Who Will Be the Next Treasury Secretary?
Managing Editor, CNBC.com
The election is over and now the Wall Street chatter is focusing on who will be the next Treasury Secretary under an Obama Administration. (Reader responses below)
A main candidate tossed out is Timothy Geithner, president of the New York Federal Reserve.
"We're in a crisis, he's been living the crisis, working the crisis," said AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson on CNBC (Click here for full interview). He knows what's been done right; he knows the mistakes that have been made. He has tremendous experience, a steady hand."
"I think that Tim Geithner being in the middle of this whole thing right now" makes him a good choice, said former GE CEO Jack Welch, adding that he's a "cool hand" and "a really thoughtful person."
Jon Corzine, the governor of New Jersey and a former Goldman Sachs executive, is also contender.
"Jon Corzine, he's being mentioned for Secretary of Treasury, he's a good man, I know him well," said renowned tycoon Donald Trump on CNBC. "He's really smart. he's really good. They have a number of good choices, but somebody I know is Jon, and I think he'd do a very good job."
"I think that Corzine is an excellent choice for that position," said billionaire investor Wilbur Ross in a CNBC interview.
Corzine himself, though, played down the idea in an interview on CNBC:
"I'm not going to say never to anything. I want to be very clear: I like what I'm doing. I have not had any conversations with anybody about this job. People can speculate--it's nice, my mother will like it. The reality is there are a lot of good people. If I were looking around, Paul Volcker would be one of the first people I'd talk to about any kind of economic job. I think the reality is one of the most competent people that has ever really worked in public service about finance."
Indeed, many point out that Paul Volcker was the Federal Reserve chairman who steered the nation out of its 1970s economic quagmire.
"Volcker has eminent respect, and, at 82, he's still on top of his game, but, again, I think the situation is unique. We are in the middle of a tremendous fight. That phone is ringing at 3 am, and you have a man who's qualified and has been in the fight," Jackson said.
Two former Treasury Secretaries under President Clinton, Larry Summers (who spent some controversial time as president of Harvard) and Robert Rubin (also a former Goldman executive, currently a director at Citigroup), are also part of the "Who will it be?" conversation. Another name is FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair who has sparred with the current administration over its response to the ongoing economic crisis.
"I'm not so keen on Larry Summers. ... I think Summers has been campaigning very actively for the job; he must have written 15,000 editorials in one paper or another during the campaign, but I haven't really seen any flash of insight into the actual problems that we have now. It seems fairly academic, fairly doctrinaire. The others are, I think, much more practical people," said Ross. (Click here for his full comments)
We're interested in hearing what our readers and viewers think. Send us your thoughts about the possible choices.
Vikram Pandit will be a good choice. — Nitin
Larry Summers I've heard his comments and he is intelligent. — Lillian
Paul Volcker is the best choice. He is known, trusted and respected. — Marcella
Robert Rubin proved to be successful in the past and would be great.— Dave
What about Bill Fleckenstien? — Jay
The next Treasury Secretary needs to be the exact opposite of Henry Paulson, a person who values standards and a strong dollar policy. Ron Paul would be a choice, or I am available. — David
Pick T. Boone Pickens. He didn't acumulate all that wealth by accident. — Jeff
Warren Buffet - He is quite forward thinking, not afraid to take adequate risks, and a respected person trusted by most Americans, no matter their income level. — Rhonda
Have you ALL forgotten about PAUL KRUGMAN ?? Just won the Nobel Prize for Economics and it a GREAT Democrat... Come on! THINK!!! — Richard
If he would accept, Tim Geithner is the strongest choice for Treasury as he has the most direct and current body of knowledge and experience with the complex dynamics of the financial crises. — Bruce
Don Peebles would be a good choice and he would have the Presidents ear. — Marion
Pick Sheila! She's getting the job done and with virtually no money available to throw at the problems. — Martha
There is only one man that has the experience and discipline for the job of Treasury Secretary...Mitt Romney — Len
I second the choice of Bill Gross from PIMCO. USA need someone who knows how the credit markets work. — PS
Henry Paulson is a good Treasury Secretary. Let him carry on the good work. — Andy
Paul Volcker would help bring stability back to wall street. He is well known by traders and investors. — Jed
Wilbur Ross has the brilliant mind required to do the job! — Will
Kudlow has my vote! Yes, I know he's a republican but he's brilliant and would be a great balance. — Kathy
Beg El Erian to take the job. If he won't, Jon Corzine!! — Gaylon
Warren buffet, like the man said he was thinking of getting. — Michael
How about Nouriel Roubini? — Kevin
Jamie Dimon - CEO of JPMorgan. The man is ahead of the curve on risk. — John
Nobody from Wall Street please. Someone who knows how to fix and regulate the system. I think Tim Geithner or Paul Volcker would be ok. — Mike
Tim Geithner or John Corzine would be great picks. Others such as Larry Summers or Rubin have been there and would signal a return to old ways. — Rich
Geithner would fit perfectly — Tony
Take my Governor.........PLEASE ! — Alan (in NJ)
Choose one of the guys from PIMCO - Gross, McCulley, or El Erian — Jack
Cramer should be the man! — Betty
Henry Merritt "Hank" Paulson Jr. Should continue on!!!!!!!!! — David