We should have seen this one coming — government officials who helped respond to the financial crisis, now cashing in by helping private sector clients “navigate the new world of finance.”
That’s what David Nason, a former assistant treasury secretary under Hank Paulson will be doing for clients of Promontary Financial Group, which he’s joining as a managing director, reports the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.). Nason, who had a major hand in drawing up Treasury’s bailout plan last fall, “is expected to advise big financial institutions on everything from how to participate in the government’s rescue programs to meeting regulatory requirements.”
Although Nason is barred by law from lobbying Treasury, at least for now, he can talk to other government regulators like the Fed and the FDIC.
But Nason wasn’t just any Treasury official pressed into action during the crisis. A quick scan of news reports since last fall shows that he was perhaps more intimately involved than any other government policymaker in shaping the details of the government’s response to the crisis.
Last October, New York magazine described Nason as “the wildly creative brains behind the transformation of our banking system. If there’s a new idea about how to rescue the banks, it probably came from Nason.”
That same month, Time reported that Nason had been overseeing the nationalization of Fannie Mae And Freddie Mac.
And the New York Times described him flatly the following month as the person who “designed the [TARP] program.”
It’s also worth noting that before coming to Treasury, Nason was a top aide to Paul Atkins, a stridently conservative SEC commissioner, who, under then-chair Chris Cox, pushed for the deregulatory approach that we all know worked out so well.
So it’s good to know Nason has landed on his feet. He told the Journal: “There will be profound reforms in the financial services arena and Promontory is the perfect platform to help shape and advise clients on how to react to those changes.”
And he’s the perfect person to do the advising.