2 web-videos of Kris Millegan taking about Skull & Bones [FoxNews LIVE; & at 9-11 Inquiry]
"Hey, great job on Fox News, Kris. It seemed to come to an abrupt end when you mentioned that the founder of Skull & Bones and his family was an opium smuggler. Were you surprised that the interview suddenly ended?" --and, an email from Kris Millegan about his experience in the FOX News interview, below.
and the STATE OF THE BONES NATION, 2004, a review of Bones research in the media.
2004's MEDIA PRESENCE OF SKULL AND BONES
Kris Milligan is a writer, research, publisher whose father was from age 18 involved in U.S. intelligence operations, in Shanghai in the late 1930s (opium drug capital of the world) and was later sponsored by (unknown to him at the time a Skull and Bones member) Archibald MacLeish, which led him into in the WWII Office of Strateic Services ("OSS," foundation network of later CIA, 1947). Simultaneously, his father was in G2 military intelligence, then, later, in the CIA as a branch chief and head of intelligence analysis for East Asia. Kris's father while in the CIA worked with Lansdale's CIA drug trade faciliation operations. Additionally, Lansdale was the one who helped put togeher the PROJECT NORTHWOODS document, that was a state terrorist self-hit operation (fully authorized by the full complement of the U.S. Joint Chief's of Staff) to faciliate an invasion of Cuba after the failed George H. W. Bush invasion operation of the Bay of Pigs [see the book George Bush: the Unauthorized Biography, http://www.tarpay.net]. Landsdale and others wrote up their ideas for manipulating and manufacturing 'support' for another more direct military pre-emptive attack on Cuba through the pretext of the U.S. planning to kill its own citizens in various ways to start the war, and then blame it on Cuba. President Kennedy rejected the idea.
Earlier, his father was a spy for the executive branch in the CIA/OSS, spying on the US military's intelligence operations since he was intentionally placed in G2 by the OSS during Wallace and Gen. Marshall. This was presumably in WWII and just after and it was done without Marshall's knowledge that he was in OSS as well. This made him a very rare example of public knowledge of a person who is effectively a double agent, being in multiple intelligence operations while intentionally betraying one to the other. Do you think that this would potential source of blown cover and learning lots of juicy secrets that would weigh heavily on your soul?
Well, that is just what happened. Kris Milligan's father, privy to all these high level international secrets, told his son Kris some things in the late 1960s about the proverbial "them" and how Vietnam was all about  "secret societies",  "forcing open the heroin drug markets, and intentionally getting U.S. kids addicted to the stuff for a market",  about "intentionally choosing a losing option" against the North Vietnamese, and  how "Communism is a sham, all these secret societies are behind it."
Kris just didn't understand at the time and he started to research it. In the San Fran presentation listed below, Kris has some nice pictures of U.S. CIA's Gen. Lansdale meeting with the ***COMMUNIST NORTH VIETNAMESE*** MILITARY LEADERS as early as the late 1950s. Of course the U.S. official story, or should I say alibi for its public, is that the U.S. claims it was working with the non-Communist south Vietnamese.
All these questions led to some 30 years of research into the CIA, drugs, and clandestine operations. This in other words is a research path based on more direct "primary sources" unlike many who relied on Antony Sutton's 1980's books on the subject. Interestingly, Milligan only found Antony Sutton's book on Skull and Bones in 1988--two years before his father died in 1990 so father and son were unable to talk much about it. (For more information on that, Millegan goes into that in his appearance at the San Francisco 9-11 Citizens Inquiry this year as well. That link is below as are several others.)
Kris has produced two drugs/CIA symposiums in 2000 of top researchers, whistleblowers, authors, researchers, and academics in this field.
He is the author of what is being called the "encyclopedia and bedrock of Skull and Bones research", Fleshing out Skull and Bones, published in 2004.
2004's MEDIA PRESENCE OF SKULL AND BONES
STATE OF THE BONES NATION
January, 25, 2004
Kris Milligan, coast to coast radio interview (53 MB) .mp3, (109 minutes, starts actually around 2:30 minutes in)
March 27, 2004
Kris Millegan, at the 9-11 International Inquiry (40 minutes)
Herbst Theatre, San Francisco, CA
view streaming on web: http://mmm.milleganstews.com/MAR-4-04_SF/millegan-web3a.mov
download from this link (46 MB):
June 19, 2004
Kris Millegan, on Fox News, Live, June 19, 2004 (LIVE thus they were UNABLE TO EDIT IT, you got it raw and unexpurgated, less than 5 minutes)
George W's Appointed Bonesmen
George W. Bush, a member of the Order of Skull & Bones, was initiated in 1968. He has appointed over ten fellow members to work in his administration.
