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Indian likely to steer Wall St bailout plan

world Updated: Oct 07, 2008 02:21 IST
V Krishna
V Krishna
Hindustan Times
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Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is expected to give Neel Kashkari, a 35-year-old aide of Indian origin, charge of the government’s $700 billion financial rescue programme, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.

Kashkari, an assistant secretary for international affairs and a former Goldman Sachs banker, helped draft the legislation for the rescue plan. He would function as interim head of Treasury's new Office of Financial Stability, which is to oversee the purchase of distressed assets from financial institutions, the papers said.

The position needs Senate confirmation. It is unlikely the Senate will move on the matter before the November elections, the Journal said.

Congress has given Treasury the authority to start buying assets, but choices like which asset managers to hire, which securities to buy and how still remain, the paper said.

Kashkari was sworn in as assistant secretary in July after his confirmation by the Senate. Earlier, he served as an adviser to Paulson. During a confirmation hearing, he said he also led a policy initiative to promote Indian financial sector liberalisation and free trade through strengthened economic engagement and increased infrastructure investment.

At Goldman Sachs, where he first caught Paulson's eye, Kashkari rose to vice-president in the IT security investment banking practice. Before that, he worked as a research engineer developing technology for NASA missions.

Kashkari has a master's in engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.