Treasury Secretaries

In spite of an unexplained sweetheart deal from NYU, Republicans didn’t throw up any roadblocks to keep Lew’s nomination from moving forward. Some of them even voted for him. Read more »

A lifelong practitioner of the art of defusing financial crises, he has spent his career hopping from one fiasco to the next—in Mexico, Asia, twice in Brazil—for the Treasury and the IMF. Which is why some argue that he should have seen one coming in the mid-aughts, when he took charge as president of the New York Fed, supervising many of the institutions that required federal assistance. When Obama first approached him about coming to Treasury in 2008, Geither suggested that unflattering details such as this might make him an unviable candidate. The decisions he had been party to at the height of the crisis—allowing Lehman Brothers to fail, bailing out AIG, deploying the hated TARP—might reflect badly on the new administration. He was trying to wriggle out of the job—“I knew it would be terrible”—but Obama wanted him anyway. [NYM]

  • 08 Jan 2013 at 4:32 PM

Let’s Help Tim Geithner Name His Book

As you may have heard, Obama is apparently close to nominating Jack Lew for Treasury Secretary, giving Tim Geithner his late Christmas wish: a one-way ticket outta there. And while he’s previously said to have no interest in writing about his time in Washington (and at the NY Fed before that), friends o’ TG claim that his plan for the next year or so involve “a round of ‘detox’ and writing a book.”

Obviously we’re still very far off from anything concrete but publishers will undoubtedly be banging down his door in no time and when they do, it might be nice to at least have a title to whet their palates. While Geithner packs his bags, let’s do him a solid and come up with some options. The year spent sunning himself off the coast of Ko Samui (or puttering around Larchmont, or taking a job with the least amount of responsibility possible, whatever the detox entails) will presumably do wonders to take the edge of the last 48 months but if he’s still in an angsty phase by the time he sits down to bang out his story, perhaps one of the following would work? Read more »

  • 03 Jan 2013 at 4:11 PM

Now You Listen Here: Tim Geithner’s Bags Are Packed

Earlier today, it was reported that Timothy P. Geithner has informed people that he “plans to leave the administration by the end of January, even if President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans haven’t reached an agreement to raise the debt ceiling.” Will this actually happen? Those unfamiliar with the Treasury Secretary’s attempts to leave his post in the past will say yes. He’s leaving, ship-shape. Those who’ve watched TPG try and fail to bust out of Washington for the last nineteen months, however, know better. More than likely, he’s not going anywhere and it’s not because deep down inside he doesn’t actually want to go home but because his bosses won’t let him. Witness, if you will, a small sampling of examples in which his requests have been denied, either directly (via someone laughing in his face) or indirectly (by giving those who’ve applied to replace him the wrong directions to their interview):

  • August 3, 2011: “Mr. Obama and his chief of staff, William M. Daley, have been urging Mr. Geithner to stay, administration officials say, not only for continuity when the economy has weakened and to avoid an all-but-certain confirmation fight in the Senate over a successor, but also because Mr. Obama has developed a close rapport with Mr. Geithner…Especially in recent weeks, the issue has become a running joke, officials say: Mr. Geithner and Mr. Daley tease about the ankle bracelet that the White House makes him wear, or Mr. Geithner asks if Mr. Daley has yet read his resignation letter, to which Mr. Daley answers in unprintable language.”
  • August 5, 2011: “President Barack Obama’s senior advisers are confident Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner will remain in his job even though he hasn’t made his intentions public, an administration official said. Geithner met recently with Vice President Joe Biden and laid out his reasons for wanting to leave the post. Biden outlined why it was vital that Geithner remain, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because no announcement has been made.”
  • January 26, 2012: “Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, the last member of the Obama administration’s original economic team, said he doesn’t expect to remain in office if the president is re-elected. ‘He’s not going to ask me to stay on, I’m pretty confident,’ Geithner said in an interview with Bloomberg Television yesterday in Charlotte, North Carolina. ‘I’m confident he’ll be president. But I’m also confident he’s going to have the privilege of having another secretary of the Treasury.’”
  • October 2, 2012: “Mr. Geithner has made clear for more than a year that he plans to leave his post but has said he would remain until a successor is confirmed, should Mr. Obama win re-election.”

