A 13-bank consortium led by J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. was selected to run the new Trade Bank of Iraq, beating out five other finalists, The Wall Street Journal reported. The appointment, by Iraq's interim Governing Council, carries with it a one-year contract estimated to be worth $2 billion. The consortium will oversee billions of dollars in anticipated business at the Trade Bank, which was created to allow government ministries and, eventually, private companies to make big-ticket purchases abroad for Iraq's reconstruction. Despite major differences between the US and the government of France over the war with Iraq, one of the other 12 banks in the conglomerate is Paris-based Crédit Lyonnais, the Journal reported.
The Labor Department sued the trustees of seven labor union pension and healthcare plans in the Midwest, accusing them of "imprudently" placing $793 million into high-risk investments with Capital Consultants LLC, The Wall Street Journal reported. The company, based in Portland, Ore., collapsed three years ago this month amid charges of swindling investors. Labor Secretary Elaine Chao said the suit, filed Friday, seeks to recover "as much as possible" for the plans. Most cover local chapters of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.