Some politicians and economists are concerned that the next chief of staff, William Daley, has too many connections to Wall Street and corporate America to objectively fulfill his mandate.
Those doubts intensified this week as regulatory filings revealed that Daley holds more than $7.6 million worth of stock in JPMorgan Chase, the bank in which he currently serves as Midwest chairman. According to The Huffington Post, records from the Securities and Exchange Commission reveal that Daley acquired 201,913 shares of JPMorgan stock — to raise his total to 316,327 — on Jan. 6, the same day Obama announced his appointment. Daley then sold 140,649 of his shares to cover tax liabilities, the news provider reported.
According to The Financial Times, Daley received $7.6 million worth of shares in exchange for his stake in the company — 101,914 shares of restricted stock and 100,000 options. He is required to sell all of his holdings in the bank before he officially becomes the chief of staff.
However, some experts are still wary of Daley's background in big business, including Simon Johnson, a former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund.
"The idea that the President needed to bring a top banker into his inner circle in order to build bridges with business is beyond ludicrous," Johnson wrote on BaselineScenario.com. "Bill Daley now controls how information is presented to and decisions are made by the President."