Brian Brooks, Fannie Mae's chief lawyer and a former colleague of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, has been hired as chief legal counsel for Coinbase, the country's largest cryptocurrency exchange.
Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong today announced the recruitment of Brooks, who started in Fannie Mae in 2014. Brooks is a former vice president of OneWest, a bank formed in the wake of the property crisis that was owned joint and led by Mnuchin before entering the Trump administration.
Story Continued Below  Brooks had previously been considered for at least one important administrative position: deputy treasury secretary, the second highest position within the department. He was never formally appointed and withdrew from consideration at the end of the last year
His curriculum on OneWest, whose foreclosure practices after the 2008 financial crisis were examined during the Mnuchin confirmation process , would have been at the center of proceedings if he had been nominated for the position.
Brooks also overlapped Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting, who was CEO of OneWest during Brooks's tenure at the bank.
Armstrong of Coinbase said Brooks was recruited for his experience in dealing with the government.
Given the rapid growth of cryptocurrencies, "it is more important than ever to contribute to a public policy and regulatory environment that fosters innovation by protecting investors," Armstrong wrote in a post. "[Brooks’] The arrival is part of our effort to expand our legal, compliance and government affairs capabilities as we head to the next chapter for the company."
Coinbase's current legal and risk manager, Mike Lempres, will focus on government relations, including Coinbase's participation in the newly formed Blockchain Association.
Coinbase, a non-San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange, said it generated about $ 1 billion in revenue last year, aided by hot digital resources markets. Digital currencies have since declined in value
Brooks' departure follows Fannie Mae's announcement in July that CEO Timothy Mayopoulos will leave his post in the nation's major source of mortgage financing by the end of the year. ;year.
extremely grateful for his four years of strong leadership, insightful advice and critical contributions to the transformation of Fannie Mae, and we would like it to remain, "said Mayopoulos in a statement.
He said that Stephen McElhennon will serve as chief to interim of Fannie Mae legal functions while the company conducts a search for a permanent replacement.