"Not Truly Well Off": Bill Clinton Was Paid $105 Million For 542 Speeches Since 2001

Tyler Durden's picture

In Hillary Clinton's attempt to seem "one of the people", she made the public relations debacle of portraying herself as "dead broke" at the time she and Bill Clinton left the White House. Of course, the reason this attempt at populist pandering backfired (certainly not helped by her daughter's just as mistimed quote that she "Was Curious If She Could Care About Money And Couldn't", an expected outcome considering such boondoggles as a $600,000 NBC job for doing, well, something, and being married to a hedge fund manager) is because as is well-known, even the least educated American, the bulk of wealth American president families accrue is not while in office but after, when they hit the speaking/book publishing circuit.

This is just what WaPo found when it conducted a review of the Clintons’ federal financial disclosure: it found that Bill was paid $104.9 million for delivering 542 speeches around the world between January 2001 and January 2013, when Hillary left her job as secretary of state.

From WaPo:

Over seven frenetic days, Bill Clinton addressed corporate executives in Switzerland and Denmark, an investors’ group in Sweden and a cluster of business and political leaders in Austria. The former president wrapped up his European trip in the triumphant Spanish Hall at Prague Castle, where he shared his thoughts on energy to a Czech business summit.

His pay: $1.4 million.

That lucrative week in May 2012 offers a glimpse into the way Clinton has leveraged his global popularity into a personal fortune. Starting just two weeks after exiting the Oval Office, Clinton has delivered hundreds of paid speeches, lifting a family that was “dead broke,” as wife Hillary Rodham Clinton phrased it earlier this month, to a point of such extraordinary wealth that it is now seen as a potential political liability if she runs for president in 2016.

Visually (for the full interactive chart annotating each speech, click here).

Who paid?

Although slightly more than half of his appearances were in the United States, the majority of his speaking income, $56.3 million, came from foreign speeches, many of them in China, Japan, Canada and the United Kingdom, the Post review found.

The financial industry has been Clinton’s most frequent sponsor. The Post review showed that Wall Street banks and other financial services firms have hired Clinton for at least 102 appearances and paid him a total of $19.6 million.


Bill Clinton: Wall Street's motivational speaker?

“He’s a stud,” said Anthony Scaramucci, founder of SkyBridge Capital, which paid Clinton $175,000 to address its annual investment conference in 2010. Clinton’s speech at the Las Vegas confab was so riveting, Scaramucci said, “there was nobody at the Bellagio cabana sunning himself when President Clinton was in the ballroom speaking.”

One of Clinton's biggest fans: Goldman Sachs has hired Bill Clinton for eight speeches over the years totaling $1.35 million, many of them client meetings in such locales as Paris, Phoenix, and the South Carolina beach resort of Kiawah Island.

Goldman also has paid Hillary Clinton: She addressed tech entrepreneurs in Arizona last fall and women in finance in New York this year.


“President Clinton’s always interesting, but there’s a lot more demand right now for her because she just came out of government and people want to hear about that, whether it’s Iran or Russia or the big challenges she’s faced, and about the dysfunction in Washington,” said a Goldman executive who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal thinking.

Aside from money, what does Clinton get out of it?

“It makes me feel like I’m president again,” Clinton said in 2012 as he looked out at a large convention crowd at the National Retail Federation, which paid him $200,000. Clinton shared advice with the retailers passed down from his mother: “When I wanted to be a musician, I was not very good for years, and she just kept beating up on me and she said, ‘You just can’t quit.’ ”


In his addresses, Bill Clinton speaks about policy issues of the moment, domestic and foreign, and tailors his remarks to the business interests of his sponsors. He often speaks without notes and keeps his audiences in rapt attention, playfully answering questions and dispensing pearls of wisdom from his White House years or childhood in Arkansas.

The people willing to pay Clinton to speak surpasses even those happy to pay Bernanke some $200,000 per speech.

