April 27, 2011 / 9:39 PM / in 7 years

Ex-Morgan Stanley economist to aid Geithner

WASHINGTON, April 27 (Reuters) - Morgan Stanley’s (MS.N) former chief U.S. economist is now serving as a counselor to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and will advise him on a range of domestic finance issues, a Treasury official said on Wednesday.

Richard Berner spent three years as co-head of Morgan Stanley’s global economics team and 11 years as the bank’s chief U.S. economist before retiring earlier this year.

Now Berner will help the Treasury Department on banking, housing policy, financial institutions, capital markets and financial regulation.

Berner will also play a role in implementing various aspects of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law. Under that legislation, Treasury is in charge of establishing the consumer financial protection bureau and a Treasury-based research powerhouse known as the Office of Financial Research.

Geithner is also the chairman of the U.S. risk council, a group of financial regulators that has been tasked with preventing threats to the financial system.

    Prior to working at Morgan Stanley, Berner was chief economist at Mellon Bank and also worked for 7 years on the research staff at the Federal Reserve.

    Reporting by Rachelle Younglai; Editing by Andrew Hay

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