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January 11, 2013

Analysis: Obama's Treasury choice untested outside budget expertise

President Barack Obama broke the mold on Thursday by choosing a budget wonk to serve as U.S. Treasury secretary, leaving gaps on the international and financial side that could make for a rocky transition.

Jack Lew, Obama’s chief of staff, was chosen to lead the Treasury Department as the White House heads into another round of difficult talks with Congress on how to put the nation on a sound fiscal path.

By tapping a two-time White House budget director, Obama signaled the importance he places on the ongoing budget battles.”

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Geithner’s immediate predecessor, former Goldman Sachs CEO Hank Paulson, was also deeply steeped in the ways of Wall Street, as was Geithner’s boss during the Clinton administration, then-Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin.

“Jack Lew is by all accounts highly qualified to be secretary of the Treasury,” said Dennis Kelleher, the chief executive of the left-leaning group Better Markets, which supports tougher financial regulation.

“The one area of concern is whether or not he is sufficiently committed to quickly and thoroughly implementing financial reform and re-regulating Wall Street.””

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Read full Reuters article here

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