Hillary Clinton has refused to release the transcripts of her speeches to Goldman Sachs, speeches for which she received a whopping $675,000 for just three speeches. It is unlikely that she had anything to say that was of practical use to the audience of investment bankers, so naturally one wonders why they were willing to pay her so much and why she is so reluctant to reveal their contents.
One reason may be that the speeches were so vapid and content –free that one cannot but think that Goldman Sachs was buying influence with her, along with all her contacts and those of her husband. The Clintons have shown that they are avaricious and like to live the high life, which makes them easy targets for influence peddlers.
But another important reason could be that her speeches were full of praise for Goldman Sachs and the investment banking business, according to one person who was present, even after the banks’ shameful and criminal role in the financial crisis had been revealed.
Clinton, who received $225,000 for her appearance, praised the diversity of Goldman’s workforce and the prominent roles played by women at the blue-chip investment bank and the tech firms present at the event. She spent no time criticizing Goldman or Wall Street more broadly for its role in the 2008 financial crisis.
“It was pretty glowing about us,” one person who watched the event said. “It’s so far from what she sounds like as a candidate now. It was like a rah-rah speech. She sounded more like a Goldman Sachs managing director.”
Given that, in typical Clinton fashion of seeing which way the wind blows and tailoring her message accordingly, she has now latched onto Bernie Sanders’s critique of Wall Street excesses and vows to be tough on them, giving speeches that fawned over the banks that created so much misery would undoubtedly be embarrassing to her and make people question whether she will actually carry out her promise to be tough on the banks. She and he Democratic party have already shown that they can be bought by Wall Street and the release of her speeches will likely reinforce that conclusion.