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As he departs, Geithner says 'not a chance' he'll be next Fed chair

January 25, 2013|By Jim Puzzanghera
  • Outgoing Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner arrives at President Obama's inauguration ceremony on Monday.
Outgoing Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner arrives at President… (Win McNamee/Getty Images )

WASHINGTON -- As Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner prepared to leave office Friday, he was clear about one thing he won't be doing in the future -- running the Federal Reserve.

Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke's second term expires in January 2014 and the speculation is he will not seek reappointment. Geithner has been rumored as a potential replacement.

Asked about the possibility, Geithner dismissed it.

“Not a chance,” he told Politico. “I have great respect for the institution, but that will be someone else's privilege.”

With Geithner apparently out of the picture, Fed Vice Chair Janet Yellen moves to the top of the list of potential replacements if Bernanke opts to step down.

QUIZ: Test your knowledge about the debt limit

Geithner, 51, served as president of the New York Fed from 2003 until early 2009. In that post, he was a key player in the government's response to the financial crisis in 2008.

His long experience with the Fed and close relationship with President Obama has  led to speculation that Geithner's next stop after some time away from Washington would be the chairman's office in the central bank's imposing marble headquarters on Constitution Avenue.

"Smart Money Is on Geithner to Replace Bernanke," was the headline on a December Bloomberg View column

Geithner told Politico he planned to return to New York to be with his family, which moved back in 2011 so his son could finish high school there.  Geithner has no immediate plans except to relax and travel with his wife.

Obama has nominated White House Chief of Staff Jacob J. Lew to replace Geithner. Lew has been meeting with senators ahead of a confirmation hearing, which is expected to be held soon.

Deputy Treasury Secretary Neil Wolin will run the department until Lew is confirmed.

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