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Reply #41: Thanks to you and all who fight in the Infowar. Remember UTIMCO? HARKEN? [View All]

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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-20-05 10:23 PM
Response to Reply #12
41. Thanks to you and all who fight in the Infowar. Remember UTIMCO? HARKEN?
The University Texas Investment Management Company was raided by Bush's rich American friends.

HARKEN Energy was another company Bush ran into the dirt, bailed out by Bush's rich foreign friends.

Notes on a Native Son: The George W. Bush Story

A heartwarming tale about baseball, $1.7 billion, and a lot of swell friends.

By Joe Conason
Harper's Magazine
February 2000


To acquire the Rangers and thus keep the franchise in Texas would be to do something of profound significance to Texans. Baseball commissioner Peter Ueberroth was eager to help the son of the new president, but he was not so eager when George W. said the biggest investors in the proposed Rangers syndicate were his old Yale frat brother Roland Betts and Tom Bernstein, Betts's partner in a film-investment concern. Betts and Bernstein were from New York, not Texas. The indispensable local money came from Richard Rainwater, formerly the chief financial adviser to the Bass brothers of Fort Worth. Little known to the general public, Rainwater was famous on Wall Street for growing the Bass inheritance from around $50 million in 1970 to more than $4 billion by the time he left in 1986 to manage his own investments.


Bush's stake in the team, just under 2 percent, was among the smallest. He purchased his shares with a $500,000 loan from a Midland bank of which he had been a director and eventually scraped together another $106,000 to buy out two other limited partners. Rainwater, Rose, and their associates put up $14.2 million, while Betts and Bernstein invested about $6 million; the balance came from smaller investors, loans, and the equity of minority partners in the old Chiles partnership.


Meanwhile, George W. maintained a financial interest in Harken Energy. He had been granted enough additional stock options, at a generous discount, to increase his holdings by more than half. By 1989, however, those shares were falling in value. A series of questionable decisions by chairman Alan Quasha had jeopardized the company's future, and its losses reached $40 million in 1990. Even the company's CEO admitted that its financial statements were "a mess." Once more, however, the Bush name seems to have provided sudden deliverance-- this time in the form of a contract with the emirate of Bahrain.

Until 1989 the Bahraini oil minister had been negotiating an agreement for offshore drilling with Amoco, a huge energy conglomerate with decades of worldwide experience. Those talks were abruptly broken off, supposedly because the Bahrainis had decided that a smaller firm would give their project more attention. The Bahraini officials were put in touch with Harken through a former Mobil Oil executive named Michael Ameen. At the same time, Ameen also happened to be working as a consultant to the U.S. State Department, which had assigned him to brief Charles Hostler, the newly confirmed American ambassador to Bahrain (a San Diego real estate investor who had given $100,000 to the Republican Party for the 1988 election).

These several events culminated in a January 1990 announcement that astonished oil-industry analysts: the government of Bahrain had awarded exclusive offshore drilling rights to Harken. "It was a surprise," one top analyst told Time magazine with dry understatement. Quite apart from Harken's shaky financial condition, the company had never drilled a well anywhere but Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma, and had never drilled undersea at all. So depleted of cash and so deeply in debt was Harken that the company was forced to bring in the more experienced and solvent Bass brothers as equity partners, so that construction on the $25 million project could begin. Only the presence of President Bush's oldest son could explain Bahrain's extraordinary decision.

There was no question that the rulers of Bahrain were aware of his role. In addition to his Harken directorship, George W. sat on the company's "exploration advisory board," which meant that his name had been mentioned at least twice during initial discussions with Bahraini officials. "They were clearly aware he was the president's son," said Monte Swetnam, a former Harken executive who conducted the talks with the emirate's oil ministry. George W. flatly denied any part in Harken's bid. "Ask the Bahrainis," he replied flippantly when journalists asked whether they had been enticed by his name. Harken has said that Bush was not involved in the Bahrain deal.


Foreign. Domestic. Either way, Bush is a crook.

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