The Corporate Corruption Administration

"At least you can't say Bush doesn't know what he's talking about when he admonishes corporate America to avoid breaking the rules," wrote Clarence Page in the July 7 Chicago Tribune. "He has seen it happen from the inside." Two days later Bush sternly lectured Wall Streeters that "there's no capitalism without conscience. There is no wealth without character." The speech was widely seen as an effort to get in front of the news story that had pushed the war on terrorism off the front pages: the wave of revelations of accounting irregularities that began with Enron, leading to huge restatements of corporate earnings, or outright failures. Having once called Enron the work of a few "bad apples" Bush was now warning of a threat to "our entire free enterprise system." Yet his concern might more appropriately have been for his own image, and the Republican system of values he has embraced during his entire political life, as his own dubious business practices and those of his administration came under renewed scrutiny.

The administration spin machine was somewhat successful, at least for a time, in limiting media focus to Bush's failure to promptly disclose insider stock sales. In 1994 Bush suggested that the SEC had misplaced the so-called Form 4, recording his sale of 212,140 shares of Harken Energy stock while he was a director. Last week presidential spokesman Ari Fleischer changed the story, saying that Bush's attorneys "thought the form had been filed.... That was not the case."

But as Paul Krugman pointed out in a recent column, the potentially more damaging story is that Bush benefited personally from exactly the kind of accounting misrepresentation employed at Enron. (Arthur Andersen was the accountant in both cases.) The scheme in general works as follows:

  1. Officers or board members create a shell organization that seems independent, but is really under their control.
  2. The shell organization buys some firm assets at inflated prices.
  3. The apparent profit from the sale of assets drives up the firm's stock price
  4. The creators of the shell organization sell their stock at a large profit

This was the basic function of the "Chewco" and "Jedi" partnerships at Enron, and the same ploy was used by Harken Energy in the late 1980's. As reported elsewhere in The Dubya Report, in 1986 Bush's failing Arbusto Energy had been purchased by Spectrum 7, which was now faltering itself. At the time Harken was owned by billionaire George Soros, the Harvard Management Corporation (which invests the Harvard University endowment), and some others. Harken purchased Spectrum 7 at a ridiculously high price. As reported by The Nation recently, when asked about Bush and the Spectrum purchase Soros said, "I didn't know him. He was supposed to bring in the Gulf connection. But it didn't come to anything. We were buying political influence. That was it. He was not much of a businessman."

Despite Dubya's connections, Harken continued to hemorrhage. Then in 1989 a group of Harken insiders used money borrowed from Harken to purchase a Harken subsidiary at an inflated price, creating an apparent $10 million profit. While the White House has sought to downplay the significance of the $10 million, the amount was large enough to hide three-quarters of Harken's losses in 1989. The maneuver effectively sustained the Harken stock price, allowing Bush to sell his shares at a large profit. Krugman notes that Harken's profits were several dozen times larger than the Whitewater deal, although about one-seventh the cost of the Whitewater investigation. Bush was a member of the Harken audit committee, and a special restructuring committee at the time, so either he knew about the Aloha deal or he was a negligent steward.

Bush took his Harken earnings, and parlayed them into an investment in the Texas Rangers baseball team -- a step that propelled him into the limelight, and in a sense began his career as a national figure.

Not surprisingly, stock indexes continued to decline during and after Bush's July 9 speech on Wall Street. No one, it seems, really believes he or his administration will be tough on business. "His words were harsh, but his proposals were generally not," commented the New York Times.

He challenged companies to stop lending money to their executives but made no proposals to restrict such loans by law or to increase what companies must now disclose about the loans. He called on chief executives to explain their own pay packages "prominently and in plain English" in annual reports, rather than in the proxy statements where such information is already disclosed. But he called for no new disclosures, let alone limits on executive compensation.

He said the Securities and Exchange Commission "should be able to punish corporate leaders who are convicted of abusing their powers by banning them from ever serving again as officers or directors of a public company."

