Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Bucky Bush’s Excellent Adventure

President Bush’s uncle has made out like a bandit since his nephew got in office. Besides doubling his money in Wellpoint after the signing of the Medicare Modernization Act, Bucky has made some serious money in the defense sector via his role on the board of Engineered Support Systems Inc. In 2005 he flipped some stock options to the tune of nearly a half million dollars. In January 2006 he disposed of 12,657 shares while the stock traded at nearly $43 per share. This was reported as an inside deal but reasonably stood around $544,000.

In 2005 the Pentagon’s Inspector General began an investigation into $158 million in contracts awarded ESS Inc. in 2002. The concern is the government's behavior in awarding the contracts. Who was President at the time?

In 2005 ESSI announced the purchase of a Virginia military contractor Spacelink International LLC. In 2006 Engineered Support Systems merged with DRS Technologies in a $1.9 billion transaction. Prior to the merger Bucky controlled 88,595 shares of the company, with 75,938 of those shares exercisable. His last batch of options had an exercise price of $37.17 per share. At the merger price of $43 per share Mr. Bush stood to make $5.83 per share or $442,000. This part of the story ends here as Bucky did not go on the DRS Board.

So far it looks like Bucky made over $6 million on Wellpoint aided by his nephew’s signing Medicare Part D plus another $1 million from his association with defense contractor ESSI.
How much did he save in taxes courtesy of his nephew’s tax cuts? Three Carlyle Execs saved nearly $1 million in capital gains taxes that same year with the sale of United Defense to BAE Systems. Yes, they get by with a little help from their friends…

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