Tim Geithner: Obama will not select me to run Treasury again

Guardian, Jan. 25, 2012


US Treasury secretary Timothy Geithner expects president Barack Obama will not ask him to stay if he’s re-elected.

“He’s not going to ask me to stay on, I’m pretty confident,” Geithner said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “I’m confident he’ll be president. But I’m also confident he’s going to have the privilege of having another secretary of the Treasury.”

Geithner, 50, said he would do “something else.”

The Treasury secretary has come under fire from Republicans, Democrats and Wall Street for his handling of the financial crisis.

Geithner brushed off Wall Street complaints about the Dodd-Frank bill, the biggest overhaul of financial regulation under the Obama administration.

“I would not worry too much about them. I would worry more about the basic confidence of Americans that they’re going to face more opportunities, more likely to find a job, keep a job, save for college, save for a dignified retirement,” said Geithner.

Geithner and Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke have been the target of concerted attacks by Republican presidential hopefuls. Current frontrunner Newt Gingrich has been calling, since last year, for them both to be sacked.

Bernanke refused to comment on the criticisms at a press conference on Wednesday. “I have a job to do,” he said.

Last year Geithner expressed some sympathies with the Occupy movement, which has also been critical of the Treasury secretary. In an interview he said: “You know. I feel a lot of sympathy for what you might describe as a general sense among Americans that we’ve lost a sense of possibility.”

Geithner was instrumental in organising the massive bailouts that followed the 2008 credit crisis, and has more recently been Obama’s voice in Europe as the continent has attempted to tackle it’s own debt problems.

On Europe, Geithner told Bloomberg that leaders there are “making some progress. They’ve got a lot of work to do.”

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