But by limiting his proposal to those who are convicted of crimes, he endorsed a weaker standard than what the SEC is already seeking. SEC regulators want to ban executives who have "shown themselves to be unfit," clearly a less stringent standard than requiring a conviction. Moreover, Bush did not comment on the issue of regulating accountants. The accounting industry is currently regulated largely by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) which is also the industry lobbying organization. The administration has issued statements opposing a Senate bill that would create a new board to regulate auditors.

Bush's calls for a tougher SEC come less than a year after his administration tried to weaken the SEC's ability to fight fraud cases like Enron and WorldCom. The Bush budget for 2002 called for the elimination of 57 jobs at the SEC, including 13 in the office of full disclosure, 13 in the office of management regulation, and 12 in the office of fraud prevention. Congressional Republicans have recently joined Democrats in criticizing the SEC. Representatives Billy Tauzin, Republican of Louisiana, and James Greenwood of Pennsylvania have written a letter to the SEC seeking to determine if its oversight and investigative practices have changed since 1998 when Arthur Levitt, an advocate of tough oversight of accounting firms, chaired the SEC. Critics have complained recently that Bush appointee Harvey Pitt has mounted an inadequate response to the flurry of corporate scandals. Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona referred in June to a "void" at the SEC.

Observers noted that several of Bush's exhortations to corporate leaders addressed questionable business practices from which he himself had benefited:

Do as I say... ... not as I do.
I challenge compensation committees to put an end to all company loans to corporate officers. While a director at Harken Energy in the late 80s and early 90s, Bush received about $180,000 in interest-free loans from Harken, to buy stock options.
Responsible leaders do not collect huge bonus packages when the value of their company dramatically declines. Responsible leaders do not take home tens of millions of dollars in compensation as their companies prepare to file for bankruptcy, devastating the holdings of their investors. Bush sold $849,000 worth of Harken Energy stock two months before the stock tanked on a restatement of earnings. The sale came two months after he signed a letter promising to hold his stock for at least six months.
... [W]e're moving corporate accounting out of the shadows, so the investing public will have a true and fair and timely picture of assets and liabilities and income of publicly traded companies. Greater transparency will expose bad companies and, just as importantly, protect the reputations of the good ones. 80% of Aloha Petroleum, a Harken Energy subsidiary, was sold to a group of Harken insiders, led by Bush, who financed the transaction in part with a loan from Harken itself. The deal took millions of dollars in debt off the company's balance sheet and cut losses by at least $8 million. When the SEC forced Harken to account for the transaction correctly, the stock tanked in 1990.

Bush has not answered specific questions concerning his knowledge of the Aloha deal. Harken Energy internal documents obtained by the Center for Public Integrity show that not only did he know about the deal, he chaired a special committee to review the deal's terms. Minutes from the March 14, 1990 meeting of Harken's board, and Shareholder Notes from the same date indicate that Bush was aware of details of the transaction, and that the deal was unanimously approved by the board.

The SEC investigated Bush's sale of Harken stock in the early 90s, and concluded there was insufficient evidence to charge insider trading. Questions have been raised about the investigation, however. Bush was never interviewed; the only information available to the SEC came from his lawyers. The Associated Press has reported that an SEC memo from the investigation states "According to his attorneys, these sales, and the Harken sale, were made to meet an obligation of approximately $600,000 in connection with the Texas Rangers and to pay a couple hundred thousand dollar tax bill.... According to his attorneys, Bush made these sales at the urging of his financial adviser/accountant who was bugging him to get liquid." Observers have noted that if Bush was aware that he needed to sell the stock to pay off a loan, it is unlikely he would have entered into an agreement not to sell the stock.

