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President-elect Joe Biden is happy to take Wall Street’s money. Its phone calls are another story. That is, with one very notable exception.

Gary Gensler, a former Obama administration official best known for cracking down on Wall Street banks, will join Joe Biden's presidential transition team and lead its review of financial regulatory agencies, people familiar with the matter said.

Gensler's involvement will likely calm the nerves of progressives who want Biden to take a hard line with the finance industry. The former Goldman Sachs partner faced off with the banking industry as chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission from 2009 to 2014, guiding the agency as it imposed new rules on Wall Street trading after the 2008 financial crisis.

That’s right, baby: Gary Gensler’s back! And while he probably won’t get to be Treasury Secretary, maybe he will finally get to be SEC chair or, better yet, just get to pick every nominee for a financial regulatory role for the next four years. And he’s not the only one.

In 2010, during a brief stint in the Senate, Mr. Kaufman led a push to limit the size of U.S. lenders—a move that would have led to the breakup of the biggest banks had it been successful.

Mr. Kaufman is leading President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team, giving him a voice in choosing appointees to fill positions across the government, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Securities and Exchange Commission…. Mr. Kaufman has taken aim at the revolving door between Wall Street and Washington and was an early critic of the high-frequency trading that he said contributed to the May 2010 stock-market “flash crash….”

After leaving the Senate, Mr. Kaufman served on an SEC advisory panel where he pressed regulators to strengthen oversight of automated trading on U.S. stock markets. A key focus: getting brokers to provide more information about how they handle stock orders on behalf of retail and institutional investors.

Something tells me these two might work well together.

Mr. Kaufman has also criticized the practice of recruiting bankers from firms such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. for top economic jobs in government…. But in a 2018 column, he made an exception for Mr. Gensler….

And, given the outgoing president’s magical touch for picking Federal Reserve nominees that even his toadies in the Senate can’t stomach, there are already a lot to pick.

When Mr. Biden takes office on Jan. 20, he could have up to three vacancies to fill…. The board now has two openings…. If the Senate doesn’t confirm Mr. Trump’s picks, Mr. Biden would have two seats to fill. He would have a third if he nominates Fed governor Lael Brainard to serve as his Treasury secretary.

That kind of math might worry a Fed chair tapped by Donald Trump, but for Jay Powell, it’ll be quite a relief. And he might even get to keep his job in such fortuitous circumstances. Indeed, he’s already campaigning for it.

Mr. Powell is likely to enjoy a more civil and less antagonistic relationship with Mr. Biden than he did with President Trump…. Mr. Biden could face pressure from within his party to replace Mr. Powell with a Democrat, especially given policy differences with Mr. Powell over bank regulation. But some Democrats have called on Mr. Biden to reappoint Mr. Powell, which Senate Republicans would likely support.

Fed officials continue to discuss what they can do to help, and those talks have included stepping up the asset purchase program if necessary, the central bank official told CNBC.

Former Wall Street cop Gary Gensler to join Biden transition [Politico]
Biden Transition Chief Proposed Limiting Size of Biggest U.S. Banks [WSJ]
Where Is Wall Street in Biden’s Transition Team? [DealBook]
Biden’s Election Win Was a Big Bet for These Wall Street Executives [WSJ]
What Biden’s Election Means for the Fed [WSJ]
Fed officials in ‘robust’ discussions about the future of their asset-purchase program [CNBC]



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