Explain this: The ever more powerful Epstein-centric web of influence spun by Milken and Black

Special to WorldTribune.com, November 26, 2023

Corporate WATCH

Commentary by Joe Schaeffer  @Schaeff55

It never stops being amazing to witness how comfortable the entire spectrum of American credentialed elites is with the very people who helped make notorious pedophile sex trafficker and almost certain intelligence-agent blackmailer Jeffrey Epstein.

Leon Black was junk bond king Michael Milken’s right-hand man in the 1980s. Black used an array of employees from Drexel Burnham Lambert, the investment bank in which Milken worked as a senior executive while committing his financial crimes in the late 1980s, to found his Apollo Global Management private equity behemoth.

Black is best known today for very suspiciously shoveling vast amounts of money to Epstein well after his grotesque actions had been exposed.

As the New York Times reported in 2020:

Leon Black helped start Apollo Global Management three decades ago out of the ashes of a junk-bond scandal and built a $400 billion private-equity powerhouse, handling the investments of institutions around the globe, from public pension systems in California to sovereign wealth funds controlled by foreign governments….

He started the firm with other former employees of Drexel Burnham Lambert, the investment bank that collapsed in 1990 amid a trading investigation that sent the since-pardoned Michael Milken to prison.

Leon Black / Video Image

From a 2021 Vanity Report article. Keep some of the following names and subjects in mind, for they will be coming up again further down in this report:

According to the [Wall Street law firm] Dechert report, which was dated January 22 and then filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Black and Epstein had a “social relationship” from the mid-1990s to 2018….

In 1997, Black appointed Epstein to be one of the initial directors of the Black Family Foundation, established to facilitate his charitable giving. Black, apparently, was impressed that David Rockefeller had appointed Epstein to the board of Rockefeller University, a scientific research university on the East Side of Manhattan.

According to the Dechert report, Black’s “understanding” was “that Epstein was extremely knowledgeable about science and technology, as well as a strong proponent of scientific research and development.”

Here’s where things get extremely damaging for Black:

In the years between 2012 and 2017 – that is after his “second chance” started and after a 2011 report in the Daily Mail about Epstein’s continued atrocious behavior – Black paid Epstein $158 million for advice on issues including tax, estate planning, and structuring that, [Wall Street law firm] Dechert wrote, saved Black between $1 billion and $2 billion.

Somehow, we are supposed to believe that Jeffrey Epstein, a college dropout who taught math for about two years at the Dalton School, on the Upper East Side, and then worked at Bear Stearns before being fired, is responsible for between 10% and 20% of Black’s net worth.

Ace investigative journalist Whitney Webb writes of the Milken-Black orbit:

Milken committed his crimes while working alongside Leon Black and Ron Perelman at Drexel Burnham Lambert before its scandalous collapse. Black was deeply tied to Epstein, even having Epstein manage his personal “philanthropic” foundation for several years, even after Epstein’s first arrest.

Perelman was a major Clinton donor whose 1995 fundraiser for the then president was attended by Epstein and whose companies offered jobs to Webster Hubbell and Monica Lewinsky after their respective scandals in the Clinton administration. Like [Bill] Gates, Milken has transformed his reputation for ruthlessness in the corporate world into one of a “prominent philanthropist.”

Black continued to appear at Milken Institute events even after his Epstein money ties caused widespread public outrage in 2019. And through it all, Milken enjoys his remarkable renaissance as a global “philanthropist” and international power broker on a scale of a Klaus Schwab or George Soros.

For years, Milken via his Milken Institute has hosted an annual “Global Conference” similar to Schwab’s World Economic Forum gatherings at Davos that attracts an endless list of politicians, corporate CEOs, celebrities and more. None of them seem to care about the overarching Leon Black connection in the slightest.

The 2023 Milken Institute Global Conference was held from April 30-May 3. The first name one sees on the list of official sponsors is the Leon Black-founded Apollo Global Management. Now, the list is alphabetical. Then again, it starts at the highest level of funding, the “Platinum” Level.

In 2021, Black was very publicly “ousted” from the firm he created. His replacement as CEO is his former right-hand man, Marc Rowan. And the controversial money shuffling surrounding his separation from Apollo is now the subject of a major lawsuit. In short, Black’s shadow still looms large over the firm to this day.

And so the company founded by a vital Jeffrey Epstein cog is a top-level donor to his former intimate business associate’s annual conference and the following people all did not hesitate to attend and participate:

  • Rick Klein – ABC News
  • Sarah Huckabee Sanders – Republican governor of Arkansas
  • Michael Froman – Mastercard vice chair, President of the Council on Foreign Relations
  • Jane Fraser – CEO, Citi
  • Gianrico Farrugia – CEO, Mayo Clinic
  • Jason Buechel – CEO, Whole Foods

And many, many more. Other financial supporters to the conference included notorious globalist investment corporate goliaths BlackRock, Bridgewater Associates and the Carlyle Group. Big-box news sites Axios and Politico served as “Media Partners” for the event.

