Hillary Clinton Commodity futures
Hillary Clinton Futures Trades Detailed
Hillary Rodham Clinton was allowed to order 10 cattle futures contracts, normally a $12, 000 investment, in her first commodity trade in 1978 although she had only $1, 000 in her account at the time, according to trade records the White House released yesterday.
The computerized records of her trades, which the White House obtained from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, show for the first time how she was able to turn her initial investment into $6, 300 overnight. In about 10 months of trading, she made nearly $100, 000, relying heavily on advice from her friend James B. Blair, an experienced futures trader.
The new records also raise the possibility that some of her profits - as much as $40, 000 came from larger trades ordered by someone else and then shifted to her account, Leo Melamed, a former chairman of the Merc who reviewed the records for the White House, said in an interview. He said the discrepancies in Clinton's records also could have been caused by human error.
Even allocated trades would not necessarily have benefited Clinton, Melamed added. "I have no reason to change my original assessment. Mrs. Clinton violated no rules in the course of her transactions, " he said.
Lisa Caputo, Clinton's spokeswoman, said the documents were released yesterday "to give as complete a picture as possible" of her trades. She said Clinton had never before seen them.
Blair, who urged Clinton to enter the high-risk futures market and ordered most of her trades, said in a recent interview that he "talked her into" her first futures trade in October 1978 before paperwork on her account was completed. It was liquidated quickly, he recalled, because "it was bigger than she wanted and required more money."
A close examination of her individual trades underscores Blair's pivotal role. It also shows that Robert L. "Red" Bone, who ran the Springdale, Ark., office of Ray E. Friedman and Co. (Refco), allowed Clinton to initiate and maintain many trading positions besides the first when she did not have enough money in her account to cover them.
Why would Bone do so? Bone could not be reached for comment, but Blair said he thought he knew why. "I was a very good customer, " he said, noting he paid Bone $800, 000 in commissions over the years. "They weren't going to hassle me. If I brought them somebody, they weren't going to hassle them."
Besides, he added, Bone would not worry if he agreed with his clients' bet on which way the price of a given contract would go.
Blair, who at the time was outside counsel to Tyson Foods Inc., Arkansas' largest employer, says he was advising Clinton out of friendship, not to seek political gain for his state-regulated client. At the time of many of the trades, Bill Clinton was governor.
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