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TRUST OR HUSTLE: The Bush Record 

by C/O Diogenes Sunday, Mar. 02, 2003 at 7:19 PM

“What you’ve got with Bush [George senior] is absolutely the largest number of siblings and children involved in what looks like a never-ending hustle.” - Republican pundit Kevin Philips.1

TRUST OR HUSTLE: The Bush Record 

David E. Scheim


“What you’ve got with Bush [George senior] is absolutely the largest number of siblings and children involved in what looks like a never-ending hustle.”

- Republican pundit Kevin Philips.1


While opportunism isn’t new in U.S. politics, never did so many in one family extract so many dollars from taxpayers as when George Bush senior was president a decade ago.  As documented below from impeccable cited sources, the exploits of six Bushes, including George W., range from stock sales that were probed or sanctioned to arranging U.S. business investments for a Japanese Mob front.  They range from lobbying for a Mafia-linked businessman that enabled massive Medicare fraud to misconduct that helped trigger S&L collapses costing taxpayers .2 billion.

It was thus not entirely coincidental that under Bush senior in 1992, U.S. taxpayers faced a 0 billion S&L bailout2 and the largest ever budget deficit, 0 billion.  This contrasts with the largest surpluses ever under Clinton-Gore.  George W. Bush asks for trust, yet his evasions about his own dealings and recent campaigning with brother Jeb immerse him within a family financial scandal of alarming scope. 

NEIL BUSH (George W’s brother) was a principal in the 1988 collapse of Silverado Banking in Denver, which cost taxpayers billion.   Neil approved 2 million in unrepaid loans from Silverado to two business partners, who in turn arranged payments to Neil totaling 0,000.3  Details

JEB BUSH (George W’s brother) and a partner defaulted on a .5 million loan from a Florida S&L in 1988.  The default helped trigger the S&L’s collapse, which cost taxpayers 5 million.  Bush and partner repaid only ten percent of the irregular loan and, incredibly, also got to keep the real estate that collateralized it.4

In 1985, Jeb lobbied the federal government on behalf of Miami HMO owner Miguel Recarey to increase Recarey’s Medicare business ultimately to a total of billion.  The following year, Jeb received ,000 from Recarey.  Recarey, who had longstanding business ties to the late Florida Mafia boss Santos Trafficante, subsequently fled the U.S. under indictment, suspected of up to 0 million in Medicare fraud.5  Details 

GEORGE W. BUSH.  On June 20, 1990, Bush, a director of Harken Energy, sold the bulk of his Harken stock for 8,000.  A week later, the stock plummeted in value on news of a large quarterly loss.  Bush claimed that he had submitted a required report about the stock sale but it had somehow disappeared.6  Bush refused repeated requests from both The Wall Street Journal7 and U.S. News and World Reports8 to discuss the stock sale.  Update   Details

A federal (SEC) probe of Bush’s stock sale terminated without charging or exonerating Bush.9  But as Time reported, it was widely assumed that insider knowledge prompted the sale.10  The Wall Street Journal reported other suspicious circumstances concerning Bush’s involvement with Harken Energy.11 

Throughout his business career, George W. was bailed out by influential contacts for plays, as The Wall Street Journal put it, that “did not quite make the grade.”12  An example was a 1989 baseball deal financed in part “out of respect for his father” that ultimately earned George W. million on a 0,000 investment.13  Such financial windfalls were important for Bush, who, as Newsweek summarized, “was an academic slacker [at Yale], a mediocre athlete, a member of the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam War and an unsuccessful oilman.”14  More

GEORGE BUSH, SENIOR.  The late Jonathan Kwitny, an award winning journalist for PBS and The Wall Street Journal, detailed links of George Bush senior to S&L fraud beneficiaries nationwide.15  Under Bush, Kwitny reported, “investigations were called off, proposed fraud charges weren’t brought, and President Bush continued to pal around with investigative targets who got off scot-free.”  Among Bush’s several pals in the S&L bonanza crowd named by Kwitny was Joe Russo, who owned one failed S&L and defaulted on multimillion-dollar loans from five others.16  Details   Disbanding the strike forces against organized crime 

