Tuesday, July 13, 2010

JP Morgan Lands Mel Martinez

Ex Senator and HUD Director Mel Martinez will head up JP Morgan's Latin American operations, including Florida, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. Martinez will serve on JP Morgan Chase's Executive Committee.

Martinez leaves DLA Piper, a law firm where he worked as a lobbyist. He served in the Senate from 2004 to 2009.

One might expect Martinez to conduct due diligence on his employer. JP Morgan settled with the SEC for $722 million to end a probe into the sale of bonds and derivatives to Jefferson County, Alabama. Where else is JP Morgan buying influence?

What does Mel's move portend for retiring Senators Chris Dodd and Evan Bayh? Both had Wall Street's back for much longer than a partial term. How will that turn into payback? Will either speak words similar to Mel's?

"I'm thrilled to accept this new challenge and look forward to building upon the reputation of this premier financial services company."

JP Morgan bagged a "less than one term" Senator in its pursuit of big bucks. That bang starts Wall Street's open season.