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Cattle futures redux?
Hot Air ^ | March 07, 2008 | by Ed Morrissey

Posted on 03/07/2008 7:54:49 AM PST by jdm

Bill Clinton hit a $700,000 windfall in April 2006 by selling off some stock he received for a speech given in 2004. The Washington Times reports that the stock sold at $3.50 a share despite being millions of dollars in the red, and the Clintons have not released the name of the sap buyer who shelled out the cash. Scandal or snorer — and do the connections to China portend worse revelations?

The spring before his wife began her White House campaign, former President Bill Clinton earned $700,000 for his foundation by selling stock that he had been given from an Internet search company that was co-founded by a convicted felon and backed by the Chinese government, public records show.

Mr. Clinton had gotten the nonpublicly traded stock from Accoona Corp. back in 2004 as a gift for giving a speech at a company event. He landed the windfall by selling the 200,000 shares to an undisclosed buyer in May 2006, commanding $3.50 a share at a time when the company was reporting millions of dollars of losses, according to interviews.

A spokesman for the William J. Clinton Foundation declined to identify the buyer who was willing to pay so much for a struggling company’s stock, saying only that the transaction was handled by a securities broker. It occurred seven months before Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton announced her bid to run for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.

The spokesman, Ben Yarrow, declined last week to say whether Mr. Clinton knew about the Chinese government’s connection to Accoona or the felony fraud conviction of one of the company’s founders.

The Chinese connection may take us into the debate over sovereign-wealth funds, which Rep. Thaddeus McCotter and I discussed in yesterday’s show. SWFs consist of state-owned investment funds from outside nations as diverse as Canad, Norway, Saudi Arabia, and China. Unlike the flood of investment from Japan in the 1980s, however, these funds are controlled by governments whose profit motives may take a distant second to political leverage. McCotter worries about these countries using SWFs to buy influence and to create a de facto socialism in the US by eventually controlling certain industries.

Having a business connected to Beijing stuffing the pockets of a politican running for President (or her spouse) brings those concerns into high relief. It shows how possible it could be to create political connections, if Accoona or other such companies decide to throw cash around without concern over profit. After all, SWFs get funded through taxation, not through investment, since they come straight from national treasuries. They can give away all the stock they want and buy it back at whatever price the recipient desires, because they have no stockholders holding them accountable.

The International Herald-Tribune notes the scope and nature of SWFs:

Now, with sovereign wealth funds, many experts are asking whether cross-border investment is evolving into something new that could be called cross-border nationalization, raising the specter of government interference in free markets - only this time, in other countries’ markets rather than their own.

Another concern is the sheer size and potential growth of these funds. Their estimated $2.5 trillion in assets exceeds the sum invested by the world’s hedge funds. Moreover, Morgan Stanley, in a widely cited study, projects that these investment funds could grow to a staggering $17.5 trillion in 10 years.

Though sovereign wealth funds do not appear to have played a role in the recent turmoil of global markets, experts say they could in the future, in favorable or unfavorable ways - by selling assets abruptly and precipitating a crisis, or by bailing out funds or companies that are in trouble.

Or by generating operating revenue for like-minded politicians to give them an advantage over their competitors? It’s certainly possible. The Clintons need to disclose the buyer so that we can see if the Accoona connections to Beijing circle back on themselves.

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: cattlefutures; redux

1 posted on 03/07/2008 7:54:49 AM PST by jdm
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To: jdm

Someone needs to do the research on those people that have worked directly with Bill and Hillary that have been put on trial for criminal wrong doing.

2 posted on 03/07/2008 7:58:13 AM PST by Walkingfeather
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To: jdm

God bless bill and hillary for being the arrogant folks that they are. They believe they can get away with anything. Well, if they start going after McCain for the keating five crap, his campaign team had better be prepared to hit back hard.

3 posted on 03/07/2008 7:59:50 AM PST by mainerforglobalwarming
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To: jdm

Hillary needs to get elected so she can pardon Bill constantly.

4 posted on 03/07/2008 8:13:26 AM PST by gunservative
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To: jdm

If Obama doesn’t have enough material from Hillary’s sleezy past dealings with Johnny Chung, Paul, Hsu etc., then he is not really serious about running for President. He’s just angling for the VP slot on Hillary’s ticket.

5 posted on 03/07/2008 8:15:02 AM PST by kittymyrib
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To: Walkingfeather

Except for the FBI files that the Clinton’s have on Pinch and his ilk these Arkansas criminals would already be put away. To elect Obama the new MSM may yet put these two in a Federal pokey. Hill had best quit while she is ahead. You have to wonder how many Sharptons and Jesse Jacksons she has by the ba_ _s.

6 posted on 03/07/2008 8:22:17 AM PST by cornbreadmuffin (I WANT NEWT FOR PRESIDENT....I WANT NEWT FOR PRESIDENT....I WANT NEWT)
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To: mainerforglobalwarming
God bless bill and hillary for being the arrogant folks that they are. They believe they can get away with anything.

They can, they have and they will continue to do so and there's nothing anyone can or is willing to do about it.

7 posted on 03/07/2008 9:05:09 AM PST by varon (Allegiance to the constitution, always. Allegiance to a political party, never.)
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