeches in history.
Bush was able to net a fortune after he
agreed to take shares in the fast-growing
telecom firm Global Crossing in lieu of his
$80,000 fee, according to a newspaper
The Wall Street Journal reported that
Global Crossing (GBLX) Chairman
Lodwrick Cook invited Bush to make a
presentation in Japan last year, before the
company began trading on Nasdaq. Bush
even cut 20 percent from his normal fee in
testimony to his friendship with Cook.
Bush made the speech and pocketed the
low-priced shares ahead of Global
Crossing's float last August.
The stock since has soared from its
launch price of 9.5 to a high of 60.
Following a two-for-one stock split, the
shares closed at 48 Thursday.
Bermuda-based Global Crossing, which
is building a fiber-optic network that will
circle the globe, will see its market
capitalization climb to $30 billion if this
week's acquisition of Rochester,
N.Y.-based Frontier Corp. (FRO), a local
and long-distance operator, goes through.
Bush's opportunism makes him leader
of the global league of political
speechmakers. Margaret Thatcher, the
former U.K. prime minister, can claim
only $150,000 per speech.