Goldman-Hillary alliance secure

If a construction company executive paid a $200,000  speaking fee to a state official who controlled road construction in that state, there might be a question or two as to the propriety.  Why so much money for a speech, one might ask.

In the past few days, Hillary Rodam Clinton gave two speeches.  Those who attended say they were mere prepared remarks with short Q & A sessions at the end of each.  Goldman Sachs paid her $200,000 per speech. What a linguist she must be!  $400,000 for tepid platitudinal and banal observations given to an audience likely more versed in the topic on which she spoke.  Perhaps she gave up her secret to cattle future trading in which she is arguably the all time best.  All winners.  Now that might be worth 200k.

It is for all to witness the constant parade of ex Goldman Sachs executives to high position in the United States Government.  They seem to find lofty positions closely linked to their actual business activities with remarkable regularity.  Treasury Secretary, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, New York Federal Reserve and the like are positions that Goldman seems to enjoy first refusal.  This is the same firm that was bailed out via the AIG bailout in '08.  They assured everyone that they really didn't need the money, as they took same directed to them by their old CEO.

Who was indeed bailed out, and who was not, was decided with the help of their ex CEO acting as Treasury Secretary. That worked out well.  Turn back the page ten years and another former CEO, acting as Treasury Secretary, guided President Bill Clinton in the latter's removal of the Glass Steagall Act. That Act had been crafted to prevent the inbreeding and misdeeds on Wall Street, exactly what culminated in the 2007 and 2008 financial fiasco and subsequent bailouts.  Systemic risk was the phrase of the day, and one firm was there, hip deep from beginning to end.  They left smelling like a rose.

Why a firm would pay such exorbitant amounts for vapid linguistics from a potential Presidential candidate is fairly evident.  Building friendships and filling high positions in government, if the opportunity and offers develop, is a sport on Wall Street. Some firms are champions year in and year out.  The trophies and rewards are valuable, as noted.

Peculiar how Citizens United vs Federal Election Commission grabbed such headlines when antics such as "speaking fees" go unchallenged. Where in the election laws are concerns over speaking fees that are clearly something more? Additionally, the "foundation donation" games that occur under the radar get the blind eye.  I think Paul Newman, in his movie "Absence of Malice" blurted the faux reasoning for such random donations. When asked why the curious donation Newman said, "because they do good work."  Ha. Likely no one from either party is willing to cut off these income streams.

Clever that Hillary is not an official candidate yet, just a "great speaker".   Therefore, to use a saying of hers "at this point, what does it matter?"  However another quip comes to mind.  "Now that it has been decided 'what' you are, how much?"  Goldman knows.

Bruce Johnson