The last remaining member of President Obama's original economic team, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is said to be considering leaving his post… on his own accord. Geithner wants to leave the administration after budget talks, according to several reports citing people close to the matter.
Geithner has faced many challenges and became a lighting rod in the last 3-plus years, in dealing with the worst financial and economic crisis since the Great Depression, as the head of Treasury and in his previous role as New York Federal Reserve Bank President.
Critics say Geithner has been too kind to the banks, pointing to his work on the $700 billion TARP program as well as the AIG bailout - which in essence put taxpayer dollars on the line to ensure AIG's counterparties would be made whole. Others say without these moves and his stewardship, the Great Recession would have been far worse.
Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's Analytics, applauds Geithner's efforts saying the Treasury Secretary has done an "excellent job." Zandi is especially complimentary of Geithner's work on the bank stress tests which he calls "one of the most successful" measures in helping to end the financial panic in 2009. Less successful, Zandi says, have been Geithner's attempts to resuscitate the housing market.
Regardless of your view Geithner's departure, if it is indeed true, leaves the Obama administration one less economic advisor after the departure of Austan Goolsbee who replaced Christina Romer as the Council of Economic Advisers Chairman. National Economic Council Director Lawrence Summers and Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag left the administration last year.
Who will replace Geithner?
Zandi names several policymakers as potential recplacements, including Fed vice chair Janet Yellen, FDIC chief Sheila Bair and former deputy Treasury Secretary Roger Altman.
But the economist seems to favor JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, saying he'd be a "fabulous" Treasury Secretary. Dimon would be a controversial choice: while a Democrat, Dimon has been highly critical of Obama's push for greater regulation. Meanwhile, consumer advocates and left-leaning Democrats would certainly worry about his Wall Street background.
Who should be the next Treasury Secretary? Give us your thoughts.