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Obama to consider Porat, Burwell for senior economic positions

Ruth Porat

Ruth Porat

President Obama is considering Morgan Stanley CFO Ruth Porat and Wal-Mart Foundation President Sylvia Mathews Burwell for two top economic positions.

Rumors about Porat, Obama’s top choice for deputy Treasury secretary, have already elicited criticism because she has previous ties to big bank lobbying efforts against the contentious Dodd-Frank Act. Between 2010 and 2012, Porat held five meetings with the Federal Reserve, four with the U.S. Treasury and one meeting with the FDIC to discuss a number of Dodd-Frank measures, including tighter regulation of big banks in particular, Slate reports.

Former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson hired Morgan Stanley in September 2008 to review Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s finances before the financial giants were liquidated by U.S. regulators. Porat, who was then head of global financial institutions at Morgan Stanley, worked alongside Robert Scully, an adviser to then-CEO John Mack, to lead a team that explored possible options for Fannie and Freddie, according to HITC.

Additionally, Obama named Burwell to his global development council last month and is reportedly considering her to lead the Office of Management and Budget. Burwell previously served as the deputy OMB director during the Clinton administration, Bloomberg reports.

Burwell, who also serves on the board of Metlife Insurance, graduated from Harvard College in 1987 before going on to receive a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford. If appointed to the position of OMB director, she would be responsible for managing federal agencies if $110 billion in spending cuts take effect on March 1.

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