Indian American likely to oversee $700-bn bailout package

October 6th, 2008 - 9:06 pm ICT by IANS  

New York, Oct 6 (IANS) Neel Kashkari, an Indian American, is expected to oversee the $700-billion bailout package of the US Treasury Department approved by Congress.Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is likely to appoint Kashkari, a key adviser on whom he came to rely heavily during the financial crisis, to oversee the Treasury’s programme to buy distressed assets from financial institutions, The Wall Street Journal newspaper reported Monday quoting people familiar with the matter.

Kashkari, 35, a Treasury assistant secretary for international affairs and a former Goldman Sachs banker, is expected to be named interim head of Treasury’s new Office of Financial Stability as early as Monday. The position confers substantial power on Kashkari, the Journal said.

The position is interim and pending for the Senate confirmation. It is unlikely the Senate would take a call on the matter before the November elections, the report added.

Kashkari, who was one of the originators of the bailout plan, was part of the Treasury team that negotiated the asset-repurchase programme with Congress. Now, he will oversee some key decisions on how the rescue programme would operate.

Congress has given Treasury the authority to start buying assets, but choices like which asset managers to hire, which securities to purchase and how, still remain, the Journal said.

Before joining the Treasury Department, Kashkari was a vice president at Goldman Sachs in San Francisco, where he led the IT Security Investment Banking practice, advising public and private companies on mergers and acquisitions and financial transactions.

Before his career in finance, Kashkari was an R&D principal investigator at TRW in Redondo Beach, California, where he developed technology for NASA space science missions such as the James Webb Space Telescope.

Originally from Ohio, Kashkari graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Engineering. He also received an MBA in finance from the Wharton School.

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