On an Obama economic brain trust studded with high-profile heavyweights, mTimothy F. Geithner, the low-key president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, has emerged as a top candidate to head the Treasury Department or another top policy post in the new administration.
New York Federal Reserve President Timothy Geithner testifies at the U.S. House Financial Services Committee about financial market regulatory restructuring in Washington July 24, 2008.(Larry Downing/Reuters)
Mr. Geithner, 47, is two weeks younger than the president-elect but has served in top Treasury and Federal Reserve positions since the late 1980s. He joined Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke to oversee the Bush administration’s effort to contain the crises in the world’s credit and financial markets.
By David R. Sands
The Washington Times
Mr. Obama and Vice President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. will hold their first press conference since the election Friday in Chicago after a meeting with the transition economic advisory board. Mr. Geithner is not listed as a member of the transition team.
The New York Fed is considered the most influential of the regional Federal Reserve Banks. By virtue of his position, Mr. Geithner serves as vice chairman of the central bank’s Federal Open Market Committee, the key body guiding monetary policy.
Like Mr. Obama, Mr. Geithner is described by colleagues as even-tempered and wonkish at times, comfortable debating abstract financial concepts and not likely to break the bureaucratic crockery as an administrator.
With the economy declining, plunging financial confidence and a $700 billion Wall Street rescue program just getting under way, the Treasury secretary selection will be one of the most critical for the new president, and one of the most closely scrutinized.
Mr. Obama’s economic advisory team during the campaign contained an unusually large number of heavy hitters, including former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul A. Volcker, billionaire investor Warren Buffett, and two Clinton administration Treasury secretaries — Robert E. Rubin and Lawrence H. Summers.
Mr. Rubin, who had been rumored to receive a top post in the new administration, told Bloomberg News on Thursday that he was not interested in returning to government.
It was Mr. Summers who boosted Mr. Geithner’s career at several points after he joined the Treasury Department’s international affairs division as a civil servant in 1988. He became a top aide to Mr. Summers and was named Treasury undersecretary for international affairs in 1999, a post previously reserved for political appointees.
Mr. Geithner left the department in 2001 and spent time as a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and at the International Monetary Fund before joining the New York Fed….
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Obama To Meet With Economic Advisors Today
By NEDRA PICKLER, Associated Press Writer
President-elect Obama is seeking some economic advice from leaders of business, government and academia, making the struggling economy — the nation’s No. 1 concern — his first order of public business.
Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden were to meet Friday with 17 members of their transition economic advisory board. Members include former presidential Cabinet officials and executives from Xerox Corp., Time Warner Inc., Google Inc. and the Hyatt hotel company. Investor Warren Buffett was participating by telephone.
Obama also was holding his first news conference as president-elect after the meeting.
It was to be Obama’s first public appearance since Tuesday’s election, where exit polls showed that the economy was far and away the top issue for voters. He’s been using the time for private meetings with his transition team, receiving congratulatory phone calls from U.S. allies and intelligence briefings, and making decisions about who will help run his government.
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