Former National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn and President Trump
More so than many of his predecessors, National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn played an outsize role in the Trump administration, serving as a key adviser on financial services policy matters, including topics like Dodd-Frank reform and top regulatory appointments.

Cohn's decision to quit last week wasn't exactly a shock. Cohn had broken publicly with President Trump over his response to violence at a white- supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., last summer, and was rumored to have considered leaving at the time. Trump's announcement two weeks ago that he would pursue tariffs on aluminum and steel was apparently the final straw for Cohn. According to published reports, Trump asked Cohn directly to support tariffs. Shortly thereafter, Cohn announced he would resign.

The decision alarmed Wall Street and many in the financial services industry, who saw Cohn as a source of stability in an administration that has often lurched from crisis to crisis. As a result, they are watching closely to see who Trump picks as Cohn's replacement — and whether that person will bring the same knowledge of the financial markets as the former Goldman Sachs executive.

For his part, Trump claims that "many people" are applying for the job and he will announce a pick soon.





Possible candidates include advisers already in Trump's orbit to a CNBC host. Following is a list of the front-runners for the post.
Chris Liddell, director of strategic initiatives in the Office of American Innovation, former GM executive
Chris Liddell, former GM executive
Chris Liddell, a former top executive at GM and Microsoft, is considered a leading candidate to replace Cohn. According to The Wall Street Journal, Jared Kushner, one of Trump's top advisers and his son-in-law, is strongly pushing Liddell for the job. Liddell has been serving as director of strategic initiatives in the Office of American Innovation, part of an effort by Kushner to reform the government.

Liddell reportedly also is friendly with John Kelly, the White House chief of staff and his choice is supported by Cohn himself.
Larry Kudlow, CNBC host
Larry Kudlow, CNBC host
Trump is a well-known fan of Larry Kudlow, the longtime CNBC cable news host and former Reagan administration official. But Kudlow differs with Trump on trade policy, as did Cohn.

Still, by Monday, there were predictions by some that Kudlow would get the job. "Yes, it's probably Larry Kudlow for NEC Director," wrote Ben White, chief economic correspondent for Politico, on Twitter. "But nothing is done till Trump announces it."
Peter Navarro, director of trade policy at the Trump White House
Peter Navarro, top trade adviser
Peter Navarro, President Trump's top trade adviser, is the architect of the president's tariff plan. Like Trump, Navarro is a critic of China's economic policies and has argued for a more protectionist stance within the Trump administration.
Acting CFPB Director Mick Mulvaney
Mick Mulvaney, head of OMB and CFPB
As one of Trump's favorite advisers, Mick Mulvaney is at the top of any list for picks of open posts within the administration. Mulvaney is already serving in two key positions: head of the Office of Management and Budget and acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. But he has also been rumored as a possible replacement for John Kelly, the White House chief of staff.

Given that he effectively already advises Trump on financial policy in his OMB role, Mulvaney is unlikely to replace Cohn, but it remains a possibility.
Kevin Warsh, fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution
Kevin Warsh, former Fed governor
Former Federal Reserve Board Gov. Kevin Warsh, now a fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution, is also regularly rumored for economic vacancies within the Trump administration.

Warsh was in the running for Fed chair before Trump picked Jerome Powell for the job last year. Given that other candidates are closer to the president and Warsh's views on tariffs is unclear, he appears to be a dark-horse candidate in the race to succeed Cohn.
Kevin Hassett, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers
Kevin Hassett
Kevin Hassett, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, is also considered a front-runner for the NEC job. Hassett is a former Fed economist and professor at Columbia University.
FHFA Director Mark Calabria
Mark Calabria, chief economist for Vice President Mike Pence
A former top adviser to Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., when he ran the Senate Banking Committee, Calabria is well versed in financial services policy issues. Now the chief economist for Vice President Mike Pence, he has been supportive of the regulatory relief effort pending in the House and Senate, and is considered a key voice on the future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
NEC Director Gary Cohn
Shahira Knight, deputy to NEC Director Gary Cohn
Shahira Knight, a deputy in the National Economic Council, is widely reported to be a candidate to replace her current boss. Yet according to The Wall Street Journal, she has indicated in recent days that she doesn't want the job.
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Jim Donovan, Goldman Sachs
Jim Donovan, a managing partner at Goldman Sachs, is also said to be in the running to replace Cohn, himself a former veteran of the investment bank. Despite criticizing Goldman Sachs on the campaign trail, Trump has repeatedly turned to current and former officials of the bank as top advisers.