News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Jeb Bush, ethanol, and much more

10/9/06, "The Saudis of the Southern Hemisphere," Forbes, David Adams

Jeb, a globalist, favors eliminating tariff for Brazilian ethanol.

"Gov. Bush is discussing the creation of a joint commission with Brazil to promote ethanol as a hemispheric vehicle for energy security. While he recognizes

That to me is a heck of a lot more important than whether or not

  • the corn guy in Des Moines is protected
  • so that we continue to consume foreign sources of oil,” he said....
Brazil's state oil company, Petrobras (nyse: PBR - news - people ), is also studying construction of a $225 million pipeline that would
  • transport ethanol from sugarcane-growing areas to an export terminal in the state of São Paulo by 2008."...
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12/18/06, "State partners with Brazil for ethanol future," South Florida Business Journal

"The governor's (Jeb Bush) admiration of Brazil's ethanol use has taken another step forward with the launch of the
  • Inter-American Commission on Ethanol.

The group's purpose is to increase the hemisphere's commitment and collaboration on

  • greater ethanol use.

To launch the commission, Gov. Jeb Bush joined Roberto Rodrigues, president of the Superior Council of Agrobusiness and Brazil's former minister of agriculture, and Luis Alberto Moreno, president of the Inter-American Development Bank.

"Alternative fuels, such as ethanol, promise to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil, strengthen our national security, spur economic development, and protect our environment," Bush said. "Brazil has demonstrated strong leadership in creating a reliable and solid ethanol industry, and I am confident that the commission established today will allow us to form a formidable partnership

  • to encourage ethanol use throughout the Western Hemisphere."

Bush has said an increase in ethanol imports would likely come in to the United States through

  • Port Everglades and Port of Miami.

Also, his "15 by '15" ethanol initiative recommends the United States develop a plan to pump 15 billion gallons of ethanol into the marketplace by 2015. That's more than twice the goal of 7 billion gallons Congress set in the Energy Act of 2005.

  • Ethanol is fuel made from alcohol in crops such as corn. When ethanol combines with unleaded gasoline, it decreases the fuel's cost and harmful emissions while increasing its octane rating.

In addition to promoting ethanol use, the Inter-American Commission for Ethanol is to set mandates for ethanol-blended fuel

  • throughout the Western Hemisphere
  • and to promote scientific and technical research in alternative-based fuels.

The commission is to arrange road shows to increase awareness of the Florida-Brazil-led ethanol initiative. The goal there is to attract policymakers, interest groups and industry, while disseminating information, generating media coverage and promoting public discussion on ethanol benefits.

The commission also is to secure a presence on Capitol Hill and serve as a source of information for

  • the U.S. energy policy process.

Long-term goals include creating an international ethanol market and the Inter-American Ethanol Organization (IEO).

In June, Bush signed the Florida Renewable Energy Technologies and Energy Efficiency Act, creating the Florida Energy Commission. The act is to match grants with research and development projects for ethanol.

  • In September, Bush joined Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Colleen M. Castille in opening the first ethanol pump in Florida.

Government isn't the only entity pushing toward ethanol. As the price of gasoline has increased, private-sector companies are also

  • investing in the technology.

For example, an ethanol producer has invested $10 million in Dyadic International so the Jupiter-based biotechnology firm can fund development of a cost-effective way to make a type of ethanol produced

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2/11/08, "Bloomberg slams U.S. energy law over corn ethanol" Reuters by Louis Charbonneau and Timothy Gardner

after addressing a U.N. General Assembly debate on climate change....

--------From the same Reuters article, 2/11/08:

"Cuban leader Fidel Castro blasted the Bush administration's biofuels policy as "genocidal" in a series of articles last year, saying
  • they threatened to worsen global hunger by pushing up prices for food crops used to make ethanol."...
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4/18/07, "Jeb Bush: Ethanol no threat to food supplies," People's Daily Online

"U.S. President George W. Bush's brother Jeb Bush said on Tuesday that an increase in Brazilian ethanol output
  • will not necessarily threaten international food supplies.

We are convinced that Brazil is capable of increasing its production of sugar and ethanol from sugarcane

  • without threatening food supplies, Bush said.

