Bill Maher on Friday evening asked "is it unseemly for former President Barack Obama to earn $400,000 for an upcoming speech to Wall Street?"
After some free market gibberish from black conservative Tara Setmayer, Maher continued
The current President is trying to undo all of his Wall Street regulations and then he goes to Wall Stret and takes 200- isn't that what sort of cost Hillary the election- all those "horrible" speeches she made to Wall Stret and she wouldn't release the transcripts?
When Rob Reiner naively suggested that Obama's transgression is relatively insignificant because- unlike Clinton when she gave her speeches- he's not running for office, Hannauer had a clue, but Maher had to explain to Reiner and Setmayer
But you can sould that when a guy is President, he's looking ahead to that $400,000 payday and he's not going to get it if while he's President he's going to do something that's going to piss them off. So isn't the best thing to do- take your ten million dollar book deal? Can't you live on that?
And looking ahead was something President Obama was very good at, for the nation's benefit and his own. The $400,000- for an address at a September health care conference sponsored by Cantor Fitzgerald- is in the latter category. Richard Eskow recognizes that it
shouldn’t surprise anyone. Obama courted Wall Street leaders like Jamie Dimon, CEO of scandal-plagued serial lawbreaker JP Morgan Chase, until it became politically unfeasible to do so during his re-election campaign. (Dimon was once described as Obama’s “favorite banker.”)
In 2009, after Wall Street’s criminality shattered the economy and ruined millions of American lives, Obama famously told Wall Street’s top CEOs, “My administration is the only thing between you and the pitchforks.”
In the years that followed, Obama’s Justice Department failed to prosecute a single bank executive for that criminality. Even when regulators identified the individuals responsible for criminal behavior, as they did with GE Capital, the Justice Department failed to follow up.
For his part, Obama appointed the CEO of GE Capital’s parent corporation to a prestigious economic position.
Obama chose Wall Street-friendly figures Eric Holder and Tim Geithner to lead the Justice and Treasury departments, respectively. He then followed Bill Clinton’s lead by overseeing a revolving door between his administration and Wall Street’s biggest banks (most notably Citigroup, the banking behemoth forged in a merger pushed by top appointees in the Clinton Administration).
Senator Warren is "troubled" by news of the ex-President's speech;" for Senator Sanders, it is "distasteful." It is both. But for the financial services industry, it is a relatively small way of saying "Thank you, Mr. President."