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Tim Geithner, Treasury Secretary: Housekeept Problem? Latest News, Video

Huffington Post
First Posted: 10-27-08 04:58 PM   |   Updated: 01-13-09 04:09 PM

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Geithner

UPDATE 1/13: The AP reports that Timothy Geithner failed to pay personal taxes and check the immigration status of a housekeeper.

WALL STREET SURGED 500 POINTS FOLLOWING REPORTS THAT TIMOTHY GEITHNER WILL BE NOMINATED AS TREASURY SECRETARY. READ MORE ABOUT THE RISE.

AP reports that Obama picking Geithner could calm the markets.

Read more below about Geithner and Governor Bill Richardson, Obama's likely choice for Commerce Secretary.

HuffPost's Sam Stein reports: Barack Obama will name his Treasury Secretary on Monday, a Democratic source confirms to the Huffington Post. NBC News and other outlets report that Tim Geithner will get the nod over former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, but that Summers will have a senior White House role.

Geithner is currently the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and once served in the Treasury Department under Summers.

Officials also say that New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson is likely to be tapped as Commerce Secretary.

Part of the reason Obama is making the announcement so soon is the market disarray in recent days. The public roll-out of an economic team could calm those waters.

Another Democrat, however, told the Huffington Post that there is a growing recognition within the Obama circle that they need to be more assertive in the transition period about their personnel and goals for governance. There is some concern that the economic situation will grow so poor under the remaining months of the Bush administration that Obama will be left with nearly insurmountable economic tasks.

"Tim Geithner, if he becomes the Treasury Secretary, he is a man of terrific abilities, great experience, and is centrally involved in trying to cope with the economic crisis we have on our hands," said Mickey Kantor, Commerce Secretary under President Clinton. "He is balanced, thoughtful and bright... I think that either [Geithner or Larry Summers] would have been a brilliant choice. You could make the case for either one. I've worked with Larry and I have nothing but the greatest respect for his abilities. This isn't frankly, negative towards Larry at all... The idea that Tim Geithner is in the middle of this crisis means he is more prepared than anyone to deal with what is going on right now... We don't have tie for any kind of wasted motion."

Said Robert Shapiro, a former undersecretary of Commerce: "Geithner was always the best choice ... Fiercely smart, more knowledgeable about the crisis than nearly anyone , profoundly experienced with international institutions, and utterly non-self-aggrandizing. Brilliant choice."

More details from NBC:

Geithner has been a key player in the current economic crisis -- helping Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and his team manage the wall street bailout.


Former Treasury Secretary Summers -- also considered for the post -- might still play a major future role in the Obama administration, according to sources. Summers came under fire from women's groups because of controversial comments he made about gender issues while President of Harvard, but sources say the decision to choose Geithner had more to do with Obama's interest in "change" and getting someone new on the team.


NY Times on Summers' possible appointment:

Mr. Summers is likely to be named as an economics adviser as well, two sources familiar with the Obama transition said, with the expectation that eventually he will be named to the Federal Reserve Board, perhaps as successor to Chairman Ben Bernanke.

Complete coverage of Obama's cabinet

Some analysis of the news from Mitchell and Todd:



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The New Republic earlier profiled Geithner:

Indeed, if not for Geithner's periodic assertiveness, the '90s might have looked very different. At Treasury, Geithner often cast the deciding vote between Rubin and Summers, who was Rubin's deputy through much of the Clinton era. Summers was a restless type, prone to intervening aggressively if there was a chance it could succeed. Rubin, on the other hand, deferred decisions as long as possible and erred on the side of caution even then. As Summers once explained to The New York Times, Rubin believed "that there is something worse than Country X going down, which is Country X going down and taking our credibility and $10 billion of our money with it.''


In this mix, Geithner often made action possible by setting Rubin's tortured soul at ease. When, for example, the collapse of the Korean financial system in 1997 triggered a global crisis, Summers recommended an overwhelming response--a U.S.-sponsored bailout on top of an accelerated IMF package worth tens of billions. But the idea gave Rubin agita. It was Geithner who, according to one colleague, nudged Treasury toward a successful middle ground. Summers himself viewed Geithner as such a crucial counterweight that, the following year, he helped make Geithner Treasury's top international official.

The American Prospect published a timely article on Tim Geithner in September, painting a flattering portrait of the New York Federal Reserve Bank President:

A phone booth is not a bad metaphor for Geithner, whose phone rings whenever a big financial firm like Bear Stearns is about to go bust. As president of the most important of the regional Fed banks since November 2003, Geithner has not only had a front-row seat at the most serious financial collapse since the 1930s, he is the key public official who has prevented it from becoming another Great Depression. [...]


Geithner's admirers span the spectrum from Republican financial mogul Pete Peterson to liberal Democrat Barney Frank. One can infer from his broad fan base three possible conclusions: Wall Street is so clubby and politically powerful that permissible policy differences just aren't that great; or maybe Geithner is all things to all people; or perhaps, in a deep crisis, truly talented and effective people can earn broad respect.

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