Icahn tapped as Trump's special adviser
on regulatory issues
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[December 22, 2016]
By Emily Stephenson and Svea Herbst-Bayliss
(Reuters) - Billionaire Carl Icahn will
advise Donald Trump on rescinding what the activist investor called
"excessive regulation" on U.S. businesses, the president-elect's
transition team announced on Wednesday.
Icahn will serve as a special adviser, not a federal employee, and he
will not have specific duties, Trump's team said in a statement. He will
not take a salary, a transition aide said.
The pick could draw scrutiny because Icahn, whose major investments
include insurer American International Group and oil refining business
CVR Energy, could help shape rules meant to police Wall Street and
protect the environment.
In the transition team statement released on Wednesday, Icahn said it
was time to "break free of excessive regulation" and let businesses
Icahn, an early supporter of Trump's White House bid who has at times
been outspoken about regulation, has already helped the transition team
weigh candidates to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission. He has
held meetings at his New York City office, not far from Trump Tower but
away from reporters staked out there, people familiar with the talks
Current SEC Chair Mary Jo White will leave in January. Candidates to
replace her have included former SEC Commissioner Paul Atkins and Debra
Wong Yang, a former federal prosecutor, a source familiar with the
Over the years, Icahn's businesses have had occasional regulatory
run-ins, according to disclosures with the Financial Industry Regulatory
Authority. He is a large investor in nutrition supplement maker
Herbalife, which said at one time it was investigated by the SEC.
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Billionaire activist-investor Carl Icahn gives an interview on FOX
Business Network's Neil Cavuto show in New York, U.S. on February
11, 2014. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo
"Voters who wanted Trump to drain the swamp just got another face
full of mud," Democratic National Committee spokesman Eric Walker
said in a statement, referring to Trump's pledge to clean up
Icahn, who was once known as a corporate raider, said in a recent
Reuters interview the 2010 Dodd-Frank banking law "went too far." He
is a critic of the U.S. biofuels program that requires oil companies
to use renewable fuels such as ethanol.
"I do believe that, to some extent, we have gone overboard
concerning the environment. But I leave that to the experts in that
area," Icahn told CNN in a recent interview.
Trump and Icahn share some history in the casino business. Icahn
this year helped shutter the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resorts in
Atlantic City, two years after buying it out of bankruptcy. The
casino was once a prized part of Trump's empire.
(Reporting by Emily Stephenson, Sarah N. Lynch, Steve Holland and
Diane Bartz in Washington, Svea Herbst-Bayliss and Chris Prentice in
New York and Ismail Shakil in Bengaluru; Editing by Chris Reese and
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