Clinton to sever sensitive relationship in Dubai
The Wall Street Journal ($) is reporting today:
Former President Clinton stands to reap around $20 million -- and will sever a politically sensitive partnership tie to Dubai -- by ending his high-profile business relationship with the investment firm of billionaire friend Ron Burkle.See also this related post from last month at Huffington. My earlier coverage of the Clinton-Dubai-Burkle links is here.
Mr. Clinton is negotiating to end his relationship with Mr. Burkle's Yucaipa Cos. as part of a broader effort to protect the presidential campaign of his wife, Sen. Hillary Clinton, from potential conflicts of interest. Details of Mr. Clinton's involvement in Yucaipa and his efforts to unwind it come from documents and interviews with people familiar with the matter.
Mr. Clinton is also one of three owners of the global fund's general partner. The others are Mr. Burkle, who is the managing member, and an entity connected to the ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum.
Severing the tie to Dubai, a U.S. ally, will remove a potentially tricky problem for Mrs. Clinton. Questions raised about the activities of sovereign wealth funds -- giant pools of money controlled by foreign governments -- have become a campaign issue, as the funds have made a spate of multibillion-dollar investments in such corporate giants as Citigroup Inc. and Merrill Lynch & Co. In a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal, Mrs. Clinton said such purchases are "a source of concern," partly because the foreign funds "lack transparency" and could be used by foreign governments as "instruments of foreign policy."
Mr. Clinton's duties and activities as a Yucaipa adviser have never been completely clear to outsiders.
Since leaving the White House, Mr. Clinton has had various contacts with Dubai. For example, Sheik Mohammed last year pledged financial support to a Clinton charitable initiative, and the former president's foundation has a scholarship program at the American University in Dubai in cooperation with the emirate's ruler.