The incoming President, Democrat Joe Biden, has begun to announce his appointments to head different parts of the government. Most of them have a lot of experience in earlier Democratic Party administrations. When the Democrats were out of office, Biden’s nominees generally got jobs on Wall Street or with firms serving big corporations. They all made good money peddling their insider connections; Republican operatives do the same thing when the GOP is out of office.
Biden’s pick to head the State Department is Antony Blinken. He ran a consulting firm advising big business called WestExec Advisors. Its slogan was “From the Situation Room to the Board Room,” which says it all. Avril Haines, slated to become Director of National Intelligence, also worked for WestExec Advisors. Firms like WestExec prefer to keep their clients a secret, but Google is one of them.
Biden has invited BlackRock banker Brian Deese to be the director of the Nation Economic Council. BlackRock has assets of 7.8 trillion dollars. Deese managed BlackRock’s “climate portfolio.” In 2019, BlackRock was one of the top three shareholders in every major oil company, except for Total. It was also among the top 10 shareholders in 7 of the world’s 10 biggest coal producers.
Biden’s choice to head the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is Neera Tanden. The OMB oversees how federal agencies prioritize spending and hiring. It also controls how regulatory agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency make and enforce their rules. Before taking this powerful position, Tanden ran a think tank doing research designed to influence public policy. Its clients included Facebook and multi-billion-dollar investment firms Bain Capital, Blackstone, and Evercore. When she was with the Obama administration, she advocated reducing Social Security benefits.
In the last months of the election, Biden received more contributions from Wall Streeters than Trump did. In his appointments, Biden seems to favor insiders with connections to BlackRock. In contrast, Trump appointed many officials with ties to a different wall street powerhouse, Goldman Sachs. The faces of bankers in the Biden administration will be different from the ones appointed by Trump; but what counts is that he is appointing trusted servants of the wealthy to run the government. And the government, as it always has, will continue to look out for the interests of capitalism before anything else.