JONATHAN BUSH.  In 1991, George senior’s brother Jonathan was fined ,000 in Massachusetts and ,000 in Connecticut for violating registration laws governing securities sales.   Jonathan was barred from securities brokerage with the general public in Massachusetts for one year.17  More

PRESCOTT BUSH. In 1989, Prescott Bush, a brother of George senior, arranged investments by a Japanese Mob front company in two U.S. firms, for which he was paid 0,000.  The underworld front ultimately gained a controlling interest in both U.S. firms, and both subsequently filed for bankruptcy.18  Bush denied knowledge of the underworld’s role in these deals, which came under investigation by Japanese police and in the U.S.19  Details

George W’s talk of integrity and plans for privatized social security appear to be somewhat of a hustle considering this Bush family record and what happened to the S&Ls during his father’s presidency.  George W. may have trouble convincing U.S. voters to reinstate Bush family ethics and economics as national policy.

David E. Scheim, PhD, is the author of the 1989 New York Times bestseller, Contract on America.  He is a retired commissioned officer in the U.S. Public Health Service. 

1. Michael Isikoff, Washington Post, 7/4/1992, p. A1.


2. LA Times, 7/31/1990, p. 1.


3.  LA Times, 5/10/1992,  p. 1; Washington Post, 7/4/1992, p. A1.


4. Washington Post, 10/15/1990, p. A24; Austin American- Statesman, 5/17/92, p. G1.


5. Wall Street Journal, 8/9/1988, p. A1; Austin American- Statesman, 5/17/92, p. G1.


6. US News and World Report, 3/16/1992, pp. 57-59; Wall Street Journal, 9/28/1999, p. A26.


7. Wall Street Journal, 4/4/91, p. A4.


8. US News and World Report, 3/16/1992, pp. 57-59.


9. Washington Post, 7/30/1999, p. A1.


10. Time, 6/21/1999, p. 34ff.


11. Wall Street Journal, 9/28/1999, p. A26; 12/6/1991, p. A1.


12. Wall Street Journal, 9/28/1999, p. A26; see also sources below.


13. NY Times 5/8/1999, p.1; Washington Post 7/25/2000, p. A1, 7/30/1999, p. A1, 7/31/1999, p. A1.


14. Newsweek, 11/22/99, p. 47.


15. Village Voice, 10/20/92, pp. 24ff.


16. Ibid.


17. Boston Globe, 7/26/1991, p. 1; Wall Street Journal, 3/11/1991, p. A6B.


18. Washington Post, 7/4/1992, p. A1; LA Times, 6/11/1991, p.10; Wall Street Journal, 12/6/1991, p. A4.


19. Wall Street Journal, 9/9/1992, p. C15; Wall Street Journal Europe, 7/11/1991, p. 12.

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Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 17 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
Squeaky Clean? Diogenes Sunday, Mar. 02, 2003 at 7:21 PM
You'll have to do better fresca Sunday, Mar. 02, 2003 at 8:53 PM
Yep a large and comfy cell Sheepdog Sunday, Mar. 02, 2003 at 9:06 PM
I am not a crook. Tricky Dicky Sunday, Mar. 02, 2003 at 9:14 PM
Nope fresca Sunday, Mar. 02, 2003 at 9:35 PM
Striking Similarities Diogenes Monday, Mar. 03, 2003 at 6:46 AM
I find it funny fresca Monday, Mar. 03, 2003 at 9:54 AM
Alhimerz repost Alhiherz repost Monday, Mar. 03, 2003 at 12:06 PM
It is spelled E-T-H-I-C-S Diogenes Monday, Mar. 03, 2003 at 12:16 PM
Fresca fresca Monday, Mar. 03, 2003 at 12:55 PM
More evidence! mymicz Monday, Mar. 03, 2003 at 2:43 PM
Deadly Diet Soda Diogenes Monday, Mar. 03, 2003 at 4:45 PM
Disregard my last Diogenes Monday, Mar. 03, 2003 at 7:01 PM
really, I apologize Diogenes Monday, Mar. 03, 2003 at 7:34 PM
With all due respect fresca Monday, Mar. 03, 2003 at 8:13 PM
Bah! David Monday, Mar. 03, 2003 at 8:38 PM
The post above yours is of cours Alphonse Spastrami Diogenes Monday, Mar. 03, 2003 at 8:41 PM

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