Since stepping down as Governor of Florida in 2007, Jeb Bush has been working hard at getting richer.
His financial activities and ties make him a good candidate from the point of view of Wall Street, but may be a drawback from the standpoint of the general public.
Before he became Governor of Florida in 1999, he was a successful real estate developer. After eight years in office, he felt poor because his net worth had dwindled from $2 million to $1.3 million.
To rebuild his fortune, he joined corporate boards, advised corporate clients and, like Hillary Clinton, gave speeches at corporate events for lucrative fees.
Business Week reported that he started a holding company, Britton Hill Holdings, which has launched three investment funds, BH Global Aviation ($61 million), which is incorporated in Wales and supported largely by overseas investors; BH Logistics ($26 million), which is backed by a Chinese conglomerate; and a fund for investing in shale gas ($40 million). No doubt the Bush name gave him credibility with foreign investors.
Jeb Bush is no Mitt Romney. He hangs out with mere millionaires instead of billionaires. He is an entrepreneur, not a takeover specialist. He doesn’t have a record of aquiring existing companies and laying people off.
On the other hand he is part of the same world as Romney and Clinton. He was an adviser to Lehman Brothers on the verge of its collapse, and tried, unsuccessfully, to get Carlos Slim, the Mexican billionaire, to rescue Lehman. He was an adviser to Barclay’s bank (a position he resigned today), which was involved in interest rate rigging and other scandals.
He was on the board of two corporations that went bankrupt and the CEO of one of them was indicted for fraud.
With all of this, based on information from the articles linked below, I don’t see that he did anything illegal or unethical. The Republicans could do worse.
If Republicans nominate Jeb Bush for President, and Democrats nominate Hillary Clinton, it would be the best of both worlds for Wall Street.
I wouldn’t vote for him myself. He represents the upper 1 percent, and the country needs somebody who speaks for the 99 percent.
Jeb Bush Has a Mitt Romney Problem by Joshua Green for Bloomberg Politics.
Jeb Bush: The Forrest Gump of Financial Improprieties? by Yves Smith of Naked Capitalism.
Jeb Bush Was Only a Millionaire When He Left Office, But He Wanted to Be Rich by Philip Bump for The Atlantic Wire.
Jeb Bush’s wealth-building strategy could be problematic in 2016 White House bid by Phil Ammann for SaintPetersBlog.
Wall Street Republicans’ dark secret: Hillary Clinton in 2016 by Ben White and Maggie Haberman for Politico. Wall Street prefers Jeb Bush, but wouldn’t mind Hillary Clinton.
Tea Partiers Are Right: Jeb Bush Is a RINO by Matt Taibbi for Rolling Stone.