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The limits of Cheney’s power

Vice President Dick Cheney’s reputation as the real power in the Bush administration led to his caricature as Darth Vader—an image driven partly by the perception that he was steering business to companies he had been associated with previously. However, a recent analysis suggests these fears were overblown: In fact, “the stock market returns of companies with personal connections to Cheney” revealed that “in all cases, the value of ties to Cheney is precisely estimated as zero.” For example, the authors note that “while Halliburton’s stock price appreciated considerably in the years following the Iraq invasion, so did those of every other firm in Halliburton’s industry.”

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