BBC Prince Andrew interview – the best (WORST) bits

In an interview with BBC Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis, the Duke of York, Prince Andrew has given details about his relationship with the late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and addressed allegations about sex with a teenage girl.

Eric Weinstein – On Meeting Jeffrey Epstein

Eric Weinstein, managing director of Thiel Capital, talks about when he met Jeffrey Epstein and what his impression of him was at that time. This is from an interview Eric Weinstein did with the Rebel Wisdom Channel. I am currently writing a screenplay on this topic, and found this clip invaluable. I’m saving it here for reference.

Jeffrey Epstein Conspiracies and the Mysterious Deaths of the Rich and Ruined

On the evening of November 5, 1991, a Spanish fisherman spotted the body of Robert Maxwell, a controversial British press baron, floating in the Atlantic Ocean near the Canary Islands. The crew of Maxwell’s luxury motor yacht had been searching for him all day, after he vanished, that morning, with no explanation. Almost immediately, conspiracy theories emerged. Maxwell, who came to Britain as an impoverished Eastern European émigré and turned himself into a larger-than-life figure and confidant of political leaders, hadn’t ended his own life: he had been murdered. The rumored perpetrators included agents of the K.G.B. or M.I.6, or a team of frogmen from the Mossad. In support of this theory, it was pointed out that Maxwell had long been rumored to have ties to various intelligence agencies, especially the Israeli one. Maybe he had been silenced to prevent him from spilling the beans.

Almost thirty years later, some people cling to these confabulations, despite the existence of a simpler and more convincing explanation for Maxwell’s death. When he set out on his boat, he knew that the debt-burdened business empire which he had spent decades building, Maxwell Communication Corporation, was on the brink of collapse. He also knew that, in a desperate and failed effort to prevent such an outcome, he and his associates had taken hundreds of millions of pounds from M.C.C.’s employee pensions and used the money to try to prop up the company’s share price. After the inevitable bankruptcy occurred, this illegal scheme would be revealed. Maxwell would be ruined, shamed, and, most likely, sent to jail. To a man who was eaten up by pride and insecurity even as he became a well-known figure on two continents—that year, he had purchased the Daily News—the prospect of financial ruin and public humiliation was too much to take. So he jumped overboard.

Having followed Maxwell’s career closely as a financial writer and editor for the London Sunday Times, I believed at the time, and continue to believe, this version of events. It doesn’t clear up all the mysteries surrounding Maxwell’s death, such as the lack of a suicide note and the fact that a team of coroners couldn’t agree conclusively on the cause, leaving open the possibility of heart attack or accidental drowning. But suicide is intuitively plausible, and it satisfies the principle of Occam’s razor, which says that when choosing between various theories we should choose the one that provides the simplest explanation and requires the fewest auxiliary hypotheses to be true.

In a remarkable quirk of history, the stories of Robert Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein are linked, through Maxwell’s daughter, Ghislaine. The motor yacht on which Maxwell took his last steps was called Lady Ghislaine. Shortly after his death, Ghislaine Maxwell moved to New York, where she met Epstein, becoming his girlfriend, and, according to some accounts, his procurer. (She has vigorously denied these claims.) Like Maxwell, Epstein was a self-made figure—he hailed from Coney Island and didn’t graduate from college—who lived by his wits. Like Maxwell, he cultivated prominent people even though the source of his fortune was opaque. And, like Maxwell in 1991, at the time of Epstein’s death everything was being taken away from him.

A decade ago, Epstein used his money and influence to emerge from a two-year F.B.I. investigation pleading guilty to just two state charges of soliciting prostitution, one involving a minor. This time, however, he was trapped. In July, a team of federal prosecutors from the Southern District of New York had accused him of running a sex-trafficking scheme involving dozens of underage girls. A judge had denied his plea for bail. New witnesses had come forward. The case had attracted enormous publicity. Virtually everyone associated with Epstein had turned on him, including Leslie Wexner, the retail billionaire who appears to have been a primary source of Epstein’s fortune. (Last week, Wexner claimed that Epstein “misappropriated vast sums of money from me and my family.”)

