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Eleven Potential Treasury Secretary Replacements

Your Next Treasury Secretary? Your Next Treasury Secretary? Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has made it clear he plans to leave office before the start of President Obama’s second term. As a result, a list of likely – and sometimes fanciful – candidates has emerged. Incorporating American Banker readers’ suggestions, here are some of the pros and cons associated with potential replacements.

(Image: Bloomberg News)

Jacob Lew Jacob Lew Pros: Per a reader, President Obama’s current chief of staff “came in at a critical time and settled down the White House, and … has an amazing background.” This includes serving as director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.

Cons: Lacks what many would consider an extensive business background.

(Image: Bloomberg News)

Erskine Bowles Erskine Bowles Pros: Has an impressive resume, having served as White House chief of staff under President Bill Clinton and co-chair of President Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. Per a reader, “[Bowles] has great negotiating skills … [and] the respect of people on both sides of the aisle.”

Cons: Has been widely criticized for overstating the immediacy of the fiscal cliff and advocating for lower tax rates in a report meant to be focused on deficit reduction.

(Image: Bloomberg News)

Larry Fink Larry Fink Pros: The BlackRock CEO "has the skills that [the Obama administration] desperately [needs] without the excess baggage," says a reader.

Cons: May be too closely associated with the Wall Street crowd … and Geithner, whom Fink has regularly counseled over the past few months.

(Image: Bloomberg News)

Sheila Bair Sheila Bair Pros: Per a reader, “given her experience, credibility and … courage to criticize the system as it has been and still is, Bair seems like the perfect choice.”

Cons: Unabashed criticism of Geithner – and by extension the Obama administration – also makes her an unlikely pick.

(Image: Bloomberg News)

Eliot Spitzer Eliot Spitzer Pros: Hard-nosed prosecutor

Cons: No financial background; reputational risk, the reason he stepped down as New York governor.

(Image: Bloomberg News)

Warren Buffett Warren Buffett Pros: Oracle of Omaha; per a reader, “few men on the planet have greater respect within and outside the financial community than [Buffett] does.”

Cons: His name has been bantered around before (by President Obama, no less), but Buffett has never expressed interest in the position … which would also require him to take a massive pay cut.

(Image: Bloomberg News)

Mitt Romney Mitt Romney Pros: Experience in the private sector; bipartisan olive branch. Per a reader, the former Republican presidential candidate “would be a great choice.”

Cons: May be a bit too much of a bipartisan olive branch; per a reader’s tweet, Romney’s views “are totally opposite” the President’s.

(Image: Bloomberg News)

Michael Bloomberg Michael Bloomberg Pros: Extensive government experience; highly successful business career.

Cons: Personal wealth represents a conflict of interest; rumored to have trouble playing nice with others.

(Image: Bloomberg News)

Nate Silver Nate Silver Pros: A reader’s suggestion for the position, the New York Times pollster is certainly good with numbers.

Cons: Lacks political experience or demonstrated interest in the job; may have trouble appealing to both parties.

(Image: Bloomberg News)

Mark Carney Mark Carney Pros: Governor of the Bank of Canada and chairman of the Basel Financial Stability Board; per the reader who suggested him, Carney is “a star on the global stage.”

Cons: Not born in the U.S.; per the same reader, “How'd that guy Alexander Hamilton work out?”

(Image: Bloomberg News)

Big Bird Big Bird Pro: A tongue-in-cheek reader suggestion. Based on a PBS statement regarding its character’s inclusion in an Obama campaign attack ad, Big Bird is officially "non-partisan."

Con: Might ruffle some feathers.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has made it clear he plans to leave office before the start of President Obama’s second term. Here are the pros and cons associated with some potential replacements.

Comments (6)
Sheila Bair would bring an intimate knowledge of the challenges that banks face as well as the ability to engender trust with the general public and respect from the Washington crowd.
Posted by pickle7 | Friday, November 16 2012 at 9:11AM ET
Mitt Romney, especially given his most recent comments regarding his perceptions of why he lost, may have too big an ego not to be top dog and too narrow a view of US populace.
Posted by Kenneth H | Thursday, November 15 2012 at 1:12PM ET
Buffet would be great! Otherwise Sheila, Sheila, Sheila!
Posted by leaderqueen | Tuesday, November 13 2012 at 5:16PM ET
We need someone who isn't in the pocket of banks and their owners.

We need someone who isn't afraid to lock up criminals in the financial sector.

That money-laundering at HSBC and JPMorgan Chase didn't happen by itself.

Why no prosecutors? What are you afraid of?
Posted by masaccio | Tuesday, November 13 2012 at 12:37PM ET
Irskine Bowles is the most exciting choice. Not only he is a smart business person with bi-partisan political skills, but would bring a message that the President is serious about the budget and the deficit (and not just about raising taxes.)
Posted by TimRMoore | Tuesday, November 13 2012 at 11:00AM ET
Jack Lew should get it.
Posted by commobanker | Tuesday, November 13 2012 at 10:51AM ET
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