NYSUN: Bush Authorized Leak to Times, Libby Told Grand Jury


Whenever a potential political bombshell drops, its always important to see how markets react to them. This headline in today’s NY Sun — is the type of thing that could provoke a reaction:

Bush Authorized Leak to Times, Libby Told Grand

New York Sun Web Exclusive

By JOSH GERSTEIN – Staff Reporter of the Sun
April 6, 2006 updated 9:02
am EDT


A former White House aide under indictment for obstructing a leak probe, I.
Lewis Libby, testified to a grand jury that he gave information from a
closely-guarded "National Intelligence Estimate" on Iraq to a New York Times
reporter in 2003 with the specific permission of President Bush, according to a
new court filing from the special prosecutor in the case.

The court papers from the prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, do not suggest that
Mr. Bush violated any law or rule. However, the new disclosure could be awkward
for the president because it places him, for the first time, directly in a chain
of events that led to a meeting where prosecutors contend the identity of a CIA
employee, Valerie Plame, was provided to a reporter.

Whether this is for real or not, I have no idea. I cannot vouch for the paper or its reporter. The page loads painfully slowly

More on this as it developes . . .

PDF:  Download timesleak.pdf


UPDATE  April 6, 2006 12;22pm

The story started circulating around trading desks once Real Money posted it in their columnist conversation at 11:51 am


See this also:
Libby Says Bush Authorized Leaks
Murray Waas,
National Journal, Thursday, April 6, 2006

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What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. thecynic commented on Apr 6

    i remember the day Drudge broke the Monica story. at that time he wasn’t that credible, not that he is now, but that sure got the market’s attention. if i recall, that kicked off a wild string of “outlier” events that included the Russians defualting on their debt, the Asian currency crises and the subsequent blow up of Long Term Capital. it was also the last time risk premiums were this low.
    i’m not saying we will see comparable events, but it sure can drive volatility, which everyone seems to be short…

  2. David Silb commented on Apr 6

    Really!!!! The Bush Administration actually has the Commander and Chief actually authorising and Making decisions!!!!!!

    Now that’s news.

  3. budfox commented on Apr 6

    bush should have been impeached years ago. embarrassment to this country.

  4. Mark commented on Apr 6

    We need to stop this impeachment BS. Nixon should have been impeached. Clinton not. Bush never.

    The worst thing the Republicans did was try to impeach Clinton. It lowered the bar for an extremely grave remedy for crimes and misconduct in office. Now we are going to have to hear talk of it for every President for a generation til we purge ourselves of such stupidity.

    Full disclosure: I ran political campaigns for state-level Republicans in the ’80s. I voted for Carter (youthful idealism) and Clinton. I therefore consider myself, and rightly I think, an Independent now.

  5. Michael C. commented on Apr 6

    Well, the market treated it as another buying opportunity as it has *again* bounced back.

    Is that Russell the mother of all rising wedges or what?

    Every dip is getting smaller and is a buy until it isn’t.

    This market seems to be avoiding a plethora of bad news. As in the past when this happens, it will weigh heavily when the market goes down and everyone does a “duh, we should’ve realized this wasn’t good for the market.”

  6. critical thought commented on Apr 6

    hmmm . .. .

    Given the already transparent political bias of this blog, isn’t the “it could impact the markets” excuse a little lame?

  7. David Silb commented on Apr 6

    Critical Thought,

    What do you mean “transparent political bias on this blog…”

    Would you please clarify your statement.

  8. almost as critical commented on Apr 6

    How transparent would it be if it were ‘fair and balanced’ ?
    Let me see if I can fair it up, add some robustness, even muscle.
    Headline: ” Bush and Cheney absolved in Plame Affair”
    Full text:
    “The court papers from the prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, do not suggest that Mr. Bush violated any law or rule.”

    Or do you want to wait for the Fox news?

  9. RW commented on Apr 6

    No need to ask what “transparent political bias” refers to – it is a standard rhetorical device by a certain breed of troll when news unfavorable to their own bias is mentioned.

    My own take is that it would not surprise me if markets treat this news as positive since many market participants are likely to have concluded by now that ‘W’ is actually not good for business so anything that weakens him further is ‘good.’

    Sounds a little weird I know but then I’ve never been convinced the markets were completely sane anyway.

  10. Rusty commented on Apr 6

    There is no bombshell here. This isn’t about the Plame info, this is about an NIE report, and Bush’s authorizing it’s release is considered by some legal minds to be “declassification”. Thus, not a leak.

    Not a fan of the Pres, just saying.

