NEW YORK — Monday's worldwide stock selloff was reportedly triggered after J.P. Morgan Chase announced that recent hire Raymond Odierno was let go, citing hundreds of complaints and multiple FTC investigations into the general's high-pressure sales tactics, cold-calling, and down-playing of high-risk investments while executing his new role as financial adviser.
Odierno, who accepted a position with the company in August after retiring from the Army, was allegedly hawking financial vehicles he claimed offered "little to no risk" for casual investors. However, as an unnamed source close to the investigation said, Odierno's recommendations proved to be the opposite.
"Odierno's investors were all trading sub-prime mortgage futures via margin accounts opened through an offshore, unregulated shell company that has only weak connection to J.P. Morgan Chase," said the source. "We also obtained a prospectus for the 'F-35 Freedom Fund' — a mutual fund we found he sold to senior Pentagon functionaries and cost the government hundreds of billions of dollars."
While it is a setback for Odierno, executives at J.P. Morgan Chase view the shake-up as a "bump in the road" for the former 38th Chief of Staff of the Army. According to J.P. Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, what made Odierno stand out from other applicants on Monster.com — other than his veteran status and high level contacts in the political and financial arenas — was his "aggressive, 'never give up' personality."
"Making the transition from the military to civilian world is a learning process," Dimon said. "During his week-long interview in St. Barts I could tell Ray was rough around the edges, but what new employee with 40 years of military service and access to tens of thousands of prospective investors aren't?"
"With enough grit, hard work, and heavy lobbying for more lax regulations on the burgeoning financial industry, Ray will make a great addition to another 'too-big-to-fail' firm," Dimon said.
Optimistic that he will quickly find employment elsewhere, Odierno held a press conference to address his dismissal publicly.
"When I took over as the 38th Chief of Staff of the Army, I told our soldiers that I was coming to visit their camps, posts, stations, and operating bases," Odierno told reporters. "And I intend to honor that promise — along with the promise I made to a prospective trading house to generate 300 new leads this month for their high-yield, low-cost Greek bond funds."
"While I get this matter resolved through my local congressman, all I can do is serve as an example of how any veteran with a plan and a golden parachute comprising millions of dollars in signing bonuses and stock options can successfully transition into the civilian world," Odierno added.
UPDATE: The telecom sector saw a small surge after Comcast announced Odierno had accepted a position in their customer service department. CEO Brian Roberts told Forbes that he is "confident [Odierno] will do for our quality service team what he did for the military."
Investgative journalist Davies contributed to this report.