THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
STATEMENT OF LISA CAPUTO, PRESS SECRETARY FOR THE FIRST LADY
AND JOHN PODESTA, WHITE HOUSE STAFF SECRETARY MARCH 29, 1994 Details of Mrs. Clinton's Commodity Trades Sixteen years ago, Mrs. Clinton made a series of commodity
investments which, in years 1978 and 1979, returned a profit. Mrs. Clinton put up her own money, invested it in her own accounts, and assumed the full risk of loss. Mrs. Clinton traded in commodity futures through two different accounts in her name in Little Rock, Arkansas and in Springdale, Arkansas.
Commodity futures are traded on "margin." A margin is "the amount of money or collateral deposited by a customer with his broker...for the purpose of insuring the broker...against loss on open futures contracts. The margin is not partial payment on a purchase." [Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Glossary, September 1992]
Mrs. Clinton initially invested $1,000 in cash in a margin account beginning in October 1978 in her Ray E. Friedman & Co. (REFCO) account in Springdale. Her first trade made a profit of $5,300, and she reinvested the principal and proceeds in several transactions. In a series of trades through the remainder of 1978, she accumulated trading profits of $49,069 offset by trading losses of $22,548. Her net gain for 1978 was $26,541.
Mrs. Clinton continued trading through this account in 1979. Her trading profits were approximately $109,600, offset by trading losses of approximately $36,600. Her net gain in this account in 1979 was $72,996. Mrs. Clinton ceased trading in her REFCO account in July 1979. The account was formally closed in October of that year.
Mrs. Clinton opened a second account, through her stockbroker Stephens, Inc. in Little Rock, which made trades through ACLI International, Peavey Company, and Clayton Brokerage. The commodities account was opened in October 1979 with $5,000 in cash. While trading positions moved up and down -- at one point the equity in her account reached a high of $26,894 -- her trading resulted in small net losses in 1979 and 1980. She ceased trading in this account soon after Chelsea was born. The account was closed in March 1980.
The commodities traded were cattle, soybeans, sugar, hogs, copper, and lumber. In every instance, and at all times, these trades were invested with Mrs. Clinton's money, in her account, and at her risk. These gains and losses were reported on the family's tax returns as appropriate.