Famous American Bill Clinton has apparently decided to just walk away from up to $20 million he was owed by his old friend, creepy old billionaire modelizer Ron Burkle. Now why would he do that?

To recap: Bill was working as a vaguely defined "adviser" for some investment funds owned by Yucaipa, Burkle's company. Then his wife goes and runs for president so Bill publicly "severed business ties" with Burkle, presumably to avoid being photographed with more attractive young women on Burkle's plane.

But! Bill's consolation prize was that Yucaipa would pay him $20 million when he left. For what? Nobody's really sure! But there were lots of things that could blow up in Bill's (and by extension, Hillary's) face, politically:

Mr. Clinton was one of the three owners of the foreign fund's general partner, along with Mr. Burkle and Dubai Investment Group (YGP) Ltd., an entity that was part of the business empire of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai.

The Yucaipa connection presented other potential difficulties for Mrs. Clinton, people familiar with the matter said. In late 2007, the foreign fund invested in a Chinese media company, Xinhua Finance Media Ltd., whose parent company had past ties to the Beijing government.

Oh you know who else was connected to Clinton via Burkle? Convicted scam artist Raffaello Follieri! So, my working theory here is that taking the money would have caused too much of a headache for Hillary in the press, and also, since Bill's payout was theoretically tied to how much he earned, maybe there wasn't all that much money there to be had anyhow. But if you know better, feel free to share. [WSJ]