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Fox Business has gleefully reported that former U.S. President Barack Obama will accept $400,000 from the Wall Street investment firm Cantor Fitzgerald to speak at a health care conference this September.Obama's decision, I believe, does have some redeeming features.The first time was on Nov. 7, 2010, when then-Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh hosted a dinner for Obama at his New Delhi residence.He pointed to his treasury secretary, Timothy Geithner, and told me, "You should give this guy some tips".Our second meeting came in January 2015, a few weeks before Obama would make another official visit to India. Obama's advisers invited me to the White House to brief the president on the state of the Indian economy, as part of a three- or four-person discussion on Indo-U.S. relations. That meeting is now one of my most memorable ever, because I think Obama took the advice that I offered. The firm cut a deal with Obama, by offering him a share of its soon-to-be expanded pie. If Obama had asked for a much lower fee – say, $50,000 – he would have avoided criticism, but by handing a Wall Street investment firm an extra $350,000 .
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