On The Lucrative Careers Of Former Politicians

The New York Times on what becomes of our leaders after leaving office: they are showered with wealth by the financial industry. Don’t pity Mitt Romney, as he is likely in for a massive payday in the near future. Likewise, consider this a preview of what is in store for Barack Obama, assuming he’s careful not to piss off Wall Street too badly:

Take Tony Blair, the former British prime minister. In September, Mr. Blair was called to Claridge’s hotel in London to mediate a renegotiation of the proposed acquisition of Xstrata by Glencore, according to British news reports. Mr. Blair, who negotiated peace in Northern Ireland, put his skills to good use, apparently earning himself roughly $1 million for three hours of work.

Remember Dan Quayle? Since 2000, the former vice president has worked at the hedge fund Cerberus Capital Management, where he is now chairman of the advisory board. His pay is not disclosed, but it is probably well into the millions if not more.

Al Gore shows that you can use Wall Street to become superrich and do it in the name of a cause, all while building your own franchise. Mr. Gore is a co-founder and chairman of Generation Investment Management and a senior partner of the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. He’s also a senior adviser to Google and a member of Apple’s board, where he has options on about 98,000 Apple shares, according to the company’s last proxy statement. Apple, by the way, is trading at about $580 a share. You do the math.

And if working for the industry as a deal maker, schmoozer, adviser or just as a name is a problem, a former politician can always find freelance opportunities in speaking to the finance industry. President Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush, has largely stayed away from business ventures after leaving the White House. But he has taken to the speakers’ circuit, where fees can run more than $100,000 a speech. Last week, the former president gave a speech at the Ritz-Carlton on Grand Cayman Island at the Cayman Alternative Investment Summit.

, , , ,

  • alizardx

    This is where the real political payoffs and actual political agendas of the people on top of the elected official food chain is.

    Obama Foundation? Probably $1B endowment and Obama will get his own private jet instead of having to catch rides on corporate luxury exec jets like Bill Clnton. Obama in position to do more for superrich,

    If Wall Street really pissed off at him (since investment sector regulation ineffective, they mostly aren’t) Big Pharma and Big Health (other places for Wall Street bucks) *really* owe him. And Obama will collect.

  • BuzzCoastin

    I’m more interested in the lucrative careers of serving politicians.

    Most former politicians significantly increased their wealth while in Congress.
    And most former politicians are the bag man for Congressional bribes.
    It’s the serving politicians that sell the sheeple down the river for a few freshly printed bucks.

    • http://www.facebook.com/eric.fischer.73 Eric Fischer

      True, but except for those who were already filthy rich before they took office, it’s after they leave when they get their real payouts.

  • Liam_McGonagle

    There are reasons other than their bank accounts to pity these guys. Romney is a particularly egregious example.

    Obama wasn’t much of a target, but somehow the GOP managed to find the single most charisma deprived honkie in North America and run him for prom king. Jesus, he looks like his grandmother still dresses him in the mornings.

    The only other politician who exudes a more virulent form of tapioca blandness of soul would be Rick Santorum, with his incredible assortment of argyll sweater vests.