Summers Vs. Geithner for Treasury Chief

Democrats divided on pick
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 7, 2008 12:55 PM CST
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, right, listens to Timothy Geithner, president of the New York Fed, before speaking at the Economic Club of New York Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2008.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
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(Newser) – The top candidates to become Treasury secretary, Larry Summers and Timothy Geithner, have Democrats split, and Politico looks at the resumes of both. Summers is a brilliant economist and close Obama adviser, but hardly smells of change, having backed deregulation and free-market strategies as Clinton’s Treasury chief. He's supposedly become more progressive since leaving government, though he caused a ruckus as Harvard president by suggesting women were inherently weak in math.

Geithner, meanwhile, is just 47, like his potential boss, but has wide experience. He's the current head of the New York Fed, with a bird's-eye view of the evolving bailout plan. He’s worked under Summers, is close with Henry Paulson, and began warning the world about complex, unregulated financial instruments in 2005. But Obama would have no control over Geithner’s replacement in New York, leaving an unknown negotiator in a key position.