NEW YORK (
) -- A Wall Street career may not be far off for Peter Orszag, who stepped down from his post as White House budget director in June.
"It wouldn't surprise me a bit," says Bob Litan, vice president for research and policy at the
Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
in Kansas City. Orszag was one of Litan's first hires after Litan, who, like Orszag, worked in the Clinton administration, became director of economic studies at the
in the mid-1990s.
Orszag is "unlike your typical Presidential appointee who's been in government service forever and then goes and works for a bank and becomes a door opener," according to Litan. "Peter is not a door opener. Peter is capable of being on a trading floor and of being as good as the quants on the trading floor and at the same time he's got the political skills to be a senior executive, so he's a very unique individual."
One prominent Wall Street executive with high-level Democratic party connections said Orszag has talked to a large number of financial firms, including the
Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts
Megan Malinconico, a research assistant to Orszag, wrote via email that it was "not factually accurate" that Orszag "is considering taking a Wall Street job and is in talks with Blackstone and KKR among other firms." However, she would not answer further questions by phone or email and said Orszag was not available for an interview.
Blackstone spokesman Peter Rose wrote via email that "We are not nor have we been in talks with Peter Orszag."
A KKR spokesperson declined to comment.
In addition to working at Brookings and holding several key government posts, Orszag founded and sold an economics consulting firm, indicating to Litan that "he has commercial interests, and you can make a lot more working at a hedge fund than you can as a consultant."
Certainly Orszag has worn plenty of other likely hats, including his latest stints as an Op-Ed columnist for
The New York Times
and a visiting fellow at
the Council on Foreign Relations
"He's done the think tank thing, he's been in government: he probably wants to do something different and make money and who can blame him?" Litan said.
Written by Dan Freed in New York
Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.