The Obama administration is still a month out before inauguration but the in-fighting has already begun. Tim Geithner, the New York Fed official chosen by Barack Obama as the next Treasury Secretary, is reportedly seeking to oust Sheila Bair, the FDIC chair whose term of office is scheduled to last until 2011.
Geithner, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, has argued Bair isn’t a team player and is too focused on protecting her agency rather than the financial system as a whole, according to two congressional officials and a person familiar with his thinking. Bair has battled with Geithner and fellow regulators over aid to Citigroup Inc. and other emergency actions, making her enemies in the Bush administration.
“The idea of having an independent actor on the stage with you who might not be singing the same tune can make you nervous,” said Wayne Abernathy, a former Treasury official who is now executive vice president with the American Bankers Association in Washington. “They recognise that she’s a very independent person.”