At sixty-six, Epstein was facing the prospect of languishing for months in a nightmarish jail that had housed the likes of John Gotti and El Chapo; facing his accusers in a criminal trial; losing his fortune in civil suits; and spending the rest of his life in a federal pen, this time without the work release he’d been granted during his first incarceration. He had lost what sociopaths like him value most: control. Based on what we know now, it appears that Epstein killed himself, in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, on Saturday morning, and that no one else was involved. In some ways, this isn’t a very satisfying explanation, and it raises important questions about why Epstein wasn’t being supervised more closely. But it fits the facts that have been revealed so far. It also fits what we know about Epstein’s psychological profile. And it doesn’t require the involvement of Mossad frogmen, or their equivalent, to be true.

But how was he allowed to do it? According to the Wall Street Journal, Epstein’s own attorneys were the ones who requested that he be taken off suicide watch. This doesn’t explain why the authorities acceded to this request when Epstein, only weeks earlier, had been found unconscious in his cell, with bruises on his neck. Similarly, we don’t know why Epstein was left alone in his cell last Friday night, or why the guards didn’t check on him at regular intervals, as the jail’s standard procedure demanded. “It remained unclear why that procedure was not followed in Mr. Epstein’s case,” the Times reported on Sunday. Bob Hood, a former senior official at the Federal Bureau of Prisons, which runs the Metropolitan Correctional Center, told the Times, “The Bureau of Prisons dropped the ball. Period.”

That explanation won’t satisfy many people, of course—not with the President and members of his Administration spreading defamatory conspiracy theories about the Clintons. On Saturday, Trump retweeted a video from a conservative comedian, Terrence Williams, in which Williams suggested that Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton were responsible for Epstein’s death. (Earlier on Saturday, Lynne Patton, an official at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, posted a headline about Epstein’s death along with the word “Hillary’d!!” and the hashtag “#VinceFosterPartTwo.”) What the forty-fifth President appears to be intimating is that an assassin, working for the forty-second President, broke into one of the most secure jails in the country, hanged Epstein, and left without disturbing the guards or being caught on internal cameras. And perhaps the most remarkable thing is that no one is really surprised to see Trump doing this—disinformation and incitement are two of his trademarks.

Of course, Trump isn’t the only one raising questions. As I pointed out in a column last month, the Epstein saga, in addition to being a sickening sex-crime story, is really about wealth, privilege, and the ability of the super-rich to circumvent the rules that bind ordinary people. Over the weekend, Mayor Bill de Blasio said, “Something’s way too convenient here, and we need to get down to the bottom of what happened.” De Blasio, along with Republican Senator Ben Sasse, has demanded an independent probe into the circumstances surrounding Epstein’s death. Could someone working for Epstein have got to the warden, or whoever made the suicide-watch decision, and to the guards? Given the way the earlier case was resolved, in 2008, and the list of names that have been associated with Epstein, such a possibility, outlandish as it sounds, needs to be investigated. Right now, though, the simplest explanation seems like the most persuasive one: Epstein wanted out, and a series of screwups allowed him to beat the system, again.

Jeffrey Epstein with TrueAnon’s Liz Franczak, Plus Elizabeth Warren’s Dog | Useful Idiots

Matt and Katie dive deep into the reopening of the Epstein saga with Liz Franczak from TrueAnon

Jeffrey Epstein’s Road Through Wall Street Was a Bumpy One

Financier’s business relationships with investment banks sometimes turned sour, ending in lawsuits

Jeffrey Epstein worked closely with some of the world’s largest investment banks to build a fortune of more than $500 million. But he cut a course through Wall Street that was marked by disagreements, lawsuits and acrimony.

On the heels of his suicide, lawyers and others involved in the case expect the sex-trafficking investigation to expand into Mr. Epstein’s lengthy financial dealings. Federal investigators have obtained Mr. Epstein’s financial records from at least one bank, and a close look at his finances may help answer murky questions unresolved after his death:

  • How did he make his money?
  • Who worked with him and when?

