Posted by Brad @ 6:53 pm on November 21st 2008

Geithner for Treasury, Richardson for Commerce?

Two biggies. The first:

New York Federal Reserve Bank President Timothy F. Geithner is to be nominated as President-elect Barack Obama’s Treasury secretary, according to a person close to the transition process…

It sounds like he’s a Treasury Secretary with a background skewed towards the international. Wikipedia entry:

After completing his studies, Geithner worked for Kissinger and Associates in Washington, D.C., for three years and then joined the International Affairs division of the U.S. Treasury Department in 1988.

In 1999 he was promoted to Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs and served under Treasury Secretaries Robert Rubin and Lawrence Summers.

In 2002 he left the Treasury to join the Council on Foreign Relations as a Senior Fellow in the International Economics department. He then worked for the International Monetary Fund as the director of the Policy Development and Review Department until moving to the Fed in October 2003. In 2006 he became a member of the influential Washington-based financial advisory body, the Group of Thirty.

Which is kind of fascinating.

For commerce, though this sounds like pure speculation, Richardson is coming up as a favorite, presumably because he pretty much has to go somewhere (though he could also do Interior or Energy). I don’t think Richardson has any particular background in commerce, but to say that of Bill Richardson is kind of like saying Stephen Hawking doesn’t have any particular background in statistics. Is Richardson really this good, or is, hate to say it, somewhat a function of tokenism that he’s had about the most varied background in the history of the world as it concerns national politics?

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