Top Treasury job a bailout unknown

Sept. 25, 2008 at 11:34 AM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 25 (UPI) -- A critical, but murky aspect of the $700 billion financial bailout plan under debate in Washington is choosing a successor for the plan's designer.

U.S. Secretary Henry Paulson Jr. has said he will step down from his post in January, leaving behind a plan -- which in its original form included massive amounts of money spent that "may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency" -- in the hands of others, The Washington Post reported Thursday.

Paulson has since said he would back an amendment to assemble an oversight board. But, the next treasury secretary would still guide a massive intervention that is struggling to reach consensus in Washington.

Sen. Robert Casey, D-Pa., has said he hopes presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain would use Friday night's debate to describe or name Paulson's replacement, the Post reported.

Speculation includes Obama choosing New York Federal Reserve Bank president Timothy Geithner, private equity mogul Steven Rattner or former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers.

McCain could ask former head of the New York Stock Exchange John Thain to take the position. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and former Texas senator Phil Gramm could also be on McCain's list of candidates, the Post reported.

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