BONESMAN Galbraith, Evan Griffith
Sec. Defense Rumsfeld's rep. Europe & Defense advisor U.S. mission to NATO
BONESMAN Donaldson, William Henry
Chairman, Securities and Exchange Commission
BONESMAN Walker, George Herbert III
U.S. Ambassador to Hungary
BONESMAN McGregor, Jack Edwin
Member, Advisory Board, Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation
BONESMAN Ashe, Victor Henderson
Member, Board Directors, Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae), [next, appointed to Ambassadorship of Poland; "Victor Ashe was sworn in as Ambassador to Poland on June 23, 2004," likely, to get him out of the U.S. jurisdiction because he is reputed to be Bush's homosexual lover and some Congressmen were actually investigating that link, according to Sherman Skolnick]
BONESMAN Austin, Roy Leslie
U.S. Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago
BONESMAN McCallum, Robert Davis Jr
Associate Attorney General; Assistant Attorney General Civil Division
BONESMAN Cowdry, Rex
Associate Director of the White House's National Economic Council
BONESMAN McNally, Edward E
Sr. Assoc. Counsel, President; General Counsel, Office of Homeland Security
BONESMAN Wiseman, David Batshaw
Attorney, Justice Department, Civil Division
BONESMAN Boasberg, James Emanuel
Associate Judge, Superior Court of the District of Columbia
BONESMAN Evan Griffith Galbraith
Sec. Defense Rumsfeld's rep. Europe & Defense advisor U.S. mission to NATO - Advisory director w/Morgan Stanley, chairman of the board, National Review and a member of the board, Groupe Lagardere S.A. Paris. Untill 1998, he was chairman of the board of LVMH Moet Hennessy Locus Vultton Inc., New York. The Groupe Lagardere S.A. controls, with Daimler Benz, EADS (European Aerospace and Defense Systems), Europe's largest defense contractor and principal owner of Airbus. US Ambassador to France under Reagan; Managing Dir 75-81, Dillon Read; Chmn 69-75, Bankers Trust International Ltd, London subsidiary Bankers Trust Co; 61-69 w/Morgan Guaranty Trust Co of NY; 61-69 w/Shearman & Sterling; Confidential Asst 60-61, Sec of Commerce; Member, Bar of NY, DC; Lt 53-57, USNR attached to the Central Intelligence Agency. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is stationed in Brussels.
BONESMAN William Henry Donaldson
Chairman, Securities and Exchange Commission - Chmn CEO Donaldson Enterprises, Inc, NYC; Dean 75-80, Prof Management Studies, Yale; Spec Advsr 75, US Pres; Under Secretary 73-74, State US; Founder, Chmn of Bd, CEO 59-73, Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, Inc (NYC); Mbr 53-70, Alumni Fund; Mbr, Yale Development; Trustee 70- Ford Foundation, Beekman Dwntwn Hosp, Wesleyan U; Mbr 71-7, Yale Corp; Mbr 75-, Yale Investment Comm; Dir, Deer Island Corp; 53-55 Lt USMC
BONESMAN George Herbert III Walker
U.S. Ambassador to Hungary - Chmn, Pres, CEO, Stifel, Nicolaus & Co, Inc (MO); Dirs, Mbr Exec Com, Securities Industry Assn; Bd Gov 83, Midwest Stock Exchange; Assoc Dir, A Gary Shilling & Co; Dir, VChmn, Webster College (MO); Mngng Ptnr, in charge Chicago office GH Walker & Co; Dirs, GH Walker & Co, Inc, Rixson, Inc, Marine Resources, Inc, Lafayette Federal Savings & Loan Assn, Laidlaw Corp, Western-Southern Life Insurance Company, and Macroeconomic Advisors, Inc
BONESMAN Jack Edwin McGregor
Member, Advisory Board, Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation - Of Counsel, Cohen & Wolf. Principal, Freeborn Investors, LLC; CEO, Aquarion Company; Dirs, People's Bank (Connecticut's largest bank), Aquarion Water Company, CDG Technology, Inc., and the Connecticut Committee of the Regional Plan Association, Atlantic League of Professional Baseball Clubs, Barnum Museum, Bay State Gas Company (NYSE), Fairfield University, National Hockey League, University of Bridgeport, and Yale-New Haven Hospital.; Pres, Hampton-Douglas Corp (NY); Chmn 81, Hampton-Windsor Corp; 81- Chmn Intrntnl Water Resources, Ltd; Lawyer, Reed, Smith, Shaw & McClay (DC); CEO Carey Energy Corp., a multinational oil company, was general counsel, U.S. Pay Board in the Cost of Living Council; VP, Gen Counsel 72-74, Potomac Electric Power Co; 71, w/US Dept of State Trustees 65- , Point Park College (Pittsburgh), 64-70 Western PA School for the Deaf; Mbr 62-70, PA State Senate; Pres 66-70, Pitts Hockey Club; Gov 67-69, Ntl Hockey League
BONESMAN Victor Henderson Ashe
Member, Board Directors, Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) - Mayor 75-(Four terms), Knoxville, TN; Mbr 72-81 TN State Senate; Mbr 68-72, TN House of Representatives; Lance Corporal, USMC
BONESMAN Roy Leslie Austin
U.S. Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago - 72- Associate Professor of Sociology, Justice and African American Studies; 94-98, Dir. Crime, Law and Justice, Department of Sociology, PA State
BONESMAN Robert Davis McCallum, Jr.
