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FILE - This June 19, 2015 file photo shows the seal of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission at SEC headquarters, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

Trump nominates well-connected Wall Street lawyer Jay Clayton to be top financial cop


President-elect Donald Trump will nominate Jay Clayton to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), his transition team announced this morning. 

Clayton will lead the federal government's chief enforcement agency for federal securities laws and regulation of the securities industry, including the nation's stock and options exchanges. 

The SEC, established in 1934 as a response to the Great Depression, also works to give investors access to basic information about stocks and companies.

Two SEC commissioners needed, too

There are currently two vacancies on the SEC panel Clayton would chair. The bipartisan commission is made up of five members, and no more than three can be a member of the same political party. SEC commissioners must be approved by the Senate.

Clayton, a Wall Street lawyer, is a partner at Sullivan and Cromwell, a firm that specializes in mergers and well as public and private offerings. He was worked with Goldman Sachs and Barclays Capital. 

Trump: 'Undo many regulations'

"Jay Clayton is a highly talented expert on many aspects of financial and regulatory law, and he will ensure our financial institutions can thrive and create jobs while playing by the rules at the same time," Trump said in a statement.

"We need to undo many regulations which have stifled investment in American businesses, and restore oversight of the financial industry in a way that does not harm American workers."

Deep ties to Wall Street

Clayton is just the latest addition to Trump's economic team with deep ties to Wall Street:

  • Treasury Secretary-designate Steve Mnuchin -- investor and Hollywood producer
  • Commerce Secretary-designate Wilbur Ross -- "turnaround" specialist and banker
  • Gary Cohn, Chairman-designate of the National Economic Council -- Goldman Sachs president

More staff announcements

The transition team also announced today the appointment of three Deputy Chiefs of Staff:

  •  Katie Walsh, Deputy Chief of Staff to the White House -- former RNC chief of staff
  • Rick Dearborn, Deputy Chief of Staff for Legislative, Intergovernmental Affairs and Implementation -- former chief of staff to Sen. Jess Sessions
  • Joe Hagin, Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations -- former deputy chief of staff for President George W. Bush
These people are sledding like they'll never repeal Obamacare

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