And So It BeginsPosted: 23 November 2008
U.S. President-elect Barack Obama has chosen seasoned policymakers Timothy Geithner and Lawrence Summers as his two top economic lieutenants to direct the fight to rescue the economy and stem the worst financial crisis in more than 70 years.
Obama plans to nominate Geithner, 47, president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank and a former Clinton administration official, as Treasury secretary, a transition official said on Saturday.
A main part of his portfolio will be managing the $700 billion bailout for the troubled financial industry.
Summers, who served as Treasury secretary under former President Bill Clinton, will become director of the White House National Economic Council, the official said.
The 53-year-old Summers, who gained Obama’s trust by helping to guide his response to the financial meltdown during the campaign, will play a broad role in shaping policy and coordinating among other economic advisers.
The two Clinton-era veterans have worked closely together and both command wide respect in financial markets, which could take comfort in the announcement. Obama plans to formally unveil the picks at a news conference on Monday.
The picks come after Obama announced plans earlier on Saturday for an aggressive, two-year economic stimulus package as he warned that the economy was at risk of huge job losses and broadly falling prices if swift action is not taken.