US architect for Russia sanctions Singh leaves the country as the Ukraine war drags on

Daleep Singh, the U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economics, speaks during a news conference at the White House in Washington February 22, 2022 on sanctions against Russia.

Kevin Lamarque | Reuters

US President Joe Biden will have a new “Sherpa” on his trip to Germany next week – a former BlackRock strategist named Mike Pyle, replacing Washington’s former sanctions contact Daleep Singh.

Singh, who played a key role in the White House in coordinating Western sanctions against Russia over its February invasion of Ukraine, this week took a job as chief global economist and head of macroeconomic research at PGIM Fixed Income, a Wall Street wealth manager in $890 billion in assets.

Singh, who was deputy national security adviser, left the White House in April to “solve a family issue,” a source said at the time, and is said to have only been away on a temporary leave of absence.

His role oscillated between economic policy and national security, leading the work of several federal agencies crafting the most severe sanctions in history against Russia and helping coordinate the president’s participation in international conferences.

He was startled by an incident at his home in Washington just after the first round of sanctions was announced, when someone entered the front yard of his home before fleeing, according to a person familiar with the matter. No connection was ever made between the incident and Singh’s work on sanctions.

The break comes at a crucial time for those sanctions, as officials fear efforts to cut off Russia’s oil and gas from international markets could backfire and push western economies into recession.

Pyle, who has joined the Biden administration as Vice President Kamala Harris’ chief economic adviser, took over the job on a deputy basis and will play the crucial coordinating “Sherpa” role in Singh’s absence when Biden attends the Group of Seven Rich Nations summit in Germany accession.

He is one of three senior administrators who previously worked at investment giant BlackRock, along with Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo and Director of the National Economic Council Brian Deese.

Progressive groups have slammed Biden for giving key economic jobs to Wall Street advisers.

The White House declined to comment on whether Pyle’s assignment would be made permanent.

Pyle, who began his career as a paralegal at Merrick Garland when the current attorney general was a federal appeals judge, is no stranger to global business issues.

He served as former President Barack Obama’s special assistant for economic policy and has held key positions in the Treasury Department and the Office of Administration and Budget.

Obama took office in the midst of a global financial crisis. At the White House, Pyle also helped manage the administration’s response to the eurozone financial crisis, worked on US-China relations, Obama’s landmark health care reform bill and the Economic Recovery Act, the biography reads. US architect for Russia sanctions Singh leaves the country as the Ukraine war drags on

Joshua Buckhalter

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