WASHINGTON — GE Energy Financial Services CEO David Nason is withdrawing his name from consideration at one of the key open positions in banking supervision, according to a GE spokesperson.
The former Treasury Department official during the George W. Bush administration and reported frontrunner to be named vice chairman of supervision at the Federal Reserve, “plans to pursue opportunities at GE” rather than rejoin government, the spokesperson said.
Nason, who was assistant secretary for financial institutions at the Treasury during the financial crisis and was a close confidant of Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, was seen by many as a moderate choice to lead the Fed’s regulatory apparatus.
Ian Katz, an analyst at CapAlpha, said Nason’s withdrawal can be viewed as a victory for hardliners in the Trump administration who may have been suspicious of someone with political baggage from the financial crisis.
“Nason is very well regarded by many Republicans and Democrats. But he’s seen a mainstream, establishment figure,” Katz said. “What could be viewed as a big feather in his cap — working elbow to elbow with then-Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson to implement the Tarp bailouts — is seen by some as a mark against him.”
With Nason’s withdrawal, rumored candidates include Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Vice Chairman Thomas Hoenig, former BB&T Chief Executive John Allison and Trump adviser Paul Atkins. U.S. Bancorp CEO Richard Davis, who is slated to retire this year, is also rumored to be in the mix for a seat at the Fed board.
There are voices in the banking industry also pushing Rep. French Hill, R-Ark., for the vice chairman’s role, though he told Bloomberg late last month that he would “probably not” take a job in the administration if offered.
“I want my job representing the people of central Arkansas as a Congressman; that’s my focus,” Hill said.