Associate Attorney General; Assistant Attorney General Civil Division - Ptnr, Alston & Bird, Atlanta, GA; Rhodes Scholar
BONESMAN Dr. Rex Cowdry
Associate Director of the White House's National Economic Council - 76-US Public Health Service; Assoc Clinical Dir, Intramural Research Program, NIMH, MD; Assoc Clinical Prof Georgetown
BONESMAN Edward E. McNally
Sr. Assoc. Counsel, President; General Counsel, Office of Homeland Security -Spec Asst to the Asst Attny Gen, US Dept of Justice, (DC); Dir 83-, Governors Project on Organized Crime & Narcotics Trafficking; Press Aide 81-, Office of VP, US
BONESMAN Wiseman, David Batshaw
Attorney, Justice Department, Civil Division - Department of Justice, Washington, D.C
BONESMAN Boasberg, James Emanuel
Associate Judge, Superior Court of the District of Columbia - 96- 2001 Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia; 95-96 Assoc. Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd & Evans, Washington, D.C.; 91-94, Assoc. Keker & Van Nest, San Francisco, California; 90-91 law clerk, Honorable Dorothy W. Nelson, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
June 19, 2004
From CTRL email list:
In a message dated 6/19/04 10:49:31 PM, damaeus@YAHOO.COM writes:
Hey, great job on Fox News, Kris. It seemed to come to an abrupt end when you mentioned that the founder of Skull & Bones and his family was an opium smuggler. Were you surprised that the interview suddenly ended?
BTW ... You look nothing like I imagined. In a way, you kind of resemble
Gary Oldman. :-)
Thanks, It was quite the experience. It was just myself in a little room with a backdrop and a camera. I wasn't able to see what was going on the TV, nor was there a light telling me when I was on camera, so I had no idea at all of what was going on. Ms. Hopkins threw me off with the statement about Kerry and Bush joining on the same night, So, I didn't hear her first question quite correct, because I was thinking did she mean what I heard, maybe she was talking rhetorically, about tap night.
I was raised in the South and one is taught to be gracious with ladies and not to correct one's host unduly, so I decided to just let it pass and then I had to think about the question and said Yes, instead of No to her question, but did get a right answer out. Then she repeated the statement about Bush and his rival both tapped on the same night. So I answered her question and corrected her misstatement with one of my own. While not technically incorrect, I said Kerry was a member in 1965 and Bush was member in 1968. Kerry got tapped in '65 and was a member of the '66 class and Bush got tapped in '67 and was a member of the '68 class, my statement suggested a three-year separation instead on the actual two year.
And then later I said that Bush had appointed 10 Bones members to his Cabinet instead of the proper term Administration. And I didn't say thank-you to the nice lady, I had no idea I was on screen and thought the segment was done and gone. But all and all I was happy.
It was a frightening experience, I hope I get to do it again as now I have a much better idea of how a "talking head" works and will do better. All I had was a plug in my ear and sometimes I would hear a director but mostly just the program. The show started a half-hour late because of the press conference from Saudi Arabia. They had to cut other segments but they kept mine. Whether the cut came because of my gaffes or from my mention of drugs or from time I do not know. As a participant it did seem to be more abrupt than it appeared on screen. I was told that it would be about 6 to 8 minutes. The producer seemed to be pleased with it and I found out that they had called me because of their own internal research. I would give myself a B-, a B for performance and a C for content, the upward final grade coming for adding new items to the "discourse."
Gary Oldman, hunh? I will have to admit, I had no idea who he was but soon found out by Google. Sid Vicuious, Lee Oswald, Dracula, mmm, should I ask what you imagined? ;-)
Onwards to the utmost of futures!
Om, Shalom, Salaam.
Em Hotep, Peace Be,
All My Relations.
Omnia Bona Bonis,
Adieu, Adios, Aloha.
August 11, 2004
Title: A "BONES-eye-tour" of American imperialism, 1833-1985, follow 6 key Skull & Bones families
Date: 2004.08.11 07:41
Description: One nation, under bones, with bigotry and injustice by Bones. --- A review of only 6 Bones families is more than enough to cause enough shock: Cheney, Bush, Walker, Lovett, Brown, & Harriman families, only a handful of the multi-generational families in Skull and Bones, picked to demonstrate how different levels of familial integration, sponsorship, and power is exercized SYNARCHICALLY --- Learn about SYNARCHY below. --- Plus, a list of 415 intergenerational Skull and Bones families--first time ever collated as a web reference tool, each family showing their scale of Bones penetration (or, vice versa, Bones penetration of the families...) --- This is a more detailed analysis of Skull and Bones [see original article/book review at: SKULL AND BONES, 1832-1985, the full list of 15, each year revealed, who has the rest? http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/08/294253.shtml ]
October 12, 2004
Title: MAJOR SKULLDUGGERY REVEALED in top 15 Skull & Bones families; who/what do they do?
