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The China Reader: The Reform Era (Vintage)

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Bernie Sanders Is Right About Clinton and Big Banks—and Here Are the Numbers to Prove It

Posted on Jan 10, 2016

Marc Nozell / CC BY 2.0

The Vermont senator recently pointed to how Hillary Clinton’s relationship with Wall Street becomes clear when you look at how much she’s charged for speeches to Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and big banks. As an Intercept article puts it in a headline, her fees for just 12 speeches amounted to “more than most of us earn in a lifetime.”

From The Intercept:

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders this week assailed rival Hillary Clinton for taking large speaking fees from the financial industry since leaving the State Department.

According to public disclosures, by giving just 12 speeches to Wall Street banks, private equity firms, and other financial corporations, Clinton made $2,935,000 from 2013 to 2015 ... Clinton’s most lucrative year was 2013, right after stepping down as secretary of state. That year, she made $2.3 million for three speeches to Goldman Sachs and individual speeches to Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley, Fidelity Investments, Apollo Management Holdings, UBS, Bank of America, and Golden Tree Asset Managers. ...

To put these numbers into perspective, compare them to lifetime earnings of the median American worker. In 2011, the Census Bureau estimated that, across all majors, a “bachelor’s degree holder can expect to earn about $2.4 million over his or her work life.” A Pew Research analysis published the same year estimated that a “typical high school graduate” can expect to make just $770,000 over the course of his or her lifetime. ...

The Associated Press notes that during Hillary Clinton’s time as secretary of state, Bill Clinton earned $17 million in talks to banks, insurance companies, hedge funds, real estate businesses, and other financial firms. Altogether, the couple are estimated to have made over $139 million from paid speeches.

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—Posted by Natasha Hakimi Zapata

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