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N.H.’s Judd Gregg steps down after less than seven months as CEO of Wall Street group

Former U.S. senator Judd Gregg is stepping down as the head of a major Wall Street lobbying group after less than seven months on the job, citing a “hectic schedule” and the strain of commuting between New Hampshire and Washington, D.C.

Gregg became chief executive officer of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association on May 20. The group announced yesterday that Gregg had stepped down from that job, but will remain a “senior advisor.”

A Republican, Gregg was a congressman and two-term New Hampshire governor before winning the first of three terms in the U.S. Senate in 1992. He was briefly President Obama’s nominee for commerce secretary in 2009, eventually passing on the job over political differences with the Democrat.

In 2008, Gregg helped author the federal government’s Troubled Asset Relief Program, a $700 billion response to the financial crisis. He’s defended TARP as having helped stabilize the U.S. banking and financial system, but critics derided it as a Wall Street bailout.

He said yesterday in a statement that his decision to leave the CEO job “only reflects my personal need to spend less time commuting to Washington from New Hampshire and slowing a hectic schedule.”

Former Texas congressman Ken Bentsen Jr., who was named SIFMA’s president when Gregg became CEO earlier this year, will now take on both titles.

“Although I am stepping down as CEO I look forward to continuing to work with Ken and the entire SIFMA team, especially in the area of communicating the importance of a strong capital markets system and investment community in supplying the fuel for America’s economic engine,” Gregg said in his statement.

The announcement sparked some speculation that Gregg might run again for the Senate – an idea he quickly shot down.

“Been there, done that,” he told the Union Leader.

(Ben Leubsdorf can be reached at 369-3307 or or on Twitter @BenLeubsdorf.)

Legacy Comments1

Ben, Can you be more specific? What type of "political differences" _____ of how many? #___ Reference you wrote that: "He was briefly President Obama’s nominee for commerce secretary in 2009, eventually passing on the job over political differences with the Democrat. " of this is the first time I've ever read this, of I thought it was The that prevented him from taking the job of that such would be un-lawful and that for a President of the United States to ask that somebody break the law be absolutely wrong! As a Federal Rep and U.S. Senator he voted for the pay increases of this Commerce Secretary and so by the law is pre-vented from taking such a job. Forbidden, restricted, and not allowed to do. Of I surmise that you thought this up (or were told as ordered to write this, or edited so by your boss?) and so ought not to have been printed into a new story, but for at least that part of to go onto an opinion page. Please detail or correct. Of I think that "they" might have used this excuse as a "cover-up" to what the law really is of that was the REAL reason.

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