Penny Pritzker, who served as President Obama’s finance chair during his 2008 campaign and whose name was mentioned as a possible U.S. Commerce Secretary, met with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and several other top government heavyweights to discuss Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs), according to meeting logs released by the agency this week.
In 2008, Pritzker who has a stake in several real estate and hotel businesses across the country, came under scrutiny for her role in a failed bank that made subprime loans in the leadup to the financial crisis. Pritzker said at the time that the bank’s failure was “complex” and that the Pritzker family agreed to pay the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) $460 million to help defray costs for the government.
The meeting took place on January 20, a few days before the agency announced it was delaying a report on reform of GSEs. In February, the agency released a plan that offered several options for winding down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Also, Geithner met U.S. Housing and Urban Department (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan, Paul Volcker, and Anna Burger, formerly secretary treasurer for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), where she was instrumental in building the organization's PAC. Yale University's chief investment officer, David Swensen, attended the meeting as well.
Calls to Pritzker, Burger, and Swenson were not returned at the time of this posting.
Geithner reported one other meeting on January 27, with 14 CEOs of foreign banks, including Barclays and Credit Suisse, to discuss foreign currency exchanges, derivatives, and capital standards.
Meanwhile, Elizabeth Warren continued her trend of meeting with the most outsiders in her role as advisor in setting up the fledgling Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, due to launch in July.
Warren hosted about half of the meetings posted by the department for January, with a wide range of interest groups, from JP Morgan’s CEO Jamie Dimon to a long list of community bankers to representatives from consumer groups, such as U.S. PIRG and Consumers Union.
Many of her meetings are large, drawing dozens or more attendees. One meeting, on January 5, labeled an “investor meeting,” notes that there were more than 100 Morgan Stanley representatives attending. Her public calendar shows an 8:30 am visit to Morgan Stanley’s New York City offices.
Overall, Treasury Department officials have reported hosting 130 meetings related to the new Dodd-Frank law since November. As part of its transparency policy, once a month, the agency posts these meetings. However, there is a one-month time lag before meetings are posted, so the meetings recently released report on January meetings.
We have combined the three months' of reported meetings into a downloadable spreadsheet below. We will update this with more data as it becomes available.