WASHINGTON Feb 12 President Barack Obama on
Wednesday named economist Nathan Sheets, who has worked at
Citigroup and the Federal Reserve, as the Treasury
Department's top international official, the White House said.
The Treasury post of under secretary for international
affairs was previously held by Lael Brainard, who stepped down
last year and was nominated by Obama to serve on the Fed's board
Sheets has been the global head of international economics
at Citi in New York since 2011. Before joining Citi, one of the
world's largest banking conglomerates, Sheets spent much of his
career as an economist at the Fed.
Obama also named Mark Sobel as U.S. executive director at
the International Monetary Fund.
If confirmed by the Senate, Sheets would play a central role
in U.S. financial diplomacy and help shape international
discussions on the global economy.
He can be expected to press Washington's view that China
should let its currency appreciate more quickly and that Europe
should act more decisively to boost economic growth.
However, as the U.S. representative at international
conclaves, he would also have to contend with complaints from
emerging market nations whose economies are reeling from a
dramatic reversal of money flows tied partly to the U.S. central
bank's decision to curtail its economic stimulus.
He would also get an earful from developing countries
frustrated by U.S. intransigence in following through on a
promise to give emerging economies a bigger say at the IMF.