Now that Annette Nazareth has withdrawn her name from consideration for Deputy Treasury Secretary, Treasury is reportedly considering Rodge Cohen, the legendary banking lawyer and chairman of Sullivan & Cromwell. Cohen would be a fantastic choice for any top government position, and Treasury would be lucky to have him. Few people in the world have a deeper understanding of the global financial system than Cohen. In today's political environment though, I have a hard time believing that Cohen could get confirmed by the Senate without a bruising political fight. He was heavily involved in the events of last September. He represented Lehman during the weekend negotiations before it filed for bankruptcy, then a few days later represented Barclays in its acquisition of Lehman's U.S. investment banking unit. He also represented Wachovia (his longtime client) in the Citi/Wells Fargo debacle, and presumably advised Wachovia's board of directors that its fiduciary duty required it to accept Wells Fargo's offer, even though that meant violating its exclusivity agreement with Citi. I'm sure Cohen has represented other Wall Street financial houses at various points in the financial crisis as well. Unfortunately, his various representations would add up to the easiest pitch the Senate Finance Committee has seen so far this year, and I'm guessing they'd knock it out of the park. That's sad, because Cohen's vast experience would make him an invaluable asset at Treasury. But that's politics.

8 comments:

dr. von helsing said...

if Rodgin Cohen gets anywhere near a government paycheck, i'm buying a smith & wesson.

and i hate guns.

talk about a fox in the henhouse.

get a grip dude.

Doug Gortner said...

I have known Rodge for 48 years (on a personal basis only), and can honesty say that he is among the most ethical persons I have known. His withdrawal from consideration is a sad day for the USA.

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