James Pethokoukis

Politics and policy from inside Washington

After Geithner: the speculative short list for the next Treasury secretary

July 1, 2011

Is Timothy Geithner going? Well, lots of news organizations are reporting that the Treasury secretary is considering an exit (Reuters, BloombergWSJ, Politico, NYT). My working assumption has been that he sticks with the administration for the duration. Here’s how Reuters puts it:

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is considering stepping down later this year, but will not make a decision until contentious negotiations over the U.S. debt ceiling are completed, people familiar with his thinking said on Thursday.

Geithner said he would remain in his Treasury post “for the foreseeable future” and sidestepped a direct question about his career plans after a flurry of media reports that he was mulling leaving the Obama administration.

After the debt negotiations? That means he’s never leaving! (That’s a joke.) We’ll see. But I have been working my sources to compile a speculative short list of whom might replace Geithner should that become necessary.  Kind of a “I could see so and so …” Among the names popping up: Gary Gensler of the CFTC, OMB head Jack Lew, former Clinton economist Laura Tyson, and Facebook COO  Sheryl Sandberg.

Other names from other media outlets: NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon,  investment banker Roger Altman, former Clinton chief of staff Erskine Bowles, outgoing FDIC boss Sheila Bair, current White House chief of staff Bill Daley, former Obama economist Larry Summers and GE CEO Jeff Immelt. My sources are particularly dubious about Bair, Dimon, Bloomberg, and Summers.  No one mentioned Elizabeth Warren who would be unconfirmable. And for the heck of it: Hillary Clinton. If she’s good enough for the World Bank (or not) … [An add: investment banker Roger Altman.]

Key considerations: Confirmability, crisis management skills, relations with Republicans, fit with the themes of the 2012 reelection campaign. Plus you have to find someone who wants the job. More to come …

 

Comments

The only name here that wouldn’t be a certain repeat of Geithner is Bair … not that I expect Obama to change his banker-favoring policies.

Posted by michtom | Report as abusive
 

What’s up in US Treasury, Timothy Geithner would run faster than Ben Bernake out of the White House. As a matter of fact, the cabinet Presidency until 2012.
I heard Debt is one of the reason of Mr. Tim.

Posted by ABS2204 | Report as abusive
 

Can we get someone who’s actually paid their income taxes this time? Every time I see Geitner’s name in the news, that’s what I think about.

Posted by tompaq | Report as abusive
 

At least Timmy is not a tough act to follow.

Posted by ClaudeHopper | Report as abusive
 

How about Ron Paul? (I have to stop smoking that stuff)

Posted by TomBeebe | Report as abusive
 

How about Ron Paul? (I have to stop smoking that stuff)

Posted by TomBeebe | Report as abusive
 

I have a suggestion. The best candidate to run Treasury, pull the country out of the financial pit, and get us back on track is Dave Ramsey.

The probability of this happening in this administration is roughly twice that of aliens landing on the White House lawn and presenting us the gift of Universal Peace and Harmony next Tuesday, at 2PM.

Posted by Lynn_Wahl | Report as abusive
 

I think he’s on his way out. It seems very clear to me that he’s been given the task of convincing the Congress to abandon their blockade on raising the debt ceiling. If he fails – if Congress doesn’t abandon the blockade – he will be fired. If he succeeds and the fiscal chess game moves to the next round, he’ll resign. Either way, I’m guessing he won’t be in the administration after Labor Day.

Who will succeed him? I’m guessing it will be a fiscal hawk and an executive from a non-banking industry. That rules out just about everyone on your list except Immelt and Sandberg. Sandberg doesn’t have what it takes, but there are plenty of IT executives who do.

Posted by znmeb | Report as abusive
 

how about Stiglitz, or Krugman so we can get some brain power and sound economic thinking in that office and really get the economy rolling.

Posted by sailor1710 | Report as abusive
 

sailor1710 – appreciate your sarcasm!!

Posted by mackel | Report as abusive
 

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