He also told Brazilian legislators that he expects U.S. government to reduce or eliminate its 2.5 percent tariff on ethanol

  • in several years

and ethanol to become a key product on the international biofuel market. The United States hopes to create a "robust world market"

  • for alternative fuels, Bush said..

The former governor of Florida state made the remarks during a visit to the Brazilian Congress in response to the boycott by Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro of a deal aimed at

  • raising the production of ethanol worldwide as an alternative to fossil fuels.

Castro and Chavez, leaders of Cuba and Venezuela, said they were concerned that people might starve if more agricultural land is used to produce crops

  • for energy instead of food.

Bush argued that increased production of ethanol might cause problems in countries

  • like USA that use corn as the raw material

but Brazil is immunized as it makes ethanol from sugarcane. He also said that the U.S. government

Brazil is the world's largest ethanol exporter with an annual production of 17 billion liters. It is expected that the annual output will be further increased to 24 billion liters by 2010. Production of ethanol in the U.S. stands at 18 billion liters per year."

"Source: Xinhua"

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5/10/07, "Jeb Bush joins Tenet Healthcare's board," AP, USA Today, D. Koenig

"Jeb Bush, who tried to tackle rising Medicaid spending as governor of Florida, was elected Thursday to the board of Tenet Healthcare Corp., whose struggling Florida hospitals have become a drag on company profits.

  • Bush said he doesn't have any specific assignments on behalf of the company.

"I hope that I can bring my experiences of the last eight years as governor of a market that Tenet is very active in, to help the company improve quality and be profitable," Bush said in a brief interview with The Associated Press.

Bush, the 54-year-old younger brother of President George W. Bush, said Tenet could join the debate over changing

Last month, Tenet created a special board seat for Bush, who left office in January after two terms, and shareholders overwhelmingly elected him to a one-year term.

  • Bush was named to the board's ethics and nominating committees.

Tenet directors other than the chairman were paid fees of $97,700 to $129,222 last year, which includes a base fee of $65,000 plus additional amounts for each meeting attended.

Tenet, one of the nation's largest hospital companies, is trying to dig out from four straight money-losing years caused by self-inflicted wounds including overbilling Medicare. Last year, the company agreed to a

  • $900 million settlement of the Medicare charges....

Tenet began pursuing Bush in March on the advice of Russell S. Reynolds, a longtime Bush family friend and fundraiser for President Bush and his father, the former president. Reynolds advises companies on

  • executive and director recruitment."...

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3/24/10, "The Stock Reveals Obamacare's Real Winners and Losers," Weekly Standard, Stanley Goldfarb

"Do you want to know what our new health care system means? All you need to know is that the price of Tenet Healthcare Corporation’s stock, one of the largest for-profit hospital systems, was

  • up 9 percent two days ago. So much for bending the cost curve."...
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7/6/08, "Jeb Bush keeps a high-impact low profile," St. Petersburg Times, Sydney P. Freedberg

"About two months after joining Tenet, Bush became a
  • consultant to Lehman Brothers and
a member of the firm's private equity advisory board, which buys and sells companies worldwide.

The investment bank refuses to comment on Bush's duties or compensation. When the Wall Street Journal learned about it, its Web site called Bush "Leh­man's secret weapon.'' Others in the financial media speculated his hiring was part of a lobbying blitz
How much does Bush earn at Lehman Brothers? Experts say there's no industry standard, and fees can range from a small stipend
  • to stock deals worth seven or eight figures.
John Edwards, the former Democratic presidential candidate, earned $479,512 for 14 months' work at Fortress Investment Group, a hedge fund. A company that employed a New York political consultant got $12.3-million from another private equity firm, the Carlyle Group, for helping it secure a $1.3-billion investment in New York's pension fund. Lehman Brothers paid Giuliani $100,000 for a speech (including agent's fee) and Clinton $150,000.
  • Colin Blaydon, a professor at the Center for Private Equity and Entrepreneurship at Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business, said Bush's role may be as limited as someone "you want to have access to (or) ... can invite to dinner with potential clients.'' Or he could be a "regular and concrete contributor'' — effectively a partner in the firm, Blaydon said.
"The private equity business is in many ways about relationships, so being skilled at making connections is basically the way deals get put together,'' Blaydon said. "Being an ex-governor helps, but being
While Bush was governor, Lehman Brothers won at least six new contracts and $9.9-million in fees from the two agencies that handle
  • Florida's bond deals and public investments, records show.
Bush denies any conflicts in the awarding of business to Lehman Brothers or other companies that now employ him. He also has denied any role in the sales by Lehman
  • of risky securities to the State Board of Administration,
which manages billions of dollars in investments for hundreds of local
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9/11/08, "Shaky Lehman Brothers has deep ties to Florida," St. Petersberg Times, Sydney P. Freedberg

