Asymmetrical Information - Megan McArdle

01.03.13

Geithner to Leave Treasury By End of January

The end of a long, and largely successful, run

Bloomberg reports that the Treasury Secretary is on his way out, whether or not there's a deal on the debt ceiling:  

After giving in to Obama’s previous entreaties to stay as long as needed, Geithner has indicated to White House officials and Wall Street executives that he is unlikely to change his departure plans this time, increasing pressure on the president to name his successor at Treasury, said the people, who requested anonymity to discuss the private talks.  

Geithner came into the hardest job any Treasury Secretary has faced since 1933.  Though I have given him a hard time more than once, overall, I'd say he's done that job extraordinarily well.  He has staffed Treasury with good people, and handled successive crises with quiet competence.  Unfortunately his pragmatic, not-very-ideological approach is not the sort that generally earns lavish praise.  He didn't fulfill fantasies of revenge on the banksters, and the to persistent disappointment of the right, he insisted on being a moderate Democratic appointee to a Democratic administration.  I don't agree with everything he's done, but little of it has been craven or stupid.  

But one can only imagine the personal toll this has taken; in the modern era, the life of a White House appointee is exhausting under the best of circumstances.  And Geithner's first few years were hardly the best of circumstances.  He's more than earned a rest.  And a "Well done, good and faithful servant," from the public he's served for the last four years.