Desperate Mission: Jeb Bush Asked Mexican Billionaire Carlos Slim To Save Lehman Brothers

Apr 21 2014, 3:39pm CDT | by

In the summer of 2008, as the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression was unfolding, Jeb Bush, Florida’s former governor and brother of then President George W. Bush, traveled to Mexico to ask Mexican telecom mogul Carlos Slim Helú to rescue Lehman Brothers, The New York Times reported.

In a front page article on Monday, The Times revealed that within a year of ending his term as Florida’s governor, Bush had signed on as consultant to Lehman Brothers, where he was enlisted to reach out to Carlos Slim in a plan code-named Project Verde (Green Project). Slim, says the Times, was not interested in making a major investment in Lehman Brothers—the Wall Street giant whose bankruptcy catalyzed the financial meltdown—or striking up a joint venture with it. “Project Verde was unsuccessful,” Bush wrote to a Lehman colleague in early July 2008.

When asked to confirm the story, Arturo Elías Ayub, Slim’s spokesperson and son-in-law, told me he had no comment.

Based on records and interviews that show that Jeb Bush participated in the “fevered, last-ditch efforts to prop up Lehman Brothers, a Wall Street bank weighed down by toxic mortgage-backed securities,” The Times learned about Bush’s failed mission, which was unknown until now. The daily says that emails show that as a paid adviser to the company in 2008, Jeb Bush met with Slim Helú as Lehman sought to persuade the world’s second richest man to make a sizable investment in the firm.

In 2008, Lehman was the fourth-largest investment bank in the US (behind Goldman SachsMorgan Stanley, and Merrill Lynch), doing business in investment banking, equity and fixed-income sales and tradingresearchinvestment managementprivate equity, and private banking.

The revelation is one more example of how Slim is often seen in the U.S: as a “lender of last resort” to troubled companies, including The New York Times.

The Times does not say why Slim rejected the offer, but given that the troubles of Lehman Brothers were already known, Slim probably did not think it was a good investment.

As to why Lehman Brothers chose Bush, and not others, for the Slim mission has to do with his reputation as being close to Mexico. Bush is married to a Mexican national, speaks fluent Spanish and has long-standing connections to powerful Mexicans both in the business community and among the political elite.

With a current net wealth of over $70.4 billion, Slim is the world’s second richest man in the world, according to Forbes.

Twiiter: @DoliaEstevez

 
 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Miami to have 1,000 feet observation tower
Miami, Aug 28 (IANS/EFE) The voters of Miami in the US have approved a proposal by a real estate promoter to build a 1,000 feet high observation tower here.
 
 
Ebola epidemic to get worse: health official
London, Aug 28 (IANS) The Ebola outbreak in West Africa will get worse before it gets better, said a top public health official, the BBC reported Thursday.
 
 
12 Indian firms among Forbes Asia's Fabulous 50
Washington, Aug 28 (IANS) A dozen Indian firms figure in this year's Forbes Asia's Fabulous 50 list of the region's best big publicly traded companies with HDFC Bank making the list more times than any other company.
 
 
US reporter requests privacy after release
Washington, Aug 28 (IANS/EFE) The US journalist, who was freed this week by the miltants in Syria after two years in captivity, Wednesday thanked everyone for their efforts to secure his release and asked for privacy to be with his family.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Miami to have 1,000 feet observation tower
Miami, Aug 28 (IANS/EFE) The voters of Miami in the US have approved a proposal by a real estate promoter to build a 1,000 feet high observation tower here. Sixty-nine percent of the voters approved the plans of...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Ebola epidemic to get worse: health official
London, Aug 28 (IANS) The Ebola outbreak in West Africa will get worse before it gets better, said a top public health official, the BBC reported Thursday. Tom Frieden, director of the US-based Centres for Disease...
Read more on Business Balla
 
12 Indian firms among Forbes Asia's Fabulous 50
Washington, Aug 28 (IANS) A dozen Indian firms figure in this year's Forbes Asia's Fabulous 50 list of the region's best big publicly traded companies with HDFC Bank making the list more times than any other company....
Read more on Business Balla
 
First gay sailor of Chilean navy
London, Aug 28 (IANS) A sailor in Chile has become the first serving member of the Chilean armed forces to announce he is gay, the BBC reported Thursday. Mauricio Ruiz, 24, said his decision had "not been easy", but...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Pakistani cleric ends talks with government
Islamabad, Aug 28 (IANS) Pakistan Awami Tehreek leader Tahir-ul-Qadri Thursday announced he was ending dialogue with the government as his demands were not accepted. Qadri, whose supporters have staged an anti-...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Verona sign Brazilian midfielder Campanharo
Rio de Janeiro, Aug 28 (IANS) Hellas Verona have signed midfielder Gustavo Campanharo on a season-long loan from Brazilian club Bragantino. In a statement on their official website, the Italian Serie A outfit said the...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Huntington-Whiteley loves making creative decision
London, Aug 28 (IANS) Supermodel Rosie Huntington-Whiteley has enjoyed indulging her creative tendencies since leaving Victoria's Secret. Huntington-Whiteley has revealed that working with British high street store...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Holmes offers $1,000 reward for return of Suri's pet
Los Angeles, Aug 28 (IANS) Actress Katie Holmes has reportedly offered a $1000 reward for the safe return of her daughter's pet dog following its disappearance. Suri's new new Chihuahua, Honey, went missing Sunday....
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Shooting instructor killed as girl accidentally shot in US
Washington, Aug 28 (IANS) A shooting instructor was killed after a nine-year-old girld accidentally shot in the head at a gun range in the US, media reported Thursday. The deadly incident occurred Monday morning at a...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Bella Thorne splits from Tristan Klier
Bella Thorne has split up with her boyfriend of more than two years, Tristan Klier. The 16-year-old actress confirmed that they recently decided to part ways after being asked about their relationship status on Twitter...
Read more on Celebrity Balla