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.