Politics

Speculations on President-Elect Donald Trump’s Economic Team

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Speculations on President-Elect Donald Trump’s Economic Team
Bernadine Racoma

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has been labeled as an unconventional political candidate. However, as reports say it, he is now in the process of assembling an economic team for key Cabinet positions that is quite conventional in nature. Most of them, as expected, are from the mainstream Republican Party.

Assembling a team

Inside Trump’s camp, people say that billionaire financier Wilbur Ross is being eyed as Secretary of Commerce. Moreover, Trump’s finance chief during his campaign, Steve Mnuchin is likely to be the Secretary of Finance. Mnuchin was formerly a hedge fund executive and a partner at Goldman Sachs. On the other hand, his camp denied that Jamie Dimon, chief of JP Morgan, is considering the post of Finance Secretary.

Likewise, James Dimon, the Chairman, President and CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co., a Democrat, has denied the rumor, saying that he does not have any interest in holding a government position, whether under a Democrat or a Republican. He added that he has no intention of leaving the international bank. JP Morgan has not issued a comment regarding the issue.

Ross on the other hand is a specialist in distressed investments. His fortune is estimated at around $3 billion. During the presidential campaign, Ross was Trump’s senior adviser. His being close to the business community is what makes him a top candidate for the position of the Secretary of Commerce.

While Trump has an on-going war with Wall Street that’s known to the public, he grew privately close to Ross who instrumental in raising campaign money for Trump through his contacts in the financial community. He was able to regularly come up with campaign funds for Trump’s bid for the presidency. It was not as big as Hillary Clinton’s fund, but it was enough to mount an effective, competitive albeit bare-bones campaign.

One other name that’s coming up is David Malpass, an ex-Bear Stearns economist. Like Ross, he was an economic adviser to Trump during his campaign. Malpass is not new to a government post. He was an adviser during the administrations of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush in economic policy-related positions. He currently heads Encima Global, an economic forecasting company based in New York’s Wall Street.

A likely scenario

These rumors are currently floating around, but the persons involved have not made any comment regarding their likely or unlikely government post. In the meantime, people inside Trump’s camp say that the president-elect normally makes decisions at the last minute. They said that he almost did not select Governor Mike Pence (R-IN) as his Vice President and was opting for Chris Christie, the governor of New Jersey.

Others names speculated to be included in Trump’s short list of Cabinet members include those whom they feel Trump would be comfortable working with when he assumes office in January 2017. One of them is Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City. They think Trump will name him as the Chief of Homeland Security or the Attorney General. On the other hand, it’s known that the former city mayor wishes to hold either the Secretary of Defense or State position.

While Giuliani has not made any comment, insiders also say that he may not get the post that he wants because it is very possible that it will go to Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL). Others in the running as Secretary of State are Senator Committee on Foreign Relations’ current chairman, Senator Robert Corker (R-TN) and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton.

For the position of Chief of Staff, the choices include Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee and Steve Bannon, Trump’s campaign chief. Sarah Palin may also get a position as an undersecretary.

All of these people are likely contenders for a key government post under Trump’s administration and their camps or they themselves have neither confirmed nor denied the speculations.

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