Speculation mounts on Obama Treasury appointment

6 November 2008

Three names are emerging as the frontrunners for the "critical" post of Treasury secretary in president-elect Barack Obama's first administration, according to reports.

London's Financial Times (FT) stated that speculation centers on the trio of former Treasury secretary Lawrence Summers, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York Tim Geithner and ex-Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker.

With the US facing its biggest economic crisis in living memory, the appointment of Treasury secretary is seen as a key early test for the incoming president.

In addition to being chief economic advisor to the Oval Office, Treasury secretaries must also oversee the revenue functions of government and act as a key liaison between the White House, Wall Street and the international financial system, Newsday noted.

Mr Summers is seen as a strong candidate after he helped to develop the Democrats' response to the credit crisis. Mr Geithner is noted as an expert crisis manager and a unifying, non-partisan figure.

Mr Volcker, meanwhile, built his reputation as an inflation-crushing Fed chair in the 1980s.

US stocks fell yesterday (November 5th) as post-election nerves and recession worries rattled investors, the Associated Press said.

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