By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
When it comes to business, the Bush Boys have been equally good role models for Dubya. Think about it:
•Dubya brother Neil Bush made the news during the late 1980s because he was a director of Silverado Savings & Loan, which went broke and ended up costing taxpayers about $1 billion. In the Silverado case, federal investigators accused Neil of conflicts of interest, but he was never prosecuted. The Resolution Trust Company, set up to bail out bankrupt S&Ls, brought a civil suit against Bush and other Silverado officers. The case was eventually settled for $26.5 million.
•Prescott Bush Jr., a brother of Bush Sr., was reported in 1989 to have arranged investments in two U.S. firms by an alleged front company for the Japanese mob, a task for which he was allegedly paid $500,000. Prescott denied any knowledge of mob involvement.
•In 1991, Jonathan Bush, the Daddy Bush brother who spearheaded the family effort to get Dubya set up in business, was himself fined $30,000 in Massachusetts and several thousand in Connecticut for violating registration laws governing securities sales. He was barred from securities brokerage with the general public in Massachusetts for one year.
•Then there's George W.'s other brother, Jeb, currently standing for re-election as governor of Florida, who defaulted on a $4.5 million S&L loan in 1988, plunging the thrift over the edge. Jeb and his partners paid but 10 percent back.
With his own personal landscape a minefield of weird business dealings, Bush the younger has to watch his step. For him, leaving a few stones unturned might be a wise choice. Thus does he find himself at once making a show of righteous anger and shielding his wealthy friends. "You need to know that by far the vast majority, by far, of corporate America are aboveboard," he said, "and doing their job just the way you'd expect them to do."Additional reporting by Cassandra Lewis.