Epstein stories which had been around for a while have been revealed to have been suppressed because of manipulated power and interconnected financial networks. Trafficking women and financial arrangements seemed conjoined by potential disclosure, i.e. extortion. Russians call it kompromat. At some moment leverage could be seen as an asset to political intelligence.
For almost two decades, for some nebulous reason, whether to do with ties to foreign intelligence, his billions of dollars, or his social connections, Epstein, whose alleged sexual sickness and horrific assaults on women without means or ability to protect themselves is well-known in his circle, remained untouchable.
After Epstein’s arrest, journalist Vicky Ward wrote that Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter had removed a series of sexual abuse allegations that she’d included in an Epstein profile she’d written for the magazine in 2003. (Carter responded by saying those allegations were removed because they “did not meet our legal and editorial standards.”)
It took a network of people putting their own personal, financial, and sexual interests over the safety and dignity of girls to keep Epstein’s alleged child-abuse operation running. It will take a network that’s just as substantial to uncover the extent of Epstein’s possible crimes. It’s perverse, but there’s a direct relationship between the magnitude of a system of abuse and the magnitude of the effort required to end it. The fact that so many people appear to have known about and participated in Epstein’s alleged child-trafficking enterprise has not been a liability for him; indeed, it has been his foremost strength.
But the forces working against Epstein are beginning to coalesce into something larger. It’s not just the victims and their stories or Edwards and his lawsuits anymore. It’s also Vicky Ward, and her memories of the allegations she heard that never got published. It’s an ongoing congressional inquiry. It’s New York prosecutors who finally decided to do their jobs. It’s #MeToo, and the way it shifted sexual abuse from the gossip columns to the front page, making room for long-form reporting about sexual exploitation committed by famous men. The imbalance of power Epstein and his ilk have relied upon hasn’t been reversed, but it’s certainly starting to shift
Whole lot of shaking down going on.
Given this puzzling set of data points, the hedge-fund managers we spoke to leaned toward the theory that Epstein was running a blackmail scheme under the cover of a hedge fund.
How such a scheme could hypothetically work has been laid out in detail in a thread on the anonymous Twitter feed of @quantian1. It’s worth reading in its entirety, but in summary it is a rough blueprint for how a devious aspiring hedge-fund manager could blackmail rich people into investing with him without raising too many flags.
Kass and former hedge-fund manager Whitney Tilson both emailed the thread around in investing circles and both quickly discovered that their colleagues found it quite convincing. “This actually sounds very plausible,” Tilson wrote in an email forwarding the thread to others.
“He somehow cajoled these guys to invest,” says Kass, speaking of hypothetical blackmailed investors who gave Epstein their money to invest, but managed to keep their names private.
The fact that Epstein’s fund is offshore in a tax haven — it is based in the U.S. Virgin Islands — and has a secret client list both add credence to the blackmail theory.
So what did Epstein do with the money he did have under his management, setting aside the questions of how he got it and how much he had? One hedge-fund manager speculates that Epstein could have just put the client money in an S&P 500 index fund, perhaps with a tax dodge thrown in. “I put in $100 million, I get the S&P 500 minus some fees,” he says, speaking of a theoretical client’s experience. Over the past few decades, the client would have “made a shitload” — as would Epstein. A structure like that wouldn’t have required trading desks or analysts or complex regulatory disclosures.
If the blackmail theory sounds far-fetched, it’s worth keeping in mind that it was also floated by one of Epstein’s victims, Virginia Roberts Giuffre. “Epstein … also got girls for Epstein’s friends and acquaintances. Epstein specifically told me that the reason for him doing this was so that they would ‘owe him,’ they would ‘be in his pocket,’ and he would ‘have something on them,’” she said in a court affidavit, according to the investigative series in the Miami Herald that brought the case back to the public’s attention late last year.
Acosta told Trump transition team he was told to ‘back off’ because Epstein ‘belonged to intelligence’: report https://t.co/V573SBDvlK
— Raw Story (@RawStory) July 10, 2019
Ahead of his bond hearing in 4 days, Epstein has offered to waive extradition rights, put up his Manhattan home and private jet as collateral, agree to GPS monitoring, ground his jet, “demobilize” all his cars in NY and have trustees live in his home. https://t.co/gQCMi8Jx2n
— Vera Bergengruen (@VeraMBergen) July 12, 2019
In 2016, “Jane Doe” filed a lawsuit against Trump alleging a “savage sexual attack” in 1994, when she was 13, in which he tied her to a bed at Epstein’s house & raped her. She pulled the lawsuit after getting threatened, but why aren't we talking about it? https://t.co/vDIcX0XiqN
— Laura Bassett (@LEBassett) July 11, 2019
"Donald Trump specifically asked about me because I remind him of his daughter, and she said, 'Well, she's 13 as well.'"
I *know* we avoid seriously discussing this because it is disturbing beyond comprehension. But we all know what Trump has said about Ivanka.
— Ian Madrigal – The Monopoly Man (@iansmadrig) July 9, 2019
— David Frum (@davidfrum) July 12, 2019
“If the president thought that human trafficking was a problem, that modern slavery was something that should be prosecuted, outlawed, then he would have fired Acosta from the moment that this story was revealed from the Miami press orgs" – Jeremy Bash w/ @NicolleDWallace pic.twitter.com/fOvV9WEytD
— Deadline White House (@DeadlineWH) July 11, 2019