Hillary Clinton delivers a keynote address during the Watermark Silicon Valley Conference for Women on February 24, 2015 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images Bill and Hillary Clinton might have left the White House dead broke, but they certainly recovered quickly. The pair has generated tens of millions of dollars of income for themselves and their foundation since 2000, with much of it coming from paid speeches. Indeed, financial disclosure reports recently filed by the Clintons bump the total that they have ginned up in speaking fees to at least $130 million, with the price of a single speech frequently topping $300,000. Those staggering figures have shined a bright light on the very big, very opaque market for corporate keynotes, addresses to universities, and gab sessions with trade associations. And interviews with the people who buy and sell those speeches — corporate event planners, industry experts, speakers themselves — helps to illuminate it further. What they describe is a classic superstar economy where only the elite make real money, and the elitist of the elite — figures like Ben Bernanke and Bill Clinton — make astonishing sums. The trade is not just for the speech, either: It is for… Read full this story
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