Rescue came in 1986 in the form of Harken Energy, just in the nick of time.

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Instead of criticizing reporters, the president might more wisely begin listening to those in government who have watched his sons with mounting worry.

A year ago, I sat across a desk from a Secret Service agent who had been assigned to Bush-family security. We can’t stop these kids from associating with someone they want to be with.

Such lavish executive compensation would suggest a company doing quite well indeed.

But in reality, Harken had little going for itself.

Under Quasha, Harken suddenly absorbed Junior’s struggling Spectrum 7 in 1986.

The merger immediately opened a financial horn of plenty and reversed Junior’s fortunes.

One Wall Street analyst called Harken’s web of insider stock deals and mounting debt “a lot of jiggery-pokery.” Harken was not making money and could not have continued into 1990 without at least some means of convincing lenders and investors that the company would soon find a lot of oil.

Suddenly, in January 1990, Harken Energy became the talk of the Texas oil industry.

Like the business dealings of his brothers, George’s company was not a success, and it was rescued in 1983 by another oil company, Spectrum 7, run by several staunch and well-heeled Reagan-Bush supporters.