International Business Times, August 19, 2015
For Florida taxpayers, the move by the administration of then-Gov. Jeb Bush to forge a relationship with Lehman Brothers would ultimately prove disatrous......Transactions in 2005 and 2006 put the Wall Street investment bank in charge of some $250 million worth of pension funds for Florida cops, teachers and firefighters, ...Lehman would capture more than $5 million in fees on these deals, while gaining additional contracts to manage another $1.2 billion of Florida's money.....Then, in the fall of 2008, Lehman collapsed into bankruptcy, leaving Florida facing up to $1 billion in loses.
But for Jeb Bush personally, his enduring relationship with Lehman would prove lucrative......In 2007, just as he left office, Bush secured a job as a Lehman consultant for $1.3 billion a year, Bloomberg reported.
Weeks after Bush took the Lehman job, the Florida State Board of Administration (SBA) -- a three-member body that makes investment decisions about state pension funds and who's ranks had recently included one Jeb Bush -- gave Lehman additional business: SBA purchased $842 million worth of separate investments in Lehman's mortgage-backed securities......Over the course of the year, the SBA would shift an additional $420 million of pension money into the same fund in which the state had been investing under Bush.
In short, during Bush's first year working for Lehman, his former colleagues in Tallahassee, the state capital, moved vast sums of Florida pension money into the doomed Wall Street investment bank, even as warnings about it's financial troubles began to emerge.
These days, Jeb Bush is seeking the Republican nomination for president, and in so doing, he presents himself as a champion of the public interest in the face of a corrupted system exploited by insiders who enrich themselves at taxpayer expense.
But an International Business Times investigation of Bush's role in helping steer state investment to Lehman and his subsequent employment with the firm challenges that depiction, raising the prospect that Bush may have personally profited from choices his administration made that benefited the bank.
Bush's presidential campaign declined to answer IBTimes questions about state investments that Lehman made while he was governor and soon afterward, while he was working for the bank.
He has denied having anything to do with the 2007 transactions, according to a Tampa Bay Times review of the state's investments in Lehman after Bush left office.