"The (Florida) SBA also has bought billions of dollars worth of Lehman's own securities in recent months. Many have matured, but

  • SBA records suggest that several are still outstanding.

Those securities are held in several funds, including the local government fund and the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund, which helps insurance companies pay for storm damages.

  • In addition to securities dealings, Lehman Brothers manages assets for the SBA.

MacKee, the agency's spokesman, said Wednesday afternoon that he would provide an accounting of the agency's financial relationships with Lehman Brothers. But later, he sent an e-mail saying, "We won't be getting the holdings tonight. I will get them for you as soon as I can. Talk to you in the morning.''

He also did not provide information about Lehman's work as a state investment manager or elaborate on its role in

  • selling tainted securities last year.

Lehman has a number of other ties to Florida. It earns lucrative fees underwriting bond deals for an assortment of state agencies. Last year, Lehman tried to sell Gov. Crist on a plan to sell off Florida's lottery. Nothing came of it.

Citizens Property Insurance Co., a state-run insurer of homes and condos, said Wednesday that it

  • holds more than $35-million in Lehman securities.

The investment bank also has a big Florida name on its payroll.

In June 2007, the firm hired former Gov. Jeb Bush — five months after he left office and the SBA board of trustees — to serve as a consultant and member of its private equity advisory board, which buys and sells companies worldwide.

Bush has declined to elaborate on his work for the firm but has said he played no role in the sale of

  • securities that were later downgraded.

On Wednesday, he did not respond to an e-mail requesting comments. Lehman Brothers has refused to comment on Bush's duties or compensation."

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"Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who incorporated Jeb Bush & Associates in February 2007, a month after completing his second term, had been hired as

12/18/07, "Florida Got Lehman Help Before Run on School's Funds (Update1)," Bloomberg,

"It was the first day of November and Coleman Stipanovich's world was coming undone. Florida school districts and towns had begun pulling their cash out of the $26 billion money market fund he supervised, after they learned

  • it held subprime-tainted debt.

Stipanovich, who earned $180,214 in 2006 as executive director of the (Florida) State Board of Administration, was in New York in confidential meetings with Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., the largest U.S. underwriter of mortgage-backed bonds. Lehman was proposing ways to help the state manage the risk of its debt investments, according to a letter the bank sent to Stipanovich after the meeting.

What Stipanovich, 58, hadn't told his boss, Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, was that Lehman Brothers was the same firm that had sold the state fund $842 million of mortgage- backed debt

  • in July and August.

Those securities defaulted within four months, and totaled more failing debt than any other bank sold the state, Florida records show. ``At the time, I never knew it was Lehman Brothers that actually sold us these investments,'' Sink says.

Sink also was unaware that former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who incorporated Jeb Bush & Associates in February 2007, a month after completing his second term, had been hired as a consultant to Lehman Brothers in June. Bush is the brother of President George W. Bush.

In November, school districts and local agencies that kept their cash in the state pool rushed to withdraw $12 billion, or 46 percent, of the money in the fund. On Nov. 29, the state froze the fund to stop all withdrawals. ``If we don't do something quickly, we're not going to have an investment pool,'' Stipanovich told the board that day.

Until November, the Florida pool was the largest public money market fund in the U.S. It held cash for about

  • 1,000 school districts, towns and local agencies in Florida.

Stipanovich resigned on Dec. 4. He declined to comment.

Florida CFO Sink is riled up about more than Stipanovich. She says JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Lehman Brothers were offloading tainted debt on Florida and other states at a time when those assets were plummeting in value.

