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Tony Blair Is Making Out Like a Bandit

Posted by libhom Saturday, June 20, 2009

American politicians are not the only ones who get rewarded handsomely by corporate interests when they leave office. Tony Blair, a Labor Party Prime Minister in the UK whose policies were quite conservative and corporatist, is a prime example. From Global Research 10/30/08:

As the stock market has plummeted and the housing market has slumped, the man who as Prime Minister championed the “light-touch” system of financial regulation blamed by some for the current crisis is enjoying an unprecedented boom of his own.

Mr Blair receives £84,000 of taxpayers’ money to run a private office and is entitled to an annual pension of £63,468, but this pales to insignificance beside his private earnings. He has made £4.6 million from his memoirs, an estimated £2 million from JPMorgan Chase — including bonus — and £500,000 from Zurich Financial Services. On top of that he has exceeded the $9.2 million (£5.8 million) that Mr Clinton earned, according to his wife Hillary’s financial disclosures, from speeches in his first year outside the White House.

“I can tell you that Tony Blair has already made more money than that,” a speaking industry source said. “He is now probably the highest-paid public speaker in the world.”

What was Blair doing for the banksters at JP Morgan Chase? (From CNN 1/10/08)
Blair will work with JP Morgan Chase, a firm with assets of $1.5 trillion and operations in more than 50 countries. He will advise the bank on global political and strategic issues, a company statement said.

"We operate our business all over the world, and Tony Blair will bring our leaders and clients a unique and invaluable global perspective that is especially critical in turbulent times like these," said Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO of the company, in the statement.

You are forgiven if this sounds like a bullshit job to you. Of course, Bush's poodle isn't the only politician to do feed at this trough. (Again CNN)
Advisory jobs such as the one Blair has accepted are popular among former world leaders. His predecessor as prime minister, John Major, took a position with the Carlyle Group, a private investment house, as did former U.S. President George H.W. Bush.

What did (does?) Blair do for Zurich Financial Services Group? Their press release doesn't exactly make it sound impressive.
As part of the agreement, Mr. Blair will advise Zurich’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) James J. Schiro, and provide general guidance on developments and trends in the international political environment.

Specifically, he will help advise and collaborate with Zurich on its Climate Initiative announced last week, and work closely with its newly launched Climate Change Advisory Council...

Global Warming is a very serious problem, but it isn't like Blair has any real expertise on it. He's a political hack, not a climate scientist.

Blair's ability to obtain ludicrously high speaking fees reminds me of the outlandish speaking fees Bill Clinton gets and Ronald Reagan got. This time I'll quote myself.
Speaking fees have bothered me for some time now. After presidents leave office, they can get enormous amounts of money for showing up and talking at events for wealthy interests. This has the potential to act as indirect bribery, since politicians know about this source of personal wealth and have a huge incentive to put corporate interests above the public interest when they are in the White House.

Ronald Reagan cashed in on this big time, as did Bill Clinton. The Washington Post itemized the $31 million in speaking fees Clinton got from 2001-2005.

It turns out my concerns are relevant to international politics as well.

While I can't confirm reports that Blair got a job at the infamous Carlyle Group, I can confirm that he is getting outlandish speaking fees from them. (Telegraph 10/29/08)
Mr Blair has become a particular favourite with the Washington-based Carlyle Group. Next month he will address a conference of its European investors in Paris about "geopolitics". He addressed a similar conference for Carlyle in Dubai in February.

Carlyle Group is a leading private equity investor in the military. Its board has been graced by both Presidents Bush and its former European chairman was Sir John Major.

The PEU Report asked some interesting questions about whether US taxpayers are paying for the Carlyle engagements.
The story failed to mention Carlyle's role supplying the federal government on far more than the military front. How does Tony's speaking fee get passed on to the various Carlyle subs? The title of the speech could fit in new subsidiary Booz, Allen, Hamilton's niche. Does it work it's way through their cost accounting systems, such that the taxpayer foots the bill?

Speaking of public money, what about Blair's payments from JP Morgan Chase? They paid off the TARP money recently, but that still amounts to a low interest loan granted by you and me just when those banksters needed it the most. That money was lent out to credit card holders at astronomical interest rates. Who knows how much public money they have gotten from the Federal Reserve, since its bailout program has been done in complete and disturbing secrecy?

If you have a Chase Credit card, you might want to consider that some of those ridiculous fees you have been paying may have ended up in Tony Blair's pocket.

 

1 Responses to Tony Blair Is Making Out Like a Bandit

  1. sadly a lot of the things we pay for end up in the pockets of blair and gingrich and other assorted creeps

     

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