What are we to make of this?

A Nov. 6-8 Future of Health Summit hosted by the Milken Institute drew five sitting U.S. senators – Republicans Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Roger Marshall of Kansas and Todd Young of Indiana and Democrats Michael Bennet of Colorado and 2020 presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.

Several Big Pharma corporations ponied up to be official sponsors while woefully compromised Politico once again served as “Media Partner” for the affair. “Strategic Partners” included Carlyle Group and the Rockefeller Foundation.

Five senators at an event directly associated with Rockefeller, perhaps the most notorious internationalist foundation of the last 100 years. How are Americans supposed to feel about that?

This paragraph touting the 2014 Milken Institute Global Conference reveals how deeply ensconced the Milken-Black axis is within elitist circles:

More than 600 speakers, including major investors, CEOs, government officials, Nobel laureates, scientists, educators, philanthropists, and journalists, will take part in more than 140 sessions at the conference, which runs April 28 to May 1 at The Beverly Hilton. The wide-ranging panel topics include: climate change, global financial regulation, immigration, the future of philanthropy, the promise of the bioscience century – and dozens more.

Who else was there? “Where the World Connects?: Annual Milken Institute Global Conference brings Tony Blair, Bill Gates, Al Gore and other leaders to Los Angeles,” the headline to the press release sings.

Milken and Black’s ties to the leaders of America’s health care industry are especially troubling.

FasterCures is a Milken Institute operation with the stated goal of “accelerating innovation” in the medical field.

Former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, who became a ubiquitous televised “expert” for COVID vaccination on dominant media outlets during the height of the pandemic hysteria despite being on the Board of Directors for Pfizer, is a member of the FasterCures Advisory Board.

Members of the FasterCures’ Business Council include vaccine manufacturers AstraZeneca, Merck and Pfizer.

Until being thrust into the news in 2019 over his scandalous money dealings with Epstein, Leon Black was a member of the Board at FasterCures.

Think about all this, and then realize that Milken and friends are already preparing for the next pandemic:

This report explores the innovative financing models that would incentivize the private sector to support early warning systems. The Milken Institute spoke with more than 50 stakeholders as part of its Financial Innovations Lab to identify key barriers and innovative financing models that could “crowd in” the private sector to this area of pandemic preparedness.

Participants of the Lab were drawn from the investment community, international and civil society organizations, academia, and public and philanthropic sectors to explore solutions for sustainable funding and financing.

In December 2020, “[t]wo of the most important CEOs in the world today – Pfizer’s Albert Bourla and Johnson & Johnson’s Alex Gorsky – spoke [with Milken] at the Milken Institute’s Future of Health Summit,” the Institute’s website relates.

Here’s a highly disturbing quote highlighted from the discussion:

“I think history has shown us to have major leaps forward almost after every crisis. Whether it’s a war, a natural disaster, or frankly a big challenge such as going to the moon, these kinds of inflection points force us to go in new directions to collaborate and to accelerate technological breakthroughs.” – Alex Gorsky

And here’s Leon Black giving $50,000 to The Rockefeller University’s 2021 night honoring Pfizer CEO Bourla.

“Celebrating Science is Rockefeller’s signature annual event,” the university boasts.

As stated above, Rockefeller University brought on Jeffrey Epstein to serve as a member of its Board and Leon Black considered Epstein a knowledgeable proponent of scientific development.

These are the people who celebrated Bourla and Pfizer during the big COVID vaccine rollout.

Trump’s 2020 pardon of Milken stands out as another example of the destructive influence of bad actors within his America First administration.

The New York Times reported in 2020:

[Arch-globalist Trump Treasury Secretary Steven] Mnuchin… supported a pardon, according to people familiar with the effort. Mnuchin has known Milken for years, and he flew last year on Milken’s private jet. Mnuchin has been a speaker at the Milken Institute’s conference….

Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, also supported a presidential pardon. Kushner and his wife, Ivanka Trump, have had prominent speaking platforms at Milken Institute gatherings.

No surprises there. But how about this prominent Fox News personality?

Nearly everyone on the list has converged at the Milken Institute’s annual conferences, a networking opportunity that rivals the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

The Fox Business anchor Maria Bartiromo broadcast her show live from the event in 2015, and in 2017 she interviewed Mnuchin there. Bartiromo, whom Trump has praised as “fantastic,” was included on the list.

Bartiromo said on air the day after the pardon was announced that she had spoken to Trump and lobbied him to pardon Milken.

Oh, by the way, did you know that $300 million in financing from Milken made Mitt Romney’s business career at Bain Capital? It’s eerily similar to George Soros investing $100 million in seed money in 1993 to launch David Rubenstein’s Carlyle Group.

Romney was a featured guest at the Milken Institute’s 2020 Global Conference.

Given all that has happened to this country over the past 35-odd years since Milken, Black and Epstein first appeared on the national scene, it is more than appropriate to ask out loud just how much influence this unholy trinity has had and continues to have over America’s political, corporate and cultural elites.

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