Date: 2004.10.12 10:41
Description: An analysis of Bones' "institutional" footprint and general "strategies" of power, based on the top 15 most intergenerational of Skull and Bones families
OCCUPIED AMERICA: one nation, under Bones, invisible, with liberty and justice for none--until the public institutions are deBONED.
LIEUTENANT BONE$ & ARMY/NAVY PAYMASTER BONE$--Bones war planning & war profiteering entirely secret until now: in Texas attacks on Mexico, Civil War paymasters, to Spanish-American War paymasters, to WWI war planning boards; the Skull and Bones Tomb as 'boot camp' for unfairly sequestering unqualified Bonesmen with high rank for unknown agendas: Bones commissioned and noncommissioned officers for generations suddenly appear only during war time in the major 15 families—despite being without any military qualifications or institutional loyalities; this gives Bones automatic preferment in the military; Bones provides an intrusive occult politicized war planning roles for ironically those most unqualified to serve (a military version of COMMISSAR BONE$)
'COMMISSAR' BONE$: secret level political networks between corporate, educational, and banking institutions revealed; Bones 'works' similar to how the Soviet System operated off 'political officers' (commissars) as externally appointed executives inserted into once independent or more locally representative institutions, for a Bones one-party state integration though without anyone knowing about it. Are Bonesmen 'occult commissars'? I think that is a nice tidy definition of much of what I see going on here.]
DICTATOR BONE$: Bush (S&B,'67) versus & Kerry (S&B,'68)? 'Vote for the Bones candidate of your Choice!'; Give us a break from the Bonesmen!; information on how Bonesmen historically in the top 15 most ingenerational families prefer only places where they can exercise para-dictatorial methods: this information is culled from evidence of the parts they prefer to occupy more often in institutions and society as a whole. --- Bones should be destroyed. An open and public Congressional investigation on Skull and Bones should be commenced because Bonesmen, like a fifth column, have done so much damage to the United States as internal traitors.
COMPROMISED BY BONE$: Favorite institutions of the 15 major Bones bloodline families revealed; CORPORATE: Federal Express, when it absolutely BONESitively has to be there overnight, FINANCE: Manufacturers Hanover Trust (which was cited in Congressional Testimony as one of the banks involved in the attempted fascist coup against (or with) Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1934); Riggs Bank, others; SCIENCE/JOURNALISM: particular educational institutions and scientific agendas with Bones connections or major leadership revealed; favorite institutions for the 15 major Bones families and their propaganda manipulation of the mind, scholarship direction, and curricula design of the United States. If anything it will be a good reference tool to know about these particular institutions. --- Bones institutions should be destroyed and avoided if possible by supporting alternatives and competitors. Lambert's K-Mart are presently headed by a Bonesman as well.
JUDGE BONE$: JUSTICE IS BLINDED, judge, jury, and executioner: Bonesmen of the 15 major families prefer high executive, high judicial, and appointment based positions over legislative/elective positions. State Supreme Courts in some states and definitely the Federal Supreme Court in general are prevalent in Skull and Bones, even when limiting oneself to merely 15 families. Did you know that corporate personhood went through with a Judge Bones (Waite) on the Supreme Court? --- Judicial Bonesmen should be impeached. You should make it known to your Senators and Representatives which Judgeships are compromised by Skull and Bones members.
November 22, 2004
This person Edward S. Lampert is Skull and Bones:
NOVEMBER 22, 2004 • Editions: N. America | Europe | Asia | Edition Preference
Related Items Cover Image: The Next Warren Buffett?
Graphic: Learning From The Master
Graphic: Retail Alchemy
Graphic: Wringing Value Out Of Kmart
Graphic: Top Drawer
Graphic: Edward S. Lampert
The Next Warren Buffett?
Financier Eddie Lampert turned once-bankrupt Kmart into a $3 billion cash cow. Will he build it into a new Berkshire Hathaway?
Security is tight at Eddie Lampert's office. That's no surprise: Last year he was kidnapped at gunpoint while leaving work and held for ransom for two days before talking his way free. In fact, there is no sign on the low-rise building in Greenwich, Conn., that his $9 billion private investment fund, ESL Investments Inc., is even there at all. There's also no sign on ESL's door upstairs -- and certainly no indication that the man sitting there might be the next Warren E. Buffett.
If anyone is destined to inherit Buffett's perch as the leading investment wizard of his day, it just might be Edward S. Lampert. Since he started ESL in 1988 with a grubstake of $28 million, he has racked up Buffett-style returns averaging 29% a year. His top-drawer clients range from media mogul David Geffen and Dell Inc. (DELL ) founder Michael S. Dell to the Tisch family of Loews Corp. (LTR ) and the Ziff family publishing heirs. Only 42, Lampert has amassed a fortune estimated at nearly $2 billion. So focused is he on his goals that he was back at work negotiating a big deal two days after his kidnappers released him. Says Thomas J. Tisch, son of Loews's founder Laurence Tisch: "Eddie is one of the extraordinary investors of our age, if not the most extraordinary."
