To who expected an imminent departure by the one most incompetent man (after Larry Summers) and tax evading man in the current economic administration (that would be Tim Geithner) of course, we have bad news. He ain't going anywhere. In other words, the foreseeable future will be foreseeable for a long time. Politico's Ben Hill reports: "Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is under intense pressure to remain at his post through President Obama’s re-election campaign next year but still may head out the door if a confirmable replacement can be found. The White House has made it clear it does not want to lose Geithner, the president’s chief economic advisor and trusted crisis consigliere. But the Treasury secretary has said he wants to return to New York this fall where his son is entering his last year of high school. He had hoped to leave after the debt ceiling drama ended and before bruising battles over tax, entitlement and housing reform resume in earnest this fall." Sorry to disappoint Tim. Which also means that Timmy will be at his rightful place when this whole house of cards finally implodes: at the very top. Lastly, it most certainly means that those who bought MF Global's bond issuance yesterday won't have to worry about springing rates for a long, long time if ever, because something tells us the one thing that could send this country formally over the edge is another former Goldman Sachs Treasury secretary.
But the thumbs-up has not come from senior White House staff. And the pressure on Geithner to stay ratcheted up significantly when the NYT moved a story saying the Treasury secretary was “expected to stay.” That’s generally code for: Sorry, buddy, you’re stuck here. People close to the matter said Geithner has not yet acceded to White House pressure and would still be inclined to go if a suitable replacement can be found.
The list of possible replacements is led by Wall Street banker and former Assistant Treasury Secretary Roger Altman and former White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles. Bowles, a moderate with GOP ties, is viewed as perhaps the easiest to confirm. But anyone is likely to face a fight that the White House does not want as it approaches reelection with a weak economy.
JPMorganChase chief executive Jamie Dimon is not eager for the job but would almost certainly do it if asked. His appointment would generate enormous support in the business community and among Republicans. But people on the left contend that Dimon it “too tied to Wall Street,” whatever that means.
M.M. has never really understood the knee-jerk response he gets when he mentions Dimon to Democratic insiders and they just laugh off the notion as impossible because he is a banker who happens to run a company that makes tons of money and never needed a bailout. The horror!