By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: June 8, 2015
The chickens are coming home to roost in the campaign of the quintessential Wall Street Democrat, Hillary Clinton. The mountains of cash sluiced into the Clinton pockets and their Foundation together with Hillary’s destruction of emails from her stint as Secretary of State caught up with her last week in two devastating polls showing that a majority of Americans don’t think she is trustworthy.
As cynical as we’ve become as a nation, surely a requirement to occupy the highest office in the land should include the belief by your fellow Americans that one is trustworthy.
On June 2, a CNN/ORC poll was released showing that 57 percent of those polled, up from 49 percent in March, say Hillary is not honest and trustworthy. The same day, the Washington Post published the findings from a poll conducted by itself and ABC, summarizing the findings as follows: “Clinton’s favorability ratings are the lowest in a Post-ABC poll since April 2008, when she was running for president the first time. Today, 41 percent of Americans say she is honest and trustworthy, compared with 52 percent who say she is not — a 22-point swing in the past year.”
A reader comment below the Washington Post article, posted by “Tobit” may be an epiphany. The reader noted that: “…Clinton’s favorability is at its lowest point since she ran for president two elections ago. This seems to indicate that the more people get to know Hillary, the less they like her. Of course her election ‘hide in plain sight’ strategy won’t work.”
Kyle Wingfield, writing in his blog at the Atlanta Journal Constitution on June 3, explained that the loss of confidence is dramatic among voters who identify as independents. Wingfield writes:
“In the course of just six weeks, Clinton’s standing with independents on the ‘cares about people like you’ question went from plus 51 to minus 17. Equally stunning is her drop on the ‘is honest and trustworthy’ question: from plus 37 to minus 24.
“Those do not look like the periodic gyrations that political candidates face over the course of a long campaign. They look like a hard flip from an overwhelmingly positive view of her to a sharply negative view of her.”
On June 4, Dana Milbank explained at the Washington Post how the $2 billion that the Clinton Foundation has sucked in from corporations, Wall Street firms, and foreign governments around the world can now tie it to “virtually any skullduggery.” Milbank writes:
“…Clinton and her husband have only themselves to blame for making themselves vulnerable to guilt-by-association attacks. They have managed to make Hillary Clinton conspicuously out of tune with the mood of the 2016 electorate: At a time of rising populist backlash against Wall Street, inequality and wealth-purchased privilege, there is no Democrat more closely tied to the rich and the powerful than Clinton. At a time when Democrats need to draw contrasts with Republicans by sticking up for the little guy, Clinton’s solicitation of — and favors for — the powerful make her an inauthentic messenger.”
Revelations of the Clintons’ money machine have been devastating. In June of last year, the Washington Post reported that Bill Clinton was paid “$104.9 million for 542 speeches around the world between January 2001, when he left the White House, and January 2013, when Hillary stepped down as secretary of state, according to a Washington Post review of the family’s federal financial disclosures.” This is their personal financial take, not monies flowing to the Clinton Foundation which has raked in over $2 billion.
Of that $104.9 million in personal income, $19.6 million came from speaking engagements at Wall Street firms and other financial institutions like hedge funds.
Just three weeks ago, the Washington Post reported that between January 2014 and May of this year, Hillary and Bill “earned in excess of $25 million for delivering 104 speeches,” calling it a “huge infusion to their net worth as she was readying for a presidential bid.”
A review of Hillary’s financial disclosure forms by Wall Street On Parade shows that UBS, which pleaded guilty to a felony for engaging in a conspiracy to rig the Libor interest rate benchmark on May 20, paid Bill Clinton a total of $675,000 for three speaking engagements: one on May 19, 2014; another on October 14, 2014; and a third on February 19, 2015.
Both Hillary and Bill each delivered a speech to Deutsche Bank during the period. In April of this year, Deutsche Bank paid $2.5 billion to settle charges it had conspired to rig Libor. A subsidiary of the bank agreed to a criminal guilty plea. Hillary’s talk at Deutsche Bank came on October 7, 2014 at a fee of $260,000. Bill gave his speech on August 27, 2014 for $10,000 more than Hillary – a fee of $270,000, yielding the couple a total of $530,000.
The Washington Post was back again on May 21 of this year, revealing that the Clinton Foundation, “has received as much as $26.4 million in previously undisclosed payments from major corporations, universities, foreign sources and other groups.” (Because the Foundation uses a wide range in reporting contributions, the amount was actually between $12 million and a max of $26.4 million.)
More Wall Street money came floating to the surface that had previously not been disclosed. The funds were fees for speeches by Hillary, Bill and their daughter, Chelsea Clinton but were treated as revenue rather than donations, which is why the contributors had not been listed according to the Foundation. The speaking fees were turned over to the Foundation by the Clintons and are separate from the mammoth speaking fees they have kept as personal income.
According to the Clinton Foundation web site, Hillary received between $250,000 to $500,000 for speeches given at Citibank, a unit of Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase. No dates are listed for the speeches. On May 20, a unit of Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase pleaded guilty to a felony count of conspiring to rig foreign currency trading. Goldman Sachs is currently under investigation for potential involvement in rigging precious metals markets according to media reports. Bill had previously not reported receiving $100,000 to $250,000 in fee income from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, another Wall Street bank that has been serially fined for market abuses.
The speaking fees are not the only source of Wall Street money flowing into the Clinton Foundation. Barclays Capital is listed as having donated between $1 million to $5 million. Barclays PLC is listed as donating $500,000 to $1 million. Barclays also pleaded guilty on May 20 to conspiring to rig foreign currency trading.
On top of the Wall Street money flowing directly into the Clintons’ pockets or into the Clinton Foundation, there is the massive flow of campaign money from Wall Street flowing into Hillary’s campaign coffers. As we reported on October 27, the Center for Responsive Politics reports that four of the top six donors to Hillary’s failed bid to capture the Democratic nod for the Presidency in 2008 were employees, family members or PACs of major Wall Street firms: JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley.