President-elect Donald Trump announced that billionaire investor Carl Icahn agreed to serve as a special adviser on issues relating to regulatory reform. According to a press release from the Trump transition team, Icahn will serve in a role without any specific duties and will not be serving as a federal employee or special government employee.
The Wall Street Journal also reported that Icahn will play a central role in selecting the next chair of the SEC. According to the report Dec. 21, Icahn has been interviewing others at the request of Trump.
The business magnate has held a close relationship with Trump and was an early supporter of his campaign. In the press release, Trump praised Icahn for being a "brilliant negotiator" and someone "innately able to predict the future especially having to do with finances and economies."
Icahn's activist investing has included substantial or controlling positions in energy, media and technology, among other industries.
"The government is anti-business and they've done a lot of harm to businesses. In fact, at this point, there are a number of refineries on the verge of bankruptcy because of the [Environmental Protection Agency's] capricious actions," Icahn said in a Dec. 9 phone interview with CNN's Poppy Harlow. In the interview he clarified that he's not "anti-regulation" but "anti-stupidity," claiming that while he thinks regulations have "run amok," he saw some need for the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation because of the financial crisis.