Britain: Blair joins Wall Street bank

Issue 

Tony Blair, who resigned as British prime minister last May, has signed a lucrative deal with leading Wall Street merchant bank JP Morgan.

According to the January 10 BBC News, it is estimated that JP Morgan will pay him US$1 million per year for his services as a part-time adviser.

According to the BBC, "JP Morgan, one of Wall Street's leading banks, is part of JP Morgan Chase & Co, a global financial services firm with assets of US$1.5 trillion and operations in more than 50 countries".

The January 11 London Guardian reported that Blair has been earning as much as A$1.1 million for speaking engagements, and he also has a contract worth $12.8 million with Random House
publishing firm for his memoirs.

According to the Guardian, "Senior figures in the bank were already known to Blair. George Shultz, Ronald Reagan's secretary of state, is chairman of the bank's international advisory council, and held a party in Blair's honour at his California home when the then prime minister travelled to the US on government business."

Blair is also in the running for the post of president of the European Council — effectively "president of Europe". The post was created by the EU reform treaty, signed by PM Gordon Brown in breach of a commitment made during the
2005 general elections. According to the BBC, Blair has been
publicly backed for the post by right-wing French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

In the January 11 Morning Star, Respect MP George Galloway attacked Blair's JP Morgan appointment, arguing that "It's disgusting, disreputable and Blair on the gravy train, but it was entirely expected".

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