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Return of Main Street? Wall Street bigwigs part of Biden’s “transition” team
By Ramon Tomey // Nov 28, 2020

Key members of Joe Biden’s transition team included executives with close ties to Wall Street. Breitbart reported that former executives from banks that donated huge amounts to the former vice president’s campaign hold key positions in his transition team. Biden announced his transition team pending the results of the Nov. 3 presidential elections.


The New York Times, which was among those that published the list, named some of these Wall Street-connected executives. The paper also noted that some of the executives have previously served under former President Barack Obama.

Arun Venkataraman, who is currently with Visa handling government relations, was named as a potential member of the Department of Commerce. This would be his second time at the department, as he was previously the director of policy there under the Obama administration.

The Department of the Treasury sees two potential Wall Street executives in the agency. Don Graves, who is the corporate responsibility head at KeyBank, was named as the leader of the team in charge of the Treasury Department. Marisa Lago of the New York City Department of City Planning was also named as a co-leader alongside Graves. Lago previously oversaw global compliance at Citigroup before being named by Biden.

Professor Gary Gensler of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management was named to lead banking and securities regulators if Biden wins. Gensler previously served in the same capacity during the Obama administration, before going to Goldman Sachs and working under former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The Wall Street Journal also published the names of potential cabinet picks in case Biden wins the polls.

Retirement firm TIAA-CREF CEO Roger Ferguson was named a likely cabinet member, alongside financial executive Tom Nides of Morgan Stanley and erstwhile hedge fund manager and presidential candidate Tom Steyer. Nides and Steyer publicly supported Biden during his presidential bid.

Finance veteran Jeffrey Zients, who co-chairs Biden’s transition team, and Jake Siewert of Goldman Sachs were also named for potential cabinet posts. Siewert served under two previous Democratic administrations: He was the White House Press Secretary during former President Bill Clinton’s term, and had served in the Treasury Department under former President Obama.

Margaret Anadu, another Goldman Sachs executive, was nominated for a potential stint related to economic policy. The 39-year-old is in charge of the banking firm’s urban investment initiatives.

Progressive Democrats slam Biden for putting Wall Street executives on his potential cabinet

However, progressive Democrats in the House of Representatives have condemned Biden’s choices for cabinet positions. POLITICO reported in October that lawmakers in the lower house including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Katie Porter (D-CA), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) and Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) signed a letter arguing that a Biden administration should not have any positions handled by C-suite level corporate executives or corporate lobbyists. (Related: This is the SWAMP: Four senators sold millions in stocks ahead of Wall Street’s coronavirus crash after being briefed about what was coming.)

The representatives wrote: “One of the most important lessons of the Trump administration is the need to stop putting corporate officers and lobbyists in charge of our government.” They added that elected leaders “should stop trying to make unsupportable distinctions between which corporate affiliations are acceptable for government service and which are not.”

Democrats would look “hypocritical” if they appointed corporate-friendly officials after criticizing appointees of President Donald Trump for their corporate links, the letter’s authors argued.

Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García (D-IL), who was a signatory in the letter, said: “The chokehold that corporate giants and the rich hold over our political system is not new. Their power and influence in American politics [have] been growing for years.” (Related: Biden family mired in pedophilia, collusion and corruption.)

The progressive Democrat faction which Cortez is part of has surmised that Wall Street executives are being nominated by Joe Biden for the White House as a “return of investment.”

Sources include:





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