Wall Street executives who lost a bet that Republican MittRomney would defeat President Barack Obama are bracing for tougherregulation and hoping a deal can be struck with Congress to cut thedeficit.

Obama's choice to succeed Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithnerwill be watched closely for signs about the administration'sapproach to business and the deficit, industry executives said.Erskine Bowles, who served as chief of staff under former PresidentBill Clinton, would be a sign that Obama is willing to endorse abipartisan debt-reduction plan supported by many business leaders,they said.

“With the appointment of the Treasury secretary, Obama will besending an important message to the public and to the foreigngovernments who own a lot of Treasuries,” Curtis Arledge, chiefexecutive officer of Bank of New York Mellon Corp.'sinvestment-management arm, which oversees $1.4 trillion, toldjournalists in New York. “If he goes with somebody like ErskineBowles, then the message will be that he cares about the deficitand is serious about cutting it.”

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