Obama To Name Jack Lew As New Treasury Secretary

President Obama will name his Chief of Staff to replace Timothy Geithner as Treasury Secretary:

President Barack Obama plans to name White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew tomorrow as his choice for Treasury secretary, replacing Timothy F. Geithner, a person familiar with the process said.

Lew, 57, who also has served as director of the Office of Management and Budget, has been offered the Treasury post by Obama, according to the person, who asked for anonymity to discuss personnel matters.

Geithner, 51, the only remaining member of Obama’s original economic team, has told White House officials he doesn’t’ want to serve in a second term and intends to leave the job by the end of the month.

Lew’s nomination as Treasury secretary is subject to confirmation by the Senate.

The next Treasury secretary will play a leading role in working with Congress to raise the government’s $16.4 trillion debt ceiling. The U.S. reached the statutory limit on Dec. 31, and the Treasury Department began using extraordinary measures to finance the government. It will exhaust that avenue as early as mid-February, the Congressional Budget Office says.

Lew’s name has been at the top of the list to replace Geithner for months now, so this is no surprise.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Can you fathom the reaction among the liberal chattering classes and especially the media if Bush had named Andy Card as Treasury Secretary? Yikes.

    In any event, from Alexander Hamilton down all the way to Jack Lew. Terrific. Lew has zero banking experience and the only financial services experience he has was with Citigroup’s hedge fund arm, which made a killing short selling mortgage debt during the ’08-’09 financial crisis. The irony will be lost on the left.

    All part and parcel of the big U.S. decline.

  2. Tony W says:

    @Tsar Nicholas: Ya, ya, if the U.S. was a stock you’d sell it short, etc….

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    All part and parcel of the big U.S. decline.

    So Tsar, when are you going to put your money where your mouth is and bet against the US by moving to say…. Paraguay?

  4. bk says:

    Loopy Lew!

  5. Moosebreath says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    “Can you fathom the reaction among the liberal chattering classes and especially the media if Bush had named Andy Card as Treasury Secretary?”

    Hmm — I seem to remember one Republican Chief of Staff being appointed as Treasury Secretary, without significant opposition from liberals. Of course, that was in the day when one needed actual misconduct to oppose a potential cabinet secretary, not just “The President won’t Respect Mah Authority”, like the nutcases who make up today’s GOP use.

  6. gVOR08 says:

    Want to start some rumors about Lew’s replacement as Chief of Staff? I’m thinking Petraeus.

  7. C. Clavin says:

    Not in love with this choice. Lew does not seem to understand the damage that the de-regulation he was at the center of during the Clinton years did. Of course if I got a $950K bonus from Citibank I might not understand some things either. How is it possible to pick someone worse than Geitner?

    Hagel…OK. I have a problem with his positions on gays and abortion…but in terms of Defense…it probably doesn’t matter much. At least he figured out Iraq was a collosal blunder…even if it was late.

    Brennan…torture enthusiast. Terrible choice. Pathetic.

    Kerry…I think a better choice than Rice…even though she did get a bum deal. No one is going to fill Clinton’s shoes…she did a terrific job. Wish she would stay on.

    Overall…I’d give Obama a C- on Cabinet Stacking this time around.

  8. emondo says:

    How is it possible to pick someone worse than Geitner?

    And you believe this is an accident? Obama is dancing with the boys who paid for his ticket to the prom.

  9. stonetools says:


    @C. Clavin:

    i’d like to see Joseph Stiglitz, but the Senate Republicans who are gearing up to oppose Lew because, hey, they can, would be on fire to oppose a “socialist” like Stiglitz, Nobel Prize nothwithstanding.

    Joseph Eugene Stiglitz, ForMemRS, FBA (born February 9, 1943) is an American economist and a professor at Columbia University. He is a recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (2001) and the John Bates Clark Medal (1979). He was the former senior vice president and chief economist of the World Bank, and is a former member, and Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers.[1][2] He is known for his critical view of the management of globalization, free-market economists (whom he calls “free market fundamentalists”), and some international institutions like the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

    In 2000, Stiglitz founded the Initiative for Policy Dialogue (IPD), a think tank on international development based at Columbia University. Since 2001, he has been a member of the Columbia faculty, has been a University Professor since 2003, and is the Co-Chair of the University’s Committee on Global Thought. He also chairs the University of Manchester’s Brooks World Poverty Institute as well as the Socialist International Commission on Global Financial Issues and is a member of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences. Stiglitz has over 40 honorary doctorates and at least eight honorary professorships, as well as an honorary deanship.[3][4][5] In 2009 the President of the United Nations General Assembly Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, appointed Stiglitz as the Chairman of the U.N. Commission on Reforms of the International Monetary and Financial System, where he oversaw suggested proposals, and Commissioned a report on reforming the international monetary and financial system.[6]

    Stiglitz is one of the most frequently cited economists in the world,[7] and in 2011 he was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.[8] Stiglitz’s work focuses on Income distribution, Asset risk management, Corporate governance, and International trade, and is the author of ten books, with his latest, The Price of Inequality (2012), hitting The New York Times best seller list.[9]

  10. anjin-san says:

    I seem to remember one Republican Chief of Staff being appointed as Treasury Secretary, without significant opposition from liberals.

    I think a straw poll of liberals would reveal quite a bit of respect for Baker, even from people who strongly disagree with his politics.

  11. Moosebreath says:


    More for his subsequent work as Secretary of State than Treasury, but yes.

  12. Franklin says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    The irony will be lost on the left.

    Have you considered trademarking that phrase?