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January 11, 2013

Jacob Lew: Is 'safe' choice for Treasury also a good choice?

President Obama is nominating Jacob “Jack” Lew to be his next secretary of the Treasury, pushing to his administration’s forefront a longtime veteran of Washington budget battles.

Mr. Lew knows the federal budget from top to bottom the way few do, even other Beltway insiders. That gives him high value to the Obama administration as it seeks to “win” epic contests, in the next few weeks and years, over the shape of big-ticket entitlement programs, other federal spending, and the US tax code.

He’s widely viewed among Mr. Obama’s fellow Democrats as a safe choice, a known quantity already on the administration’s inside.”

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“Some advocates for greater regulatory vigilance over the financial sector have voiced concerns about Lew.

“The one area of concern is whether or not he is sufficiently committed to … implementing financial reform and re-regulating Wall Street,” said Dennis Kelleher, president of the nonprofit group Better Markets, in a statement Thursday. “Doing this is vital to protect the American people from Wall Street threatening our financial system again and causing another economic calamity.”

The Treasury secretary chairs the nation’s Financial Stability Oversight Council and will have an important role in implementing financial reforms approved by Congress during Obama’s first term.””

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Read full Christian Science Monitor article here

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