UPDATE 1: Level the Playing Field attacks Whitman from the Left about her investments in Hedge Funds, Bank Bailout Support, Contributions From Goldman Sachs Executives, and stock spinning.
UPDATE 2: Salon.com launches another attack from the left over Whitman’s relationship with Goldman Sachs – who is a major underwriter of Bonds for the State of CA. They also got a Dig in on the $1.78 million Whitman made from Stock Spinning.
(It would suggest that your humble blogger’s question about the relationship between Whitman, Sachs, and her support of bank bailouts was a really good one…)
Meg Whitman got caught misrepresenting how long she has lived in California, has been caught lying about Steve Poizner’s record in those cartoonish attack ads, has been caught in multiple stories about her non-voting-maybe-I-voted-record for 30 years. Lots of lies – with only disgraced media outlets like the Sacramento Bee to carry her water.
And yet she trudges on with nary a worry about the peasants calls for her to tell the truth.
Could Meg have misrepresented her wealth as well?
Through all of the outrageous, record shattering spending being done by Meg Whitman in an attempt to buy the Governor’s mansion, people assumed Meg’s threats to spend $150 million dollars were real. After all, Meg and her Team have been proudly, even aggressively, telling the press for over a year now that Meg is a “billionaire”.
Then something strange happened. Meg ran out of campaign money, and took almost 2 weeks for her to come up with the latest $20 million dollar infusion into her campaign. During this 2 week period they went off the air as if Meg fell off the face of the campaign earth!
Speculation went from the surreal to the bizarre to total weirdness. Was she losing her lead over Poizner because of a massive backlash against her spending and withering attacks against someone she led by 50 points?
Was Whitman aware her campaign account was empty? Would an effective CEO/leader let their warchest empty out? What did she know, and when did she know it? What Goldman Sachs hedge fund did she have to sell off to get some more cash?
A Billion Dollars if it were $100 bills would Fill my Garage and then some – that amount of money blows my mind. I can’t imagine what it would be like to hit the atm for $20 million!
I’m a small business owner, and I have a decent handle on investment strategy, tax rates, and basic understanding of finance. Your fearless blogger loves data, so I spent some time this weekend googling Meg Whitman to see if I could get a handle on her finances.
Some very interesting things popped up in Whitman’s Financial Documents.
Meg Whitman was essentially a common peasant when she started at Ebay in 1998, having to take a mortgage out on her house so she could scrape up some money to buy her first “friends and family” shares of pre-IPO Ebay stock.
So let’s assume that Meg had zero dollars in 1998. All news reports, and publicly available SEC reports from 1998-2009 show that Meg Whitman sold about $550 million gross in Ebay stock that she vested. Let’s assume for a moment that Meg Whitman doesn’t use tax shelters, doesn’t use shenanigans to avoid paying taxes, that Meg Whitman paid what she should have paid in Capital Gains on her stock sales. Not Likely, but we will assume as such for sake of fairness.
Rough math suggests that between 1998-2009, Meg pocketed, liquid, after taxes, something around $350 million bucks. (Nice wad…)
So she has $350 million liquid dollars? What does one do? You invest it! And invest Meg did. In looking at her Form 700, her investment strategy certainly would make headlines if the media did it’s job.
Meg’s investment portfolio is rooted almost totally in Goldman Sachs (hedge) dirty money funds built off the backs of foreclosed homes, toxic banks, and unemployed workers’ credit card debt.
Meg Whitman as recently as a few weeks ago, supported and advocated for the Bank Bailout. Things that make you go hmmm… Sachs has benefitted big time from the Bush-McCain-Obama bailouts.
Here’s the catch: Many of these funds have had very limited growth over the last few years, and while they are loaded to take advantage of the economic upturn, whenever that may be, it’s hard to see where Meg could have made OVER a half a billion dollars within her investment portfolio.
So how again is Meg Whitman a “billionaire”?
Well hey, they say, Meg is a billionaire based on the estimates of her Ebay wealth, not cash position. Ok, so I looked up Meg’s SEC filings for her Ebay position, and was shocked to see that she owns over 20 million shares of Ebay stock, which is vested over the next 4-5 years, and almost every single one of those stock option strike prices is UNDER WATER.
In other words, her Ebay stock is currently toilet paper. Ebay stock today is at $26 a share. Meg’s stock options that will dribble toward her over the next 5 years, are all at a strike price over $30 a share.
It suggests that the TV ads touting EBay may have had a dual purpose?
Then there is this article that the press refuses to follow up on that
clearly proves the assumption above:
I can do basic math. Meg Whitman can not be a billionaire, nowhere close. And the only way you to get cash is to sell off those “dirty” Goldman Sachs hedge funds. No wonder why the freight train stalled.
Apparently, Billionaire polls well – hence the use of the term. Tossing money around like water seems to also suggest that was the tactic du’jour of the campaign to butress the appearance.
* Given the fact that Whitman has been out of state constantly fundraising recently suggests that she may have burnt up her available cash.
* All that’s left is for the disgraced media and purchased blogs to whine about Poizner’s counter-attack.
* We’ve heard platitudes – and the one of the few things we really supposedly know about Whitman may indeed be an utter falsehood.