Like the 74-year-old Buffett, Lampert has built his success on some of the least sexy investments around. He searches for companies that are seriously undervalued, and he'll even risk jumping into ones that are reeling from bad management or lousy strategies -- because the potential returns are far greater. Right now, ESL has stakes in a grab bag of retailers. It holds 14.6% of Sears, Roebuck & Co. (S ), whose stock soared 24% on Nov. 5 after real estate investment trust Vornado Realty Trust bought a 4.3% stake. It also owns a big chunk of the No. 1 auto-parts retailer, AutoZone Inc. (AZO ), and the biggest national chain of car dealers, AutoNation Inc. (AN ), as well as a small stake in telecom giant MCI (MCIP ).
The key to his ambitions, though, is a 53% stake in Kmart Holding Corp. (KMRT ). If a fading textile maker in New Bedford, Mass., called Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRKB ) provided the launchpad for Buffett, then Kmart might do the same for Lampert. Much like the textile mill when Buffett got hold of it, the once-bankrupt Kmart is now throwing off far more cash -- it has $3 billion on hand -- than it can use in the business. It also has $3.8 billion in accumulated tax credits, which can offset taxes on future income, and a fast-rising stock that is valuable in deal-making. Those advantages make Kmart a perfect vehicle for bankrolling big acquisitions. They give Lampert "the ability to buy a lot of companies and shield a lot of income from taxes," says John C. Phelan, a former ESL principal who is now managing partner of MSD Capital, which also manages Dell family money.
A Key Signal
The first hint Buffett gave of how he planned to transform Berkshire into an investment powerhouse was in regulatory filings in the late 1960s. In an echo of that move, Kmart disclosed in August that the board had given Lampert authority to invest Kmart's "surplus cash" in other businesses. Wall Street is reading that move as a signal that Kmart may be on the way to becoming Lampert's Berkshire Hathaway. "There is no question he will turn Kmart into an investment vehicle like Warren Buffett's," says legendary value investor Martin Whitman. He runs Third Avenue Management LLC, which teamed up with Lampert when Kmart was in bankruptcy court and now owns a 4.6% stake in the retailer. "That's what I am valuing into the stock."
For Lampert, more than just superior investment returns are riding on Kmart. In a series of lengthy interviews with BusinessWeek, he makes clear that he also wants to earn respect as a businessman who provides expertise in how a company is run. Like Buffett, he wants chief executives to open their arms and partner with him. Dressed in a hand-tailored suit with a subtle pinstripe and an open-collared blue-striped shirt, he acknowledges that his role model is a tough comparison. Berkshire Hathaway has earned 25% a year since Buffett gained control in 1965 -- not quite as much as ESL's 29% average return but over a far longer period. "Buffett's investments have stood the test of time," he says, noting that the same test will be applied to him. Buffett, for his part, declined to comment on Lampert.
From the start of his career, Lampert has sought out high-powered mentors. At various stages he worked with former Goldman Sachs & Co. (GS ) head Robert E. Rubin, economics Nobelist James Tobin, and investor Richard Rainwater. Rubin, now at Citigroup (C ), was taken by his self-assurance, independence, and discipline when Lampert worked for him at Goldman after graduating from Yale University. When Lampert, then 25, told him he was leaving to start his own fund, the future Treasury Secretary argued that he was forfeiting a golden career. "He had a clear-eyed view of the risk he was taking and the likelihood he would succeed," Rubin recalls. "I'd say it worked."
Kmart is a classic example of how Lampert works. He got control of a $23 billion retail chain -- the nation's third-largest discounter, behind Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT ) and Target Corp. (TGT ) -- for less than $1 billion in bankruptcy court. He emerged as the largest shareholder and became chairman 18 months ago as part of a reorganization in which virtually all of its debt was converted into shares. Lampert's goal is to keep Kmart humming so it can continue throwing off cash. Even if Kmart eventually fails, keeping it going as long as possible lets him extract top dollar for its valuable real estate by selling the stores over time. "We are going to have to generate traffic [in the stores]," says investor Whitman. "Even to this day, it is no slam dunk."
So far, Lampert has been milking Kmart for cash. Although same-store sales continue to sink, the company has been in the black for the past three quarters because cash flow has surged. A favorite Lampert gripe: Retailers are too willing to chase unprofitable sales. Instead, he has imposed a program of keeping the lid on capital spending, holding inventory down, and stopping the endless clearance sales. And he pushed for Kmart to sell 68 stores to Home Depot Inc. (HD ) and Sears to raise a total of $846.9 million. That's nearly as much as the $879 million value placed on all of Kmart's real estate -- 1,513 stores, 16 distribution centers, and the fixtures -- in bankruptcy proceedings. Thanks to the measures Lampert has put in place, says ubs analyst Gary Balter, Kmart could have as much as $4.2 billion of cash in hand by the end of next year's first quarter.
