WOW! DICK CHENEY’S PERSONAL FINANCIAL PORTFOLIO PREDICTS WHAT?!

We can always predict future “policy” moves by paying attention to the personal financial moves of the man behind the curtain himself.
NOTE: Cheney’s portfolio bets on bad news BEFORE the bad news is to happen.

I looked at the president and vice president’s financial disclosure forms from such uncontroversial sources as Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine. I published this information originally for our radio show.

Vice President Dick Cheney’s financial advisers are apparently betting on a rise in inflation and interest rates and on a decline in the value of the dollar against foreign currencies. That’s the conclusion we cab draw after scouring the financial disclosure form released by Cheney recently.

As of the end of last year, Cheney and his wife, Lynne, held between $10 million and $25 million in Vanguard Short-Term Tax-Exempt fund (it’s impossible to be more precise because the disclosure form lists holdings within ranges). The fund’s holdings of tax-free municipal bonds mature, on average, in a little more than a year — meaning that the fund should hold up well if rates rise.

The Cheneys held another $1 million to $5 million in Vanguard Tax-Exempt Money Market fund, which is practically risk-free and could benefit from continued increases in short-term interest rates. And the couple had between $2 million and $10 million in Vanguard Inflation-Protected Securities fund. The principal and interest payments of inflation-protected bonds rise along with consumer prices, making them good inflation hedges.

Expecting a dollar drop?

The Cheneys also had between $10 million and $25 million in American Century International Bond. The fund buys mainly high-quality foreign bonds (predominantly in Europe) and rarely hedges against possible increases in the value of the dollar. Indeed, its prospectus limits dollar exposure to 25% of assets and the fund currently has only 6% of assets in dollars, according to an American Century spokesman.

The Cheneys’ total assets could be as high as $94.6 million, according to the disclosure form. The vice president’s advisers say the vice president pays no attention to his investments. His lawyer, Terrence O’Donnell, says outside money managers supervise the investments. “He has nothing to do with it,” O’Donnell says.

As for stocks, the couple held between $1 million and $5 million in Lazard International Equity and a like amount in Lazard Emerging Markets. The Cheneys’ relatively few U.S. stock fund holdings include $1 million to $5 million in GMO Tax-Managed U.S. Equities III (GTMUX, news, msgs).

Bushes’ investments meek

President Bush may be bold in his public policies, but his private investments appear decidedly on the meek side. Bush and his wife, Laura, reported on their disclosure form that they held combined assets of $7.2 million to $20.9 million.

As of the end of last year, the Bushes’ two largest assets were their Texas ranch, valued at between $1 million and $5 million, and a blind trust, also valued at between $1 million and $5 million. Of course, it’s impossible to tell how the trust is invested, so it could be heavily in stocks. The White House would not make the trust’s managers available for comment.

Beyond the trust, the First Family’s investable assets are largely in super-safe Treasury notes, money market funds and bank certificates of deposit. The Bushes’ holdings in these instruments totaled between $1.7 million and $4.4 million. The president also listed a health savings account worth between $1,000 and $15,000.

The Bushes confine most of their stock investing to their relatively small IRAs and to the president’s retirement account from when he was governor of Texas. As of last December, that account was worth $108,016 and was invested entirely in Vanguard Wellington, which owns stocks and bonds. The president’s IRA, worth $87,074, includes $30,142 in Capital Income Builder, a balanced fund that’s part of the American funds family; $30,866 in Growth Fund of America, another American fund; and $24,219 in zero-coupon U.S. Treasury bonds. Nearly all of the first lady’s IRA, worth $8,556, was also in Capital Income Builder.

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BREAKING: Anti-LGBT Amendment Stripped from Defense Bill

Russell Amendment removed from NDAA after lawmakers received more than 342,000 petition signatures from AMPA and other national organizations

WASHINGTON — Today, the American Military Partner Association (AMPA), the nation’s largest organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) military families, praised reports that an amendment was removed from the annual defense bill that could have funded anti-LGBT discrimination.

“Taxpayer-funded discrimination against LGBT people is wrong -- plain and simple,” said AMPA President Ashley Broadway-Mack. “The fact that the defense spending bill was being used in an attempt to fund discrimination against minorities is disturbing. Thousands of LGBT service members put their lives on the line for our nation, and they and their families should never face discrimination here at home simply because of who they are or whom they love. We are pleased that in the end, lawmakers removed the discriminatory measure and fairness and equality seem to have prevailed.”

Known as the Russell Amendment, the measure in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) could have allowed taxpayer-funded discrimination against women, single mothers, LGBT people, and religious minorities in religiously-affiliated organizations, including hospitals and universities.

As reported by the Washington Blade, “During a background briefing with reporters on Tuesday, an aide said the final version of the fiscal year 2017 defense authorization bill hammered out by House and Senate lawmakers in conference committee lacks the language Rep. Steve Russell (R-Okla.) inserted in the House version of the bill.”

On November 15, AMPA joined more than a dozen national organizations in delivering more than 342,000 petition signatures to Congress in opposition to the amendment. The petitions were delivered to the Washington offices of Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Reps. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) and Adam Smith (D-Wash.).

The petitions were part of a coordinated advocacy effort from the American Military Partner Association, American Civil Liberties Union, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the Center for American Progress Action Fund, the Human Rights Campaign, and other national organizations.

The Russell Amendment could have allowed for an individual:
To be fired for marrying a same-sex partner — or denied benefits afforded to other married couples
To be fired for being transgender
To be fired for being a woman taking birth control
To be fired for being a single mother or
To be refused a job interview if they don’t practice the “right” religion
The Russell Amendment was previously adopted in the dead of night — over bipartisan opposition — without a hearing and with almost no debate. The House Rules Committee then prevented the full chamber from being able to vote on a bipartisan amendment to remove the discriminatory provision from the defense bill.

The American Military Partner Association is the nation’s largest organization of LGBT military spouses, families, and allies. With more than 50,000 members and supporters throughout the country and around the world, AMPA is committed to education, advocacy, and support for our “modern military families.”
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