The Bush sale came during his father's presidency, and the chairman of the SEC at the time was Richard Breeden, a long-time supporter of "Poppy" Bush. Breeden worked in the Texas power-broker lawfirm of Baker & Botts, specializing in banking. (The Baker in Baker and Botts is the family of James A. Baker, III, "Poppy" Bush's Secretary of State, who found the limelight again recently as the mastermind of Dubya's Florida election endgame.) When "Poppy" Bush was Vice President, Breeden had served as his deputy counsel, and later worked on "Poppy's" presidential campaign. SEC general counsel was another Baker & Botts alumnus, John R. Doty. Doty later handled aspects of Bush's purchase of the Texas Rangers baseball team. Dubya was represented during the investigation by Robert Jordan of the firm of Baker & Botts. There is no record that either Breeden or Doty recused themselves from the Harken investigation. Once he became President, Dubya appointed Robert Jordan ambassador to Saudi Arabia. Breeden was recently appointed "monitor" of the WorldCom restructuring, to ensure no documents are destroyed, or unusual payments made to officers. Breeden was appointed by Judge Jed Rakoff of New York, who is himself a former law partner of Harvey Pitt, the former accounting industry lawyer who Dubya appointed to be head of the SEC. The picture that emerges is the business equivalent of the revolving door in the Willie Horton political advertisement that "Poppy's" campaign used against Governor Michael Dukakis. The crooks are back on the street.

Bush's relationship to dubious investment schemes continued during his tenure as Governor of Texas. Bush eliminated disclosure requirements concerning investments of the huge University of Texas endowment fund, essentially eliminating the ability of the general public to monitor where the money was going. Then he "privatized" the investments, turning them over to a nonprofit organization called UTIMCO. The chairman of UTIMCO was a Bush associate who had previously purchased the Texas Rangers baseball team from Bush and his partners at triple its original price. Hicks proceeded to invest at least $450 million of U of T money in private funds managed by his business associates and other major Republican party contributors, earning substantial fees for the managers. A UTIMCO employee who tried to blow the whistle on these conflicts of interest was fired. Hicks' activities eventually created a public outcry, and he left UTIMCO when his term expired in 1999.

Bush, of course, is not the only administration figure whose public statements about business ethics are inconsistent with past behavior. Earlier this month Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill told the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, "When I was at Alcoa I never sold a single share of Alcoa stock. I wanted my financial success and the company's success inextricably linked. Other executives should do the same." O'Neill had made the same claim on CBS's "Early Show" the day before. The record shows, however, that in April 1999 when O'Neill was chairman and CEO of Alcoa, he sold 662,547 shares in worth nearly $30 million. The proceeds of the sale were used to pay taxes on stock options he had purchased. Commentators have not suggested that there was anything improper about the sale, but stating that he sold no stock is consistent with O'Neill's reputation for making careless statements that -- coming from the U.S. Treasury Secretary -- do not inspire confidence in U.S. markets. Vincent Farrell of the New York investment firm Spears, Benzak, Salomon & Farrell told the Washington Post, "He seems to put his foot in his mouth and stumble. I don't think he's helping the cause." Stephen Moore, president of the conservative Club for Growth added that Bush needs "... to bring in someone with real credibility, with a good understanding of economics and who understands politics.... The administration is going to have to start seriously thinking about stock-market politics in a way that they haven't done yet." Members of the administration and the business community had hoped that O'Neill would fill that role. Yet his blunt comments have frequently disturbed investors and markets, rather than calming them.

In February 2001 the dollar lost a full percentage point of its value against the Euro when O'Neill was quoted by a German newspaper as saying: "We are not pursuing, as often said, a policy of a strong dollar. In my opinion, a strong dollar is the result of a strong economy." The Treasury department hastily issued a clarification. After September 11 O'Neill made seemingly unjustified positive predictions, urging the public to purchase stock, and saying "We will see new records in the not-too-distant future." And in June of this year O'Neill shook up currency and financial markets in Brazil when he said "throwing the U.S. taxpayers' money" at Brazil "doesn't seem brilliant to me." Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso was furious, and called national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice. A clarification was subsequently issued under O'Neill's name. During the stock market decline of May of this year, O'Neill was touring Africa with the rock singer Bono. This month he was in the Ukraine discussing European growth. A Wall Street executive who has known O'Neill for many years told the Washington Post "O'Neill is no more suited to this job then I would be to writing for The Washington Post. It's a terrible mismatch."

