Former President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, who made his first public appearance on Monday after leaving office, has come in for a lot of criticism for taking up an offer of $400,000 for a speech to a Wall Street bank. According to a report by the BBC, the 44th President of the United States is said to have accepted the offer to make a speech at a Cantor Fitzgerald hosted healthcare conference in September. BBC reports that many have openly criticised Obama’s decision to give the speech saying that it would undermine everything he believed in. The NYP has even gone on to call him the “Wall Street’s newest fat cat”.
This offer has come within 100 days of Obama leaving the Oval office. The said fee that would be received by Obama is allegedly almost twice the amount ($225,000) received by Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to give three speeches to Goldman Sachs in 2015. Clinton, too, had been severely criticised during her campaigns last year for the speeches given to the Wall Street honchos. Many activists had also demanded that the former First Lady release the transcripts of her speech.
Meanwhile, Obama is also reported to have agreed to deliver the keynote speech to an investment bank which had lost more than 2/3rds of its staff to the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Centre in 2001. Obama, during his 8 year tenure at the White House as the President was known to have had difficult relations with the business sector as he had found the high bonuses paid to bank executives unacceptable and was of the opinion that Wall Steet was in many ways responsible for the 2008 financial crisis.
Obama in his first public address after leaving the White House for good had given an address to students at the University of Chicago, where his presidential library is to be built.