The 16-member Economic Recovery Advisory Board, which President Barack Obama announced late last week, was selected almost exclusively by Obama White House advisers, and features only two members that the board's chairman, former Fed chief Paul Volcker, was allowed to pick.
More troubling: one of Obama's personal selections has raised a red flag at the Department of Justice. Robert Wolf is chairman and chief executive of UBS Group Americas, an entity that, according to a DOJ source, is part of an ongoing federal criminal investigation.
"The White House never checked, and when we raised the issue, we were told it rose above our pay grade," says the source. "This is highly irregular."
Further, another Obama friend, Penny Pritzker, chairman and founder of Pritzker Realty Group who was also the finance chair of Obama's presidential campaign, comes from a family with extensive tax issues, including off shore tax shelters.
"She has no business being on a presidential policy advisory board," says a Treasury Department source, who has worked in the department's counsel's office. "We advised that for a number of reasons she not be placed on that commission.
Volcker, who was touted as a bipartisan pick to head the commission, was only allowed a say in two picks on the board, and when he opposed several to be named, according to a source close to Volcker, he was ignored.
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