Vice President Dick Cheney also finds himself in a bind similar to that of Bush, in which either his highly touted business acumen is called into question, or he appears to have committed malfeasance. Cheney left Halliburton Co. in August 2000 to join the Bush campaign. He sold shares in the company at $52 each, reaping a profit of $18.5 million. Two months later the firm revealed that it was under investigation by a grand jury for overbilling the government at Fort Ord in California. The next day during a conference call to securities analysts, Halliburton revealed that despite current earnings, orders in its engineering and construction businesses were weak, and costs were skyrocketing. The stock dropped 11 percent in a day.

Subsequently Cheney's 1998 acquisition of Dresser industries proved to be a major liability for Halliburton as the company was sued for claims involving the use of asbestos in construction. Shortly after Cheney left Halliburton, the firm announced it was setting aside $24 million in reserves for asbestos claims, and told analysts that it believed insurance would cover the claims. By the following year the situation had changed drastically, however. Dresser subsidiary, Harbison-Walker Refractories, revealed that it could not pay asbestos claims against it, meaning that victims would sue Halliburton. Claims against Halliburton more than doubled, from 129,000 to 274,000, and the company increased its insurance reserves to $125 million. The firm's debt rating was downgraded as a result. Earlier this year Halliburton admitted it had no idea what its total asbestos liability might be, and hired experts to help it calculate the number.

Cheney has recently been characterized as an "unremarkable" executive. James Wicklund of Banc of America Securities told the Washington Post, "He came in at a time when any okay manager could ride the cyclical wave. He did okay. He did not blow anybody's doors off." The Dresser acquisition, which may prove to be disastrous for Halliburton, however, was a Cheney initiative. "You have to put that on Cheney," Wicklund said. "In hindsight, would they have done it? Of course not."

In May of this year the SEC announced that is was investigating Halliburton for accounting irregularities. Cheney's successor at Halliburton, David Lesar, told Newsweek that Cheney was familiar with the questionable practices in which disputed claims against clients were recorded as revenue. "...[T]he vice president was aware we accrued revenue on unapproved claims in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles," he said. Halliburton's accountants during Cheney's tenure were the now disgraced Arthur Andersen, found guilty in June of obstruction of justice in connection with the failure of Enron.

Civil and criminal investigations have not stopped the Defense Department from awarding major contracts to Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root, however. Since September 11, the Army awarded KBR a 10-year contract with no cost cap -- the only Army logistical contract without an estimated cost. According to the New York Times, costs to the taxpayer may be 10 to 20% higher with KBR than if the military did the work itself. In the past, KBR charged the Army $750,000 for electrical repairs that should have cost about $125,000, according to T.C. McIntosh, a Pentagon investigator with the Defense Criminal Investigative Service. The United States attorney's office in Sacramento, CA was headed toward an indictment of KBR last year, but eventually opted for a civil settlement, in part because of weak contract monitoring by the Army. Despite KBR having paid $2 million as part of the settlement, the Army Operations Support Command found KBR's contract performance exemplary, when it awarded the 10-year contract last December. Army spokeswoman Gale Smith told the New York Times that the Army had not learned that KBR was the target of a criminal investigation, although the information was included in the Halliburton annual report that was submitted as a part of the contract application.

Halliburton officials insist Cheney played no role in helping KBR win government contracts. KBR employs many former Pentagon officials, however, including retired admiral Joe Lopez who was Cheney's military aide when he was defense secretary.

In addition to questionable stock sales and investigations of companies in which Bush, Cheney, and other administration officials were direct participants, several of the large firms that are now under investigation for alleged criminal activity or accounting irregularities, like Enron, were major contributors to the Republican party who sought to benefit from a climate of decreased governmental regulation.

For instance, Global Crossing, a communications company borrowed billions to lay fiber-optic cable, and sought to sell signal-carrying capacity to corporations. A glut of fiber-optic cable led Global Crossing to file for bankruptcy. The SEC is investigating whether GC swapped capacity with other cable operators in attempt to inflate revenue. Lodwrick Cook, co-chairman of Global Crossing, contributed $361,500 to the Bush campaign. The company spent $250,000 at the Republican convention, including "Carnevale Italiano" honoring Italian-American Republicans. In 1998 former President Bush spoke at the unveiling of Global Crossing's transatlantic cable in Tokyo. Bush's $80,000 fee for the speech was delivered in company stock, which was valued at $14.4 million a year later.

