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Trump offers Goldman executive Cohn key economic post

Agencies | Updated: 2016-12-10 01:21

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK - U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has asked senior Goldman Sachs banker Gary Cohn to coordinate economic policy across his administration, turning to Wall Street for expertise in managing the world's largest economy, NBC News reported on Friday.

Trump's pick of Cohn, 56, the firm's president and chief operating officer, to head his White House National Economic Council marks the third time he has tapped an alum of the major investment bank for a senior role in his administration.

The NEC coordinates economic policy across federal agencies and if Cohn takes the post, he will follow Robert Rubin and Stephen Friedman, two other one-time Goldman executives who served in that role.

The choice would rob Goldman of the man widely seen as heir apparent to Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein and may give rise to a new group of leaders at the bank, most of whom have spent more than 20 years there.

A Goldman Sachs spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

Trump's transition team had no immediate comment on the report.

Cohn is a former Goldman commodities trader from Ohio who joined the firm in 1990. He served in a variety of leadership roles in bond trading, becoming co-head of Goldman's broader securities and eventually co-president in 2006.

Cohn has donated to both Democrats and Republicans over the years. He has given more recently to Republicans, including $33,400 to the National Republican Congressional Committee in 2015, according to campaign contribution records. They also showed that in 2007 and 2008, Cohn donated to Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton's presidential campaigns.

He speaks frequently on the state of the financial markets at industry conferences and on television.

Cohn would join at least two other former Goldman executives in the Trump administration, including Treasury Secretary-designate Steven Mnuchin and White House adviser Steve Bannon.

Trump is also expected to pick U.S. Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers to run the Interior department, said a person familiar with the matter.

McMorris Rodgers, a Republican from Washington state, is a strong advocate of increased oil and gas development and her appointment could mean easier access for industry to more than a quarter of America's territory, ranging from national parks to tribal lands stretching from the Arctic to the Gulf of Mexico, where energy companies have been eager to drill and mine.

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