Saturday, November 22, 2008

Obama taps Geithner to head US Treasury Department, Richardson for Commerce

WASHINGTON, Nov 22 (KUNA) -- Tim Geithner, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, will be nominated as the new U.S. Treasury Secretary, and New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson will be tapped as the new U.S. Secretary of Commerce, NBC News said it had learned on Friday.

With the U.S. economy spiraling into what could become the worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s, the appointment of Geithner -- a career Treasury official -- is widely viewed as one of the most important jobs in the incoming administration of President-elect Barack Obama.

Geithner has worked at the Treasury Department under three U.S. presidential administrations and five Treasury secretaries. He also has been a top player working with current Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson in trying to manage the ongoing Wall Street and financial bailouts.

Richardson, UN ambassador under the administration of former President Bill Clinton, was favored by many Democrats to be the Secretary of State under Obama, but that post apparently will be accepted by New York Senator Hillary Clinton, the former first lady.

Richardson is Hispanic, and U.S. Hispanics have been watching closely in recent days to see if Obama would choose one of their own for a Cabinet post.

Obama was expected to formally announce members of his economic team on Monday, according to various sources in the Obama transition team.

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