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Hillary Clinton Futures Trades Detailed By Charles R. Babcock Washington Post Staff Writer Friday, May 27, 1994; Page A01
Law & Politics
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
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
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
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.
Hillary Clinton has said she made all the trading decisions herself
and has tried to play down Blair's role. But she acknowledged in
April, three weeks after her trades were first disclosed, that Blair
actually placed most of the trades.
Blair advised Clinton again on July 17, 1979. He recalled that she
started that trading day by losing $26,460 on 10 cattle contracts she
had held for more than a month, by far her worst loss as a futures
player. On his recommendation, he said, she immediately went back into
the market. She acquired 50 new cattle contracts - worth $1.4 million
-- and when the price moved in her favor, unloaded them around noon
for a quick gain of $10,550. This recouped part of her loss.
Blair said Clinton and other friends he suggested trades for had lost
money that spring on feeder cattle. Those trades "caused everyone some
grief," he said. "I'm sure I was pressing to get everyone back above
water" in recommending the quick and bold day trade.
The White House defense of Hillary Clinton's preferential treatment
was that other customers in the same office also were allowed to trade
without having enough cash in their accounts.
While Clinton's account was wildly successful to an outsider, it was
small compared to what others were making in the cattle futures market
in the 1978-79 period. An investigation of the cattle futures market
at that time by Rep. Neal Smith (D-Iowa) found that in one 16-month
period 32 traders made more than $110 million in profits from large
trades -- those of 50 contracts or more. Clinton traded positions of
50 or more contracts only three times.
The records the White House released yesterday were part of an
investigative file from 1979, when the exchange charged Bone and Refco
with violations of its record keeping and margin requirement rules.
Bone was suspended for three years; Refco paid a $250,000 fine, then
the largest in the exchange's history. Internal memos from that
investigation cover transactions from the same period in June in which
Clinton was trading, but not the same trades. In one instance, the
Merc found Bone and a fellow broker were ordering 1,000 cattle
contracts at a time - far over the limit allowed at the time - and
then allocating them to other customers.
One internal Merc memo said "there is reason to believe" that a
majority of Bone's accounts were traded without the clients'
permission. Blair said that Bone at times traded his personal account
Blair said he doubted Bone traded Clinton's account without her permission.
Melamed said it was "impossible" to determine the exact cause for the
discrepancies between the Merc computer record of Clinton's trades and
the trading records she received from Refco, which the White House
She said that for six trades, her initial trading position in the
Refco records were not reflected in the Merc documents. On one other
trade neither her purchase nor sale was included. On that trade she
netted $12,150 on 15 cattle contracts she held for four days.
Clinton reported a loss of $2,480 on one of the trades in question,
One was a "day trade" on hog contracts that netted $2,553. Melamed
said "day trades" are the only way to assure profit even if favorable
trading positions are allocated to a customer's account. Any position
held overnight would be subject to the rise and fall in prices in the
volatile futures market, he added.
Staff researcher Barbara J. Saffir contributed to this report.
In commodities futures trading, an account that falls below the
"maintenance margin" typically triggers a "margin call," where the
trader must put up sufficient cash to cover the contracts. Although
Hillary Rodham Clinton's account was under-margined for nearly all of
July 1979, no margin calls were made, no additional cash was put up,
and she eventually reaped a $60,000 profit.
June 29 ......... $56,466 (Margin: Value account should have had to
July 12 ........ -$24,243
July 17 ......... $22,537 (Account value: Total cash on hand plus (or
minus) paper value of contracts.)
July 20 ......... $61,537
July 23, 1979: She withdrew $60,000 and never traded again, closing
the account in October.
(c) Copyright 1997 The Washington Post Company
Well She was smart, she booked her Profits and made off.
The Nasdaq advanced for a fourth day, rising 0.5 percent to 5,064.18 at 3:25 p.m. in New York to bring its 2015 gain to 6.8 percent.
The measure has almost quadrupled since global equity markets bottomed
in March 2009, paced by gains in tech giants from Apple Inc. to Google
Several companies associated with the 2000 peak have been enjoying
their best gains in years, with Microsoft up 62 percent since the
start of 2013, Intel up 56 percent and Cisco Systems Inc. rising 46
percent. All three are still well below their 2000 highs.
Since March 2013, the index has risen 53 percent, and six stocks are
up more than 10-fold.