Lampert is also angling to boost profits at a smaller, more focused Kmart. He has quietly consulted former Gap Inc. (GPS ) Chief Executive Millard Drexler on apparel strategy and hired two former Gap merchandising and design executives as a result. One of their first moves was to add four upmarket brands to Kmart's clothing lineup, which will widen margins. And Kmart is beefing up its consumer electronics selection, adding such brands as Sony. Lampert has also retained the architectural firm Pompei A.D. LLC, which designs interiors for teen retailer Urban Outfitters Inc. (URBN ), to start testing a much-needed redesign of Kmart's stodgy outlets. And on Oct. 18 he named a new CEO, Aylwin Lewis, a PepsiCo Inc. (PEP ) veteran who's expected to sharpen the chain's operations and marketing. Even before that move, Kmart resumed TV advertising and for the first time ran apparel ads in Vogue and Vanity Fair in a bid to outdo rival Target and present a hipper image.
But investors aren't thinking about Kmart's trendier clothes or blue-light specials as they snap up its soaring stock. Indeed, after climbing from $15 a share to $96 in 18 months, Kmart's stock sports a Buffett-like premium. The company now boasts a stock-market capitalization of $8.6 billion, on a par with Federated Department Stores Inc. (FD ), the No. 1 department-store company and owner of Bloomingdale's and Macy's. "Why would it reflect that kind of value?" asks Robert Miller, a principal at Miller Mathes, a New York-based restructuring advisory firm. "Because Lampert is a smart cookie. Essentially he is transforming the assets into a more valuable state."
Studying the Sage
If Lampert does turn Kmart into the next Berkshire Hathaway, he could simply follow Buffett's blueprint. Buffett started with an investment fund he founded at age 25, the same as Lampert when he started ESL. Then in 1962, Buffett started to buy shares of the textile company and by the late 1960s he was using the mill's excess cash to invest in other businesses -- first a Nebraska insurance company and then an Illinois bank. By 1970 he had dissolved the fund, selling off its investments and giving the partners a choice of cash or shares in Berkshire Hathaway. Many investors believe that Lampert is poised to do the same: using Kmart to make new investments while keeping ESL for his earlier investments, or alternatively dissolving it at some point by selling its assets.
Lampert has carefully studied Buffett for years. He started reading and rereading Buffett's writings while working at Goldman after college. He would analyze Buffett's investments, he says, by "reverse engineering" deals, such as his purchase of insurance company GEICO. Lampert went back and read GEICO's annual reports in the couple of years preceding Buffett's initial investment in the 1970s. "Putting myself in his shoes at that time, could I understand why he made the investments?" says Lampert. "That was part of my learning process." In 1989 he flew out to Omaha and met Buffett for 90 minutes, peppering him with questions about his investing philosophy.
Like the Sage of Omaha, Lampert targets mature and easily understandable businesses that have strong cash flows. Both focus on a company's ability to generate large amounts of cash over the long haul, so neither is particularly fazed by sharp ups and downs in profits and stock prices. In fact, says ESL President William C. Crowley, "Lampert would rather earn a bumpy 15% [return] than a flat 12%." And just as Buffett progressed from minority stakes, where his influence isn't guaranteed, to majority stakes, where he has control, Lampert is currently following the same path. Kmart marks his first majority play, and Lampert says it is the type of investment he plans for the future. "In a control position, our ability to create value goes up exponentially," he explains.
Watch the Pennies
There is nothing Lampert likes to control more than how money is spent. He is probably even more obsessed than Buffett with making sure that every dollar he invests in a company earns the highest return. That means his companies have often used cash to buy back shares rather than boost capital spending. The CEOs of his companies, who are reluctant to talk without Lampert's permission, say a big part of their conversations with him focus on discussing how best to allocate capital. "He will always want to work through, at a pretty high level of detail, what we are going to spend our money on and what the business benefits will be," says Julian C. Day, who was Kmart's CEO until October and now is a director. Adds Richard Perry, who worked with Lampert at Goldman and whose hedge fund owns a major stake in Kmart: "Eddie doesn't waste money -- ever."
For all their similarities, Lampert is no Buffett clone. For one thing, he can be much more assertive with management. He played rough at AutoZone, where he started amassing shares in 1997. After his stake reached 15.7% he got a board seat in 1999. The management tried to crimp his power, but Lampert ran rings around them. CEO John C. Adams Jr. left shortly afterward. Adams says he voluntarily retired.
