20/20 CDS

Matt Stoller has it:

Bill Clinton’s $80 Million Payday, or Why Politicians Don’t Care That Much About Reelection

“There was a kind of inflection point during the five-year period between 1997 and 2003 — the late Clinton and/or early Bush administration — when all the rules just went away. You went from a period, a regime, where people did have at least some concern about going to jail, to a point where everything is legal, and derivatives couldn’t be regulated at all and nobody went to jail for anything. And looking back I would say that this period definitely started under Clinton. You absolutely cannot blame this on George W. Bush.” – Charles Ferguson of Inside Job

“I never had any money until I got out of the White House, you know, but I’ve done reasonably well since then.” Bill Clinton

On December 21, 2000, as President, Bill Clinton signed a bill known as the Commodities Futures Modernization Act. This law ensured that derivatives could not be regulated, setting the stage for the financial crisis. Just two months later, on February 5, 2001, Clinton received $125,000 from Morgan Stanley, in the form of a payment for a speech Clinton gave for the company in New York City. A few weeks later, Credit Suisse also hired Clinton for a speech, at a $125,000 speaking fee, also in New York. It turns out, Bill Clinton could make a lot of money, for not very much work.

Today, Clinton is worth something on the order of $80 million (probably much more, but we don’t really know), and these speeches have become a lucrative and consistent revenue stream for his family. Clinton spends his time offering policy advice, writing books, stumping for political candidates, and running a global foundation. He’s now a vegan. He makes money from books. But the speaking fee money stream keeps coming in, year after year, in larger and larger amounts.


Over the course of the next ten years after his Presidency, Clinton brought in roughly $8-10 million a year in speaking fees. In 2004, Clinton got $250,000 from Citigroup and $150,000 from Deutsche Bank. Goldman paid him $300,000 for two speeches, one in Paris. As the bubble peaked, in 2006, Clinton got $150,000 paydays each from Citigroup (twice), Lehman Brothers, the Mortgage Bankers Association, and the National Association of Realtors. In 2007, it was Goldman again, twice, Lehman, Citigroup, and Merrill Lynch. He didn’t just reap speaking fee cash from the financial services sector – corporate titans like Oracle and outsourcing specialist Cisco paid up, as did many Israel-focused groups, Middle Eastern interests, and universities. Does this explain the finance-friendly, oil-friendly and Israel First-friendly policies pursued by the State Department under Hillary Clinton? Who knows? But if you could legally deliver millions in cash to the husband of a high-level political official, it wouldn’t hurt your policy goals.

Speaking fee money isn’t just money, it is easy money. In one appearance, for one hour, Clinton can make $125,000 to $500,000. At an hourly rate, that’s between $250 million to $1 billion annually. It isn’t the case that Clinton is a billionaire, but it is the case that Clinton can, whenever he wants, make money as quickly and as easily as a billionaire. He is awash in cash, and cash is useful. Cash finances his lifestyle. Cash helped backstop his wife’s Presidential campaign when it was on the ropes.


We don’t call it bribery, but that’s what it is. Bill Clinton made a lot of money when he signed the bill deregulating derivatives and repealed Glass-Steagall. The payout just came later, in the form of speaking fees from elite banks and their allies.

Ironically, Clinton has come to express regret about deregulating derivatives. He has not given the money back.

Some of you may remember Matt Stoller from his days at OpenLeft, a cesspool of Clinton Derangement Syndrome. Matt is living proof that CDS never dies. It is no coincidence that Clinton-hate is prevalent among the Obotians. These days the left hates Bill and Hillary more than the right does.

Stoller doesn’t mention a few things, like the peace and prosperity of the Nineties. He also skips over the fact that the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act that repealed Glass-Steagall passed in 1999 with veto-proof majorities in both houses of Congress.

Sarah Palin has done very well financially since she left the governorship of Alaska. She has sold two books, been on television and gets hefty speaking fees too. So what does Stoller think she is being bribed to do?

But let’s assume that Stoller is correct and politicians are receiving delayed bribes. What can we do about it? Should we pass a law placing a lifetime ban on employment, speaking fees, book deals and other financial gifts and compensation for all former politicians? What about their families?

As WMCB is fond of pointing out, the only way to limit government corruption is to limit the size and power of government. A watchdog media would be helpful, but these days they are feeding at the same trough as the people they are supposed to watch.

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14 Responses to 20/20 CDS

  1. votermom says:

    We could make Bill Clinton a billionaire in exchange for the roaring 90s and it would still not be a drop in the bucket compared to the trillions in debt Obama has gotten us.
    In fact I would vote to pay another billion in tax money to swap Obama for Bill right now.