WorldCom, which filed for bankruptcy on July 21 in the face of an accounting scandal in which it overstated cash flow, contributed generously to lawmakers from its home state of Mississippi, and to others on House and Senate Commerce Committees who deal with legislation affecting it. Company members also contributed $41,601 to Dubya's 2000 campaign. The company also reported nearly $3 million in lobbying expenses in each of 2000 and 2001. In 1999 WorldCom contributed $1 million toward establishing the Trent Lott Leadership Institute at the University of Mississippi. Lott, the Senate Majority Leader at the time, had appointed a company representative to a panel debating whether Internet purchase should be taxed; a large share of Internet traffic is carried on WorldCom's fiber optic network.

Going back at least to the 1950s, the unwritten code of ethics in Washington has been that the penalty for misdeeds that don't qualify as felonies, but nonetheless violate the public trust, is resignation -- voluntary or otherwise. In 1955, Harold Talbott, Secretary of the Air Force under President Eisenhower was found to have used Air Force stationery to conduct a private consulting business, and to have routed government contracts to a firm in which he was a partner. Talbott correctly maintained that he had broken no law, but Eisenhower quickly dismissed him. In 1958, Eisenhower's chief of staff, Sherman Adams, accepted a vicuna coat from a Boston businessman seeking to influence the White House. He, too, was forced to resign. In the aftermath of Watergate, the climate has grown even less tolerant of an appearance of unethical behavior. Roger Altman, Bill Clinton's deputy Treasury secretary, resigned after failing to fully disclose communications with the White House concerning Whitewater. White House administrator, David Watkins, resigned after the revelation that he had used a government helicopter to play golf. "Poppy" Bush's chief of staff, John Sununu, was dismissed after the disclosure that he had used a government vehicle to attend a stamp convention.

Yet in Dubya's administration, the only resignation so far has been Michael Packer, the former civilian chief of the Army Corps of Engineers. And his resignation was not due to an ethical lapse -- in fact, one could argue it was precisely because of his personal ethic. Packer's misdeed: criticizing the Bush administration budget. As Josh Green wrote in a recent article for the Washington Monthly, "The 'new tone' that George W. Bush brought to Washington isn't one of integrity, but of permissiveness."

In his Wall Street speech Bush said that CEOs "set a moral tone by showing their disapproval of other executives who bring discredit to the business world." Yet he continues to support Secretary of the Army Thomas White. White, a former army general, and Colin Powell's executive officer when Powell was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has a formidable military record. Nonetheless, it was his private-sector expertise that Bush trumpeted during discussions of his appointment. White, it was said, would run the Pentagon more like a business. Enron Energy Services, the business White ran at Enron, was notable primarily for its accounting practices now in disrepute. EES paid out as much as $50 million to secure long term contracts with companies like IBM as "a show of good faith." Then EES would estimate the value of the life of the contract, and record that amount on its financial statements as current income. This inflated the compensation of executives whose bonuses were keyed to short-term gains. These bonuses amounted to millions of dollars, which were paid out before Enron had received any actual revenue, resulting in large losses. Under pressure to show a profit in the year 2000, EES shifted $500 million in losses to another division. The accounting maneuver left EES showing a profit of $105 million, but many in the division knew it was a sham. "Nobody with a straight face could say EES was making money," a former EES official who wished to remain anonymous told Josh Green. Nonetheless, White received more than $31 million in cash and stock. Tyson Slocum, research director for Public Citizen observed, "[White's]salary was being inflated by the fraudulent accounting practices that EES was implementing."

One of White's co-workers at EES questions whether White grasped the complexities of the deals that were being made. "White ... was never qualified to be a senior executive in the private sector. He was a congenial, pleasant man, but showed no real capability or desire to learn the details or the facts of the deals we were working on. He was openly referred to by the staff as 'Mr. Magoo.'" Another EES official added, "He was not that dialed in. Organizationally, he's just a mess." Still, employees assert White could not have misunderstood what was happening at EES. "If the company was losing money every quarter, how did it magically turn around and make a $100-million profit?" Like Bush at Harken Energy, and Cheney at Halliburton, either White knew of the accounting chicanery, or he lacked the management competence Bush touted.

