[FoRK] AP Poll: Bush public support: going, going...

jbone at place.org jbone at place.org
Tue Feb 10 09:13:33 PST 2004

L. says:

> > Also note:  Dubya's hardly an oil "tycoon."  On the contrary, he
> > appears to have an amazing talent for spending money --- particularly
> > other people's money --- and very little talent for achieving 
> anything
> > with it.
> Yeah. If you look at the record, he made most of his current cash with
> the Rangers, actually.

Note that the Rangers money-making ability was really enhanced when the 
new stadium was built --- using tax dollars, among other things.

Also note that Dubya put up only a tiny, miniscule fraction of the 
money to "buy" the Rangers.

> His oil companies (two, IIRC) were basically
> failures,

It was one essentially one play, followed through a chain of 

Not basically a failure, it *was* an ongoing failure all the way down 
the line.  He just happened to be able to liquidate earlier  and more 
frequently than some others.  Certain of his investors were left 
holding the bag.  No huge surprise in all those quid pro quos when 
looked at through the lens of his history:

 From a non-political site w/ bios of "famous Texans:"



Profession: In the West Texas energy business, George W. Bush started 
out researching who owned mineral rights. He later traded mineral and 
royalty interests and invested in drilling prospects. He had started 
his own oil and gas company by 1978, taking $17,000 from his education 
trust fund to set up Arbusto Energy (arbusto means Bush in Spanish). 
The company fell on hard times when oil prices fell. He made several 
attempts to revive the business, first by changing the company's name 
and later by merging with other companies. In 1983, Bush’s company was 
rescued from failure when Spectrum 7 Energy Corporation, a small oil 
firm owned by William DeWitt and Mercer Reynolds, bought it. Bush 
became chief executive officer. Harken Energy Corporation acquired 
Spectrum 7 in 1986, after Spectrum had lost $400,000. In the buyout 
deal, Bush and his partners were given more than $2 million worth of 
Harken stock for the 180-well operation. Bush became a director and was 
hired as a "consultant" to Harken. He received another $600,000 of 
Harken stock, and has been paid between $42,000 and $120,000 a year. By 
the spring of 1987, Harken was in need of cash. So Bush and his fellow 
Harken officials met with Jackson Stephens, head of Stephens, Inc., an 
investment bank in Little Rock, Arkansas (Stephens contributed $100,000 
to the Reagan-Bush campaign in 1980 and gave another $100,000 to the 
Bush dinner committee in 1990.) Stephens arranged for Union Bank of 
Switzerland (UBS) to provide $25 million to Bush’s company in return 
for a stock interest in Harken. As part of the deal, Sheikh Abdullah 
Bakhsh, a Saudi real estate tycoon and financier, joined Harken's board 
as a major investor. Stephens, UBS, and Bakhsh each had ties to the 
infamous, scandal-ridden Bank of Credit and Commerce International 
(BCCI). In 1990, Bush sold his remaining stock options and left the oil 
business. Writer Jack Colhoun revealed some details of that stock sale, 
referring to Bush by his childhood nickname “Junior”:

On June 22, 1990, George Jr. sold two-thirds of his Harken stock for 
$848,560-a cool 200 percent profit. The move was well timed. One week 
after Junior sold his stock, Harken announced a $23.2 million loss in 
quarterly earnings and Harken stock dropped sharply, losing 60 percent 
of its value over the next six months. On August 2, 1990, Iraqi troops 
moved into Kuwait and 541,000 U.S. forces were deployed to the Gulf.

"There is substantial evidence to suggest that Bush knew Harken was in 
dire straits in the weeks before he sold the $848,560 of Harken stock," 
asserted U.S. News & World Report. The magazine noted Harken appointed 
Junior to a 'fairness committee' to study possible economic 
restructuring of the company. Junior worked closely with financial 
advisers from Smith Barney, Harris Upham & Company, who concluded "only 
drastic action could save Harken."



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