Although many former presidents hit the speaking circuit in retirement, Bill Clinton’s staying power has been unusual. His busiest year on record was 2012, when he gave 72 paid speeches and earned $16.3 million, according to The Post’s review.  “I’m shocked that people still want me to come give talks,” Clinton said this week, appearing to feign modesty in an interview with NBC’s David Gregory.

Curiously the older Clinton has gotten, the more he has been paid for every speech:

Clinton is hardly alone in milking the speaking tour:

Other former presidents also have stirred controversy with their paid speeches. Shortly after leaving office in 1989, Ronald Reagan received $2 million for addressing business executives in Tokyo at a time when the United States had an acrimonious trade dispute with Japan. George H.W. Bush made millions of dollars speaking to corporate groups around the world, as has George W. Bush, who in 2011 addressed, among others, financial firms caught up in scandal.

Which is great: after all this is what capitalism is all about - we would be the last to begrudge the Clintons their wealth if it was obtained legally and through hard speaking work (we certainly fail to see what insight one gleans from a Clinton speech for $200,000 but that's a different story). However, with a bank account that is now well over the $100 million mark, a fact known by everyone, trying desperately to pass off as being "not truly well off" and one of the 99.9% simply won't fly. The only question now is whether it is too late for Hillary to pivot back to the real world, where she and the person on the street, have absolutely nothing in common. Sadly for her, that may well mark the end of her presidential chances. That's ok though: with several million to burn, we are confident she will find other well-paid distractions in which to bury her sorrows.

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RevRex's picture

Hillary is a lying kunt

lordylord's picture

And libtards still think Clinton and the dems gave us a surplus.  The only surplus seems to have went directly to Clinton.

Obligatory republicans suck too.

NoDebt's picture

Dead broke, spiritually broke, morally broke, what difference could it possibly make now?

Pure Evil's picture

The 'R' in Hillary R. Clinton really stands for Reptilian.

MillionDollarBogus_'s picture

In my organization and circle of friends, they would not be well off.

She is correct.


El Oregonian's picture

She still thinks she lives in the 80's when the internet, founded by her husband's Vice P. apparently (according to him), was not widely available, and the B.S. meter was only a figment of one's own imagination.

Hey Clintonista's, WAKE UP!!! Your living room curtains are pulled open and we can all see the rotting contents of a delutional pair of conniving psychopaths.

strannick's picture

"The very rich, they're not like you and me".

RaceToTheBottom's picture

I guess they made good choices....LOL

SumTing Wong's picture

Anyone else willing to try to be Hillary's "not truly well off"? Oh, and MDB's? I'd give it a shot for a few days...just like in Brewster's Millions.

NotApplicable's picture

Neilsen Ratings still prove otherwise.

Besides, every bit of info that you know, is someone else's disinfo, and vice-versa. And for them, that's all that truly matters. Sound-bytes are not capable of being undermined without a much greater interest than it takes to absorb a sound-byte.

How else could Obummer be openly arming Al-CIAduh in Syria so they can invade Iraq with such impunity? All it took was a single sound-byte to rename them as ISIS.

nope-1004's picture

Billary = Liars.  Pay to hear him lie?  Don't ppl have better things to do?


Hopeless for Change's picture


oops... that was a rhetorical question, wasn't it...

SumTing Wong's picture

Come on, the Clintons don't have any money left. BillyBob spent it helping the economies around the world...i.e. on hookers and blow!

Oh regional Indian's picture

Wonder how many people paying all that money to watch his huge lips flap know/knew of the goings on in Arkansas at every level....

Drugs etc...yes, but perhaps the most egregious was the AIDS tainted blood from Ark prisons during Slick Willy's term....

Basically spread AIDS to the world....



WillyGroper's picture

All of 'em.

Buying favors for their coffers.

Libertarian777's picture

exactly. People don't understand, if you blow up a big enough bubble and people pay taxes on that bubble then yes you can run a surplus.

