Sat, Jan 21, 2017 - Page 7 News List

David Nason being vetted for US Fed role, sources say

Reuters, WASHINGTON and NEW YORK

David Nason, a General Electric executive and former US Department of the Treasury official, is the frontrunner to become the Federal Reserve’s top Wall Street regulator under US President Donald Trump, sources familiar with the screening said on Thursday.

Nason leads General Electric’s Energy Financial Services division, which funds worldwide energy development, mostly from thermal and renewable sources.

In 2008, Nason was a deputy to then-US secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson as US regulators tried to stabilize Wall Street and prevent an economic meltdown after the housing market collapsed.

Trump will have a chance to nominate the Fed’s vice chair for supervision — a role conceived in the wake of the financial collapse to watchdog Wall Street.

If Nason is tapped for the role, he would be the most senior rule-writer for Wall Street with a large say in how leading banks are supervised.

However, other names have been floated as vice chair candidates who can boast support from Wall Street.

US Representative French Hill, an Arkansas Republican and former banker, has been favored by some in the banking industry, while some Washington lobbyists have favored Paul Atkins, a former commissioner with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

While no final decision has been made on who should fill the job, Nason has Paulson’s backing and has become the frontrunner, the sources said.

In the last several weeks, Nason has met with Trump’s senior economic advisers Gary Cohn and Steve Mnuchin, one source familiar with the meetings said.

Trump has named Cohn as head of the White House National Economic Council and nominated Mnuchin as US secretary of the Treasury.

Both Cohn and Mnuchin held senior roles at Goldman Sachs and they have heard directly from Paulson, the company’s former chief executive, that Nason is a solid pick, another source familiar with the screening said.

In Paulson’s memoir, On the Brink, the former secretary singles Nason out for praise during the financial crisis.

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