Move over, Taylor Lautner! There’s a new “Jacob” in town!
Meet Jacob Joseph “Jack” Lew, Obama’s likely candidate to replace U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. You might have only heard his name recently, but he’s certainly no stranger to addressing budgetary concerns in both the public and the private sectors!
From 1998 to 2001, Lew worked with President Bill Clinton as the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Interestingly, the U.S. budget had operated at a surplus for three consecutive years during his tenure. Not only that, but in his term as the OMB’s Deputy Director, he was also part of the team that made a bi-partisan deal to balance the U.S. budget.
Jack Lew has also tried his hand in the private sector. He was CEO to New York University, where he made decisions on budget, finance, and operations. He also spent some time with Citi Alternative Investments and Citi Global Wealth Management where he acted as managing director and chief operating officer.
In 2010, Lew went back to the OMB as Director and replaced Peter Orszag with the Senate’s unanimous consent. Then, in 2012, he became the White House Chief of Staff, where his support for the “grand bargain” between President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner to avert the Fiscal Cliff was remarked upon.
Word on the street though is that unlike Geithner, Lew doesn’t have any close friends and acquaintances on Wall Street.
Rather, he’s been described as a die-hard Democratic and won’t back down from nobody!
Back in 2011, rumor has it that when Lew was negotiating with a group of Republicans with regards to budget cuts, he strongly suggestions that cuts be made Medicaid, which just so happened to be one of Obama’s pet projects. Lew was so steadfast in his demands that Republicans had no choice but to put the phone down in frustration!
If Lew is eventually given the top Treasury post, it could give Obama a major boost in promoting his economic policies. His appointment would give the Democrats another platform to push for higher taxes that may eventually result in higher tax revenues.
What I’m really interested to see though, is whether Lew’s appointment will make it tougher for Republicans and Democrats to solve the debt ceiling. Should Republicans strongly oppose his appointment, it could lead to delays in negotiations, which may lead to another 11th hour deal once current measures that are preventing Uncle Sam from defaulting end in early March.
Stay tuned on this under-the-radar issue, as it could have serious implications on the financial markets!