The subprime meltdown made front-page news in June, when Bear Stearns Cos. disclosed that two of its hedge funds were collapsing because they were stuffed with subprime collateral. During the next two months, Wall Street firms were quietly peddling mortgage-backed securities to the states.

And the states, eager for higher returns, were buying them.

Wall Street had few takers for its subprime-tainted debt. ``When they couldn't sell it to more-sophisticated investors, they found less-sophisticated investors

  • like local government investment pools,'' he (a US Treasury official) says.

At the same time, Lehman Brothers served its shareholders well in 2007, says Bruce Foerster, president of Miami-based corporate financial adviser South Beach Capital Markets. On Dec. 13, the bank reported it had limited a fourth-quarter writedown of $2.2 billion tied to residential mortgages with $2 billion it made on hedges.

The board of Lehman, whose shares are down 21.2 percent this year, gave Chief Executive Officer Richard Fuld a $35 million stock award for record income in 2007.. ``What's not to like about a record year?'' Foerster says.

`We Are Disappointed'

Lehman Brothers spokeswoman Kerrie Cohen says the bank had only good intentions in its sales to Florida. ``The firm's number one priority is to deliver first-rate products to our clients,'' she says.

  • ``We are disappointed when any security that is purchased by a client underperforms expectations.''

JPMorgan Chase spokesman Joseph Evangelisti declined to comment for this story.

Florida first revealed that close to $1 billion of its money market fund investments had been downgraded by credit rating companies on Nov. 1, after a month of inquiries by Bloomberg News,

  • which published a story on the pool on Nov. 14.

States and counties run pools similar to money market funds to hold cash for school districts and local agencies. Most states require fund managers to make only short-term investments in debt such as U.S. Treasuries, certificates of deposit and corporate commercial paper, or short-term loans....

Stolen' From Taxpayers

Hal Wilson, the school board's chief financial officer, stopped checks to vendors to ensure the district's 220 employees would be able to cash their paychecks. ``It has been stolen from our local taxpayers because we entrusted their money with the state and our elected officials assured us it was safe,'' Wilson says.

On Nov. 30, state officials hired New York-based investment management firm BlackRock Inc. to study the fund's holdings and recommend a plan. On Dec. 4, BlackRock reported that about

  • $2 billion of the pool's holdings were in default or had significant credit risk.

It recommended that the state put 86 percent of its remaining $14 billion of assets that had no risk of loss or default in what it called Fund A. The remaining 14 percent of distressed assets would go into

  • Fund B and stay frozen indefinitely.

Two days later, the state allowed limited withdrawals from Fund A. Local districts withdrew $1.8 billion from the pool in the first three days after the state lifted the freeze....

`Significant' Risk

The state's flirtation with the mortgage meltdown began in February 2007 when the fund bought $400 million of one-year Countrywide Bank certificates of deposit from the nation's then largest mortgage lender, Countrywide Financial Corp. The CDs yielded 5.35 percent at the time. BlackRock later quarantined the Countrywide CDs into Fund B because of their ``significant'' credit risk.

Two years ago, Florida's pool held safer debt investments. On Sept. 30, 2005, 25 percent of the pool was invested in U.S. Treasuries and debt issued by U.S. agencies, the safest and most liquid debt sold. The rest was in short-term corporate commercial paper. Interest rates were low, and fund managers for about 100 such pools in the U.S. wanted higher yields.

Florida was more aggressive than most states. In October, the Florida pool had the highest return of any public fund in the U.S., with a return of 5.63 percent. Chasing higher yields not only meant potentially higher returns for taxpayers;

  • it could also mean bonuses for Stipanovich and his colleagues....

On June 14, Bear Stearns announced it would liquidate two of its hedge funds, holding more than $4 billion in assets, because their subprime holdings were collapsing. The news roiled global financial markets. Eleven days later, Lombardi took on even more risk for the pool, buying another $150 million of one- year Countrywide CDs, which were then yielding 5.33 percent.

At about the same time, (Jeb) Bush and his new company won a consulting contract from Lehman Brothers, according to Lehman spokesman Randall Whitestone, who declined to say how much Bush is being paid.

