President-elect Donald Trump has nominated Wall Street attorney Walter "Jay" Clayton to lead the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
"Jay Clayton is a highly talented expert on many aspects of financial and regulatory law, and he will ensure our financial institutions can thrive and create jobs while playing by the rules at the same time," said Trump in a statement on Jan. 4, reports Reuters. "We need to undo many regulations which have stifled investment in American businesses, and restore oversight of the financial industry in a way that does not harm American workers."
Clayton is currently a partner at the Sullivan & Cromwell law firm, which handles major corporate clients and advises on major financial deals, including Chinese conglomerate Alibaba's record-breaking IPO, reported CNN.
According to Clayton's biography page on the Sullivan & Cromwell website, he has represented Goldman Sachs on at least two cases, including “the investment of $5 billion by Berkshire Hathaway and the U.S. Treasury’s TARP Investment,” and again “in connection with various acquisitions and investments in companies involved in financial services, banking, telecom and other industries.”
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Trump's appointment of a Wall Street attorney to head the firm that regulates Wall Street brought criticism from Trump detractors who said the move was hypocritical, considering the president-elect's campaign promise to “drain the swamp” in Washington, D.C.
“I'm sure Trump campaigned on appointing a Wall Street attorney who represented Goldman Sachs to oversee Wall Street at SEC, right?” tweeted former Hillary Clinton spokesperson Jesse Ferguson.
Sources: Reuters, CNN, Sullivan & Cromwell, Jesse Ferguson/Twitter / Photo credit: U.S. SEC Office of the Whistleblower/Wikimedia Commons