The market’s ultimate outsider, investor, activist shareholder, and philanthropist Carl Icahn, who spent decades raiding and rearranging corporate headquarters to fit his and his fellow shareholders’ vision, will be drafted to serve as special adviser to President Donald Trump on overhauling regulations, the Wall Street Journal revealed Wednesday.
Icahn, 80, was raised in a Jewish identified family in Far Rockaway, Queens, where his father, a sworn atheist, served as a cantor in a local synagogue. He is a world-renowned philanthropist, including large contributions to Mount Sinai Hospital, New York, of which he is a trustee, and which, in return, named a building the Icahn Medical Institute and, in 2013, renamed the Mount Sinai School of Medicine the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
Icahn, who believes the Environmental Protection Agency hurts business, has been an influential member of the Trum transition team, including playing a central role in selecting the next chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, and in identifying Trump’s choices for other key posts, according to the WSJ. One of his contribution was the nomination of Steven Mnuchin and Wilbur Ross to run the Treasury and Commerce departments, respectively.
Both Trump and Icahn believe American businesses have been overregulated under the Obama administration, resulting in retarding investments and slowing down the economy. Icahn will become President Trump’s big stick in loosening regulations.
“I’m involved with Donald where he wants me to be—I believe he respects my views and I think he listens to me,” Icahn told the WSJ. “What Trump is trying to achieve is to show business in a lot of this country they aren’t going to be ruined by absurd regulation by bureaucrats.”
Trump for his part praised Icahn’s negotiating skills and said “his help on the strangling regulations that our country is faced with will be invaluable.”
The Democratic National Committee criticizing Icahn as being loaded with conflicting interests, what with his billions in investments and his business dealings.
“It looks like Trump isn’t the only billionaire set to profit off of the presidency,” DNC spokesman Eric Walker said in a statement.
The WSJ got one cute scoop out the Icahn interview: when Mr. Trump the billionaire investor to consider becoming his Secretary of the Treasury, Icahn, also a late-nighter, joked that he doesn’t get up early enough to work for Trump. “I told him when you’re done tweeting, call me,” Icahn said. “I’ll be up.”