To: "Barack H. Obama" , "Eric Holder" , "David Farmer" , "Steven Guttman" , "Carol K. Muranaka" , "David A. Ezra" , "Judith Neustadter" , "Kevin S.C. Chang" , "Barry M. Kurren" , "Securities & Exchange Commission Enforcement Division" , "U.S. Treasury Dept. Office of Inspector General" , "Office of Inspector General US Dept of Justice" , "Executive Office for U.S. Trustees" , "Robert Faris" , "Thomas Fitton" , "SEC Office of The Inspector General"
Fannie Mae CEO to Run Bank Bailout
By JIM KUHNHENN, AP
WASHINGTON (April 17) - The White House turned to an experienced former investment banker Friday to run the federal government's $700 billion bank rescue effort, selecting the head of mortgage giant Fannie Mae as an assistant Treasury secretary.
Herbert Allison Jr., Fannie Mae's president and CEO, will replace Neel Kashkari, a holdover from the Bush administration.
Allison, who must be confirmed by the Senate, would bear the title of assistant Treasury secretary for financial stability and counselor to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.
He would be in charge of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the fund that has injected billions of dollars into banks in hopes of unclogging credit. He would inherit a program that has been sharply criticized in Congress and which banks have come to view warily because of the restrictions attached to receipt of its funds.
President Barack Obama's administration has been slowly filling Treasury positions, hindered by candidates who have either withdrawn from consideration or been caught up in the vetting process.
Fannie Mae, seized by federal regulators in September, is closely overseen by federal regulators, making the chief executive's job tough to fill in the private sector. The company, therefore, appears likely to turn to an insider as Allison's replacement.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that Fannie Mae was expected to name Michael J. Williams, the company's chief operating officer and a longtime executive as Allison's replacement. Fannie Mae declined to comment.
Allison's selection presents the administration with yet another challenge. If Allison is confirmed, both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would be without chief executives. David Moffett, formerly Freddie Mac's CEO, resigned in March.
In Allison, the White House selected a former Merrill Lynch investment banker who became chairman of the retirement fund manager TIAA-CREF. Allison served as finance chief for John McCain's 2000 campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. But politically, Allison has shown himself to be bipartisan in his allegiances, contributing to both Democrats and Republicans, according to Federal Election Commission records.
Since taking over in September at Fannie Mae, where he took no salary, Allison, the son of an FBI agent, developed a reputation for open-mindedness with consumer advocates, even those who have had an a contentious relationship with the giant company.
"Mr. Allison is well-positioned to lead the TARP," said Scott Talbott, chief lobbyist for the Financial Services Roundtable, an industry group. "He has a wealth of experience with buying, selling, protecting, and managing assets to protect the taxpayer investment and strengthen the economy."
Some industry officials said that by pulling Allison away from Fannie Mae, the White House was signaling that TARP would remain a viable component of the government's stabilization efforts for the financial industry, even in the face of hostile lawmakers and wary bankers.
Bert Ely, a banking industry consultant, said Allison has the advantages of being a known quantity to the Obama administration who is "much more of a financial heavyweight" than Kashkari.
Plus, he said, the new job would likely be more of a challenge than running Fannie and Freddie, which have been operating under tight government oversight since last September. "In this new situation, he's going to be much more of a policy maker," Ely said. "I can understand why he would want to take it."
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Herbert M. Allison
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Herbert M. Allison, Jr. (born 1943) was appointed as President and Chief Executive Officer of Fannie Mae in September 2008 by Director James Lockhart of Federal Housing Finance Agency, as conservator of Fannie Mae.
Prior to being appointed to Fannie Mae, he was Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of TIAA-CREF from 2002 until his retirement in 2008.
He began his professional career in 1971 as an associate in the investment banking division of Merrill Lynch in New York. After postings in Paris, Tehran and London, Mr. Allison served at various times as Treasurer, Director of Human Resources, Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President for the Investment Banking, Equity and Debt Divisions before being elected President, Chief Operating Officer and a member of the Board of Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc., in 1997.
After leaving Merrill Lynch in mid-1999, he served as National Finance Chairman for U.S. Senator John McCain's first Presidential Campaign.
From 2000 to 2002, Mr. Allison was President and Chief Executive Officer of the Alliance for Lifelong Learning, Inc., a joint venture of Oxford, Stanford and Yale Universities, offering online, college-level courses to adults.
Allison is a director of Time Warner Inc., and a member of the Advisory Board of the Yale School of Management, the Advisory Council of the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's International Advisory Committee.
He was a director of the New York Stock Exchange from 2003-2005. In recent years Mr. Allison also chaired the Business-Higher Education Forum and the Vietnam Education Foundation and served on the Business Roundtable, the Financial Services Roundtable, recently served on the Board of Directors of The Conference Board, the Board of Trustees of The Economic Club of New York, the New York State Commission to Modernize the Regulation of Financial Services, the New York State Commission on Education Reform and the Council of Graduate Schools Advisory Committee.
Allison earned a B.A. in philosophy from Yale University. Following four years as an officer in the U.S. Navy, including a year in Vietnam, he received an M.B.A. from Stanford University.