15 years later and we're still paying the price (housing bubble was in direct response to dot bomb).

erkme73's picture

And seeing as they both have life-long secret service security details - which I'm sure scout out all possible hazards in advance of their trips - WTF is this costing taxpayers???

NOTW777's picture

how much of this $ was paid by enemies of the US?

rehypothecator's picture

All of it?  For starters, the largest component was from the financial industry, enemies of freedom and property rights across the globe. 

ZH Snob's picture

it might be a nice gesture to pass the hat around for these unfortunate public servants. 

NEKO's picture

Monica in the mouth, and the US in the arse,  Thanks Bill.

Sudden Debt's picture

is that now the median salary in America? No wonder all those mexicans are jumping the fence...

lordylord's picture

"No wonder all those mexicans are jumping the fence..."

I hear Pelosi is going to greet illegals coming across the border.  I expect many of them to turn back and run away when they see her retched face. 

Sudden Debt's picture

She is in need of a babysitter, a gardener and a poolboy.

So where else would you go to find those on the cheap? Yep... the meatmarkets.


thamnosma's picture

She should be arrested by the citizens living along the border.

Mercury's picture

My how far our political class has progressed past humility and dignity since Harry Truman was obliged to take out a loan after leaving office.



Here's what public servants exclaim today the moment they win an election.

suteibu's picture

That's some high dollar bullshit there.

wrs1's picture

More is paid to watch Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger even though neither is believable as an action hero.

JRobby's picture

Just a regular guy. I guess somone picked up his airfare and hotel to get him to the Bilderberger "conference"?

wrs1's picture

Actually, Bill Clinton is probably worth the money.  How much is the stutter, stumble monkey making?

ebworthen's picture

Clinton is a talented bullshitter who could talk for two hours without one note or teleprompter; he's a liar, a lawyer, and actor - the consummate politician. 

wrs1's picture

Yeah but that is what motivational speakers are all about. So this is my point, he is well worth what they pay.  Can you imagine staying awake through two hours of Bernanke?  Or how about Bush?  Did you make any mistakes in your Presidency?  He would spend the entire two hours trying to think of one since he doesn't think so well on the spot.

ebworthen's picture

Yes, the human species seems fascinated by psychopaths; no coincidence Goldman Slacks likes him.

BrigstockBoy's picture

Isn't the word "pivot" just a euphemism for lie?

Pure Evil's picture

Almost on the level of a crack whore.

You'd think after signing into law the demise of Glass-Steagle Billie Bob Clinton would have earned better speaking fees from Wall Street banks and other financial services firms.

19.6 million seems a measly payoff for allowing the Wall Street boys to destroy the financial markets and set themselves up to receive billions in backdoor bailouts from the Federal Reserve and the US Treasury.

thamnosma's picture

That's assuming all he's been paid is known.

Sudden Debt's picture

HOW TO fuck your intern FOR DUMMIES


Libertarian777's picture

"i did not have sex with that woman"

SaulRosenberg's picture

BUT HE HAD $120 MILLION IN DEBTS/EXPENSES....so in actuality, he's broker than all of us! I pity him....  :'(

CPL's picture

That just means he should have been doing something else instead of bleeding out money like that, and by that rationale he would have been further ahead working at McDonalds instead of touring.

Sudden Debt's picture

I've heard they only put half a ounce of beluga caviar on their toasts in their private jet since their finances went down.

must be rough... now they need to eat twice a many toasts...

Dr. Engali's picture

Since he was paid in a debt based fiat currency which is nothing more than an IOU, it's actually worse than that.

Pure Evil's picture

Well, as we all know, a measly 100 Million won't even get you five minutes with Becky in a tub with bubbles.

Just ask Warren.

StychoKiller's picture

Hey, Bubbles don't do threesomes for peanuts!

JenkinsLane's picture

It takes a village.