Steadier gains kept valuations in check. The Nasdaq Composite trades
at 30 times earnings, versus a multiple of 190 in March 2000. Among
the biggest companies tracked by the Nasdaq 100 Index, the top 10 best
performers since 2013, including Netflix Inc. and Facebook Inc., are
valued at an average 66 times profit.
Eight of the top 20 stocks in the Nasdaq 100 at the bubble's peak no
longer exist as standalone public firms, including WorldCom Inc., Sun
Microsystems Inc. and Global Crossing Ltd. Among the survivors, the 10
biggest winners over the final two years of the Internet frenzy
garnered an average P/E ratio of 808. EBay Inc. was valued at 3,220
times profit and Yahoo! Inc. traded at 648. Today, the two have a
multiple of 25 and 44, respectively.
Google The number of ads, or paid clicks, rose 13 percent, while the average price of online ads, or "cost per click," declined 7 percent.
In a conference call, Pichette highlighted mobile ads as a key source
of revenue growth during the quarter. "We are experiencing real
strength in mobile search," he said.
The contribution of ad revenue from video platform YouTube "continues
to grow at a strong rate year-over year," he added. Brands are
embracing YouTube's TrueView service, where advertisers pay only when
users opt not to skip an ad, he said.
.@samsung Speeds Up Production of Curved S6 With Demand Soaring @business
Samsung Electronics Co. began production at a third factory for curved
smartphone screens sooner than expected as demand surges for its
Galaxy S6 Edge smartphone, according to people with direct knowledge
of the matter.
Adding the production line, known as A3, enables Samsung Display Co.
to more than double monthly output to 5 million screens from about 2
million currently, the people said, asking not to be identified as the
matter is private. The plant is now online after the company
previously planned on using the new factory sometime in June, one of
the people said.
Samsung expects to sell more than 70 million units of the new phone,
the Korea Times reported April 15, citing an unidentified executive of
Military spending in Africa increased by 5.9 per cent in 2014, with the top two spenders Algeria and Angola, both major oil producers, increasing their spending by 12 and 6.7 per cent, respectively SIPRI
According to SIPRI's Trends in World Military Expenditure 2014, Africa
once again saw the largest year-on-year increase in military
expenditure of any region, at 5.9 per cent, reaching $50.2 billion in.
Military spending in the region has increased by 91 per cent since
2005. "Africa's two biggest spenders, Algeria and Angola, continued
their rapid military spending increases financed by high oil revenues,
with Algeria increasing by 12 per cent to reach $11.9 billion, and
Angola by 6.7 per cent to hit $6.8 billion. These countries have
respectively trebled and doubled their spending in real terms since
2005, and both now spend more than 5 per cent of their GDP on the
military. It remains to be seen whether the crash in oil prices in
late 2014 will halt this trend. "Nigeria's budgeted military
expenditure fell in 2014 for the third year running, by 9.3 per cent,
to $2.3 billion. Nonetheless, the total is still 79 per cent higher
than in 2005, and the budgeted figure does not include a $1 billion
loan approved by the Nigerian Congress in October 2014 for military
hardware and training to fight the militant group Boko Haram.
NATO to Open Office in Djibouti to Support Anti-Piracy Efforts
Foreign Minister Mahmoud Ali Youssouf and NATO Deputy Assistant
Secretary-General for Operations Francesca Tardioli signed an
agreement on Wednesday, NATO said in a statement on its website. An
"office will facilitate greater operational, logistical and
administrative coordination," it said.
NATO warships and aircraft have been conducting Operation Ocean
Shield, a counter-piracy initiative off the Horn of Africa, since
2009. The last successful pirate attack to occur in the area of
operation was in May 2012, NATO said.
Wednesday's pact forms the basis for further dialogue on partnerships
in areas of common interest "including the maritime dimension," NATO
said, without giving further details.
Burundi on knife edge over president's possible third-term run
Pierre Nkurunziza has yet to say if he will stand in the June 26 vote,
but diplomats and opponents expect him to run even though they say it
would violate the constitution and the Arusha peace deal, credited
with helping heal Burundi's ethnic rifts.
The ruling party argues his first term does not count because he was
chosen by lawmakers and not voted in. It could nominate Nkurunziza, a
51-year-old whose voting strongholds are in the countryside, at a
party congress on Saturday.
"If Nkurunziza decides to run for a third term, he will be opening
doors for another war," said prominent rights activist Pierre Claver
Mbonimpa, who has often found himself in jail for his activism against
the government. "This will be a coup d'état against the constitution,
against the Arusha peace agreement."
