Antonio Weiss: $21+ Million Winner!

Not ’cause he is lucky…’cause he’s smarter than us common folk…

“The practice of Wall Street executives cashing out early when they take government jobs drew criticism during last year’s confirmation hearings for the man who might be Weiss’ new boss, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew. When Lew left Citigroup in 2008 and later joined the State Department, he made somewhere between $250,000 and $500,000 in early stock payouts.

If investment banker Antonio Weiss wins Senate confirmation as a Treasury under secretary, he’ll walk away with a parting payment of up to $21 million. The financial services firm Lazard, where Weiss is the global head of investment banking, has agreed to pay him (that amount).”

“Want $20 million to work for the government? Just quit a Wall Street job first”

Senator Elizabeth Warren on 11/19/2014 said, “Enough Is Enough: The President’s Latest Wall Street Nominee”

“…There’s the larger…issue of Wall Street executives dominating the Obama administration…(and) overall economic policymaking apparatus. I wrote about this problem a couple of months ago on The Huffington Post…

Here is what I wrote then:

Just look at the influence of one mega-bank — Citigroup — on our government. Starting with former Citigroup CEO Robert Rubin, three of the last four Treasury secretaries under Democratic presidents held high-paying jobs at Citigroup either before or after serving at Treasury — and the fourth was offered, but declined, Citigroup’s CEO position. Directors of the National Economic Council and Office of Management and Budget, the current Vice Chairman of the Federal Reserve and the U.S. trade representative, also pulled in millions from Citigroup.

That’s what the revolving door looks like at just one Too Big to Fail Bank. What about others? The influence of Goldman Sachs in Washington has been much documented, including here at The Huffington Post. JPMorgan? Shortly before the [Eric] Cantor episode, another former member of Congress — Democrat Melissa Bean — took the same senior job at JPMorgan Chase previously held by Democrat Bill Daley before his recent service as White House Chief of Staff. Yes — this is just a single position at JPMorgan Chase, evidently reserved for the latest politician ready to cash in on Wall Street.

I could go on — and I will. Soon after they crashed the economy and got tens of billions of dollars in taxpayer bailouts, the biggest Wall Street banks started lobbying Congress to head off any serious financial regulation. Public Citizen and the Center for Responsive Politics found that in 2009 alone, the financial services sector employed 1,447 former federal employees to carry out their lobbying efforts, swarming all over Congress. And who were their top lobbyists? Members of Congress — in fact, 73 former Members of Congress.

According to a report by the Institute for America’s Future, by the following year, the six biggest banks employed 243 lobbyists who once worked in the federal government, including 33 who had worked as chiefs of staff for members of Congress and 54 who had worked as staffers for the banking oversight committees in the Senate or the House.

The over-representation of Wall Street banks in senior government positions sends a bad message. It tells people that one — and only one — point of view will dominate economic policymaking. It tells people that whatever goes wrong in this economy, the Wall Street banks will be protected first. That’s yet another advantage that Wall Street just doesn’t need.

I have voted against only one of President Obama’s nominees: Michael Froman, a Citigroup alumnus who is currently storming the halls of Congress as U.S. Trade Representative pushing trade deals that threaten to undermine financial regulation, workers’ rights, and environmental protections. Enough is enough.

It’s time for the Obama administration to loosen the hold that Wall Street banks have over economic policy making. Sure, big banks are important, but running this economy for American families is a lot more important.”

Powerful statements from the Senator…

Incidentally, I discovered a new petition as I was reviewing the progress of a petition that I started: “Correcting Mistakes – Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac”  BTW we’re at 351 sig’s and need at least 10,000+ more than that… Admittedly, it’s not a perfectly worded petition, as it was initially meant to convey a very simple message.

The related petition, I discovered:

“Stand with Elizabeth Warren and Say No to a Wall Street Banker for Treasury Undersecretary”

I am sure Mr. Weiss is a great guy and a wonderful friend and family member.  I personally wish him no ill-will.  However, the status quo is finally changing and Mr. Weiss unfortunately finds himself at center stage.

Best of luck Mr. Weiss, meant with true sincerity…!

2 thoughts on “Antonio Weiss: $21+ Million Winner!

  1. Any relationship between Weiss nomination by Obama and taking action on the GSEs? Privatizing them, full nationalization? After all, this guy has been nominated to manage national debt issues and has ties all over the planet in case he needs to “calm the waters”.


    • You know, that is the tricky part…trying to find someone with relevant experience that is not from a Big Bank. This particular nomination caught my attention when Senator Warren opposed it. She is trying to stop the revolving door that can be traced to the financial debacle created by individuals driven by greed who failed in Wall St/DC but blamed the crisis on the “flawed GSE model.”

      I support Mrs. Warren’s effort to put an end to the practice, but will also defer to her on writing the ideal job description. I believe she advocates for qualified, non-insiders that come from academia (like herself) that lack the connection to folks who can guarantee a multi-million dollar job to regulators after they leave DC.


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