Lampert runs a tight ship at ESL, too. Not a penny gets invested without his approval, say former employees. His analysts either research Lampert's ideas or bring their own to him. Gavin Abrams, an ESL analyst in the second half of the 1990s, says Lampert has an uncanny ability to see how the pieces of an investment fit together. "When an art critic looks at a piece of art, he can talk to you not just about the color and technique but the history and where it fits into art in general," he says. "Eddie talks about an investment the same way." Consider Sears' recent purchase of 50 Kmart stores. The deal will both jump-start Sears' strategy to move outside of malls and build stand-alone big-box stores and add hundreds of millions more to Kmart's growing cash pile. "Great investors see deals within deals," says William E. Oberndorf, general partner of the SPO Partners & Co. value fund. "He's in rarified company."
What struck former ESL analyst Daniel Pike was how well Lampert understands risk. "He's obsessed with protecting his downside," he says. Lampert does this by holding just seven or eight major investments at a time -- investments he knows intimately after intensive research. Pike recalls getting a taste of Lampert's methods when he applied to work there after quitting an investment-banking job at about the time ESL was investing in AutoZone. Before hiring Pike, Lampert sent him on a grueling, all-expenses-paid field trip to visit auto-parts retailers throughout the country for a month to test his smarts.
Once ESL has invested, it stays in close touch with the company. ESL President Crowley, 47, a former Goldman Sachs banker, is Lampert's main point person. He also sits on Kmart's board and oversees the chain's finances. Former Kmart CEO Day says he got calls daily from Crowley on operational issues and discussed strategy with Lampert two to three times a week. At AutoZone, where ESL holds a 26.8% stake and Lampert sits on the board, Chairman and CEO Steve Odland says he talks to Lampert about three times a month.
One former employee notes that Lampert's annual letters to investors have gotten shorter over the years. These days, they're about two pages long. In each, he makes the standard Buffett point: That year's performance will be hard to match in the future. Given the outsize returns he achieves, investors aren't inclined to bug him for more details. "Based on the way he thinks about investments, I trust Eddie," says Tisch.
Lampert runs his fund with just 15 employees, mostly research analysts. As Lampert walks the floor, Crowley is locked on the phone in his office. Lampert's is next door, a corner suite whose central focus is a dual set of black, flat-panel computer screens perched on his desk. Most of the room is lined with books, but on one wall hangs a picture of Lampert with former President George H.W. Bush. Outside, several people work silently in neatly kept cubicles. Lampert notes how quiet and unlike a trading floor the office is. "It's a more studious atmosphere," he jokes.
Friends trace Lampert's intense drive to succeed to the shock of his father's death from a heart attack at 47. Overnight, young Eddie became the man of the house at just 14. The family lived in the prosperous suburb of Roslyn, N.Y., and his father, Floyd, a lawyer in New York City, had been deeply involved with both Lampert and his younger sister, Tracey, coaching Little League and teaching them bridge. His stay-at-home mother had to go off to work as a clerk at Saks Fifth Avenue, and financial security was a big issue. "Eddie really assumed the responsibility, knowing that life had changed and we had to accomplish something by ourselves now," says his mother, Dolores.
It was Lampert's grandmother who sparked Lampert's interest in investing. She would watch Louis Rukeyser's Wall Street Week on TV religiously and invest in stocks such as Coca-Cola Co. (KO ) that paid large dividends. From the age of about 10, his mother recalls, Eddie would sit at his grandmother's knee as she read stock quotes in the paper and they would talk about her investments. By the ninth grade, while he was watching sports on TV with his buddies, Lampert would also be reading corporate reports or finance textbooks, says Jonathan Cohen, Lampert's closest childhood friend. "He would mark things with a highlighter," says Cohen, who believes the death of Lampert's father must play some role in "his need for financial success." Surely, his father's death left a big hole in his psyche. At his wedding in 2001, held outdoors on his Greenwich estate, he looked up into the sky and made a toast: "How am I doing, Dad?" Dolores recalls him saying.
"A Light Burning"
Cobbling together financial aid, savings from summer jobs, and student loans, Lampert enrolled at Yale University, where he majored in economics. There, he served as Phi Beta Kappa president for his class, joined the elite Skull & Bones secret society -- and began to seek out the mentors who would propel his career. Says Earl G. Graves Jr., president of Black Enterprise magazine, who was in Skull & Bones with Lampert: "I remember telling my girlfriend there is a light burning in this guy that doesn't burn in many people." In his last three years at Yale, Lampert worked as a research assistant for Professor James Tobin, who had just won the Nobel prize in economics in 1981. Lampert also was a member of the Yale student investment club, a group on campus that invested donations from alumni that eventually became part of Yale's endowment. Joseph "Skip" Klein, student chairman of the group, says Lampert would suggest complex investments such as risk-arbitrage plays: "Most of us [wondered]: 'How the heck does he know about this?"'
