That Teneo’s Doug Band was not a fan of Chelsea Clinton, with whom he had a long-running feud as a result of her ongoing accusations that he was taking advantage of Bill Clinton’s presence to enrich himself (even though thanks to a leaked memo we now know for a fact just how Teneo was working as a pass through, pay-for-play vehicle to enrich both Clinton and Band), we have known for a while (and reported on again just moments ago, when in one of the latest Podesta emails, he accused her of using Foundation cash to pay for her wedding).
We now learn that Band was also not a fan of Chelsea’s husband, Marc Mezvinsky, co-founder of the hedge fund Eaglevale Partners, which had received substantial seed funding from Goldman Sachs, and which suffered massive losses with its wrong-way bet on Greek bonds.
In an email from January 18, 2012, Doug Band tells John Podesta and Cheryl Mills that “Marc mez[vinsky] had an idea to put together a poker night for the foundation to raise money. His raising money for his own fund hasn’t been going well and he has cvc [Chelsea Clinton] making some calls for him to get mtgs with some clinton people.”
What Band was accusing “Mez” of doing is that since he was unable to raise cash for his hedge fund on his own, he came looking for the help of his wife, Chelsea, who is Vice Chairman of the Foundation bearing her last name.
Band then says that “Marc has invited several potential investors and a few current business ones to the poker night. I assume all are contributing to the foundation, which of course isn’t the point. What is the point is that he is doing precisely what he accused me of doing as the entire plan of his has been to use this for his business which he is.“
And there you have another Pay-to-Play smoking gun: an extended Clinton family member using Bill’s (and Chelsea’s) “last name” connections to raise money for his business.
Needless to say, the idea worked: as Fox previously reported, in April 2012, Eaglevale booked $19 million from a dozen investors. California’s public employee pension fund, CalPERS, reportedly invested $13 million. Goldman Sach’s CEO, Lloyd Blankfein, jumped in with his own money, as did Chelsea Clinton’s former boss, Marc Lasry, who specializes in buying distressed debt.
In retrospect it appears that while we have no reason to doubt the sincerity of the relationship between Mezvinsky and Chelsea, the former clearly saw some prominent fringe benefits, namely the ability to fall back on the latter’s last name to “raise money” through the Clinton Foundation, after his own fundraising efforts were falling short.
Another fringe benefit was to use Chelsea Clinton as a conduit for confidential information on Greek bailout talks coming directly from the US State Department, whose head – and top US diplomat – at the time was Hillary Clinton. As Fox previously reprorted, In May 2012, Sid Blumenthal, emailed two “confidential” memos about the Greek
debt situation to Clinton. Hormats was included in the email loop.
Clinton stepped down as secretary of state in 2013 to run for president. But newly released emails from 2012 show that she and Clinton Foundation consultant, Sidney Blumenthal, shared classified information about how German leadership viewed the prospects for a Greek bailout. Clinton also shared “protected” State Department information about Greek bonds with her husband at the same time that her son-in-law aimed his hedge fund at Greece.
The first memo, Blumenthal told Clinton, is “based on conversations with German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble and those close to him … the information comes from an extremely sensitive source and should be handled with care. This information must not be shared with anyone associated with the German government.”
The second memo was classified and blacked out by State Department censors when Clinton’s emails were released. No doubt, it was informative. In June, Clinton’s deputy, Jake Sullivan emailed her “a depressing snapshot” of reports that Greek banks were failing and that Merkel was against a Greek bailout. The next day, he reported “re: Greece” that Ambassador Dan Smith “just spoke to the Central Bank Governor and assessed that the economic situation was “ok for now” provided that “small depositors put money back into the banks.”
A few days later, Clinton asked Sullivan for a confidential state department report, “Solidarity Bonds Greece Revised.” He sent it to her adding, “If you like, send it on [to] WJC,” presumably a reference to William Jefferson Clinton.
Clinton ordered an aide, “Pls print two copies” of the Greek bond report. The report was blacked out as a “protected” document when the emails were made public.
Did Mezvinsky benefit from his family connection?
The emails show that Clinton did at least one official favor for her son-in-law. In August 2012, she forwarded Deputy Secretary Thomas Nides an email from Mezvinsky lobbying on behalf of his former Goldman Sachs colleague, Harry Siklas. Siklas and Goldman Sachs were invested in a deep sea mining venture called Neptune Minerals. Siklas asked Mezvinsky to broker a talk with Clinton about “current legal issues and regulations” on deep sea mining. Clinton ordered Nides to “follow up on this request.”
Nides replied, “I’ll get on it.”
Ironically, despite all the behind the scenes benefits which should have assured the young hedge funder of slam dunk returns, Mezvinsky still failed. As Fox also added, “Marc Mezvinsky had friends in high places when he bet big on a Greek economic recovery, but even the keen interest of his mother-in-law, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, wasn’t enough to spare him and his investors from financial tragedy.”
In 2012, Mezvinski, the husband of Chelsea Clinton, created a $325 million basket of offshore funds under the Eaglevale Partners banner through a special arrangement with investment bank Goldman Sachs. The funds have lost tens of millions of dollars predicting that bailouts of the Greek banking system would pump up the value of the country’s distressed bonds. One fund, exclusively dedicated to Greek debt, suffered near-total losses.
A quick note here on what Mezvinsky’s biggest seed investor: Goldman Sachs. Recall that when Chelsea Clinton’s husband sought funding for his new hedge fund, he found financial backing from one of the biggest names on Wall Street: Goldman Sachs chief executive Lloyd Blankfein. Blankfein not only personally invested in the fund, but allowed his association with it to be used in the fund’s marketing.
The decision for Blankfein to invest in Hillary Clinton’s son-in-law’s company is just one of many ways Goldman Sachs has used its wealth to forge a tight bond with the Clinton family. The company paid Hillary Clinton $675,000 in personal speaking fees, paid Bill Clinton $1,550,000 in personal speaking fees, and donated between $250,000 and $500,000 to the Clinton Foundation. At a time when Goldman Sachs directly lobbied Hillary Clinton’s State Department, the company routinely partnered with the Clinton Foundation for events, even convening a donor meeting for the foundation at the Goldman Sachs headquarters in Manhattan.
Finally, in May 2016, Mezvinsky shut down Eaglevale’s Greek fund after losing 90% of its assets in early 2015. It is unclear if he has since resorted to using the Clinton Foundation to fund more cash.