Elizabeth Warren has torpedoed a second economic nominee by the Obama administration for being too close to Wall Street, forcing Lazard banker Antonio Weiss to pull out of the running to become undersecretary of the Treasury.
Warren, a Democratic senator from Massachusetts, led opposition to Weiss – whom Barack Obama had nominated to fill the department’s third most important post – partly on the grounds that he had advised on so-called corporate inversion deals that would allow US firms to avoid tax.
Amid mounting concern among progressive Democrats in the Senate, Weiss has written to the White House withdrawing his interest and opting for a more junior advisory role instead.
But some Wall Street critics criticised the decision to appoint Weiss to the Treasury as a counsellor instead, a role that does not require Senate confirmation.
“Avoiding the public Senate confirmation process but nevertheless installing Mr Weiss in a very senior position at the Treasury Department is unfortunate for the American people,” said Dennis Kelleher, president and CEO of Better Markets, an independent nonprofit that promotes the public interest in the financial markets. “The country would have benefited from an open, public debate about the Wall Street-centric view that what is good for Wall Street is really good for America. Given the suffering inflicted on the American people from the 2008 financial crash, they deserved no less.”
Read the full The Guardian article by Dan Roberts here.