  11. scorpio commented on Apr 6

    i’ll be happy to share my transparent political bias: that Libby wouldnt keep silent and fall on his sword, and that this news came out of the NY Sun, house organ of the NeoCons, means even that particularly nasty “coaliton of the willing” has finally come undone. it’s official: everyone running from Dubya. my market take? a Pres this unpopular, with 2.5 years to go– look out below

  12. Idaho_Spud commented on Apr 6

    I agree with David. The only newsworthy item here is that the prez actually made a decision – although it’s likely that he was forcefully led there.

  13. donna commented on Apr 6

    It’s up on the WaPo page now.

  14. RW commented on Apr 6

    Thanks Calmo and Bruce, you’re right of course. Looks like the defense will indeed be that this was merely a ‘declassification’ and hence not prosecutable which also suggests to me that a lot of info will be given up to make the denial of responsibility for the V. Plame leak more acceptable – one could be a technicality (although I am not sure it is) but the other is palpably treasonous.

    I still think the market will not react unfavorably to the news, at least in the short to intermediate term, and that other forces will move it lower later in the year.


    PS to ‘critical’ – Libby makes a statement: Bush gave the okay – that is very different than drawing a conclusion: “Bush and Cheney absolved.” One is data, the other is a claim requiring a warrant that does not exist in the article; e.g., failure to prosecute is not a declaration of innocence.

  15. Mark commented on Apr 6

    Oh brother here comes the DailyKos stuff now. The other day someone was quoting from The American Conservative on C. Chavez. Let’s get back to the markets people.

  16. thecynic commented on Apr 6

    it’s not a big deal except that the intelligence they leaked was erroneous and potentially a known lie at the time it was leaked… the reason they leaked Valerie Plame’s name was that Joe Wilson was questioning the validity of the intelligence that was leaked to Miller. which we now know was b.s.
    the question is whether Bush or Cheney knew it was b.s. at the time of the leak. this coupled with the memo on the pre-war discussion w/Blair suggests they were going into Iraq regardless of the WMD..
    we’d be totally naive to think that they didn’t know that intelligence was bogus…

  17. Daniel Secrest commented on Apr 6

    many market participants are likely to have concluded by now that ‘W’ is actually not good for business so anything that weakens him further is ‘good.’


    I’ve going from 90% equities to 90% cash in the last few years, anticipating a fair & balanced market response to the economic trends…

  18. Barry Ritholtz commented on Apr 6

    My transparent bias is to make money based on my read of the markets and the economy.

    That doesn’t mean I have no opinions — I believe that Bush is:

    -much smarter than many Dems make him out to be;
    -less qualified to lead the country than many GOPs make him out to be.

    That’s my perspective.

    As to politics: I’ve stated this before: I’m not a member of either party, I don’t vote in Presidential elections.

    If I had to describe myself, I’d say I am a Jacob Javits Republican — a species that no longer exists. The closest thing at present is a free market libertarian . . .

  19. Idaho_Spud commented on Apr 6

    Free of party bias. I vote the man/woman, not the ticket. Neither party impresses much any more. Too much fiddling whilst Rome burns…

  20. Mark commented on Apr 6

    Wow, Jacob Javits. I haven’t heard that name Barry in a very, very long time. I’ll give you a name: Dwight Chapin. Now you tell me how he and I are related. I gave you a clue already.

  21. RW commented on Apr 6

    Javits? Good choice: Socially progressive and fiscally conservative – sure don’t make Republicans like that any more. Not too many Democrats either if it comes to that. Whenever I see a candidate with those values though I do vote for ’em, nominal party affiliation be damned.

  22. brian commented on Apr 6

    welcome to the “Far Left” Barry…
    My parents campaigned for Barry Goldwater in ’64
    (i went along for the ride-in a stroller) and though I consider myself now to be a Centrist Dem, the last 5 years i find myself (apparently) in the Far Lefty Commie camp….
    Neo-conservatism will do that to you.

  23. JWC commented on Apr 6

    Brian and Barry, five years of George Bush took this moderate centrist, (fiscally conservative and somewhat socially liberal), and turned her in to a flamming progressive who is becoming an activist granny for the first time in her life.

    I fear for the future we are leaving my granddaughters.

  24. anon commented on Apr 6

    The reality might have been that Cheney as usual took matter into his own hand and ordered Libby, under the pretense of Bush’s approval, to leak the classified info . We all know who is the real commander in chief and who is the real Forest Gump in this adminstration. The inside story about this admin perhaps revealed much later in a form of memoir should be interesting.

  25. brian commented on Apr 6

    Memoir? I’d much prefer court transcripts.

  26. david silb commented on Apr 7

    And yet Critical Thought never elaborated on his Statement

    “transparent political bias on this blog…”

    thanx all for input. I myself am registered Republican, but really vote issues and individuals. I tend to stay away from party lines.

    I believe as Barry stated we, at least I, come here to discuss topics based on their own merit.

    Economics and markets do not care what your political views are, its laws, like that of physics, are hard to break.

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