Politically, Geithner's a Mystery

Non-Wall St. players know little of would-be Treasury secretary
By Gabriel Winant,  Newser User
Posted Nov 24, 2008 12:10 PM CST
From left, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Christopher Cox, Treasury Undersecretary for Domestic Finance Robert Steel, and Federal Reserve Bank...   (AP Photos/Susan Walsh)
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(Newser) – As the head of the New York Fed, Timothy Geithner is a known quantity in certain circles. But as he starts the process of taking the helm at the Treasury Department, the officials who will vote on his confirmation know surprisingly little about him, reports Politico. “I always worry about somebody who has spent his whole life at the Federal Reserve,” says an influential union president. “I just don't know him.”

Most Treasury secretaries are either academic economists or corporate titans; Geithner has a master’s degree but not a PhD in economics, and his most significant experience has been in government, not finance. “The bailouts, whose outcomes are still uncertain, are his only significant accomplishment to put him in line for this position,” says one conservative critic.