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Brosens Withdraws as Candidate for U.S. Bank-Rescue Fund Chief


Date: Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Author: Robert Schmidt, Bloomberg.com

Frank Brosens, a hedge fund manager who was Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s choice to run the office overseeing the $700 billion bank bailout program, withdrew his name from consideration.

Brosens, a founding partner of Taconic Capital Advisors LLC in New York, confirmed in an e-mail he is no longer in the running for the job, which requires Senate confirmation. The position is currently held by Neel Kashkari, a holdover from the Bush administration.

Geithner has had a difficult time filling vacancies and remains President Barack Obama’s only confirmed appointment at the department as the administration grapples with the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression. At a congressional hearing yesterday, the Treasury chief said that hiring isn’t easy.

“We’re finding a lot of people willing to come serve their country at this moment of challenge, and I think that’s very encouraging,” Geithner told the House Financial Services Committee. “We’re going to need some more people, though, and we’re working very hard to bring in enough talent to help us get through this.”

Also at the hearing, Geithner called Kashkari, who runs the Troubled Asset Relief Program, “an excellent public servant.”

The unit run by Kashkari, the Office of Financial Stability, was created by Congress last year in the legislation that established the financial bailout fund.

Deputy Picked

The White House earlier this week moved to fill several posts at the department, saying it would nominate Neal Wolin to be Geithner’s deputy secretary, and Lael Brainard to be the undersecretary for international affairs.

Obama also said Stuart Levey will stay on as the Treasury’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence.

Earlier this month, Obama said he would nominate three others for assistant secretary jobs at the Treasury: Alan Krueger for economic policy, David Cohen for combating terrorist financing and Kim Wallace for legislative affairs.

As he has crafted major policies on the financial bailout, including this week’s announcement on toxic assets, Geithner has relied on a team of unconfirmed counselors and officials detailed from other agencies.

Isaac Baker, a Treasury spokesman, declined to comment on Brosens’s withdrawal.

To contact the reporter on this story: Robert Schmidt in Washington at rschmidt5@bloomberg.net.