Banking & Debt Capital Markets Partner Discusses Treasury Secretary Nominee Jacob Lew

Law360 | January.10.2013

This article, about the possible attitude of treasury secretary nominee Jacob Lew towards Dodd-Frank regulations, quotes New York banking and debt capital markets partner Jason White.

According to White, the White House is also going to want Dodd-Frank fully implemented as soon as possible, and Lew's political background will be an asset there.

"Lew is a lifelong deal maker and insider. He worked on Capitol Hill and the White House, on the front lines of deal cutting and implementation of difficult policies," said White. "He's not going to be a firefighter as Geithner was perceived to be; he is going to be a person who will work collaboratively in implementing Dodd-Frank."

Lew's time as chief operating officer of Citigroup's Alternative Investments unit — essentially a $54 billion proprietary trading outfit — means he could provide additional insight into the debate over the Volcker Rule, Dodd-Frank's controversial proprietary trading ban, according to White.

"I think that Lew worked on the proprietary trading desk, and as a result, he understands how those desks and businesses can be risky if they're not financially controlled," he stated. "But he also understands how proprietary trading provides liquidity to markets and can be a useful hedge. That perspective might not be unwelcome to the financial services industry."