Geithner to remain as Treasury secretary

Aug. 8, 2011 at 9:32 AM
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WASHINGTON, Aug. 8 (UPI) -- U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has told President Obama he plans to stay in his job through the fall of 2012.

Geithner has been battling the U.S. economic crisis since 2007, first as a Federal Reserve official then as Treasury secretary, and had considered leaving after Congress raised the debt ceiling, reaching an accord with Obama on cutting the federal deficit last week.

Several events factored into Geithner's decision to stay, The Washington Post reported Sunday. First, the deal to begin reining in the country's deficit and debt fell short of what the administration wanted. Second, the economy worsened in the last few weeks. Third, Standard & Poor's downgraded the U.S. credit rating for the first time late Friday. The White House, concerned about finding a suitable replacement, pressured Geithner to stay.

Geithner participated in an emergency conference call involving the seven major economic powers Sunday to discuss the impact of the downgrade of the U.S. credit rating.

"Secretary Geithner has let the president know that he plans to stay on in his position at Treasury," Treasury spokeswoman Jenni LeCompte said in a statement. "He looks forward to the important work ahead on the challenges facing our great country."

Geithner was an architect of the Wall Street bailout in 2008 and withstood sharp criticism in his first year as Treasury secretary, including calls for his resignation.

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