Is Timothy Geithner going? Well, lots of news organizations are reporting that the Treasury secretary is considering an exit (Reuters, Bloomberg, WSJ, 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 …