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Jan Baran Discusses Ben Bernanke’s Public Speaking Fee

Reuters
March 5, 2014

Jan Witold Baran, co-chair of Wiley Rein’s Election Law & Government Ethics Practice, was quoted in a Reuters story about former Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke’s first public speaking engagement.

The story describes how Dr. Bernanke, who led the Fed from 2006 until earlier this year, was paid at least $250,000 for his first public speech in Abu Dhabi.  This is Dr. Bernanke’s first of three speaking engagements this week.  Attendees at the National Bank of Abu Dhabi conference paid $2,000 per person to hear Dr. Bernanke and others speak.  As the article notes, the speaker circuit is a common route for former top public servants looking to cash in on their insight.

“He will obviously be enjoying the fruits of the free market,” Mr. Baran told Reuters.  “He will personally experience supply and demand.”

Dr. Bernanke is “free to offer his own views, either historical or forward-looking,” Mr. Baran said, when asked whether the paid speaking engagements raise any ethical concerns.  “Nothing sounds illegal or unethical and in fact it sounds fairly routine.”

Click here to read the article.