Why Dick Cheney Might Be Worth $90 Million

Dick Cheney has a net worth of anywhere from $40 Million to $90 Million.  That’s a high number for any former politician, but certainly possible given his jobs before and after being in politics.  Not to mention public appearances, lectures, books, and thousands of other opportunities that a former Vice President would have.  Even so, you don’t make close to $100 Million working as the Vice President.  It’s evident that the private sector has been very kind to Cheney but just how kind?

Former Vice President Dick Cheney has been under a microscope in the news lately, and we wanted to take some time to explore how Cheney made all of his millions.  Cheney has been in politics as early as early as 1969 when he was in intern for Congressman William Steiger under the Richard Nixon administration.  7 years later he was campaign manager for Gerald Ford’s presidential campaign in 1976.  However, Cheney’s real influence in politics and financial story began after be become Secretary of Defense under the George Bush administration.   During his four years as Secretary of Defense, Cheney downsized the military and his budgets showed negative real growth, despite pressures to acquire weapon systems advocated by Congress. He also reduced the military budget from $290 million to $270 million.

From 1995 to 2000, after his duties as Secretary of Defense ended, Cheney stepped into the private sector, serving as CEO for the oilfield services company Halliburton, the source of most of his net worth. In July 2000, Cheney resigned from Halliburton with a reported $20 million retirement package to serve as Vice President of the United States under the second Bush administration.  During that time he’s also accumulated $40 Million in stock options and $12.5 Million in salary.  As such, Cheney is considered the most influential Vice President in White House history.   It’s been said that Cheney actively and openly influenced White House policy, particularly surrounding foreign policy, environmental policy, and the treatment of prisoners of war.

So how much Halliburton actually made during the Gulf War?  $39.5 Billion.  According to IBT, an analysis conducted in 2013 shed light on the companies that made money off the war by providing support services as the privatization of what were former U.S. military operations rose to unprecedented levels.  In total, private or publicly listed firms received at least $138 billion of U.S. taxpayer money for government contracts for services that included providing private security, building infrastructure and feeding the troops.

The No. 1 recipient? Houston-based energy-focused engineering and construction firm KBR, Inc. (NYSE:KBR), which was spun off from its parent, oilfield services provider Halliburton Co. (NYSE:HAL), in 2007. The company was given $39.5 billion in Iraq-related contracts over the past decade, with many of the deals given without any bidding from competing firms, such as a $568-million contract renewal in 2010 to provide housing, meals, water and bathroom services to soldiers, a deal that led to a Justice Department lawsuit over alleged kickbacks, as reported by Bloomberg. -IBT

From the years 2003 to 2008 Halliburton’s stock nearly quintupled in value from just over $10 a share to just under $50 a share.    Exactly how big a stake did Cheney have in Halliburton?

On May 15, 2001, Cheney signed a second disclosure form that is supposed to update the August 2000 filing so that it covers the full year. In this filing, Cheney disclosed the following Halliburton income (via Politifact)

• Salary/bonus (gross): $821,896
• Elective deferred salary: $403,166
• Stock equivalent unit bonus: $396,213
• Senior executive deferred compensation contributions: $53,692
• Elective deferred salary lump sum payout: $1,140,160
• Restricted stock imputed income: $7,560,000
• Nonqualified stock option income: $21,964,254
• Senior executive deferred compensation payout: $2,797,128

As far as Cheney’s investments? (Via Dave Manuel)

The 2008 personal financial disclosure for Dick Cheney notes that his net worth was somewhere between $11.4 million and $50.1 million (note: asset values are given in ranges, so we don’t know Cheney’s exact net worth in 2008 to the penny) at the time. There were zero liabilities listed on the disclosure.  The following figures are from a “blind trust” that Cheney had.

Dick and Lynne Cheney’s largest assets as of 2008:

Northern Trust Bank Joint Checking Account ($500,001 to $1,000,000)
Vanguard Tax-Exempt Money Market Account ($1,000,000 to $5,000,000)
American Century Investments International Bond Fund ($1,000,000 to $5,000,000)
GMO Tax-Managed US Equities Fund III ($1,000,000 to $5,000,000)
GMO US Qualify Equity Fund III ($1,000,000 to $5,000,000)
GMO Tax-Managed Int’l Equities Fund III ($500,000 to $1,000,000)

Lazard international Equity Fund ($1,000,000 to $5,000,000)
Lazard Emerging Markets Fund ($1,000,000 to $5,000,000)
Loomis Sayles Global Bond Fund-1 ($500,000 to $1,000,000)

Vanguard Group Short-Term Tax-Exempt Fund Admiral Shares ($1,000,000 to $5,000,000)
Vanguard Group – IRA, Inflation Protected Securities Fund ($500,000 to $1,000,000)
Vanguard Group – IRA Rollover, Inflation Protected Securities fund ($1,000,000 to $5,000,000)
Vanguard Group – IRA Rollover, Inflation Protected Securities Fund ($1,000,000 to $5,000,000)

After the Bush administration Cheney left public office and he maintains homes in Wyoming, Virginia, and the Eastern Shore of Maryland.  We’re not 100% sure what his stock holdings are today but rest assured, Mr. Cheney is living quite comfortably.

Photo by Olivia Harris  – WPA Pool/Getty Images

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