Wayne Berman, president of Park Strategies LLC in Connecticut, whose activities are being looked at by the FBI ($50 million in state pension funds being invested through Park Strategies into a Carlyle Group fund). Carlyle is a "Washington merchant bank and client of Park Strategies that retains former president George Bush as a senior consultant." In 1991 Bush had appointed Berman to be assistant secretary of commerce. Last year Berman and retired senator Al D'Amato (R-NY) formed Park Strategies and hired Paul Silvester, who previously was Connecticut's treasurer and was in charge of investing state pension funds. Carlyle's European fund retains former British prime minister John Major. Both men (Bush Sr & Major) have made hundreds of thousands of dollars counseling Carlyle on where to invest its money overseas, introducing Carlyle executives to foreign leaders and giving speeches at Carlyle gatherings. Bush's fees from Carlyle are poured into his accounts in various Carlyle funds, which lately have yielded up to 40 percent a year in returns." Berman charged the Carlyle Group more than $900,000 for helping it land tens of millions in pension investments www.bushwatch.comWayne Berman, his national finance co-chairman, billed more than $720,000 in lobbying fees from 2005 through last year to Ameriquest Mortgage through their lobbying firm, disclosure forms reviewed by the Daily News show. Ameriquest, which since has been bought out, was forced to settle suits with 49 states for $325 million. More than 13,680 New York homeowners got taken for a ride by the company, records show.
June 19, 2008 at 8:56 p.m.
McCain's eco team:Recall the future's market was famously abused by Enron when it manipulated California’s electricity prices in 2001. Gramm cleared the way for that price gouging in 2000 by slipping an Enron-backed provision into the Commodities Futures Modernization Act that exempted electronic trades from regulation. Over the next year, Enron – with Gramm’s wife Wendy serving on its board of directors – worked to create false electricity shortages in California, bilking tax-payers out of about $40 billion.
The “Enron loophole” - speculative futures markets were partly to blame for the surge in oil prices
In 2000, the exemption on electronic trading was approved without a hearing!
Bush benefactors wrote the legislation, signed by Clinton
2006- the “Enron loophole” allowed Amaranth Advisers hedge fund to shift trades from the regulated New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) to the unregulated Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) in Atlanta.
2007- the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) charged that Amaranth manipulated prices. FERC has proposed $291 million in penalties and the forfeiture of “unjust profits.”
Unregulated markets are 'dark markets’ (very little oversight of the trades) according to Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI), chairman of the subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, during a hearing on energy speculation in December 2007.
In trading dark markets, traders can avoid rules of the CFTC which are in place to prevent price distortions or supply squeezes.
Trading volumes on dark markets have skyrocketed in the past three years and are now as large or even larger in some months, than the volumes traded on the regulated futures market. -according to Stupak
Gramm received more than $34,000 in campaign contributions from Enron, was a key legislative allies (i.e. act in 2000 of removing federal oversight from energy trades on electronic platforms).
Less than a month after Clinton signed the energy bill, California experienced rolling blackouts due to artificial electricity shortages which, according federal regulators, were the result of manipulative trading practices employed by Enron.
In his last days in the Senate, in April 2002, Gramm blocked an amendment by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), that would have closed the Enron loophole.
Gramm’s wife, Wendy, chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, removed energy derivatives contracts and interest-rate swaps from federal oversight.
Wendy Gramm was given also given a job only five weeks later as a member of the Enron board of directors and served as a member of the audit committee that signed off on fake partnerships that hid the company’s debt.
In 2002, Gramm objected to the Sarbanes-Oxley bill which purportedly holds executives liable for inaccuracies in financial reports.
Hillary Clinton’s chief strategist was Mark Penn AND John McCain’s top adviser is Charlie Black is chairman of BKSH, the DC-based lobbying subsidiary of Burson-Marsteller -- of which Mark Penn is CEO.
BKSH is a bipartisan lobbying firm. Black, the chairman is the top Republican. The top Democrat is R. Scott Pastrick, who like Penn, supported Clinton .
Burson-Marsteller’s work is primarily for corporations, ranging from Blackwater to Microsoft to the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority
Would you say this posed at least the appearance of a conflict of interest for the strategist in question?
Mark Penn and Charlie Black together iterated the same talking point of Obama’s inexperience & not being ready for presidency Wall Street Journal .
It’s tag-teaming Burson-Marsteller style.
For obvious reasons, the right wasn’t attacking Charlie Black’s relationship with Mark Penn -- it seems to be working in their favor.
June 19, 2008 at 8:54 p.m.
There is a candidate who admits he's not good with economics. He is offering a tax proposal that would give the five largest oil companies $3.8 billion in tax breaks and he's opposed to increased tax to the richest in Americans. How does that help us, the average Americans? How does a tax break for the oil companies help with our commutes to work or vacation (if we even get one)!
Oil is $66/barrel in Saudi Arabia & $130 at least in US.1 million homes are in FORECLOSURE!1 trillion dollar reduction in Americans net worth!The dollar is tanking big time overseas. Try traveling in Europe or Canada.The US is 9 trillion dollars in debt.A contributing factor to high gas prices are Arabic tribes blowing up oil pipelines.
Phil Gramm = lobbyist (paid by) UBS (Swedish bank) to kill/squash any bills created to help distressed homeowners from having their homes foreclosed. "Winning the war" and more troops are committing sucide since the Gulf War. "The Sliding Scale" GI Bill chosen over "Webb's Bill" requires vets to complete a 12 year tour before receiving a $2000/mo for each additional month served and $1500 to current active duty soldiers. Squashing of Webb's Bill which provides GI Bill benefits after 3 year tour. Cost difference in starting Webb's Bill vs The Sliding Scale Bill is $30 million total (Iraq war costs $720 million/day). Dept of Veteran's affairs discourages use of mental health diagnoses of PTSD and use of diaganoses like adjustment disorder in order to deny disability beneits to vets from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Bin Laden and the Bush family have a very lengthy and intertwined history. http://www.williambowles.info/guests/... Not sure of the candidate or if this info is factual (search for yourself).
June 9, 2008 at 6:15 p.m.
June 9, 2008 at 6:11 p.m.