As Hillary Clinton prepares to mount another bid for the White House (she tried and failed in 2008), she has taken great care to appear in touch with the concerns of average American voters.
On Wednesday, for example, Clinton will continue quest to become more relatable by speaking at an event hosted by the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, a Toronto-based institution that has been the subject of multiple U.S. investigations into fraud and other financial transgressions, including helping the notorious Enron energy company to mislead investors.
In 2003, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce settled a case with the Securities and Exchange Commission for $80 million for allegedly helping the Enron energy company mislead investors through a series of transactions over a period of several years, according to the SEC. At least two executives agreed to settle charges of aiding and abetting the fraud, paying a total of $600,000.
In 2005, CIBC settled another case with SEC for $125 million after it was accused of financing late trading to increase their customers' trading profits at the expense of long-term mutual fund shareholders, according to the SEC.
And again in 2005, the bank agreed to pay nearly a half million dollars to settle SEC allegations that it broke the law by underwriting municipal securities for the state of California after making campaign donations to six politicians, including former Democratic California Gov. Gray Davis, according to the SEC. Securities law forbids a corporate donor from doing municipal securities work for an issuer within two years of a contribution.
The bank, which has denied any wrongdoing in every case, is currently facing a series of class action lawsuits alleging that CIBC failed to adequately warn investors about its exposure to the U.S. subprime mortgage market, which was one of the major precipitators of the economic crash of 2007-2008.
Neither Clinton nor the bank would say whether or not she was being paid for the two speeches she is schedule to give, but she almost definitely is. Clinton typically pulls down at $200,000 per speech.
She's not out of touch. She's you.