"Steel succeeded Ken Thompson at Wachovia in July 2008. Thompson was ousted as chairman by the bank’s board of directors in May 2008 and as chief executive a month later.
Before taking over the Wachovia job, Steel served two years as undersecretary for domestic finance at the U.S. Treasury Department. Steel also worked nearly 30 years at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., becoming head of its global equities division and vice chairman.
...During his 7½-month run as Wachovia's top executive, Steel helped negotiate the sale of Wachovia to Wells Fargo & Co. and participated in the integration of the two banks.
Steel also announced the eliminating of 10,750 jobs, about 9 percent of Wachovia’s overall workforce, after the bank reported losing $8.9 billion in the second quarter of 2008...
Steel received some criticism during Wachovia’s downfall for playing up its health, including spending $16.1 million to buy 1 million shares of stock shortly after he took over as chief executive.
When he announced the job cuts, Steel said “lots of good progress has been made in working through difficult issues. The future for Wachovia as an independent company is an exciting one.”
Steel’s willingness to put his credibility on the line spurred a temporary 27 percent rally of the bank's share price.
At the same time, unknown to the public, Wachovia was borrowing heavily from the Federal Reserve.
It had been given 17 short-term emergency loans worth a combined $72 billion from the Fed’s Term Auction Facility program.
...Steel served on the Wells Fargo board until resigning in July 2010 to take a job as deputy mayor for economic development for New York City, where he worked before being hired by Perella Weinberg."