The fascinating thing about what social media calls the Epstein “client list” is that not one of the people on it appears to be a client. I have seen nobody say “I knew Epstein because he managed my funds”. Nor does there seem to be any allegation that people paid him for his services.
So what was happening?
We often fall into the trap of attempting to provide a description of what really happened, and then defending every lacuna, when all we really have to do is point out how completely nuts the official story really is. The maddest and most extreme conspiracy theory in the Skripal saga is the official story. I don’t know precisely what was going down, but I know that it wasn’t that.
Similarly with Epstein. He is described as a “financier” but what did he ever finance? What was the source of his wealth?
Epstein’s assets were worth about US$600 million. They included not one but two separate Caribbean Islands and the very substantial properties built on them. They included very real mansions in New York and Palm Springs.
But you do not only have to look at the capital he accumulated – he did this while spending also at a colossal rate, with a lifestyle more usual in a billionaire than a millionaire. He had a very substantial executive staff, and his residences were fully staffed. He had bodyguards. He ran a private jet. He treated friends lavishly with hospitality and gifts, and maintained sex slaves. How did all this money come pouring in?
If you look at other such figures, like the highly entertaining Allen Stanford or the larger scale Bernie Madoff, you can see where the money came in. There is a bank or investment house situated in physical buildings, with real staff and lots of computers. There are very real aggrieved investors. Who are Epstein’s investors?
The standard answer appears to be Leslie Wexner of Victoria’s Secret, whose finances Epstein did manage at one stage and who reportedly once handed Epstein a limited power of attorney. But unless Epstein robbed Wexner of fully 10% of his net worth, that does not explain Epstein’s magic accession of wealth. Not until 2019, 32 years after Epstein started managing funds for Wexner and 11 years after he stopped, was any claim made by Wexner that Epstein had stolen funds, and then it appears very much a distancing move rather than a serious allegation. It is also worth noting that Wexner sold Epstein the New York mansion, he did not gift it as I have seen falsely reported.
A typical wealth management fee is 1%, generally substantially less when the sums managed for an individual account are very large. If we assess the annual costs of Epstein’s staff and lavish lifestyle at around $20,000,000 – which is very conservative – Epstein would have needed to be managing billions of dollars just to keep going, let alone accrue his own substantial capital.
There just is no evidence that Epstein did have a company managing those kind of funds. Where is the company? Where are the records? Who are the clients?
In the Assange case, we know that the CIA turned to gambling billionaire Sheldon Adelson to organise and fund the spying on Julian in the Embassy through UC Global, a very dodgy Spanish-based security company which was also engaged in illegal activities in South America for the CIA (which are currently legally barred from disclosure).
Security services do operate through the world of shady businessmen. This is not conjecture: it is simple fact.
That Epstein was able, simply by lavish hospitality spending, to tempt many on his “client list” to enjoy his hospitality is hardly surprising. That the offer included sex with notably young girls appears inarguable. This obviously would increase Epstein’s influence on those who accepted the sex. I think it is wrong to consider this a blackmail scam – it is something more subtle than that: a shared bond of complicity, with an underlying frisson of danger.
The risk of exposure in such a relationship is of course mutual. It does not have to be discussed. If what Epstein was doing was as unsubtle as spoken blackmail, he would have been killed much earlier than he was, given some of those involved. Those who seriously threatened the reputations of the Clintons, for example, have been extraordinarily accident- and suicide-prone.
That the security services of both Israel and the United States assisted in funding this activity seems to me entirely likely, and a very simple explanation of the spending way beyond the apparent source of income. Epstein appears to have been an excellent “agent of influence”, well worth the money in the eyes of these states.
Here is a very simple question. How many of those powerful figures on the Epstein lists have ever tried to exert any influence to alleviate the tragic plight of the Palestinians, or acted against the interests of Israel?
Sometimes the greatest insight comes from the simplest of questions.
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