Jack Lew is having a tough day. It’s his first day of confirmation hearings at the Senate, where he’s hoping to be confirmed as Treasury Secretary for President Barack Obama’s second term. The politician is facing tough questions on his personal finance, including money invested in a Cayman Islands fund.
Jack Lew defended that investment on Capitol Hill today, stating that he was ignorant of the fund’s base in the Cayman Islands tax haven. Mr. Jack Lew said he pulled out from the Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C) venture capital fund at a loss, and he gained no tax benefit from the transaction. The presumptive Treasury Secretary’s personal finances are in question from more than one angel.
Jack Lew received a $940,000 bonus from Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C) in 2009, after he served a short period at the company. The bonus was paid out just before the bank was bailed out by the government in one of the many taxpayer funded bailouts that immediately followed the 2008 financial crisis.
Lew most recently worked as Chief of Staff for President Obama, and formerly worked as budget director for the sitting President. Lew held the same position under Bill Clinton when he held the office.
The Treasury nominee’s true blue Democratic background may be an advantage, considering the Democratic majority in the Senate, but he faces massive opposition from Republican Senators who would like to see some of President Obama’s nominees fail in order to hurt the President’s perceived mandate.
Jack Lew, if successful in his bid for the Treasury Secretary position, will take the reigns at a particularly challenging time. 2013 will be an important year as the Federal government seeks to redress the deficit in its budget in order to recover some confidence which has been lost in the United States’ financial position.
Senator Mark Bacchus charged the hopeful with three duties during his potential term in office. Those were tax reform, jobs and creating stability in the nation’s capital. Republican Senator, Orrin Hatch, focused on the duty of the nominee to balance the nations budget during his remarks.
Jack Lew is not expected to face too challenges in his bid to be confirmed as Secretary of the Treasury. His real challenge will come when he has to take hold of the government department and solve problems that have haunted men in the position for years. Mr. Lew will not only face those challenges, but he might be the politician charged with actually solving them. Very few people would envy his position.