Bill & Hillary’s 6-Figure Speeches NOT for Personality!
Zaid Jilani for Al Jazeera America has written a very disturbing article entitled “The Clintons web of wealth/Where did Bill and Hillary get all their money?”
Hillary Clinton has been making noises lately that she knows what it is like to have money stress. That she and her husband were “dead broke” when they left the White House and they were forced to give six figure a piece speeches.
It’s great work IF YOU CAN GET IT, I am thinking. We ALL should be thinking that as well as HOW DO YOU GET IT?
How does one get such exorbitant monetary payoffs? You don’t think it is mere personality and celebrity that gets 6-digit compensation for a couple of hours of work for both of these admittedly global personalties?
It is about paybacks -- political kickbacks -- and/or bribes. It is about in your face INFLUENCE PEDDLING AND/OR THANKING FOR ALREADY PEDDLED INTERESTS!
In even blunter words, it is compensation from and/or for their screwing average struggling Americans by their serving, past and future, rapacious oligarchical financial overlords.
It is about their having betrayed the oaths of their public offices to represent the citizens.
WTF? Did they think we wouldn’t notice? We wouldn’t connect the dots?
Jilani declares that Bill and Hillary Clinton made more than $100 million between them since they left the White House in 2000.
Hillary told Diane Sawyer of ABC that they had NO MONEY when they got to the White House and they had to struggle to pay mortgages and for Chelsea’s education.
Jilani gives a sample of the fast and troubling timeline of the money trail of their speeches and other compensations. Jilani reveals that in 2009 at the Washington DC Campus Progress National Summit, Bill Clinton announced to a group of progressive students: “I never made any money until I left the White House, ... I had the lowest net worth, adjusted for inflation, of any president elected in the last 100 years, including President [Barack] Obama. I was one poor rascal when I took office. But after I got out, I made a lot of money.”
The operative word here is “RASCAL”, I’m thinking!
Clinton’s “a lot of money” added to his wife’s totalled a whopping $111 million between 2000 and 2007.
Part of their money trail is accessible thanks to the OGE, Office of Government Ethics. Officeholders and their spouses must disclose their incomes. Hillary Clinton as a US senator and a Secretary of State had to disclose her incomes as did Bill Clinton as her spouse.
What do their public money trails reveal?
The Clintons received money from “interest groups and corporations” “over which they have or have had authority” asserts ilani.
In 1999 Bill Clinton helped arrange the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act which act had separated commercial banking from investment banking. The repeal of that law had been craved by unscrupulous legions of Wall Street corporatists and their lobbyists.
As soon as the law was repealed and signed off on by Clinton, Citigroup, a big beneficiary of the repeal, hired Robert Rubin who had been Clinton’s Treasury Secretary. Rubin earned a nifty (a/k/a OBSCENE) $115 million between 1999 and 2008 working as a Citigroup executive. Pretty lucrative spin of a conflict of interest revolving door from public service to private sector power and massive compensation for services rendered! Rubin's guiding and influencing Clinton on the path to pro-plutocrat government deregulation was well worth his monetary rewards.
Less than a month after Clinton left the White House his serious rewards began to pour in on the “lecture circuit”.
Morgan Stanley in Feb. 2001 gave him $125,000 for his first paid speech.
Bill Clinton then addressed Credit Suisse First Boston in Manhattan and was paid $125,000.
According to Jilani he began a series of paid speaking engagements around the world to all sorts of special interests groups including the American Israel Chamber of Commerce and banking giant CLSA.
Clinton’s passing of the North American Free Trade Agreement during his administration brought him lucrative speaking invitations from major Canadian firms. The Jm Pattison Group eagerly gave him $150,000 “to hear a few remarks”, points out JIlani.
In 2004 Bill Clinton received a quarter-million dollars to make a speech in Paris on behalf of Citigroup. In New York City he received $125,000 to make a speech on behalf of Goldman Sachs. The next year on behalf of Goldman Sachs he received $125,000 to speak in South Carolina, $250,000 for one in Paris, $150,000 for one in Georgia.
The following year Bill Clinton received $150,000 for speaking on behalf of Citigroup Venture Capital.
The Mortgage Bankers Association paid him $150,000 for speaking in Chicago. You know, the group that brought massive foreclosures and homelessness to so many Americans.
The next few years brought more well paid speeches for Goldman Sachs and Citigroup.
There were other “corporate interest groups” such as the National Retail Federation, paying him $150,000, and Merrill Lynch, $175,000.
Jilani points out that Wall Street plutocrats were not only mightily grateful to Bill Clinton but also his wife Hillary Clinton. If she becomes the next president, she will become even more precious and valuable to them. All the more critical in fostering and sweetening her good will.
Hillary Clinton as a senator from New York had voted for a bankruptcy bill that made her beloved by banks and credit card issuers. It made it hard for people to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Hillary Clinton’s public good will expressed for Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak brought husband Bill soon after a hefty $250,000 for a speech addressed to the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt.
After Hillary lost her presidential campaign and became Secretary of State, she and husband Bill together garnered $100 million for books and speeches.
By June 2010 the Affordable Care Act was signed into law. Bill Clinton received $175,000 for a speech from America’s Health Insurance Plans.
Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State dealt with major foreign policy issues in Pakistan, Turkey, and other Middle East countries of course. A think tank called Middle East Institute chose during that time to pay Bill Clinton $175,000 for a speech.
Hillary Clinton, in 2011, filmed a video celebrating the independence of Kuwait. In a matter of months, Bill Clinton received “a $175,000 honorarium” from the Kuwait America Foundation.
When Hillary Clinton left her post as Secretary of State she no longer had to officially report her income for public record. She began a “spree” of her own paid speeches says Ilani. It did become common knowledge that she made at least two speeches for Goldman Sachs and received $200,000 for each.
Attendees of the Goldman Sachs speeches reported to Politico, claims Jilani, that Hillary Clinton reassured the plutocrats in attendance that she found banker-bashing "foolish and unproductive." They found comfort in her speeches.
Jilani explains that the above disclosures are only a “small sample of the vortex of wealth that Hillary and Bill Clinton have received from corporations, foundations, foreign organizations and others with an interest in U.S. public policy.” These payments were not impartial and innocent, but rewards for “fealty and obedience” Jilani stresses.
Jilani refers to similar choices made by other cashing-in, selling-out politicians. US Rep. Billy Tauzin of Louisiana became a millionarie drug lobbyist after "overhauling Medicare" for the benefit of insurance and drug companies. Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle without even bothering to “officially register as a lobbyist” claims Jilani helped out numerous and generous corporate clients from the insurance industry.
Zaid Jilani's advice to the Clintons:
Given their immense wealth and how they got it — politicized kickbacks from the most powerful political forces in Washington, on Wall Street and around the globe — the Clintons would do well to admit that they are unusually wealthy and stop trying to pass themselves off as ordinary folks. If they don’t, their fate may very well resemble Romney’s, as mounting public anger over growing income and wealth inequality could prevent them from returning to the White House in 2016.
I don't know about you, but as far as I am concerned that pirate ship of dirty money has already sailed!
[cross-posted on open salon]