Senate Democrats are in a hurry to confirm Jack Lew as Secretary of the Treasury before anyone notices his biography. Otherwise, liberal lawmakers might be embarrassed voting for a man who represents everything they’ve been campaigning against.
Investor in Cayman Islands tax haven? Check. Recipient of a bonus and corporate jet rides underwritten by taxpayers at a bailed-out bank? Check. Executive at a university that accepted student-loan “kickbacks” for steering kids toward a favored bank? Check. Excessive compensation with minimal disclosure? Check.
Like a financial Forrest Gump, Mr. Lew keeps walking into the frame of the business-political dramas of the last decade. But unlike the lovable movie character, Mr. Lew is playing the villain of liberal financial lore. One very compelling role, highlighted by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa), was Mr. Lew’s star turn as an administrator at a university that encouraged students to borrow from his future employers at Citibank.
Prior to working at Citi, Mr. Lew was the executive vice president for operations at New York University from 2001-2006. He was responsible for NYU’s budget and finances. During his tenure the university agreed to recognize Citibank as its primary private lender for student loans. Citibank in turn paid NYU 0.25% of the value of the loans.