Jeb Bush

On July 2, Lehman Brothers sold Lombardi $250 million of one-month commercial paper from a structured finance company called KKR Atlantic Funding Trust yielding 5.37 percent, state records show. KKR Atlantic was rated A-1+ by Standard & Poor's and Prime-1 by Moody's.

It matured, and on Aug. 2, Lehman Brothers sold Lombardi $200 million of one-month KKR Atlantic paper yielding 5.53 percent. It was downgraded to default by Fitch Ratings on Oct. 8, and Not Prime, or junk, by Moody's on Oct. 29.

From July 3 to July 9, Lehman Brothers sold the pool $153 million of commercial paper from another structured finance company called Ottimo Funding yielding 5.36-5.38 percent.

Lehman Brothers spokeswoman Cohen says there's no link between Bush and Lehman's sale of debt to Florida. ``Bush is a member of the Lehman Brothers private equity advisory board and his company has been retained by the firm for consulting and advisory services,'' she says. The former governor declined to comment.

`A Clear Conflict'

Craig Holman, of Washington-based nonprofit public interest group Public Citizen, disputes Lehman Brothers' view. ``That defies credibility,'' says Holman, who lobbies for ethics in government. ``It's a clear conflict of interest. Bush is a consultant to the company

  • selling bad investments to the same agency
  • on which he served as a trustee until January.''

On July 10, Moody's cut ratings on $5.2 billion of bonds backed by subprime mortgages. Standard & Poor's said that day it might slash ratings on $7 billion of subprime-backed debt.

  • From July 26 to Aug. 2, Lehman Brothers sold the pool $489 million of one-month KKR Pacific Funding Trust paper, state records show.

With each new purchase, KKR Pacific offered a higher interest rate. On July 26, KKR Pacific paid 5.38 percent; on July 27, 5.39 percent; on Aug. 1, 5.46 percent; and on Aug. 2, 5.65 percent."...

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12/5/08, "Executives snap up Lehman's Neuberger without cash," AccountancyAge.com

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12/6/10, "Jeb Bush's New Board Seats," PEU Report (updated 1/11)

"SEC filings indicate Jeb Bush landed three new board seats.

Angelica Corporation, CorMatrix Cardiovascular, Inc. and Empower Software Solutions, Inc
I already had his Tenet Healthcare, Rayonier and CNL Bankshares board positions.

Jeb sits on Tenet's Quality, Compliance and Ethics Committee. Funny, Florida Governor Jeb settled several times with Tenet for improper billing. Brother George W., as President, omitted Tenet's Memorial Medical Center and the facility's 35 deaths from his Katrina Lessons Learned report. Tenet lobbied the White House on corporate governance changes. Lo and behold, Jeb landed a board seat the following year.

Jeb's 2009 board pay:

Tenet--$245,000
Rayonier--$141,044

His stock holdings:

Tenet--218,623 shares (as of 9-30-10), worth $940,000
Rayonier--3,896 shares, worth $206,000

This data is from two of Jeb's six board slots, given
  • four are private firms.
Angelica Corporation provides hospital linens. Jeb joined their board in 2008. Bush was appointed to CorMatrix Cardiovascular's board in January 2009. He since keynoted a meeting "rethinking the future of cardiac care." Empower Software Solutions lists Jeb as a board member, but doesn't give his start date.

Did W.'s endorsement of little brother for the Tenet board seat in 2006 open the gates for Jeb's current board success? You won't find the answer in George W.'s book. But I bet George P. knows.

Update: Jeb's Tenet shares skyrocketed 53% due to Community Health Systems' takeover offer. His holdings are now $1.4 million. In Tenet's "Dear Wayne Letter," they cite Tenet's $1 billion Net Operating Loss Carry forward
  • and $320 million in federal payments under the HITECH Act.
Update 1-21-11: Jeb was appointed to the board of Swisher International in 2010."

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1/22/09, Karl Rove, Jeb Bush attend Ruling Elite conference with Democrats and other globalist thugs in Nigeria.

10/8/09,
Jeb Bush gushes about how great Obama is. Anyone who even thinks Obama has stood up to teachers' unions has serious problems. To publicly praise Obama for this and lecture conservatives about it is obviously even worse.



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I'm the daughter of an Eagle Scout (fan of the Brooklyn Dodgers and Mets) and a Beauty Queen.