Lampert parlayed a summer internship at Goldman Sachs into a full-time job upon graduation in 1984. But he didn't start on the ground floor. Instead, he persuaded Rubin, who oversaw the fixed-income and arbitrage departments, to allow him to work directly for Rubin on special projects. Within months, that translated into a job in Goldman's high-powered arbitrage department. Lampert thrived on the work, which entailed analyzing whether a just-announced transaction, such as a takeover, would succeed and then betting millions on the outcome -- all in minutes. He says the experience taught him how to evaluate risk quickly in a situation, often with incomplete information. Doing this day after day as news events broke offered the best investment training possible, he adds. "It's like shooting layups or foul shots."
Even in a department filled with hotshots, Lampert stood out, says Frank P. Brosens, who became Lampert's boss when Rubin became co-CEO of Goldman. He remembers how Lampert argued during the summer before the October, 1987, market crash that stocks were overvalued, given that long-term interest rates were so high. As a result, the department cut its stock holdings by 30% before the crash. "Eddie was the most independent thinker in our area," Brosens says.
At a time when most people his age are just getting started at Goldman, Lampert quit and moved to Fort Worth in 1988. He had met Richard E. Rainwater, the fund manager for the Bass family and other well-heeled clients, the summer before on Nantucket Island. Rainwater invited him to use his offices and gave him a chunk of the $28 million in seed money for a fund, which Lampert named ESL -- his own initials. Rainwater also introduced him to high-powered clients such as Geffen. But Lampert and Rainwater later had a falling out, which neither will discuss. Shareholder activist Robert A.G. Monks, who temporarily worked in Rainwater's offices with Lampert, says it was over control of the fund's investments. Rainwater pulled his money out of ESL, but most other clients stayed.
The audacity of his Kmart investment put Lampert on the map. With Kmart in Chapter 11 in 2002, he scooped up its debt as creditors fled. But his investment swooned as the retailer got even sicker. So Lampert doubled down and bought yet more debt, enough to give him control of the bankruptcy process. Then in January, 2003, at the height of the negotiations, Lampert was leaving ESL on a Friday night when he was kidnapped in the parking garage. Four hoodlums, led by a 23-year-old ex-Marine, had targeted Lampert after a search for rich people on the Internet. They stuffed him into a Ford Expedition, took him to a cheap motel, and held him bound in the bathtub. They called Lampert's wife, Kinga, playing a tape of his voice. Court documents are sealed, but one person close to the case says the men told Lampert they had been hired to kill him for $5 million but would let him go for $1 million.
Lampert was convinced he was going to be killed, he says in his first public comments on the kidnapping case. "Your imagination goes absolutely wild. I was thinking about my mother and my son and my wife. What would their lives be like? Would it be painful when they shot me?" In the adjoining room, he recalls, the television was switched on to the news about the search for the body of Laci Peterson. But as the kidnappers became increasingly nervous, Lampert convinced them that if they let him go, he would pay them $40,000 a couple of days later, the source says. The hoodlums let him off on the side of a road in Greenwich early on that Sunday morning and were later arrested and convicted. Lampert arrived home to a house full of friends who had been camping out, waiting for news. "It was very much like going to your own funeral," he says. He was soon back in Kmart negotiations.
So far, Kmart has proved to be a big success. But the track record of ESL's Sears investment has been spotty. Lampert won't discuss the company, where he isn't on the board, but notes that he hasn't sold any shares. In a move that Lampert supported -- some say influenced -- Sears sold its $28 billion credit-card business last year to raise cash. Initially, the stock jumped but then fell back because of deteriorating results, until recently. So the jury is out on whether Sears is better off without credit cards, once its biggest source of profits. As with Kmart, Lampert's probable safety net is Sears' real estate. Vornado -- which bought the big Sears stake this month -- evidently agrees. As Sears scrambles to develop new big-box stores, its traditional mall-based department stores could prove more valuable to others.
On the other hand, ESL's 26.8% stake in AutoZone continues to be a big winner. Although the shares are down 17% from last year's peak of $103, they're up 320% from 1997, when Lampert started buying. Its margins remain the envy of other auto-part retailers. Still, weakening same-store sales and recent quarterly profit misses have led some analysts to contend that the retailer has underinvested in its business and kept prices too high while spending too much on share buybacks.
Lampert and Buffett crossed paths in dealmaking in the early '90s. In 1989 and 1990, Buffett bought a 19.9% stake in PS Group, which ran a stagnant aircraft-leasing business. Buffett made that investment -- which caught Lampert's eye -- because of a promising new division that would recycle industrial metals, but that unit ran into trouble. As PS Group's stock sank, Lampert jumped in, attracted by the value of the PS aircraft, and began amassing a 19.7% stake at bargain-basement prices in 1993.
Buffett stayed on the sidelines, recalls Larry Guske, PS Group's vice-president for finance, but Lampert -- convinced PS had no future -- kept prodding management to sell assets and pay dividends. In the end, Lampert doubled his money while Buffett lost about a third of his -- because he had paid much more for his shares, Guske calculates. Buffett's overall record will be extremely hard to beat [particularly if most of his operations are CIA cover fronts for money laundering, as many contend]. But at least in this instance, the pupil had outperformed the master.
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