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 …



We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see

[...] downplays report he will leave postMarketWatchReuters -Internation al Business Times -Reuters Blogs (blog)all 641 news [...]

[...] for Treasury's GeithnerReutersNew York Times -International Business Times -Reuters Blogs (blog)all 639 news [...]

[...] will leave postMarketWatchReuters -Internation al Business Times -Reuters Blogs (blog)all 642 news [...]

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

[...] women are in the running. James Pethokoukis, a Money & Politics reporter for Reuters, compiled a list of the rumored possible replacements that included Clinton economist Laura Tyson, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and FDIC head Sheila [...]

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

[...] on the shortlist of names for candidates to replace Geithner, according to sources who spoke to a Reuters [...]

[...] got floated to lead a Commerce Department, so he could maybe make a quip here; James Pethokoukis is hearing that Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, who was arch of staff to Larry Summers when he ran a Treasury [...]

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

[...] on the shortlist of names for candidates to replace Geithner, according to sources who spoke to a Reuters [...]

sailor1710 – appreciate your sarcasm!!

Posted by mackel | Report as abusive

[...] an exit (Reuters, Bloomberg, WSJ, Politico, NYT). My working assumption has been… James Pethokoukis Tags: after, Geithner, list, next, secretary, short, speculative, [...]

[...] perhaps make a comeback here; James Pethokoukis is hearing that Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, who was chief [...]

[...] //]]> taxes | US economic growth President Obama’s economic all-star team from 2009 is all but gone. But its the gift that keeps on giving. In yesterday’s NY Times, former White House economist [...]

Cash and Diamonds…

[...]we like to honor other sites on the web, even if they aren’t related to us, by linking to them. Below are some sites worth checking out[...]…