Tim Egan, in Hillary’s Big Idea, NYT, 4/23/16 mentioned the 1970’s cattle future questions, as real grist for “That gritter edge.”
So here is an article, that I think gives Hillary Clinton a clean bill health.
I also tried futures, and put in a $100 dollars, and lost it all in the first long or short or whatever it was.
“In 1978 and 1979, lawyer and First Lady of Arkansas Hillary Rodham engaged in a series of trades of cattle futures contracts. Her initial $1,000 investment had generated nearly $100,000 when she stopped trading after ten months. In 1994, after Hillary Rodham Clinton had become First Lady of the United States, the trading became the subject of considerable controversy regarding the likelihood of such a spectacular rate of return, possible conflict of interest, and allegations of disguised bribery, allegations that Clinton strongly denied. There were no official investigations of the trading and Clinton was never charged with any wrongdoing.Contents 1 Trades and first exposure 2 Likelihood of results 3 Merc and Melamed investigations 4 Clinton responses 5 Official findings 6 ReferencesTrades and first exposureHillary Rodham and Bill Clinton lived in this 980 square feet (91 m2) house in the Hillcrest neighborhood of Little Rock from 1977 to 1979 while he was Arkansas Attorney General. The couple’s modest circumstances led Rodham to seek investment income.Rodham had no experience in such financial instruments. Bill Clinton’s salary as Arkansas Attorney General and then Governor of Arkansas was modest and Rodham later said she had been interested in building a financial cushion for the future (the ill-fated Whitewater Development Corporation would be another such effort from this time). Starting in October 1978, when Bill Clinton was Attorney General and on the verge of being elected Governor, she was guided by James Blair, a friend, lawyer, outside counsel to Tyson Foods, Arkansas’ largest employer, and, since 1977, a futures trader who was doing so well he encouraged friends and family to enter the commodity markets as well. Blair in turn traded through, and relied upon cattle markets expertise from, broker Robert L. “Red” Bone of Refco, a former Tyson executive and professional poker player who was a World Series of Poker semifinalist.Rodham later wrote that she educated herself about the market and followed it closely, winning and losing money. By January 1979, she was up $26,000; but later, she would lose $16,000 in a single trade. At one point she owed in excess of $100,000 to Refco as part of covering losses, but no margin calls were made by Refco against her. Near the end of the trading, Blair correctly sold short and gave her a $40,000 gain in one afternoon. In July 1979, once she became pregnant with Chelsea Clinton, “I lost my nerve for gambling [and] walked away from the table $100,000 ahead.” She briefly traded sugar futures contracts and other non-cattle commodities in October 1979, but more conservatively, through Stephens Inc. During this period she made about $6,500 in gains (which she failed to pay taxes on at the time, consequently later paying some $14,600 in federal and state tax penalties in the 1990s). Once her daughter was born in February 1980, she moved all her commodities gains into U.S. Treasury Bonds.”