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Paul Drockton: Did Romney's Bain Plunder Howard Hughes?
Howard Robert Hughes Junior was born in 1905. When his parents died in the early 1920s, Howard inherited 75% of the family business:
"His parents were Allene Stone Gano (a descendant of Owen Tudor, second husband of Catherine of Valois, Dowager Queen of England) and Howard R. Hughes, Sr., who patented the two-cone roller bit, which allowed rotary drilling for petroleum in previously inaccessible places. Howard R. Hughes, Sr. made the shrewd and lucrative decision to commercialize the invention by leasing the bits instead of selling them, and founded the Hughes Tool Company in 1909." (Source)
Hughes tried his hand at Hollywood movies and was an expert aviatar. Hughes quickly expanded Hughes Tool:
"Hughes Aircraft Company, a division of Hughes Tool Company, was originally founded by Hughes in 1932, in a rented corner of a Lockheed Aircraft Corporation hangar in Burbank, California, to build the H-1 racer. During and after World War II, Hughes fashioned his company into a major defense contractor. The Hughes Helicopters division started in 1947 when helicopter manufacturer Kellett sold their latest design to Hughes for production.
In 1948, Hughes created a new division of the company, the Hughes Aerospace Group. The Hughes Space and Communications Group and the Hughes Space Systems Division were later spun off in 1948 to form their own divisions and ultimately became the Hughes Space and Communications Company in 1961. In 1953, Howard Hughes gave all his stock in the Hughes Aircraft Company to the newly formed Howard Hughes Medical Institute, thereby turning the aerospace and defense contractor into a tax-exempt charitable organization. The Howard Hughes Medical Institute sold Hughes Aircraft in 1985 to General Motors for US$5.2 billion. In 1997, General Motors sold Hughes Aircraft to Raytheon and in 2000, sold Hughes Space & Communications to Boeing. A combination of Boeing, GM and Raytheon acquired the Hughes Research Laboratories." (Ibid)
Then came TWA:
"In 1939, at the urging of Jack Frye, president of TWA, Hughes quietly purchased a majority share of TWA stock for nearly US$7 million and took control of the airline... In 1966, Hughes was forced by a U.S. federal court to sell his shares in TWA because of concerns over conflict of interest between his ownership of both TWA and Hughes Aircraft. The sale of his TWA shares netted him a profit of US$547 million. During the 1970s, Hughes went back into the airline business, buying the airline Air West and renaming it Hughes Airwest." (Ibid)
Mormon Mafia was the term used for Mormons placed around Hughes in his later years who managed his financial empire. Chief among these was Frank William "Bill" Gay, who died in 2007:
"(Gay) oversaw several entities for Howard Hughes. He was chairman of the board of directors of the Hughes Air Corporation. He served as a senior vice president and member of the board of directors for the Hughes Tool Company. He was also president and chief executive officer of Summa Corporation.
After Howard Hughes' death, he was sued for $50 million by the Summa Corporation for conspiracy. He settled out of court.
Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, he was a student at University of California, Los Angeles when he was hired by Hughes. A member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Gay put together the so-called "Mormon Mafia" that comprised Hughes' inner circle in his later life. Appointed by the Delaware Court of Chancery, Gay served as trustee of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute from 1984 until his retirement in 2006. He had previously served on the Institute's executive committee from 1971-1984." (Source)
Frank was the father of Robert C Gay:
"Mr. Gay has been involved in the private equity business since 1986. From 1989 to 2004, he served as a Managing Director of Bain Capital. He was one of the firm's senior partners and served as a member of its Management and Business Policy committees. He also led many of the firm's investments and oversaw Bain Capital Europe where he opened the firm's London and Munich offices.
Mr. Gay resigned as a full-time partner from Bain Capital when his church asked him to take a volunteer assignment as its Mission President for the countries of Ghana, Sierra Leone, and Liberia from July 2004 to July 2007. On 5 April 2008 Robert C. Gay was called as an Area Seventy, for North American Southeast Area for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." (Source)
As reported above, the Howard Hughes medical institute had at least 5.2 billion dollars from its sale of Hughes airline stockin 1985. In 2001-02, that amount appears to have dwindled to a meager $15.8 million dollars. (Source)The question being:
1. How much of the Medical Institute's money was managed by Bain Capital?
2. Robert C. Gay was the SON of the Trustee of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, who held all fiduciary powers.
The answer, it seems, could be found in the incredible exposure the institute's money faced in the derivatives market, a Bain Specialty. The following is from the 2001-02 financial report for the Institute:
The Institute invests in derivative financial instruments to control market risks~ manage its portfolio exposure, reduce investment implementation costs, and enhance returns Most derivative trades are transacted with counterparties that are operating under master netting agreements As a result of investing in derivative financial instruments, the Institute is exposed to credit-related losses in the event of nonperformance by counterparties As of August 31, 2002, the Institute did not expect any counterparties to fail to meet their obligations.
Foreign currency forward contracts are over-the-counter contractual agreements primarily used to sell or buy certain amounts of foreign currencies as a means to control foreign exchange risk The foreign currency forward contracts are also actively traded for the purpose of exploiting identified opportunities for arbitrage m the foreign currency market Futures contracts are off-balance sheet commitments to purchase or sell a finiancial instrument at a stated time and price in the future, usually for the purpose of increasing exposure to a specific market or to reduce risk These contracts are settled daily to reflect the changes in their market values
As of August 31, 2002. the Institute had entered into various exchange-traded contracts to buy or sell certain stock index
futures in the amount of $318,549,000, and to sell Fed Funds and Eurodollar futures in the amountof $3,351,229,000 Option contracts which represent over-the-counter contractual agreements to buy or to sell certain amounts of common stock are used as a means to increase exposure to a specific market or to decrease market risk Equity swap contracts are used as a means of increasing participation in a specific market They are over-the-counter contracts to settle with counterparties
on a net cash basis that depend on price movements in an underlying common stock. (Ibid)
So, a total 321 million dollars in derivatives exposure in 2002 alone. Remember, there is always a winner and a loser when it comes to futures contracts. Betting on the wrong side of things can transfer 4.8 billion dollars in no time at all to a third party.
If my last name were Hughes or Drummer, I would be talking to some good attorneys right about now. Feel free to use this article. By the way, you will have to subpoeana the rest of the filings, they are not available otherwise.