Bailed-Out Citigroup Paid Bill Clinton $700,000--For Words, Just Words

By Matt Cover | November 21, 2008 | 4:04pm EST
( - The struggling financial giant Citigroup, which recently received $25 billion in federal bailout dollars, paid former President Bill Clinton a total of $700,000 for four speeches he delivered on the company’s behalf between 2004 and 2007, according to U.S. Senate financial disclosure statements filed by Sen. Hillary Clinton (D.-N.Y.)

Sen. Clinton’s latest financial disclosure form, filed on June 28, 2008, reported the former president’s honoraria for 2007.  Senate financial disclosures forms for 2008 will not be filed until next year.

Citigroup’s stock has plummeted nearly 40 percent this week.

The most expensive speech Citigroup purchased from Bill Clinton was an address given in Paris on March 12, 2004, which cost company $250,000.  According to Sen. Clinton’s financial disclosure form, that was the highest-paying engagement the former president had that year.

On September 13, 2006, Citigroup paid Clinton $150,000 for another speech. On November 15, 2006, Citigroup paid Clinton $150,000 for yet another speech. And on May 3, 2007, Citigroup paid Clinton $150,000 again for a speech.

Citigroup has received $25 billion of the $700 billion that Congress approved in October to bailout the financial industry.

Citigroup was one of the original participants in the government’s Capital Purchase Program, which provided participating banks with taxpayers’ dollars in exchange for non-voting stocks.

Since October 13, when Citigroup agreed to participate in the program, it stock has dropped dramatically.  It was worth $15.75 per share on that day.  On Friday afternoon, it was trading at under $4.00 per share.

Asked on Wednesday afternoon whether Citigroup felt it had gotten its money’s worth from President Clinton’s $700,000 in speeches, Citigroup spokesperson Shannon Bell told that the company had no comment at this time on the former president’s honoraria.

Robert E. Rubin, who served as secretary of the Treasury under President Clinton, joined Citigroup as a director and as chairman of the Executive Committee of the Board.  Currently, according to his bio on the company’s website, he serves as both a director and counselor.

The New York Times has described Rubin as a “key adviser” to President-elect Obama.

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