Green observes,

...[I]n this administration, enriching oneself while one's business goes bust isn't necessarily frowned upon.... To dump White would risk raising questions about this entire way of life.... Another reason that people like White now survive scandals is the extraordinarily self-protective web of contacts and understandings that supports the current administration. When White chose to pursue the secretaryship, one of his first calls was to his old boss, Colin Powell. "The personal networks that underlie all of this--the character and tightness of those networks--has everything to do with [White's survival]," says G. Calvin Mackenzie, a professor of government at Colby College who has co-written, with Michael Hafken, a forthcoming book on executive-branch malfeasance, Scandal Proof: Do Ethics Laws Make Government Ethical?. "If you have a 'Rabbi' watching over you"--an old term of art for a sponsor and protector--"if you're somebody's guy, then you're much better fortified against an attack. If people start rattling your cage and your rabbi can protect you, you stick around longer." Current and former Pentagon officials report that even those eager to see White go are conscious of his standing with Powell and the difficulty this poses to removing him.

Green concludes, "...[u]nder George W. Bush, acts that not long ago would have constituted firing offenses can now be ridden out." Recent polls show that the general public is starting to pay attention, however. A Newsweek poll in mid-July found less than half of those polled approving of Bush's handling of business scandals, while more than a third actively disapproved. Another 50% of those surveyed found Bush corporate reform proposals not tough enough. Bush's overall approval rating dropped 3% in one week.

And The Economist noted that Al Gore now looks prescient, having characterized Bush's backers during the presidential campaign as:

"a new generation of special-interest power-brokers who would like nothing better than a pliant president who would bend public policy to suit their purposes and profits"; that these special interests were determined to "pry open more loopholes in the tax code"; and that “when powerful interests try to take advantage of the American people, it's often other businesses that are hurt in the process." The people who would benefit from Mr Gore reining in the corrupt moguls would be "the small- and medium-sized companies that are playing by the rules and earning profits the old-fashioned way."

The Economist notes that despite reluctance in Democratic circles to embrace Gore again,

Mr Gore left the 2000 campaign with important advantages: astronomical name-recognition; a network of fundraisers; and a bitter sense that the election was stolen. Now he can add the fact that he warned America against putting a corporate dupe in Washington. The party barons may not like it. Many party operatives may even dread it. But the unlovable Mr Gore is still in a stronger position than any of his rivals. Each corporate scandal increases the likelihood that the 2004 election will be a rematch of 2000—and even, perhaps, that Mr Gore may win it.

In a speech in Tennessee on June 29 of this year, Gore demonstrated his willingness to link Bush administration ethics with Enron. ""Look at the Bush-Cheney budget plan, and tell me how is that different from the Enron profit-and-loss statement," he said.

Nobel prize winner Joseph Stiglitz put the current corporate scandals in a theoretical framework, in a recent interview with " I think the most important, significant thing that [the scandals] bring home is the importance of regulation," Stiglitz said. "You can't have markets work without good information, and it is not necessarily the case that people have an incentive to provide accurate information; [but] they do have an incentive if there are penalties for providing fraudulent information. So the government plays an absolutely essential role in enabling the markets to work." Stiglitz points out that the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) tried to change the way stock options were accounted for in the mid-90s, eventually caving in to pressure from a Treasury department that had been heavily lobbied by Wall Street and Silicon Valley. Stiglitz nonetheless has strong words for the Bush administration's economic and fiscal policy.

The fiscal mismanagement of the current administration -- leading to a change in the fiscal position of the United States over the past year -- is absolutely phenomenal; going from huge surpluses to huge deficits and the deficits are probably going to be larger than people anticipated. That means that foreigners are already losing confidence in the United States because the United States had earned a reputation for sound fiscal management -- and now that reputation is being destroyed.

