News & Politics

Lehman Brothers Gave Jeb Bush $1.3 Million After He Gave It Control of Florida Pensions

The bank, which later collapsed during the financial crisis, was given control of $250 million of Florida pension funds.

International Business Times' David Sirota, Matthew Cunningham-Cook and Andrew Perez have the scoop on a conflict of interest that handed former Florida governor Jeb Bush more than a million dollars.

They report that in 2005 and 2006, the bank — which later ended up collapsing during the financial crisis — was given control of $250 million of Florida pension funds belonging to police officers, firefighters and teachers. The bank ended up earning over $5 million in fees from managing the fund, and getting an additional $1.2 billion before it ended up collapsing in 2008.

The collapse left Florida with $1 billion in losses. By that point, Bush had already departed the governor's mansion, but reaped the benefits. He nabbed a job at Lehman that paid him $1.3 million.

“The Bush family is so wired that Jeb Bush would be incredibly valuable to Lehman even without him having thrown some business their direction,” former Senate financial staffer Jeff Connaughton told IBTimes. “The fact that he did shows once again that there is utterly zero deterrence preventing public officials from being on the receiving end of pay to play when they leave office. It’s par for the course— it has the appearance that Bush was using his public office for personal gain.”

 

Zaid Jilani is an AlterNet staff writer. Follow @zaidjilani on Twitter.

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