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Trump picks Wall Street lawyer Jay Clayton to lead SEC

Posted at 11:34 AM, Jan 04, 2017

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- President-elect Donald Trump's choice to be the next top cop of Wall Street is Jay Clayton, an elite lawyer who has defended big banks for their financial crisis-era misbehavior.

Trump's announced his SEC pick on Wednesday and explained that Clayton's background as a Wall Street lawyer will help unleash the "job-creating power" of the economy while still providing strong oversight.

"We need to undo many regulations which have stifled investment in American businesses, and restore oversight of the financial industry in a way that does not harm American workers," Trump said in a statement.

Clayton is currently a partner at the powerful law firm Sullivan & Cromwell and has advised on a slew of major deals, including the Alibaba IPO and the sale of the NBA's Atlanta Hawks.

His law firm bio also notes that Clayton helped secure toxic mortgage settlements with the government on behalf of large financial institutions.

Clayton beat out Debra Wong Yang for the SEC job. Yang, another star corporate lawyer, had been a leading contender to lead the agency.

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