Tue, Aug 09, 2011 - Page 7 News List

Geithner says he will stay at US Treasury

LAST MAN STANDING:The US Treasury secretary is the only remaining top official from Obama’s original economics team, which has seen a number of advisers quit recently

AP, WASHINGTON

US Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner has told US President Barack Obama that he will remain on the job, ending speculation he would leave the administration.

The US Department of the Treasury released a statement on Sunday saying Geithner had informed the president of his decision to remain in the administration.

Geithner is the only remaining top official on Obama’s original economics team.

In late June, people close to Geithner said he was considering leaving after the debt limit was raised this month. They said he was tired of commuting to New York, where his son will be finishing up his last year in high school.

However, various administration officials, including White House Chief of Staff William Daley had been lobbying Geithner to stay. Geithner has enjoyed a close working relationship with Obama.

“The president asked Secretary Geithner to stay on at the Treasury and welcomes his decision,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said in a statement.

Geithner informed the president on Friday morning that he had decided to remain in the Cabinet.

That discussion took place before credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s informed Treasury officials on Friday afternoon that they planned to downgrade the government’s credit rating from “AAA” to “AA-plus.”

Investors are watching nervously to see how financial markets react to that announcement, which came late on Friday after markets had closed.

In addition, Geithner and other finance ministers from the world’s largest economies have been discussing what actions need to be taken to stabilize markets following renewed worries about Europe’s debt problems.

A series of Obama’s economic advisers have departed, including former US National Economic Council director Lawrence Summers and two of the president’s chief economic advisers, first Christina Romer and then Austan Goolsbee, who left this past week.

Obama has also had to replace former Office of Management and Budget director Peter Orszag.

Before joining Obama’s administration, Geithner served as president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, a job that put him on the front lines of the central bank’s efforts to battle the financial crisis and to get credit flowing more freely. He has a close working relationship with US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.

During the administration of former US president Bill Clinton, Geithner held top positions at the Treasury dealing with international financial crises.

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