Do you remember when former president Barack Obama railed against Wall Street not too long ago, accusing them of making too much money?
How about in 2009, when he said, “I did not run for office to be helpin’ out a bunch of fat cat bankers on Wall Street.”
Another classic example occurred in April, 2010, when Obama spoke in Quincy, Illinois, of the greediness of Wall Street. Obama’s written text stated: “Now, we’re not doing this to punish these firms or begrudge success that’s fairly earned. We don’t want to stop them from fulfilling their responsibility to help grow our economy.”
But Obama went off the teleprompter and added some impromptu verbiage that revealed his true bias against the rich (as long as he wasn’t speaking about himself): “Now, what we’re doing, I want to be clear, we’re not trying to push financial reform because we begrudge success that’s fairly earned. I mean, I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money.”
Strange, but now Obama is using Wall Street to add to the millions he has accumulated, including the book deal he and his wife Michelle signed with Penguin Random House after an auction that went above $60 million, according to the Financial Times.
As Bloomberg notes of recent events, “Barack Obama spoke in New York to clients of Northern Trust Corp. for about $400,000, a person familiar with his appearance said. Last week, he reminisced about the White House for Carlyle Group LP, one of the world’s biggest private equity firms, according to two people who were there. Next week, he’ll give a keynote speech at investment bank Cantor Fitzgerald LP’s health-care conference.” That speech for Cantor Fitzgerald will net Obama roughly $400,000.
Whew. Suddenly Obama’s disdain for Wall Street seems to have dissipated just a tad.
Former UBS Group AG executive Robert Wolf, who serves on the Obama Foundation board, explained lamely, “He was the president of the entire United States — financial services are under that umbrella. He doesn’t look at Wall Street like, ‘Oh, these are individuals who don’t want the best for the country.’ He doesn’t stereotype.”
Of course Obama is comfortable with Northern Trust; the institution gave Obama a discount on a $1.32 million loan for a mansion in Chicago in 2005, after he was elected to the Senate, The Washington Post reported.