Hillary remains a rich vein of commentary, so much so that I could (and might) spend from now to November writing about her peccadilloes. The one part of her march to the presidency that baffles me is that anyone who runs a business would support her campaign. The woman has no history in business, no understanding of how business operates, and the only laurel on which she relies is that during her husband’s terms business did fairly well. Yet many businesses have paid a pretty penny to hear her sage advice.
Ms. Clinton has recently been supporting new restrictions on bonuses paid to financial arena executives that have been proposed with the blessing of the regulatory apparatus of Washington, including the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Federal Reserve. Let us remember previously there was a big push for executives to get compensation through bonuses so they would be rewarded for performance and not just get a set salary no matter how their company performed. Now that thought is down the drain.
It is clear that the Left led by Clinton does not like executives getting paid regardless of how they get paid. It is only acceptable to get compensation for books, speeches, making movies, supercilious television shows or protecting people from the government by being a lobbyist or lawyer who sues someone based on a new right given to people by Hillary’s accomplices.
The new rules would not only limit incentive pay, but mandate that 60% of these bonuses be deferred for at least four years. These bonuses could also be required to be repaid (clawed back) for up to seven years after being paid in the event of losses attributable to poor judgment or undue risk-taking by the recipient. Of course, a government apparatchik, who has had zero business experience, would determine the need for the claw back with information developed way after the fact.
One would think that people in the financial sector would think of Hillary being akin to their worst mother-in-law nightmare. But that appears not obvious for many, particularly in the financial sector. Clinton has drawn more money from the Wall Street sector than the others candidates combined. To most these people would seem delusional, but you have to dig below the surface.
Why would Morgan Stanley, UBS, Deutsch Bank, Fidelity, Apollo Global Management, Sanford Bernstein, Bank of America and Kohlberg Kravis pay Mrs. Clinton $225,000 to speak (which they all have). She was so much fun Deutsch bank brought her back for $260,000. Goldman Sachs loved her witty repartee even more so they paid her three times. Most human beings would consider listening to Mrs. Clinton three times synonymous with Chinese water torture.
Which brings forward the imperative question: what insightful enlightenment did Mrs. Clinton impart for her $225,000 and higher fees? As you may be aware, Ms. Clinton has been compared to Winston Churchill and Daniel Webster for her stirring and inspiring speeches. It is just that she has hid that from us in her public commentaries over the last 30 years.
About 30 years ago, while he was Governor of New York, I saw Mario Cuomo speak to a charity group. He was enthralling as a speaker. I was enraptured with his speech. But then I sat there and said to myself: I don’t agree with any position he takes. Can you imagine anyone saying that a Hillary Clinton speech was stirring? Or someone walking around after the speech saying that was life changing; I have to re-evaluate my entire business strategy?!
Then what would cause CB Richard Ellis, National Association of Realtors, General Electric, Xerox, Salesforce, Verizon or the GAP to pay Hillary $225,000 or more to speak to them, their employees and maybe their elite customers? You know the answer. It is a bribe. It is buying access. It is crony capitalism at its best. It is a perfect definition of the fact that our federal government has become way too large and out of control, and too much power is centralized in Washington. If anyone is willing to endure a speech by the least likable, least appealing, least authentic politician of the modern era and pay her an outrageous fee plus all the related costs of getting her there and housing her entourage, then you know we must dismantle the regulatory monolith in Washington because our lives have spun nearly totally out of control.
You may understand why the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, London Drugs, Beaumont Health Systems, Premier Health Alliance, National Council for Behavioral Healthcare and others paid $225,000 or more for Clinton to impart whatever she imparts. It is clear they were betting on her inheriting the medical system, Obamacare, which has largely ceded control to the federal government. Clinton would do nothing to decentralize our medical care, and these organizations wanted access to her to get a slice of the government largesse. It is out and out graft.
There are more that shelled out these huge fees. Some were Jewish organizations using Clinton as a fundraising event draw. Others were entertainment companies for which the policies of the left are a religion. But I have yet to hear any testimonials from witnesses to these spectacles about the wisdom imparted or guidance provided to help their companies excel.
Thus you can only conclude they were trying to buy access and influence from someone who has a tainted view of business and little if any knowledge to impart. This is prima facie rationale of the cynicism this election has exposed in the electorate.
It is important to understand this because 99.7% of our businesses are small businesses that do not have the ability to pay these fees and buy politicians so they can garner government handouts and special allowances. We are excluded from this crony capitalism system except for one aspect – they use our money.