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July 25, 2013

Raskin could thread needle as Treasury pick

When President Barack Obama picked Jack Lew to be his Treasury secretary, he left himself a challenge when it comes to filling the agency’s No. 2 position: finding someone with enough financial markets expertise to fill the gaps in Lew’s resume without alienating liberal Democrats by tapping a Wall Street veteran.

The solution to that quandary appears to be Sarah Bloom Raskin, the Federal Reserve Board governor and former Maryland banking regulator who has spent her career in the financial regulatory sphere. Raskin is said to be the White House’s top candidate to be nominated for deputy Treasury secretary, according to people familiar with the matter. Neal Wolin, the current deputy, will leave the department next month.

Raskin has staked out progressive positions at the Fed, including voting against a proposed ban on Wall Street banks trading for their own profit because it wasn’t tough enough, and questioning whether policymakers have paid enough attention to income inequality as a driver of the financial crisis. While financial services executives view her as an outsider despite the regulatory experience, several industry sources said they didn’t expect banks to make a stink about the pick.”


“Dennis Kelleher, the president of financial reform advocacy group Better Markets, said the role of deputy Treasury secretary is akin to the chief operating officer at a private company who oversees day-to-day operations.”


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