Focus falls on Obama’s Treasury pick
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TEXT OF INTERVIEW
Bill Radke: As you heard there, President-elect Obama will be catching the “fallout” from the global financial crisis. Debt held by China is only of many issues that’ll face the Department of the Treasury.
Marketplace’s Steve Henn is in Washington, D.C. Steve, as the new president chooses his team, all eyes are on the choice of Treasury Secretary.
Steve Henn: Well, that’s absolutely right. And I think because of that, lots of people in the press and many market players are going to expect the Obama Administration to move very quickly in making some announcements about who will lead their economic team.
Radke: Who is President-elect Obama looking at for this post? And what does he want from that person?
Henn: Well, it’s tough to know exactly what he choice will be, but there are three names that have gotten a lot of attention recently: Larry Summers, the former Treasury Secretary under the Clinton Administration; Paul Volcker, who was the head of the Federal Reserve before Alan Greenspan; and then Timothy Geithner, who is the head of the New York Fed, which has played a huge role in managing this crisis. And before he was there, he was at the Treasury Department for years. And although he’s never had a high-profile job on Wall Street in the private sector, he’s well-known there, and well liked.
Radke: Whoever is the new Treasury Secretary, give us an idea what is going to be on that person’s plate.
Henn: Well, the to-do list for the Treasury Secretary is going to be enormous. The financial crisis is already bled over into the real economy in powerful and pretty ugly ways. So there’s going to be a lot of pressure on Obama’s Administration, generally to get the economy moving again. And there’s going to be a lot of pressure to do that as efficiently as possible.
Radke: Marketplace’s Steve Henn in Washington. Steve, thank you.
Henn: Thank you.
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