Mozambique Gas Will be Very Competitive Due to Low Extraction Cost, Says Eni
LNG produced in Mozambique will be very competitive because of low
extraction cost of natural gas in the country, Eni's Chief Executive
Officer Claudio Descalzi said on Wednesday, Reuters reported.
Eni's LNG facilities would become operational in Mozambique in 2020,
Descalzi said speaking at IHS CERAWeek in Houston.
"Mozambique is good because the upstream side is not very expensive,"
Reuters quoted him as saying. "It is fast and cheap, so it can be very
competitive in the market."
"We want to grow four-fold within the next five years" said @vimalafrica at his office in Thika
Bidco Africa, owned by Kenya's wealthiest man, is targeting a
quadrupling in sales by expanding regionally by the end of the decade
to make the company a multibillion-dollar business.
The edible-oils manufacturer is considering building plants in
Mozambique, Madagascar or Ethiopia by the end of the decade to add to
existing operations in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, Chief Executive
Officer Vimal Shah said in an interview on April 21. The company
trades in 16 African countries and posted sales of $500 million last
year, half of that in Kenya, he said.
"We want to grow four-fold within the next five years," Shah said at
his office in Thika, 41 kilometers (25 miles) northeast of the
capital, Nairobi. "We are targeting growth of $1 billion in Kenya
alone within that period."
Bidco is the biggest producer of edible oils in eastern and central
Africa, and is a marketer of goods including animal feeds, hygiene
products and detergents, it says on its website. The company is
tapping increasing consumer spending on the continent, which is
expected to grow 6 percent annually to $1 trillion by 2020,
London-based Investec Asset Management Ltd. said in a report published
The Nairobi Securities Exchange has been under performing its SSA
Peers with Nigeria have ramped +25% since closing at a 2 year low on
The South African All Share has rallied more than 11% and is at an all
time High which is an interesting counterpoint to the recent news
The All Share bounced 0.97 points to close at 172.55.
The All Share was lifted by by its biggest Cap Stock Safaricom which
closed at a Fresh Record High of 17.30 and is now worth 693.131b.
The Nairobi NSE20 Index rebounded 34.29 points off a December 2014 low
to close at 5061.09.
There were 26 winners and 12 Losers which is a Signifier that the
market might be finding its footing again
As per my Twitter Friend @DaudiNanambi April 2015 was the worst month
for #Kenya Shilling since late-2013.
The Kenya Shilling was last trading above 94.00 at 94.123 which is a 3
N.S.E Equities - Commercial & Services
Safaricom rallied 0.58% to close at a Fresh All Time Closing High of
17.30. Safaricom traded 14.060m shares worth 243.811m. Safaricom has
surged +23.131% in 2015 and Investors are anticipating muscular FY
Earnings on the 7th of May.
Kenya Airways firmed 0.68% to close at 7.45 and rallied +5.67% over
the course of this week.
N.S.E Equities - Finance & Investment
Equity Group was the most actively traded share at the Securities
Exchange and firmed 0.5076% to close at 49.50. Equity was, however,
trading at 50.50 +2.54% session highs at the closing Bell. Equity
Group traded good volume action of 5.707m shares worth 282.545m.
Equity Group has rebounded +3.125% over 2 trading sessions on
cumulative and noteworthy volume of 9.766m shares.
I&M Bank surged 6.03% to close at 123.00 and traded a block of 1.002m
shares worth 123.241m. I&M Bank trades on a PE of 9.0707 which is
cheap versus its Peers.
BRITAM EA predictably traded limit up +9.76% to close at 22.50 where
2.320m shares worth 52.218m were traded. BRITAM EA remains -24.36% in
2015 and the Fate of Mr. Rawat's more than 20% shareholding remains
N.S.E Equities - Industrial & Allied
Transcentury recorded a pretax loss of 2.11 billion shillings for
2014 versus a pretax profit of 859 million shillings in 2013.
Transcentury reported a 36 percent slide in revenue at its engineering
division for 2014 performance and said it also recorded a loss when it
sold a 34 percent stake in rail operator Rift Valley Railways last
year. Transcentury struck a more optimistic tone around this year.
Transcentury retreated 6.666% to close at 16.10.
EABL closed unchanged at 319.00 and traded 152,900 shares. There were
2 Buyers for every Seller confirming the price is well supported here
at +4.24% Year to date.
Unga was high ticked +9.89% to close at 50.00 on just 200 shares. Unga
is +28.301% in 2015.
Eveready rallied +4.65% to close at 4.50 and traded 46,500 shares.