The former president wasted no time raking in huge sums for paid speeches, but one institution had an even deeper Obama connection.
President Obama wasted no time collecting massive paychecks for speaking gigs to wealthy audiences, a move Hillary Clinton was repeatedly criticized for during the 2016 election.
According to Bloomberg News, one of the groups paying to hear the former president’s thoughts is Chicago-based Northern Trust Corp.:
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.
Interestingly, this is not Obama’s first venture with Northern Trust Corp. The Washington Post reported in 2008 that Obama got a bit of a sweetheart deal from the bank when he secured a $1.32 million loan in 2005 for his 6,500-square-foot Chicago home.
The freshman Democratic senator received a discount. He locked in an interest rate of 5.625 percent on the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, below the average for such loans at the time in Chicago. The loan was unusually large, known in banker lingo as a “super super jumbo.” Obama paid no origination fee or discount points, as some consumers do to reduce their interest rates.
Compared with the average terms offered at the time in Chicago, Obama’s rate could have saved him more than $300 per month.
Why the special treatment? Even then Obama was seen as a rising star, and Northern Trust “saw it as a chance to build a relationship with a successful couple, according to federal regulators who investigated the deal,” according to CBS News.
Obama cannot run for president again, making his paid speeches different from Clinton’s decision to accept gobs of money from banks and other institutions vilified by far-left liberals.
But Obama is seen as a unifying figure in a fractured Democratic Party. This decision could jeopardize any peacekeeper role he may have previously held.
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