A behind-the-scenes player at the Treasury Department just weeks ago, 35-year-old Neel Kashkari’s financial heft as the agency’s bailout czar puts him on par with the heads of sovereign wealth funds, Politico reports. The self-described “free-market Republican” enjoyed a meteoric rise through the department, where he was part of a small team working on the $700 billion plan months before it was proposed.
Kashkari will decide where and how taxpayer money is spent, putting him in the company of the world’s wealthiest men—the head of Abu Dhabi’s Investment Authority holds $875 billion—not bad for an aerospace engineer who received his MBA just 6 years ago. Kashkari, for his part, seems eager. “We’re having a necessary correction, and we don’t want to do anything to slow it down,” he said.