Tim Geithner, Meet Your Replacement



[image url="http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4b12edff00000000008dba5e/image.jpg" link="http://www.businessinsider.com.au/geithner-meet-your-replacement-2009-11/jamie-dimon-1" caption="" source="" alt="Jim Owens caterpillar barack Obama" align="left" size="xlarge" nocrop="true" clear="true"]
When Barack Obama came to office, it was in the middle of horrible financial turbulence, and it was his plan to continue on the bailout path started by his predecessor George W. Bush.So he picked an uncontroversial character who knew Wall Street and the bailouts inside and out: Tim Geithner.

But less than a year later, with the crisis fading from memory, Geithner’s fog-of-war decisions have turned him into a lame-duck piƱata. Sometime before the next mid-term election, Geithner will be out, and Barack Obama will have to pick a replacement.

Qualified replacements must know international finance, be prepared to sell lots of bonds to the Chinese, and be completely untainted by Wall Street and the bailout.

In fact, there’s a good chance, Obama will select someone of the pre-Hank Paulson variety. Remember, Treasury secretaries didn’t always come from Wall Street. Bush had both a rail and an aluminium exec in the slot prior to the former Goldman Sachs CEO. Such a move, from someone in real industry, rather than the money industry, will go down very easily.

Now, meet the candidates >>

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[slide
permalink=”jamie-dimon-1″
title=”Jamie Dimon”
content=”The Treasury Secretary job would seem to be off limits to anyone from Wall Street — especially a TARP bank — but Jamie Dimon may just be clean enough to make it in. A solid Democrat, the JPMorgan CEO is extremely popular with the press, and some even thought he might take the job right off the bat, when Obama came in.

rumours of a Secretary Dimon came back into the fore in recent weeks, after the New York Post reported that Dimon was popular on Capitol Hill among Congressmen frustrated with Tim Geithner.

His domain knowledge and experience certainly couldn’t be beat.”
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[slide
permalink=”edward-zore-2″
title=”Edward Zore”
content=”Edward Zore is the president and CEO of Northwestern Mutual. He began his career at Northwestern while pursuing a master’s degree in economics at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, working as a stock trader in the investment division.

In an atmosphere of failing financial firms and huge layoffs, Northwestern Mutual stands out. The firm famously has never had to lay anyone off. It didn’t need TARP funding. Zore is an advisory board member of the Millstein centre for Corporate Governance and Performance at the Yale School of Management, giving him “good corporate governance” credentials.

Zore’s strongest point is probably his long years of financial experience–something any new Treasury Secretary will need in the age of regulatory reform–without being tied to Wall Street.”
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[slide
permalink=”paul-volcker-3″
title=”Paul Volcker”
content=”Of all the players in the administration, econ advisor Paul Volcker has the most reasonable shot.

His mastery of financial issues is impressive, and he’s completely untainted by Administration action, in part because he’s been somewhat marginalized. Unlike Larry Summers, he’s not deeply associated with various past, though his age, 83, may be a negative factor, since the job would involve so much trouble.”
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[slide
permalink=”john-chambers-4″
title=”John Chambers”
content=”The CEO of Cisco is now an elder statesman in the tech community, and though he’s still growing strong, it’s likely he’d be up for new challenges.

The company he has cobbled together over the years represents the best of corporate America: innovative, fast-growing, global, and responsible for the creation of many high-paying jobs. He’s completely untouched by even the slightest whiff of scandal, and he’ll make a credible player on the world stage.”
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[slide
permalink=”larry-ellison-5″
title=”Larry Ellison”
content=”It might be a good idea for Obama to look beyond finance for his next Treasury Secretary. The country has pretty much had as much as it can take from the financial sector. So why not look to tech to lead us into the future?

Larry Ellison co-founded Oracle and has led the company ever since. His nomination would symbolise a dedication to innovation on the part of the Obama administration. Perhaps the biggest drawback is Ellison’s lifestyle. With unemployment in the double digits, Obama may not want to nominate a Treasury Secretary known for his gigantic yacht.”
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[slide
permalink=”jim-owens-6″
title=”Jim Owens”
content=”Caterpillar is one of the Obama administration’s favourite companies.

They’re rebuilding America’s infrastructure — along with everyone else’s — and are responsible for creating the perfect, manufacturing-based jobs this economy desperately needs.

Jim Owens and his company perfectly blend globalism and Peoria, IL Middle Americanism.

As a signal of how important this company is, Obama reached across the aisle to select Peoria Republican Ray LaHood as his Transportation Secretary.”
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[slide
permalink=”matthew-rose-7″
title=”Matthew Rose”
content=”Burlington Northern CEO Matthew Rose just engineered a sweet deal for his company’s shareholders, selling out to Berkshire Hathaway for $44 billion, including the company’s debt.

Now it’s time for new challenges. Like Caterpillar’s Jim Owens, Matthew Rose understands the connection between honest, American industry and the broader global economy. He would have crucial insight into such areas as infrastructure, transportation, global trade, and energy (Burlington Northern is a huge coal mover).

Rose isn’t known for being particularly political. He’s donated to Republican Congressmen in the past, but this should give Obama a great chance to reach across the aisle, and we’re guessing Rose would accept in an instant.”
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[slide
permalink=”ken-powell-8″
title=”Ken Powell”
content=”Ken Powell rose to become the CEO of General Mills two years ago, and is now one of the most admired corporate leaders in America. General Mills is also regarded as one of America’s top companies. By tapping Powell, Obama would be reaching into just about every breakfast nook in America.”
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[slide
permalink=”paul-krugman-9″
title=”Paul Krugman”
content=”If Obama wants to push hard for a second stimulus, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman could be his man. Krugman has been pushing hard for a bigger and better stimulus from the start. His academic econ credentials would impress Senators and perhaps a public that is tired of seeing the Treasury led by people too tied to Wall Street.”
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[slide
permalink=”michael-bloomberg-10″
title=”Michael Bloomberg”
content=”Michael Bloomberg wanted to be president. But that’s probably off the table for the foreseeable future. America isn’t quite ready to elect as president a New York billionaire who made his fortune catering to Wall Street.

But it might very well welcome Bloomberg as Treasury Secretary. The outspoken businessman turned mayor has both political experience, tech credentials and a solid understanding of business. What’s not to like about Mike?”
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[slide
permalink=”dont-miss-11″
title=”Don’t miss:”
content=”No matter who gets the job, one thing is certain. Government policy will always end up punishing you for being financially responsible >>
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