President-elect Joe Biden has said that Brian Deese will direct the National Economic Council in a Biden administration. This is a blow to those on the “democratic socialist” side of the coalition that elected Biden, because Deese is associated with Wall Street, and seems to lie in the center of the political spectrum.
The NEC Director does not require confirmation from the Senate: it is a White House appointment entirely within the President’s discretion. The importance of the position varies from one administration to the next. Much depends on the chemistry and the in-fighting skills of those around a particular President.
Deese has a J.D. from Yale Law and is at present an executive at BlackRock, a New York based global investment management firm. BlackRock has been at the center of several controversies in recent years, including those over an incestuous form of circular ownership: it owns equity in many of the institutional investors that in turn own shares in BlackRock.
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On the other hand, Deese’ title at BlackRock has been “Global Head of Sustainable Investing.” His job has been to guide some portion of BlackRock’s Street managed assets away from fossil fuels, into more environmentally conscious investments. That may earn him some credit within Biden’s circles.