Sep 18, 2017

Obama to make $1.2 million from 3 Wall Street speeches

Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

Less than a year after leaving the White House, Barack Obama has spoken at Wall Street's Northern Trust Corporation and Carlyle Group LP. Next week, he'll speak at the investment bank Cantor Fitzgerald LP's health care conference. For each speech, Obama has received about $400,000, according to Bloomberg.

Why it matters: During the 2016 campaign, Hillary Clinton was harshly criticized for her own high-paid speeches on Wall Street, with Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren among those most adamant about distancing the Democratic party from Wall Street. However, Obama is certainly not the first POTUS to cash in on speaking fees post-presidency. (How much past Presidents made off speeches, here.)

Obama's relationship with Wall Street hasn't always been friendly. He slammed "fat cat bankers" after the 2008 crash, but did not prosecute anyone on Wall Street over the financial crisis.

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Sign of the times: A pro-Warren super PAC

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren at a rally in Nevada. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

A group of women progressives who back Sen. Elizabeth Warren has formed Persist PAC, a super PAC airing pro-Warren ads starting Wednesday in an effort to boost her performance ahead of Saturday's crucial Nevada caucuses, a spokesman told Axios.

Why it matters: Warren has spoken adamantly against the influence of unlimited spending and dark money in politics. But these supporters have concluded that before Warren can reform the system, she must win under the rules that exist — and that whether she likes it or not, their uncoordinated help may be needed to keep her viable through this weekend's contest and into South Carolina and Super Tuesday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Pentagon policy chief resigns amid reported discord with Trump

John Rood. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

John Rood, the Pentagon's top policy official, will resign from his post on Feb. 28, CNN first reported and President Trump confirmed.

The state of play: CNN said Rood "was perceived as not embracing some of the changes in policy the White House and senior Pentagon officials wanted," such as peace talks in Afghanistan with the Taliban and a decision to cut back on military exercises with South Korea as the president courted North Korea's Kim Jong-un.

Coronavirus cases rise, as warnings of global pandemic grow

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's NHC; Note: China refers to mainland China and the Diamond Princess is the cruise ship offshore Yokohama, Japan. Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

We may be "at the brink" of a global pandemic, warns a top U.S. public health official, as cases continue to spread despite containment efforts. Meanwhile, the global economy is being affected, including the tech manufacturing industry.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,000 people and infected over 75,000 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 136 new deaths since Tuesday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health