Two Biden administration picks for economic advisory roles are already under scrutiny after it was revealed that they worked for mega New York City asset manager BlackRock after leaving the Obama administration. Brian Deese, Biden’s pick to lead the White House National Economic Council, worked for the firm until Dec. 18, and Wally Adeyemo, slated to be Biden’s deputy treasury secretary, worked for the firm for two years.
A transition spokesperson told the Washington Post that both will be expected to recuse themselves “for an appropriate period” as Biden’s pick as Treasury secretary, Janet L. Yellen, is expected to clamp down on asset management firms like BlackRock, forcing them into a different set of regulatory norms than they have enjoyed after the Trump administration eased oversight of such companies.
Neither Adeyemo nor Deese consulted with BlackRock executives in previous negotiations with the Treasury Department or regulators, the Washington Post reports, but Biden has already been under pressure after naming the former employees.
Biden transition spokeswoman Rosemary Boeglin told the Washington Post that Biden “has committed to establishing the most ethically rigorous administration in American history.”