WASHINGTON, D.C.—Tennessee Republican Sen. Bob Corker, secretly known as the “Senate’s $50 million-dollar man,” has decided to not run for re-election rather than face the continued exposure by Infowars.com of how he become known as the Senate’s “$50 million-dollar man” in a series of shady deals that merit serious Department of Justice investigation.
Over the years, Corker has become one of the Senate’s most wealthy members by tilting public policy to favor his Wall Street and big bank buddies, while criticizing the very hedge funds he used to short the stock of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – the two Government Sponsored Entities (GSE) that are the backbone of the middle-income home mortgage market in the United States.
In the Senate, Corker is known for his hypocrisy, having profited from a strategy to short Fannie and Freddie in 2007 and 2008, while maintaining an investment portfolio that has invested as much as $50 million in the same hedge funds Corker attacks as “vultures” corrupting Washington.”
In 2006, Henry Luken, a long-time Corker business associate and political backer, acquired from the then-Chattanooga mayor Bob Corker tens of millions of dollars in risky real estate holdings that were headed underwater, providing Corker the capital he needed to complete his successful run for the Senate.
After lending his campaign $4.2 million from the Luken transaction into his Senate campaign, giving Corker virtually all the money he spent in the final weeks of the campaign, Corker narrowly defeated his Democratic challenger Harold E. Ford, Jr., 51 percent to 48 percent, outspending Ford by $18.6 million to $15.6 million.
According to his Senate financial disclosures, upon his arrival in the Senate ,, Corker began using the proceeds from the Luken transaction to shift tens of millions of dollars to a series of hedge funds, including Chattanooga-based Pointer Management Company, whose founder, Thorpe McKenzie, was a political supporter of Corker and an investor in Luken’s companies.
Infowars.com has previously published a copy of a compliance “Adherence Letter” authored by Pointer Management, LLC, dated September 30, 2008, making it clear Pointer was taking a short position on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by buying derivatives, specifically credit default swaps, that would generate for Pointer a handsome profit, provided the share prices of the two GSEs went down.
Corker’s Senate financial disclosures indicate that after his successful 2006 Senate campaign, Corker invested between $8.5 million into hedge funds, including between $5 million and $25 million that he invested in Pointer. Corker’s Pointer investment profited him a total of between 3.9 million and $15.5 million over the next nine years.
Consider the many different estimates of Corker’s wealth in the public record since he was elected to the U.S. Senate.
- In 2006, after winning his first election for the Senate, Forbes reported Corker “boasts an estimated $64 million to $236 million fortune, according to the financial disclosure he filed to the Senate.”
- Then, on Dec. 14, 2014, the Hill reported that Corker, after filing 83 amendments to his financial disclosure reports dating back to his arrival to the Senate in 2007, Corker reported his net worth at only $18 million.
- In 2014, OpenSecrets.org listed the “average estimate” of Corker’s net worth at $45.8 million, with the minimum net worth estimate at $13.9 million, and the maximum net worth estimate at $76.9 million.
- On Aug. 25, 2014, the Tennessean reported Corker held assets in 2013 worth between $19.02 million and $89.7 million, based on a Senate financial disclosure form filed that month, compared with the $18.67 million to $91.55 million disclosed on his 2012 form.
The truth is that Corker is one of the wealthiest members of the House of Representatives, although he has always been evasive about just how rich he truly may be.
But even as he was being considered in May 2016 to be tapped as Donald Trump’s vice-presidential candidate, Corker was dogged by continuing FBI and SEC investigations into his finances, as well as a history of having to refile his Congressional financial disclosure forms after admitting he had failed to list dozens of business dealings and hundreds of stock trades, resulting in millions of dollars in previously unreported or under-reported income.
“Federal investigators are looking into possible financial irregularities involving CBL & Associates Properties, Inc., a Chattanooga, Tennessee-based real estate investment trusts that owns or manages dozens of shopping centers and malls across the country,” Politico reported on May 31, 2016.
“Corker has bought and sold millions of dollars in CBL stock since he was elected to the Senate in 2006, but failed to disclose several of those disclosures,” Politico continued. “Now Corker finds himself ensnared in a federal probe.”
A close examination of his financial history makes clear Corker has aggressively taken advantage of the Congressional privilege absolving him from criminal responsibility for inside trading, in what Corker has described as “day-trading.”
Here was a typical pattern of Corker’s CBL trades that reeks suspiciously of the type of insider information that would have landed an ordinary citizen behind bars in a federal prison:
- Corker evidently purchased between $2 and $10 million of CBL stock just prior to a July 2010 announcement that Swiss-headquartered UBS bank (a bank with a prominent presence in Chattanooga that rented space in a Corker-owned building) was upgrading its CBL rating from “sell” to “neutral.”
- Less than a month later, Corker unloaded between $3 and $12 million of his CBL stock, days before UBS returned the CBL rating to “sell.”
- In the interim, CBL’s stock price leapt by more than 35%, from $11.83 per share to $14.66, netting Corker some $1.87 million in slightly more than three weeks.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Nov. 3, 2015, that Corker purchased between $1 million and $5 million in 2011 and sold them five months later for a 42 percent gain – trades Corker only disclosed after questions from the WSJ about “apparent discrepancies” in his Senate financial-disclosure reports – trades that occurred after Corker made a pair of purchases of CBL stock in the name of his daughters that the WSJ estimated netted him more than $1 million.
CBL has “given generously” to Corker’s political campaigns, with CBL executives, directors, and spouses contributing more than $88,706 to his campaign committee and PAC since Corker’s 2006 run for the Senate.