...[I]f investors lose faith in American firms, they're going to put their money elsewhere. And that is going to be very bad for Wall Street. There are going to be two sources of concern: one, voters; secondly, investors.

We now realize that capital market liberalization has contributed a great deal to the instability in the world: to the East Asia crisis, the global financial crisis. At the beginning of that crisis, Wall Street, U.S. Treasury, IMF said, Oh that's not the source of the problem. In fact, they said, speculative money is too small to be possibly a problem. A year later, when Long Term Capital Management was in trouble, the same kinds of people were saying that we need to bail out Long Term Capital Management because if we don't, this one firm -- one firm! -- could bring the whole global financial system down. Now, that kind of inconsistency, that kind of hypocrisy, caused a lot of people concern. Now what we're seeing is that there's a systemic problem; it's not just one company, it's many companies.

But as Jeff Vaux of the Economic Policy Institute in Washington told recently, the real problem for Republicans is that "The Republican domestic agenda rests on the assumption that less regulation is better. It presumes that government has got to be cut back and the market will deliver whatever you need. Now they've got to plug up this massive leak in their ideological dike."


"Bush's approval rating slides with markets: poll" Australian Broadcasting Corp. News Online 22 Jul. 2002

Gitell, Seth "TODAY’S JOLT: G.W. Bush = Ken Lay" The Boston Phoenix 20 Jul. 2002

"Harken Energy Corporation Internal Documents" Center for Public Integrity 19 Jul. 2002

Corn, David "Bush and the Billionaire: How Insider Capitalism Benefited W." The Nation 17 Jul. 2002

Weisman, Jonathan "Taking Stock of Paul O'Neill: Treasury Secretary's Words Not Always Carefully Chosen" Washington Post 18 Jul. 2002

Horrock, Nicholas M. "White House Watch: Credibility problem" UPI. 17 Jul. 2002.

Milbank, Dana "For Cheney, Tarnish From Halliburton: Firm's Fall Raises Questions About Vice President's Leadership There" Washington Post 16 Jul. 2002

Krugman, Paul "Steps to Wealth" NY Times. 16 Jul 2002

Yost, Pete "Bush Signed Stock 'Lockup' Letter" Associated Press. 16 Jul. 2002

Green, Joshua. "The 'Gate-less' Community" The Washington Monthly Jul.-Aug 2002.

Gerth, Jeff and Don Van Atta. "In Tough Times, a Company Finds Profits in Terror War" NY Times 13 Jul. 2002

Mannes, George "The Five Dumbest Things on Wall Street This Week" 12 Jul. 2002

"A prophet without honour?" The Economist 11 Jul. 2002

Sanger, David E. "Bush Takes Tough Stance on Corporate Wrongdoing" NY Times 10 Jul. 2002

Tran, Mark "Fraud lawsuit filed against US vice president" Guardian UK 10 Jul. 2002

Page, Clarence "Do as President Bush says, not as he did" Chicago Tribune 7 Jul. 2002

Krugman, Paul "Succeeding in Business" NY Times 7 Jul. 2002

Norris, Floyd "Bush, on Wall Street, Offers Tough Talk and Softer Plans"NY Times 10 Jul. 2002

Bush, George W. Remarks by on Corporate Responsibility. New York. 9 Jul. 2002.

Oppel, Richard A., Jr. "2 Republicans Join Ranks of S.E.C. Critics" NY Times 3 Jul. 2002

Cave, Damien "The new gilded age and its discontents" 3 Jul. 2002

York, Anthony "The hypocrite in chief" 2 Jul. 2002

"WorldCom" The Center for Responsive Politics 28 June 2002

Scherer, Michael "Communications" Mother Jones 6 Mar. 2001

MacRae, Desmond "Breeden ground" Asset International Online. Sep. 1991

View the letter to Bush from four Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee summarizing allegations against members of the administration.

See also The Dubya Report articles Texas Connections and Bush League, Joe Conason's exposé of Bush's financial dealings in Texas from Harper's Magazine, Notes on a Native Son, and the Washington Post's primers on Harken and Halliburton.