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December 18, 2012

A New Job Description for Treasury Secretary

When President-elect Barack Obama selected Timothy Geithner to be his Treasury secretary in November 2008, the financial system was in full-blown crisis and the economy was in free fall. Given the urgency of the situation and his own inexperience in economic matters, Mr. Obama badly needed seasoned help, most prominently at the Treasury Department. In choosing Mr. Geithner, then the head of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and a prominent player in the bailouts that year, Mr. Obama left no doubt that the job at hand was to revive the financial markets.

Four years later, the financial crisis has dissipated and the president himself has become more sure-footed in economic policies and politics. But his choice of a Treasury secretary to replace Mr. Geithner, who has said he does not wish to stay for a second term, is still extraordinarily important. The economy, though no longer in extremis, is still weak; in the current quarter, growth is expected to slow to about 1 percent, not nearly enough to spur job creation and reduce unemployment.”

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Read Teresa Tritch’s full New York Times article here

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