Federal Politics

Published — January 11, 2002 Updated — May 19, 2014 at 12:19 pm ET

Fourteen top Bush officials invested in Enron stock

Introduction

Fourteen of the top 100 officials in the Bush administration owned stock in embattled energy services firm Enron, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of Bush administration personal financial disclosure forms. Their holdings were worth-at the time of their filings-between $284,016 and $886,000.

Revelations about Enron’s financial losses and accounting practices caused the share price to plunge significantly since the officials filed their disclosure forms. Some of the 14 officials have sold their shares since they filed their personal disclosure forms.

These findings are from an unprecedented Center analysis of the finances and professional affiliations of the top 100 Bush administration officials, from the President to cabinet undersecretaries to the heads of independent agencies. The full report and searchable database will be released Monday morning, January 14.

In addition to the 14 who owned stock in Enron, two officials had professional ties to Enron. National Economic Council Director Lawrence Lindsey served as a consultant to Enron when he was managing director of Economic Strategies, Inc., a consulting firm. He also served on Enron’s board of advisers. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick, who owned stock in Enron, also served on its advisory council, earning a $50,000 fee for his time.

Among the largest Enron shareholders, according the personal financial disclosure forms, are senior adviser to the President Karl Rove and Undersecretary of State Charlotte Beers, who each held between $100,001 and $250,000 of stock when their forms were filed. Others include Zoellick and Undersecretary of Commerce Grant Aldonas, who each owned between $15,001 and $50,000 of stock when they were nominated.

Aldonas’ boss, Commerce Secretary Donald Evans, and Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill were the two officials contacted by Enron CEO Kenneth Lay last October. The first calls came after Enron reported a third quarter loss of $618 million and revealed that the Securities and Exchange Commission was investigating the company.

White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer said Enron, in its contacts with O’Neill and Evans, suggested that its dire financial situation could have broad implications for the economy.

Fleischer said that O’Neill, in response to the calls from Enron, “contacted Undersecretary [Peter R.] Fisher, Undersecretary Fisher looked at that and concluded there would be no more impact on the overall economy.”

Fisher was one of the 14 who owned stock in Enron at the time he filed his financial disclosure. He valued his holdings within a range of $1,001 and $15,000.

Among the report’s other significant findings was that the largest sector in which the administration is invested, in terms of maximum dollar value, is the energy sector, with some 221 investments worth up to $144.6 million.

Officials Who Owned Enron Stock

Name

Position

Asset Name

Minimum

Maximum

Asset Type

Fisher, Linda

Deputy EPA Administrator

Enron

$1,001

$15,000

Stock

Fisher, Linda*

Deputy EPA Administrator

Enron

$15,001

$50,000

Stock

Fisher, Peter

Undersecretary of Treasury

Enron

$1,001

$15,000

Stock

Beers, Charlotte

Undersecretary of State

Enron

$100,001

$250,000

Stock

Cooper, Kathleen

Undersecretary of Commerce

Enron

$1,001

$15,000

Stock

Dorr, Thomas

Undersecretary of Agriculture

Enron

$1,001

$15,000

Stock

Dorr, Thomas*

Undersecretary of Agriculture

Enron

$1,001

$15,000

Stock

Marburger, John

Dir., Office of Science and TechnologyPolicy

Enron

$1,001

$15,000

Stock

Rumsfeld, Donald

Secretary of Defense

Enron

$1,001

$15,000

Stock

Deily, Linnet

Deputy U.S. Trade Representative

Enron

$15,001

$50,000

Stock

Deily, Linnet*

Deputy U.S. Trade Representative

Enron

$0

$1,000

Stock

Aldonas, Grant

Undersecretary of Commerce

Enron

$15,001

$50,000

Stock

Calio, Nicholas

Asst. to the President, Dir. Of Legislative Affairs

Enron

$1,001

$15,000

Stock

Libby, I. Lewis

Vice President’s Chief of Staff

Enron

$1,001

$15,000

Stock

Zoellick, Robert

US Trade Representative

Enron

$15,001

$50,000

Stock

Tutweiler, Margaret

Advisor to the President for Communications

Enron

$15,001

$50,000

Stock

Rove, Karl

Senior Adviser to the President

Enron

$100,001

$250,000

Stock

#Name appears more than once on the list

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