JP Morgan Buys Tony Blair for One Million Dollars a Year
This morning brings the remarkable news that Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has gone to work as a part time consultant for the huge JP Morgan investment bank, at a salary estimated at a million dollars a year.
What I find remarkable is not so much the news as the apparent lack of reaction to it.
ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not just a question of a British leader leaving his nationÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s top office for employment in a sprawling company with worldwide interestsÃ¢â‚¬â€everyone does that these daysÃ¢â‚¬â€but the fact that Blair is doing itÃ¢â‚¬â€while at the same time continuing official duties in a very sensitive and financially key part of the world.
Blair is not being hired by Morgan for his economic skills, which were never impressive. As JP MorganÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s chief executive Jamie Dimon announced frankly, "There are only a handful of people in the world who have the knowledge and relationships that he has."
Such relationships are key to BlairÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s current official duties.
Thanks to pressure from his friend George Bush, Blair was handed a very sensitive assignment: Middle East envoy working on behalf of the US, Russia, the UN and the EU.
Though supposedly focused on Palestinian development, BlairÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s activities necessarily involve top level contacts with leaders throughout the world, particularly the leaders of the Middle East, leaders flush with trillions of dollars in assets, leaders making enormous deals and investments around the globe--the kind of deals that are MorganÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s bread and butter.