Hedge Fund Manager Quits Race for TARP Role

The Treasury Department saw yet another candidate drop out of the race to fill top positions. Hedge fund manager Frank Brosens has withdrawn his name from consideration for a leading position to head the Treasury’s Troubled Asset Relief Program, sources told the Wall Street Journal. Co-founder of Taconic Capital Advisors, Brosens campaigned for President Barack Obama and is a major donor to the Democratic Party. He told the Post he’d dropped out of consideration for a number of reasons, including not wanting to leave his hedge fund or take up the massive commute between Washington, D.C. and the New York-based school his son attends. Brosens’ withdrawal marked the latest in a string of candidate drop-outs for Treasury positions as public and media scrutiny of candidate backgrounds and tax histories has amplified in the wake of several candidate tax flubs. In light of the hostile reaction to bonuses distributed at bailout recipient American International Group Inc. (AIG) and the public heaping of blame — not only on AIG officials but on officials of the government branches put in charge of the failed insurer — it’s become a trend for such candidates to drop unexpectedly out of the running. Secretary Tim Geithner has managed the department with a skeleton crew of top advisers while the search for candidates to fill major roles continues. Neel Kashkari has run the TARP since the switch in administrations, but his duration there is temporary; it’s unclear now when Kashkari’s time at the Treasury will run out. Obama, reacting to the shortage of Treasury officials in top positions under Geithner, late Monday said he’d decided to nominate Treasury veteran Neal Wolin for a lead position under the secretary. He also said he would nominate Clinton Administration veteran Lael Brainard to head international affairs at the Treasury. Wolin and Brainard face Senate confirmations before the appointments are official, but the third nomination announced — Stuart Levey for under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, a role he retains — won’t require a second confirmation after the initial Senate confirmation in July 2004. Write to Diana Golobay at diana.golobay@housingwire.com.

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