November 21, 2008
Stocks surged roughly 500 points in the final hour of trading today, on reports that New York Fed President Tim Geithner will likely become the next Secretary of the Treasury when Barack Obama takes office at the end of January.
What's it mean for investors? Apparently, something good. During these tumultuous times, markets loathe even the slightest bit of uncertainty, so just getting confirmation that someone has the guts to take the position was enough to pop the champagne bottles and spark a rally. Rumors have been swirling for weeks over who'd take former Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS ) CEO Hank Paulson's job -- a gig that's undoubtedly as important as it's ever been.
Other apparent candidates included JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM ) CEO Jamie Dimon, and former Treasury alumni Robert Rubin and Larry Summers. Although it was never taken very seriously, some even suggested that Warren Buffett should have been tapped. "The answer is I wouldn't give up my job," Buffett said today. "I'm glad to help in any way I can, but I would not do it."
One huge benefit in selecting Geithner is that he was front and center at the New York Fed during the Bear Stearns, AIG (NYSE: AIG ) , and Lehman Brothers fiascos. That experience should come in handy. As Citigroup (NYSE: C ) continues to look sketchier by the day, it's not crazy to think we'll see more last-second Wall Street bailouts in the coming months.
For the first time in a while, the Secretary of the Treasury will be one of the president's most important cabinet members. What do you think about the pick? Take a second to weigh in via the Fool poll below, and share your thoughts in the comment section if you feel so inclined.
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