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):
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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.

After giving in to Obama’s previous entreaties to stay as long as needed, Geithner has indicated to White House officials and Wall Street executives that he is unlikely to change his departure plans this time, increasing pressure on the president to name his successor at Treasury, said the people, who requested anonymity to discuss the private discussions.

And while we fully support Tim's choices and believe that in most cases, he can do anything he sets his mind to, we've been burned a few too many times on this one and just don't see it happening. But perhaps we're wrong here? What say you, soothsayers of the group? We know he's ready to go but will he be granted permission to get on that jet plane? Or is Joe Biden walking over to TG's office as we speak to deliver a speech along the lines of, "Listen, hombre: I can't do all the fucking work around here. So here's how it's gonna go, muchacho. You're gonna sit the fuck down, shut the fuck up and move when I tell you to, partner. Capiche?"

Geithner Said to Plan Departure Before Debt Ceiling Deal [Bloomberg]

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Bloomberg Worried About Tim Geithner's Ability To Put Food On The Table

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 leave 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 his his unsellable Larchmont house around his neck, a family, and college tuition to pay, Geithner may not have a choice. The years in public service -- particularly engaging in diplomacy with domestic and foreign partners -- left a deep impression on Geithner, infusing him with a sense of purpose that he might find lacking on Wall Street...Yet the years in civil servitude have also left Geithner in need of a better salary. Geithner is one of the least wealthy men to head the Treasury Department in recent years. He took more than a 50 percent pay cut to assume the job. His $199,700 salary is higher than the $174,000 earned by most members of Congress. His pay has been increased by $8,400 in three years, yet his net worth pales next to such predecessors as Hank Paulson and Bob Rubin. With two mortgages and two college-age children, the lure of private-sector money could be hard to resist. BlackRock's Fink, for instance, received $23.8 million in salary and stock in 2011, making him No. 1 in the Finance 50, Bloomberg Markets' annual ranking of the best-paid CEOs at the largest U.S. financial companies. Other ideas Bloomberg has for ways Geithner can make ends meet that he's already said no to include writing a memoir. He "publicly ruled out" doing so in September, but they're pretty sure he'll reconsider after the guy he hired to patch up his roof tells him the whole thing needs to be replaced. What's Next For Tim Geithner [Bloomberg] Related: Tim Geithner To Finally Be Set Free? Also Related: Robert Shiller, Westchester-Area Realtor Rub Tim Geithner’s Nose In It

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 wet 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?

Tim Geithner's Father-In-Law Sounds Like A Delightful Drunk*

Make what you will of this somewhat bizarre story but our takeaway is that the Treasury Secretary's FIL would make a great party guest and/or Benihana tablemate. Food critic Albert Sonnenfeld, whose daughter, Carole, is wed to the country’s top money man, stunned strangers at Bar Boulud Thursday night when he claimed President Obama’s nomination of Dartmouth College president Dr. Jim Yong Kim to head the World Bank was part of a plan to allow Geithner to take over the Ivy League school’s top post...“That’s why Obama nominated [Kim] for the World Bank — so that there’d be an opening,” Sonnenfeld claimed to a dinner companion at the eatery’s communal table. Seated with five other couples he didn’t know, Sonnenfeld indiscreetly claimed Geithner has since changed his mind. “They offered him the presidency of Dartmouth. But now he doesn’t want it,” said the gabby granddad. “He wants something else...Sonnenfeld also let slip that Carole Geithner “can’t wait to get out” of DC because “she has to hold her nose and entertain all these Republicans.” Sonnenfeld added, according to the witness, “Some of them she actually liked, like Jim Bunning from Kentucky. But now he’s gone. Can you imagine having to entertain John Boehner and his wife, with his fake tan?” Geithner spokesman Anthony Coley told us, “Interesting theory about Dartmouth, but to paraphrase Kissinger: ‘It has the disadvantage of being made up.'" [NYP] *It's not actually clear if he was drinking. If this is how he is sans sauce, all the better.