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.