Mar 27 2014, 5:10pm CDT | by Forbes
A couple of months after stepping down from the job in which he is credited with averting a global financial crisis that could’ve eclipsed the Great Depression, Ben Bernanke appears to be enjoying his time alongside billionaires and financiers. The former Fed Chairman was spotted having dinner with several hedge fund billionaires including David Einhorn, Louis Bacon, and Larry Robbins at a New York hot spot on Wednesday. Bernanke’s new gig as a public speaker is definitely more profitable than being the most important person in the global financial system: earlier this month, he was paid $250,000 for a 40-minute chat in Abu Dhabi, which is more than his 2013 annual salary.
Fresh out of the Fed, Bernanke is a hot ticket. On Wednesday, he was invited to dine with some of Wall Street’s biggest names: the heads of Greenlight Capital, Moore Capital Management, and Glenview Capital Management were all in attendance, as well as Fortress’ Mike Novogratz and at least four others, The Post’s Page Six reported.
The dinner, held at Le Bernardin, a three Michelin Star seafood restaurant in midtown Manhattan, was hosted by trading firm BTIG. Bernanke would be speaking about the 2008 financial crisis, the Fed under Janet Yellen, and the current state of affairs in Washington. It wasn’t immediately clear how much the former Fed Chairman was being paid for chatting with several hedge fund billionaires.
The number that did surface, though, was how much Bernanke charged for his first public appearance out of office. Interestingly, the $250,000 check Bernanke received for giving a talk to 1,000 attendees at the Emirates Palace was more than what his annual salary leading the Fed, which came up to $199,700. The former Fed Chairman is reportedly booked for a $300,000 gig in Turkey later this year.
Not surprisingly, Bernanke is also planning to write a memoir of his times at the Fed. The former Chairman took the reins from Alan Greenspan ahead of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, engaging in aggressive money printing through quantitative easing that saw the Fed’s balance sheet pretty much quintuple in size, avoiding an even deeper crisis while boosting asset prices. Bernanke is accused by critics with helping the wealthy by pushing stock prices up, while not doing enough support Main Street.
In his attempts to dispel those accusations, Bernanke’s book could lead to another windfall. Greenspan got an $8 million cash advance from Penguin Press for his book; Bernanke is represented by Robert Barnett, an attorney who also represented his predecessor.
Source: Forbes Business
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