Obama Looks to Wall Street

Kenneth Chenault, chairman and chief executive of American Express, is reportedly under consideration as a top candidate to become the next Treasury Secretary or Commerce Secretary, according to The Hill.

While many consider current White House chief of staff Jack Lew to be the front runner to replace Timothy Geithner at Treasury, White House officials reportedly have approached Chenault about the position in recent weeks.

Chenault, a former Harvard Law classmate and colleague of Mitt Romney at Bain & Company, is a longtime supporter of Obama and member of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. He has visited the White House 18 times since 2009, according to The Hill, and has worked closely with regulators at Treasury, the SEC and Consumer Financial Production Bureau on Dodd-Frank financial reform.

Given his access to the President, some market observers believe he is uniquely qualified to help the Administration repair relationships with the business community that have been strained by first-term disagreements over taxes and regulations. Scott Talbott, senior vice president of public policy for the Financial Services Roundtable, said Chenault “has the knowledge and experience to lead the Treasury Department and help restore the U.S. economy.”

According to Bloomberg, Xerox CEO Ursula Burns, also a member of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, is under consideration for the Commerce department job.