Is Geithner next?
Andrew Williams, a former spokesman for Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, is headed to Goldman Sachs at the end of July, the Financial Times reports. That's only increased the speculation that Geithner may head to Goldman next year.
Williams, currently director of media relations at General Electric, is the second of Geithner's top spokesmen to decamp to Goldman. Richard "Jake" Siewert, also a former spokesman for Geithner, left the Treasury Department a few months ago to lead Goldman Sachs' public relations department.
Williams' and Siewert's decisions to move to Goldman are fueling speculation that Geithner may join them. It's also providing fodder for critics, who say that the relationship between the government and Goldman is too cozy. In some circles, Goldman has earned the nickname "Government Sachs." Geithner's predecessor as Treasury Secretary, Henry Paulson, served as CEO of Goldman before taking his job as Treasury Secretary.
"Geithner's PR A-team now in place at Goldman. Just need the man himself," wrote Tom Braithwaite, the Financial Times' U.S. banking editor, on Twitter.
"LOL, the circle is almost complete," wrote Neil Barofsky, the former inspector general for the TARP bailout, on Twitter.
Geithner isn't planning to keep his job past January. In an interview with Bloomberg TV earlier this year, he said President Obama won't ask him to stay on as Treasury Secretary even if he wins reelection in November.
If Geithner does defect to Goldman, it would continue to swing open the revolving door between government and the financial sector. Peter Orszag, Obama's former budget director, left the administration to become vice chairman of global banking at Citigroup in December of 2010. Citi is paying him an estimated $2 million to $3 million per year.