Trump taps Goldman Sachs No. 2 Gary Cohn for National Economic Council

Mr Gary Cohn, Goldman Sachs Group president and chief operating officer, arrives for a meeting at Trump Tower in New York with US President-elect Donald Trump on Nov 29.
Mr Gary Cohn, Goldman Sachs Group president and chief operating officer, arrives for a meeting at Trump Tower in New York with US President-elect Donald Trump on Nov 29.PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - President-elect Donald Trump on Monday (Dec 12) named Mr Gary Cohn, current president and chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs, to lead the White House's National Economic Council.

"As my top economic adviser, Gary Cohn is going to put his talents as a highly successful businessman to work for the American people," Mr Trump said in a statement.

Mr Cohn called the selection "a great honour".

"I share President-elect Trump's vision of making sure every American worker has a secure place in a thriving economy, and we will be completely committed to building a nation of strength, growth and prosperity," Mr Cohn said.

Former president Bill Clinton established the council in 1993 to advise the president on domestic and global economic policy. It has been led by former Treasury secretaries Robert Rubin and Larry Summers, and former Federal Reserve governor Larry Lindsey.

The Cohn announcement brings to three the number of current and former Goldman Sachs bankers with key roles in the incoming Trump administration, including Mr Steven Mnuchin as Treasury secretary and Mr Steve Bannon as White House strategic adviser. Mr Anthony Scaramucci, a member of the presidential transition team, also has worked at Goldman Sachs.

Mr Trump, who takes office in less than six weeks, attacked his rivals on the campaign trail for their connections to the bank.

Mr Cohn, 56, joined Goldman Sachs in 1990, overseeing its fixed income, currency and commodities division and rising to the bank's second most senior position in 2006 beneath CEO Lloyd Blankfein.