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New York Federal Reserve President Timothy Geithner speaks during a hearing before the House Financial Services Committee on Capitol Hill July 24, 2008. - 


Kai Ryssdal: You know how we've been saying the last hour or so of trading has been crazy the past couple of months and that there's rarely been a clear reason? Not so today at all. Almost the minute that NBC News reported President-elect Barack Obama will name New York Fed Chief Tim Geithner as Treasury Secretary, early next week probably, it was off to the races on Wall Street. The Dow gained 500 points in the last two hours. Marketplace's John Dimsdale explains what all the excitement was about.

John Dimsdale: In Timothy Geithner, the Obama administration gets a fresh face and continuity. At 47, Geithner is a relative newcomer, especially compared to some Clinton administration veterans under consideration for other posts. He has advised both the Obama campaign and transition team and will represent the change the President-elect is looking for.

Geithner is less of a Wall Street insider and more of an outside expert on the financial system. He brokered many of the deals that kept banks and insurance companies afloat and helped structure the $700 billion bailout. As president of the New York Fed, Geithner is already known on Wall Street. And he worked at the Clinton Treasury Department as an aide to both Secretaries Robert Rubin and Lawrence Summers.

In Washington, I'm John Dimsdale for Marketplace.