Mr. Epstein left Bear Stearns Cos. in the early 1980s. He struck out on his own but used the firm for dozens of transactions, former Bear Stearns executives said. For years, Mr. Epstein enjoyed a close bond with James Cayne, these people said. Mr. Cayne, who became the chief executive in 1993, sometimes called underlings to ask that they “take care of” Mr. Epstein, one former executive recalls. Mr. Cayne didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Jeffrey Epstein’s Troubled Wall Street History

He wanted the best deal in the entire world anyone has ever seen,” the former employee said, calling him “ferocious” and “a tiger” in his conduct.

Mr. Epstein’s relationship with Bear Stearns came apart as the firm did. He had put his own money into two Bear Stearns hedge funds and owned shares in the bank itself. He lost $57 million in the funds, and his firm still held 100,000 shares when Bear Stearns was sold for $2 a share to JPMorgan Chase & Co. in March 2008.

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As the bank’s problems deepened in August 2007, Mr. Epstein sold more than 56,000 shares at a price of $101. He intended to sell more, he later said in a lawsuit filed in the Virgin Islands, but in a series of phone conversations, Mr. Cayne insisted that Mr. Epstein retain the rest of his shares, arguing that the firm’s problems were contained, Mr. Epstein’s complaint said.

Mr. Epstein also filed a complaint before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority against former Bear Stearns Co-President Warren Spector. A judge in the Virgin Islands ordered the transfer of Mr. Epstein’s lawsuit to the Southern District of New York for its inclusion in a class-action suit filed against the bank. The lawsuit was ultimately dismissed.

By 1999, Mr. Epstein himself was a client of Citigroup’s private bank. That year and in 2000, Ms. Davison helped Mr. Epstein receive two $10 million loans that he used to invest in a debt-related vehicle called a collateralized bond obligation as well as in an investment fund, both managed by outside parties, according to the lawsuit.

By 2002, the investments were in trouble. Mr. Epstein defaulted on both loans, even after Citigroup extended their repayment deadlines, the bank later claimed. Mr. Epstein filed a lawsuit in District Court of the Virgin Islands claiming Citigroup had defrauded him and misrepresented information related to the investments, which he said had been made on the recommendation of Ms. Davison, who “aggressively solicited my participation.” Through a spokeswoman, Ms. Davison declined to comment.

Citigroup filed its own suit in the Southern District of New York for repayment of the loans. Both parties dropped their suits in 2005. Mr. Epstein’s relationship with Citigroup was severed in 2006, according to people close to the matter, around the time Mr. Wexner stopped working with Citigroup, the people say. A spokesman for Mr. Wexner declined to comment.

“Mr. Epstein was a client for a short period of time, before his abhorrent behavior came to light,” a Citigroup spokeswoman said.

From the 1990s through about 2013, Mr. Epstein had a relationship with JPMorgan, one that proved lucrative for the bank. The Wall Street Journal previously reported that JPMorgan gained a stream of private-banking clients and referrals from Mr. Epstein. The bank ended the relationship in the midst of concern about its reputation, the Journal reported, years after a 2007 nonprosecution agreement with the government related to a Florida sexual-misconduct investigation into Mr. Epstein.

A spokesman for the bank declined to comment.

Soon, Deutsche Bank AG was helping Mr. Epstein move millions of dollars in cash and securities through dozens of private-banking accounts, playing a key role in his financial dealings, the Journal also reported. The German bank severed its relationship with Mr. Epstein this year, the Journal reported.

Deutsche Bank has said it is “closely examining any business relationship with Jeffrey Epstein, and we are absolutely committed to cooperating with all relevant authorities.”

It wasn’t just banks with whom Mr. Epstein had fraught business relationships. Mr. Epstein sued a powerboat company about modifications, was sued by a New York law firm for unpaid bills and fought with an interior designer hired to work on his 70-acre property in the U.S. Virgin Islands. (Mr. Epstein dropped the powerboat suit, was ordered by a judge to pay the law firm and settled with the interior designer.)

“It was a nightmare,” said Juan Pablo Molyneux, the interior designer, who installed a bronze desk for Mr. Epstein, along with velvet, upholstered chairs, terrestrial globes with designs based on a John Ford movie and bronze cabinetry with shapes of marine fauna.

He described Mr. Epstein as an unpleasant client who was very insecure and would constantly change his mind.

“It was dreadful, exhausting and abusive,” Mr. Molyneux said.