Did Hillary Really Call All The Shots?

Top officials at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange feel that records of Hillary Rodham Clinton's commodity-trading activities from 1978 to 1980 do not jibe with her public comments about how she turned a $1,000 stake into $99,537, BUSINESS WEEK has learned. At an Apr. 22 news conference, the First Lady insisted: "I made the trades," adding that her broker did not have authority to act without her consent. She also said: "I had absolutely no reason to believe that I got any favorable treatment."

The Merc's preliminary review of trading documents could play into the hands of Republicans, who seek Whitewater hearings. A Merc source says the review shows Hillary's broker, Robert "Red" Bone, made the trades as if he had authority to act without her O.K. Bone put her and other investors in "block trading" pools he controlled. And so many trades were executed that getting her consent for each was unlikely, says the source. Plus, the Merc review confirms speculation she was not forced to meet normal margin requirements, at least $1,200 per contract. The Merc won't comment. The White House didn't respond, and Bone couldn't be reached.