Bonds News

FACTBOX-Five facts about new W. House budget director Lew

July 13 (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama will nominate Jacob Lew as the new director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, the White House said on Tuesday.

Here are some facts about Lew:

* Known as Jack, Lew, 54, is currently one of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s closest aides, as deputy secretary of state for management and resources and chief operating officer at the State Department. Although a lifelong Democrat, he is said to be popular with members of both parties. The Senate confirmed him quickly in his current post in January 2009 when Obama nominated him, which could be a good omen for his confirmation now.

* Lew was director of the OMB under President Bill Clinton from 1988 to 2001. He also served as OMB’s deputy director and was a member of the negotiating team that reached a bi-partisan agreement to balance the budget, the White House said. He replaces Peter Orszag, who was known as a deficit hawk within Obama’s economic team. Analysts said Lew’s success in ending deficits under Clinton would also mark him as a deficit hawk.

* The White House touted Lew’s record -- the Clinton administration left a $237 billion budget surplus -- in announcing Obama’s intent to nominate him to lead OMB. However, analysts noted that Lew will be working in a drastically different world now, with much greater challenges, as the global economy struggles to emerge from recession and the United States deals with record deficits.

* He also has been managing director of Citigroup’s Citi Alternative Investments, a subsidiary for private equity, hedge funds and real estate investments. Obama has expressed concern about bank investment in hedge funds as he pushes for his overhaul of U.S. financial regulations. Some observers have said the issue could come up during Lew’s confirmation process.

* Lew has spent years in public life. He began his career in Washington as a legislative aide, and was a principal domestic policy adviser to then-House Speaker Thomas O’Neill from 1979 to 1987.

Compiled by Patricia Zengerle in Washington, editing by Paul Simao