Friday, February 23, 2007

Clinton: Windfall Profits on the Lecture Circuit

From the Washington Post, Bill Clinton has made close to $40 million in speaking fees since leaving office. On one particularly good day in Canada, Clinton made $475,000 for two speeches, more than double his annual salary as president.

See a list of his speeches and fees here, minimum Clinton fee is $100,000, maximum is $400,000 and average is probably about $150,000 to $175,000.

His income in 2005 was about $8 million from speeches. And you thought CEOs were overpaid!


At 2/23/2007 2:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Talk about a "wind" fall - sorry, I couldn't resist.
I wonder how much of this Hillary is going to "take" along with the oil company profits she wants to "take".

At 2/23/2007 4:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the free market economy at its finest. If people want to pay that that much to see Bill Clinton then who are we to judge Bill Clinton for supplying the quantity demanded. Bill Clinton was president for eight years and I am sure that his pension is far less than the pensions received by many CEOs. $40 million divided by the six years Bill Clinton has been out of office averages $6.6 million per year. The CEO for ExonMobile and Lee Scott of Wal-Mart maid considerably more than that.
How much did Ronald Reagan or George Bush Sr. make on the lecture circuit after they retired?

At 2/23/2007 5:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As you accurately point out, the point in a free market economy is: who are we to judge what others are willing to pay for something.

But Hillary wants to criticize corporate executives who are doing just that - simply getting paid what others are willing to pay them.

$6.6M is about 100 times what a production worker at GM earns on the assembly line in the course of a year. Is Bill Clinton worth 100 times what a production worker earns? Who knows; this is a value judgment. More accurately, what business is it of yours or mine what someone else pays him?

If you argue that $6.6M is OK, but the $100M paid to a corporate executive is an outrageous affront, we are simply haggling over an arbitrary amount.

What makes $100M "bad" and $6.6M acceptable? The only difference is opinion. Why is one person's $6.6M opinion any better than someone else's $100M opinion?

So let Bill and Hillary cash their $6.6M check - but then stop throwing the proverbial stone at those who happen to get paid more.

At 2/23/2007 6:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If someone is willing to pay him that kind of money, what's the problem? Apparently, he's worth it to somebody, and he is a very mesmerizing speaker. I don’t begrudge anyone who makes his or her money legally. It’s a free country.

I met Bill Clinton when he was the Attorney General in Arkansas and again when he was the Governor of Arkansas. I've never met anyone who had as charisma as he has. Without a doubt, you could tell he was going places. Bill Clinton projects a “good ole boy” image and acts as if he is your best friend that he has known his entire life. Both times that I met him he was eating fried chicken and slapping people on their backs. People often forget he is brilliant; he is, after all, a Yale law school graduate and a Rhodes Scholar.

He wasn’t liked real well in Arkansas when he announced his run for the Presidency. He promised the voters two years earlier that he would serve his full four-year term if elected Governor. He lied. Was that a harbinger of events to follow?

Personally, I thought he did an OK job as President. However, I tend to think Presidents get more credit and receive more blame than they actually deserve. But, that’s just me I guess.

At 2/23/2007 7:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why not if this is what he wants to do. The Presidency was a stepping stone or right to passage to advance to this level as one of the highest paid speakers. I see this as he’s not going to pass on such an opportune way to make a living at something he obviously and thoroughly enjoys doing.
Yes, he projects the ultimate charismatic leadership abilities and audiences enjoy listening to him. Due to his past history, the good press and bad while he was in the white house add to why most people are attracted to him. I personally like to learn from important figures in history that have earned knowledge to share.

At 2/23/2007 9:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In response to Bob W.

As stated earlier, it is a free market and since it can be argued that Bill Clinton was underpaid as president,(set by law, not free market)he ought to be able to make a little extra now if that is what the market is willing to bare. Why is it o.k. for Bill Clinton to make several million in a year, but not o.k. for a retiring oil executive to make almost half a billion? Because what Bill Clinton makes has absolutely no effect on me. I have never seen Bill Clinton and I probably never will. However, I do tend to buy gasoline several times a week and it irks me that every time I fill up, a portion of my money is going to somebody who makes almost as much in a week than I will see in a lifetime. When it comes to gas and the free market, do not fool yourself. I am not "willing to pay that much for gas". I have to pay that much for gas. The price of gas is extreamly inelastic and in Flint, MI and there are no good substitutes. We are not hageling over an abritrary amount.
Is Bill Clinton worth 100 GM line workers? No, having lived in Michigan all of my life I would say he is worth at least 1000 plus line workers.

At 2/23/2007 10:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have no problem with Bill Clinton making whatever he can. I don't begrudge him or anyone that privilege. What Bill Clinton is paid is not my issue.

I'm glad he is taking full advantage of the opportunities he's presented with. That's the American way - that's the free market.

But you can't pick and choose who and/or what the free market applies to.

Sorry, if it applies to ex-politicians, it applies to corporate executives.

At 2/23/2007 10:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I noticed that on this list Clinton was speaking Sept. 10, 2001 Melbourne, Australia J.T. Campbell & Co. Pty. Ltd. $150,000. Of course the next day we know what happened.


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