In a recent debate, Bernie Sanders chided Hillary Clinton for taking big money from Wall Street for speeches she gave. Hillary asked Bernie to name one time when her payoffs for speeches resulted in her helping Wall Street as a quid pro quo. Bernie didn't cite a specific example.
San Diego attorneys Mike Aguirre and Maria Severson point to an example of Hillary throwing her weight around Wall Street, although it was not as a result of her getting paid for a speech.
The attorneys are appealing a suit against the big insurer American International Group (best known as AIG) that they lost several years ago.
They stumbled across a damning paragraph in a suit that Maurice (Hank) Greenberg, former head of AIG, filed against the federal government. Greenberg claimed the government had no right to bail out AIG in the Great Recession. Greenberg won the suit but received no compensation.
Famed attorney David Boies handled the case for Greenberg. Buried in the suit is this statement: "On September 17, 2008, United States Senator Hillary Clinton called [then-Treasury secretary Hank] Paulson on behalf of Mickey Kantor, who had served as Commerce secretary in the Clinton administration and now represented a group of Middle Eastern investors." (Kantor, a close friend of Clinton since the 1970s, was a member of Friends of Hillary and the Hillary Rodham Clinton for U.S. Senate Committee.)
The paragraph continued, "These investors, Hillary said, wanted to buy AIG. 'Maybe the government doesn't have to do anything,' she said to Paulson. Paulson told Senator Clinton, 'this was impossible unless the investors had a big balance sheet and the wherewithal to guarantee AIG's liabilities.'"
Shortly, Paulson met with Clinton and later wrote about their personal meetings and phone conversations in his book about the bailout.
In a ProPublica story last November, Kantor said he was representing AIG shareholders, not Middle East investors. "Kantor told Pro Publica something that was in conflict with the report," says Aguirre.
Clearly, Clinton was snug with Wall Street, as well as with government officials supposedly trying to rescue the financial system. In her debates with Sanders, she has portrayed herself as an innocent regarding the financial system. Not so.