According to Bloomberg, Geithner is well-aware of the potential for getting sandbagged yet again, which is why he’s come up with a new, fool-proof approach: telling everyone he’s serious. Before there was room for flexibility but not this time. He’s really leaving. He means it. January 31, he’s out the door. Take this seriously because he’s really going. Throwing a Super Bowl party at the house this year and he’s not cancelling again. Read more »

  • 07 Nov 2012 at 2:37 PM

Tim Geithner May Not Want To Pack His Bags Just Yet

President Barack Obama, newly re- elected, now confronts two questions that he has been avoiding for more than a year: Who will replace Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and when…The timing of Geithner’s replacement depends on whether the White House can reach an agreement with the lame duck Congress on a deficit reduction plan to avoid triggering spending cuts and tax increases known as the fiscal cliff. If a deal can be reached before the Jan. 1 deadline, Geithner might leave as soon as it is completed. If the solution is left for the next Congress, Obama may ask Geithner to stay, either to work on a deal or to reassure financial markets about the U.S. government’s ability to trim the deficit. [Bloomberg, earlier re: Tim Geithner’s many unapproved requests to go home]

As you may have heard, because you’ve read the reports reports or picked up on the Morse code message he’s blinked out during every appearance on CNBC or he threw himself on the hood of your car and screamed “Get me outta here” the last time you drove up to the Treasury building, Tim Geithner is ready to say good-bye to Washington. Has been for some time, in fact, but previous requests to go home were all denied. Now that his bosses are supposedly going to allow him to leave in the event Obama is reelected, many are wondering what will be next for TG. Despite having spent the majority of his career in public service and giving the impression that he has no desire to work for Wall Street, Bloomberg is thinking that with the albatross that is his unsellable Larchmont house around his neck, a family, and college tuition to pay, Geithner may not have a choice. Read more »

Who should replace Ben S. Bernanke as Chairman of the Federal Reserve when his term ends in January 2014? If anyone cared to ask us, we’d say no one: we like our Fed Chairman soft-spoken, bearded, and just as comfortable in dad jeans as they are in their bespoke Jos. A. Bank suits. But nobody asked and, according to Andrew Ross Sorkin, Bernanke has told “close friends” that regardless of whether or not Obama wins a second term, he’s ready to move on. Apparently qualified successors are few and far between and while Larry Summers is said to be “at the top of the list,” the fact that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner may finally be granted freedom from his own personal Guantanamo Bay and will also necessitate a replacement who will have to work closely with the new Fed Chair poses some staffing issues, on account of the perception that Summers is somewhat difficult to work with. Read more »

  • 01 Oct 2012 at 4:34 PM

Tim Geithner To Finally Be Set Free?

“President Barack Obama’s senior advisers are confident Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner will remain in his job even though he hasn’t made his intentions public, an administration official said. Geithner met recently with Vice President Joe Biden and laid out his reasons for wanting to leave the post. Biden outlined why it was vital that Geithner remain, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because no announcement has been made.”-Bloomberg, August 5, 2011

“Mr. Obama and his chief of staff, William M. Daley, have been urging Mr. Geithner to stay, administration officials say, not only for continuity when the economy has weakened and to avoid an all-but-certain confirmation fight in the Senate over a successor, but also because Mr. Obama has developed a close rapport with Mr. Geithner…Especially in recent weeks, the issue has become a running joke, officials say: Mr. Geithner and Mr. Daley tease about the ankle bracelet that the White House makes him wear, or Mr. Geithner asks if Mr. Daley has yet read his resignation letter, to which Mr. Daley answers in unprintable language.”- New York Times, August 3, 2011 Read more »