Hired: CFO; Spending Limit: $700 Billion

Treasury Secretary Paulson appoints a veteran federal interim CFO to oversee the finances of the office that will buy banks' illiquid securities.

Veteran federal CFO Thomas Bloom has been appointed by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson as interim finance chief of the newly created Office of Financial Stability. Bloom currently is CFO for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

According to the OCC, Bloom will leave his current job for three to four months and report to Neel Kashkari, interim assistant secretary of the Treasury, whom Paulson appointed to head the new office on Monday. Kashkari, whose appointment is subject to Senate approval, is one of Paulson’s senior advisers and formerly served as a Goldman Sachs vice president.

Paulson has acted quickly to fill the leadership roles of the new Treasury office in the days since President Bush extended the agency’s powers to buy banks’ so-called toxic assets, which have crippled the credit markets. With up to $700 billion to spend, the department “is moving rapidly to implement the [new law] to help strengthen financial institutions while also protecting taxpayer interests,” Paulson said yesterday. He added that it will be several weeks before the Treasury makes its first purchase.

Bloom has worked at the OCC for nearly five years, and also holds the title of senior deputy comptroller. Patricia Pointer, deputy comptroller for workforce effectiveness at the OCC, will fill in for him in that office.

At the OCC, Bloom oversees the agency’s planning and financial management, human resources diversity programs, facilities, and security services, according to the agency’s website.

He has split his career between public accounting and public service. Before the OCC, he was director of the finance team for the Department of Defense, and previously held CFO titles at Commerce and the General Services Administration. At the GSA, he was responsible for a $13 billion annual budget. He also once served as the Department of Education’s inspector general.

Prior to working for the federal government, he was a senior audit partner at accounting firm Kenneth Leventhal & Co. He graduated from the University of Michigan in 1975 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and accounting.

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