  2. jeffhas says:

    Banks and other organizations don’t care about what you did for them 10 years ago or 2 years ago or 2 months ago… The lifespan of a CEO is 3 years for God’s sake – all the management that was there then is gone baby gone by now….

    It is all about what you can do for me NOW, and in the future.

    The only reason they pay Bill to speak is because he’s still relevant…. that’s the only reason anyone gets paid to speak – do they have something relevant to say?…. period. You think these companies will spend $150-$500,000 to hear someone ass-blowing-no-nothing that did them a favor 10 or 15 years ago wax poetic about things long gone by? F*ck No! They’ve got businesses to run – for profit (gasp!).

    Bill has probably been the most relevant Post-President ever…. oh, I’m sorry, I meant to say EVAH!

    What he has done AFTER his presidency is remarkable – and all the f*cking Obots know it. Don’t Worry – Your Shiney New President will also make a fortune speaking to whomever as well… but you and I both know he won’t work 1/100th as hard as Bill has to advance causes of all types (CGI, etc) – The Once doesn’t work hard now – can you imagine what work in retirement will look like? – Cr*p, he’ll pretty much bill companies for the speaking engagement, and stay home in bed – or go golfing instead… but those companies will pay that invoice, or they’ll be called r*cists.

    To coin a terrible old joke:
    If you hide Obama’s speaking engagement check under his speaking engagement shoes, he’ll starve.

    • Pips says:

      “The only reason they pay Bill to speak is because he’s still relevant.”

      Exactly! He comes to my small country and speaks in remote cities that even I have never heard of, yet the organizers have no problem getting enough people to attend … and pay to hear him speak. That’s how much his words are appreciated!

      Actually his last visit was only a couple of days ago. Strange story – which I’ve left to Google to translate below if anyone is interested – which also shows how loyal he is to friends – in this case Terry McAuliffe. And just like with his wife people seem to enjoy being around him. 🙂 Without effort they become the natural center of attention.

      Secret Service blocks entrepreneurs’ Clinton scoop

      By: Morten Jasper 05/22/2012 / Innovation

      Young Bornholm company had been looking forward to bask in the attention of former U.S. President Bill Clinton.

      How often is it that a newly established company from Bornholm can look forward to a visit from a former president of the United States?

      Yes, it’s a rhetorical question. For it is not often. But it is nevertheless the situation that Greenabout A/S was looking forward to.

      Greenabout A/S has four employees and was founded last year as the Danish importer of the new, American-produced electric car Mycar. Terry McAuliffe is Chairman and co-owner. He is one of Bill Cllintons old friends as he has previously served as a fundraiser and political adviser to Clinton.

      Therefore, the former president agreed to swing by at the Greenabouts news conference.

      According to ‘Børsen’, the session however, was significantly shortened when the Secret Service put a spoke in the wheels of the green cars.

      Secret Service decided that the press was not allowed to speak to Clinton, and at the last minute it was decided that press photographers were not allowed to take pictures. Reporters should nrather not be present, may not carry around a notepad – not to speak of dictaphones and other recording equipment.

      PR campaign at the last minute was moved outside in the sun, where among others Former Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen waited for more than an hour and a half on Bill Clinton.

      When Bill Clinton finally appeared, he shook hands with those present, and after a quick photo session and a brief chat with Lars Løkke Rasmussen, he disappeared again, according to ‘Børsen’.

  3. wmcb says:

    Donna Brazile calling Dems who won’t vote for Obama racist….again:


  4. Matt Stoller is a product of when he came of age, like so many of us. He was 17 in 1995. It was his mind, as well as so many like him, that got poisoned in the media wars against the Clintons in the 1990. Most of us adults just tuned it out, but we did not pay attention to to what it did to the just-maturing minds of older children. It was their CDS that was so easy to provoke in 2008, and lives on to this day.

    • What I find odd are the comments about Hillary and how the bribes are affecting the SOS office. Uh, yeah, she just goes around doing whatever she wants without the prez’s approval and directives. Anybody remember when the progs were remarking that SOS Condi Rice’s position was worthless so we should just stop paying her for her non-services? We all know that when a Clinton is involved they are always the victimizers; everyone else is the victim. CDS tells me so.

  5. Rangoon78 says:

    The article linked suggests Obama become
    Just like the evil Bill Clinton, garnering “Clintonian speaking fees”

    Reality intrudes:

    Clinton’s speaker fee highest in Speaker Series history – Albany Student Press Blog – University at Albany – timesunion.com – Albany NY

    “The event was a smashing success,” said Joe Bonilla, programming director for SA and the on-stage moderator at the event. “Overall, it was probably the best Speaker Series yet.” the entire amoun went to the non-profit Clinton Foundation. http://blog.timesunion.com/asp/1818/clintons-speaker-fee-highest-in-speaker-series-history/

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