Obama eyeing Fed's Raskin for No. 2 post at Treasury -source

WASHINGTON, July 23 Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:37am EDT

WASHINGTON, July 23 (Reuters) - President Barack Obama is considering nominating Federal Reserve Governor Sarah Bloom Raskin to replace the U.S. Treasury Department's No. 2 official, Neal Wolin, a source familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

Raskin, a former state banking regulator, has served on the U.S. central bank's board since October 2010. She would bring bank regulatory experience to the job to complement the budgetary expertise of Treasury Secretary Jack Lew.

The source said Raskin, 52, appeared to be a leading candidate to replace Wolin, one of the Obama administration's point people on financial regulatory reform. The White House said it had no personnel announcements to make and the Fed declined to comment. Bloomberg reported on Monday that the White House was considering Raskin.

The Treasury on Tuesday announced that Wolin would step down from his post at the end of next month after more than four years in the job.

Wolin, 51, has been a key behind-the-curtains figure during his tenure, best known for helping lead the push for the Dodd-Frank financial reform law and for overseeing implementation of the new rules it put in place. He has yet to announce his future plans.

"Neal has played a key role on my economic team," President Barack Obama said in a statement. "His deep knowledge and excellent judgment helped us prevent a second Great Depression, pass tough new Wall Street reform, strengthen our financial system, foster growth here at home, and promote economic development around the world."

If Obama nominates Raskin, it would open up a second vacancy on the seven-person Fed board. Fed Governor Elizabeth Duke, another banking expert, said earlier this month that she was stepping down on Aug. 31.

Two vacancies would allow Obama to potentially package a slate of nominees in way that would be politically palatable to the closely divided Senate, which would need to confirm them.

To fill the previous two vacancies, Obama selected one Republican and one Democrat.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is widely expected to step down when his four-year term expires on Jan. 31.

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