Business Week

Up Front

Edited By Sheridan Prasso

Bush Sr. Profitable Crossing

By Richard S. Dunham and Mike McNamee

March 4, 2002

President Bush may complain that his mother-in-law took a hit on her Enron stock, but it seems his dad made a tidy profit on that other notorious bankruptcy, Global Crossing.

In 1999 and 2000, the elder Bush pocketed more than 4.5 million by selling Global Crossing stock, according to the Securities & Exchange Commission documents obtained by Business Week.

His last sale came just before the weeks before the once high-flying telecom’s stock started tanking.

The elder Bush and his wife, Barbara, sold 100,000 Global Crossing shares on Nov. 16, 1999, for $4.45 million, according to the documents.

Then, the Bushes notified the SEC they were selling an additional 1,000 shares on March 13, 2000 for $55,000. The former first family had acquired at least 100,000 shares of Global Crossing stock as a private investment on April 21, 1998, the documents say.

Those shares may have been payments for speeches the elder Bush gave at Global Crossing conferences in Tokyo and Barcelona, in lieu of his usual $80,000 speaking fee.

Four months later, Global Crossing went public at $19 a share. (Global shares split two-for-one six months later.)

It’s not clear whether Bush invested money on top of those shares. Neither Bush’s spokesman nor the manager of his trust would comment. “I don’t talk to the press about private clients,” says Anthony Duke Jr., a managing director at Bessemer Trust, the Bush’s trustee.

During its meteoric rise and fall, Global Crossing spent lavishly to cultivate political influence. In addition to hiring various Washington heavyweights, it contributed $2.8 million to candidates and parties in the 2000 elections.

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