Meet The Wall Street Regulator Who Pissed Off The Fed, The Treasury, And The Entire City Of London

Ben Lawsky

Photo: YouTube user wmhttv

The Superintendent of Financial Services Benjamin Lawsky, who is now being referred to as the “rogue regulator”, has certainly put his regulatory agency and himself on the map. Earlier this week, little known/newly formed regulator the New York Department of Financial Services released bombshell allegations that Standard Chartered helped facilitate hundreds of billions of dollars worth of transactions for Iran, which is currently under sanctions by the U.S.  What’s more is the bank, whose stock price has been hammered, could also lose its banking licence in the state.

On top of all that, his agency’s actions have reportedly ticked off the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Treasury for going around them.

In addition, Lawsky also infuriated a bunch of U.K. politicians who said that the U.S. regulators are “anti-British.” 

We wanted to find out more about Lawsky and the one thing that really stands out to us is that he’s a former federal prosecutor, which probably explains his aggression. 

Here’s everything else we learned, including some fun facts.  

  • Lawsky was unanimously confirmed as the Superintendent of Financial Services in May of 2011.  He is the first to lead the New York State Department of Financial Services, which debuted in October of 2011. 
  • In this role, he leads a state agency overseeing 4400 banks, insurers, etc. with assets of about $6.2 trillion, according to his bio.
  • He’s tight with Governor Andrew Cuomo and U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, according a Wall Street Journal article from October 2011.
  • From Jan. 2011 to May 2011, Lawsky served as Chief of Staff for Governor Andrew Cuomo, State of New York.  Prior to that, he was a Special Assistant to the Attorney General at The Office of the New York Attorney General from 2007 to 2010, according to his LinkedIn.  
  • In the fall of 2010, he was the subject of a Wall Street Journal article called “Breathe a Sigh of Relief, Wall Street: Cuomo’s Top Prosecutor Defects to Campaign.”  That’s because he was tough on former BofA CEO Ken Lewis and Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain for refusing to turn over information about their bonuses, the article said. 
  • He also spent five years as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York prosecuting insider trading and terrorism cases, his bio said.
  • He went to Columbia where he graduated cum laude.  He initially wanted to be an architect and then switched his major to art history.  However, he ultimately decided that he was interested in law, according to Politicker.  
  • After he graduated from Columbia University School of Law in 1995, he clerked for federal judges Carol Bagley and Dennis Jacobs.  
  • He’s married to an attorney named Jessica Roth.
  • He was born on a Navy base in San Diego.  
  • He has a twin sister. 
  • He grew up in Pittsburgh and is huge Pittsburgh Steelers fan, according to the WSJ.
  • He played basketball in high school and was his team’s point guard.  
  • He also competed in the New York City Marathon in 2008 and finished with a time of 4:10:59. 

SEE ALSO:  NEIL BAROFSKY: Here’s The Real Reason The Feds Are Furious At The New York Regulator Going After Standard Chartered >

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