Jacquelyn Martin / AP

Fannie Mae's General Counsel Brian Brooks will be appointed Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Department, according to three sources with direct knowledge. He previously worked with Treasury Sec. Steve Mnuchin at OneWest, which became the largest bank in Southern California after the 2008 economic collapse.

Why this matters: Deputy Secretary is a pivotal role in the Treasury Department, and Wall Street has been keeping a close eye on the vacancy. Brooks will be expected to play a driving role in tax reform and the other major agenda items. Two sources say that Mnuchin wanted a loyalist in this key position.

The Trump effect: Mnuchin, like President Trump, puts a high premium on loyalty when it comes to appointing senior aides. Mnuchin's closest confidants, Eli Miller and Justin Muzinich, are folks whom Mnuchin trusts as virtually leak-proof. The original selection for this position was Goldman Sachs executive Jim Donovan, but he later withdrew his name from consideration because of family issues.

Behind the scenes: When Donovan dropped out, an intriguing name on the early consideration list was Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH), according to a source with direct knowledge. Treasury officials liked the idea of someone with Capitol Hill relationships going into tax reform. It's unclear whether Tiberi, an influential member of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, even knew he was under consideration.

What's next: The OneWest foreclosure controversy will almost certainly be brought up at Brooks' confirmation hearing. Leaked documents from the California AG's office alleged that OneWest was responsible for "using potentially illegal tactics to foreclose on as many as 80,000 California homes." Mnuchin denied the allegations during his confirmation haring, saying he was "committed to loan modifications intended to stop foreclosures. I ran a 'loan modification machine.'"

Brooks joined OneWest in May 2011 where he served as the bank's vice chairman. He joined Fannie Mae in November 2014, serving as EVP, general counsel, and corporate secretary. From 1994 to 2011, Brooks was a managing partner at law firm O'Melveny & Myers, where he helped financial services companies with litigation cases. He received his J.D. from the University of Chicago in 1994. There also were earlier reports that he was being considered to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Go deeper

What Matters 2020

The missed opportunities for 2020 and beyond

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Jason Armond (Los Angeles Times), Noam Galai, Jabin Botsford (The Washington Post), Alex Wong/Getty Images

As the 2020 presidential campaign draws to a close, President Trump and Joe Biden have focused little on some of the most sweeping trends that will outlive the fights of the moment.

Why it matters: Both have engaged on some issues, like climate change and China, on their own terms, and Biden has addressed themes like economic inequality that work to his advantage. But others have gone largely unmentioned — a missed opportunity to address big shifts that are changing the country.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Pence chief of staff Marc Short tests positive for coronavirus — COVID-19 looms over White House Halloween celebrations
  2. Health: Fauci says maybe we should mandate masks if people don't wear them — America was sick well before it ever got COVID-19
  3. World: Polish President Andrzej Duda tests positive for COVID-19.

Pence chief of staff Marc Short tests positive for coronavirus

Marc Short with Katie Miller, Vice President Pence's communications director, in March. Photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times via Reuters

Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, tested positive for the coronavirus Saturday and is quarantining, according to a White House statement.

Why it matters: Short is Pence's closest aide, and was one of the most powerful forces on the White House coronavirus task force.