The National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) has paid $500,000 to Bill Clinton for a single lecture he delivered in Kuwait City on Sunday on his assessment of Barack Obama’s foreign and economic policies. It was delivered the day after the Kuwaiti stock market resumed trading after it was suspended by order of a Kuwaiti court on Thursday to avoid a total collapse.
Without mentioning reports that Clinton’s finances were coming under close scrutiny as his wife, Hillary Clinton, is being vetted for the job of secretary of state, the Arab-language Kuwaiti newspaper Awan published a front-page story under the headline “Clinton’s lecture at NBK cost $500,000.”
$500,000 would be a high fee, even for Bill Clinton. In 2006 he averaged almost a speech a day, at an average of about $140,000 a speech.
He has earned far more per speech, particularly from Middle Eastern or foreign organizations wishing to hear his views on a range of topics. The Dabbagh investment firm in Saudi Arabia paid $600,000 for two speeches, and China’s JingJi Real Estate Development Group paid $200,000 for a single speech. The Mito City Political Research Group in Japan paid him $400,000 in 2002 for a single speech.
Gold Services International, an event organizer based in Bogota, Colombia, flew Clinton to Latin America in 2005 for a series of speeches for which he was paid $800,000. The Power Within, a motivational-speech company in Toronto, paid Clinton $650,000 for speeches in Canada in 2005, and he returned to give more speeches for an undisclosed sum the following year. Goldman Sachs paid him $650,000 for a series of four speeches, and Citigroup paid $250,000 for a speech in France in 2004.
Previous speakers at NBK events include former President George H. W. Bush and former British Prime Minister John Major.
Do you think he deserves all that???