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7 Things to Know about Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew

Associated Press

1.) His loopy, illegible signature went through a transformation before appearing on the dollar bill. From NBC:

“When he was nominated for the post earlier this year, Lew was mocked for his John Hancock – an aimless series of loops that was compared to the white icing atop a Hostess cupcake…But the Treasury Department on Tuesday released Lew’s signature as it will appear on bills this fall, starting with the $5 note, and it’s a little more grown-up. In fact, it’s borderline legible.”

2.) He served as an aide to late Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill. From the National Journal:

“By the time Lew took the position in 1979, O’Neill was already a larger-than-life power broker known for his brass-tacks political maneuvering; his commitment to the social-safety net, shaped by coming of age in Boston during the Great Depression; and his ability to cut deals across the aisle.”

3.) He helped orchestrate the creation of AmeriCorps. From The Fiscal Times:

“As special assistant to President Clinton from 1993 to 1994, Lew helped design AmeriCorps, the national service program. Lew was described by colleagues and associates at the time as a smart, somewhat nerdy technocrat and legislative craftsman with a passion for the federal food stamp program and other social welfare policies that can better the lives of the poor. He is widely respected by centrists and liberals alike.”

4.) He is an Orthodox Jew and observes the Sabbath. From the National Journal:

“This means forgoing work, cars, phone calls, and other technology from sundown on Friday until sundown on Saturday, hardly an easy commitment for a man who has answered to two presidents. The full day of respite from a bruising Washington schedule helps him maintain his characteristic calm, friends say.”

5.) Lew had not set out to become a budget policy expert. From the National Journal:

“Lew landed his job in the speaker’s office through a connection. His roommate and friend Ari Weiss hired him as a policy staffer for the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, which, in those days, oversaw appropriations, the federal budget, taxes, and health care spending…Soon Lew grasped the power inherent in the budgeting and appropriations process. All government money and financial decisions flowed through this legislation.”

6.) As the COO of Citigroup during the 2008 financial sector crash, Lew holds the belief that deregulation was not the main cause in the market’s downfall. From The Atlantic:

“Perhaps in keeping with his resume, Lew has rejected the view of many fellow liberals who argue that deregulation of the financial sector contributed to the crash.”

7.) Before heading to the White House, he worked under Secretary Clinton at the State Department. From The Fiscal Times:

“For two years before being confirmed as head of the OMB, Lew served as a senior adviser to Hillary Clinton at the State Department, where he was deputy secretary for management and resources. He was well received when he was selected for that post, where he took charge of overhauling the Foreign Service and foreign aid bureaucracies.”