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    JP Morgan offices are seen in New York, in this file photo taken October 25, 2013

    Retired US General to Peddle Influence for Wall Street - Watchdog Group

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    Retired US Army Chief of Staff Ray Odierno will likely begin to lobby on behalf of JP Morgan right away, government watchdog group Public Citizen representative Craig Holman told Sputnik.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik), Leandra Bernstein — JP Morgan, the largest bank in the United States, reported on Thursday that it is bringing Odierno on board as a senior advisor. Odierno is expected to begin his new position on Wall Street on September 1, providing strategic advice and global risk analysis to JP Morgan’s senior leadership.

    "Odierno may begin lobbying immediately, and the announcement by JP Morgan suggests that is exactly what he will do," Holman said of JP Morgan’s decision to hire the retired four-star general.

    Holman explained that the financial services sector is most prone to "revolving door abuses."

    The revolving door refers to the phenomenon of Wall Street firms hiring former government officials — or vice-versa — to affect the regulatory and decision making process in Washington.

    "While it is unusual for Wall Street to hire a military general as a revolver, General Odierno will fit well into JP Morgan’s influence peddling scheme," Holman noted.

    Under US revolving door regulations, very senior officials are barred from lobbying other high-ranking government officials for a period of two years after leaving office, according to the Congressional Research Service.

    The law also stipulates a one year "no contact" period for senior officials, including high-ranking military officers, to try to limit undue influence.

    Holman argued that the general will likely be "simply renting out access to his network of friends and colleagues in government."

    As a well-known and highly respected official in Washington, Odierno "will not doubt use those personal relations to buy access to senior government officials for JP Morgan on matters that affect Wall Street," Holman said.

    He added that the ability of Wall Street to hire a general with extensive insider access "is highly troubling."

    JP Morgan’s hiring announcement was released less than one week after Odierno officially stepped down from a leading position as the head of the US Army.


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