Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said he doesn’t expect President Barack Obama to ask him to stay in office if he’s re-elected, and dismissed Wall Street’s concerns about financial regulations.
“He’s not going to ask me to stay on, I’m pretty confident,” Geithner said in an interview with Bloomberg Television today. “I’m confident he’ll be president. But I’m also confident he’s going to have the privilege of having another secretary of the Treasury.”
Geithner said he would do “something else.” In August, an administration official said Geithner would stay in his job at least through the this year’s election.
The Treasury secretary said in June that his son would be returning to New York to finish high school, and that “I’m going to be commuting for a while.” Before joining the administration in January 2009, Geithner was president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, a post that put him at the center of the government’s response to the financial crisis of 2008.
Geithner, 50, said he wasn’t concerned about Wall Street complaints over the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul.
“I would not worry too much about them,” Geithner said in the interview in Charlotte, North Carolina. “I would worry more about the basic confidence of Americans that they’re going to face more opportunities, more likely to find a job, keep a job, save for college, save for a dignified retirement.”
Jobless Rate Falls
The unemployment rate in December dropped to 8.5 percent, almost a three-year low, and employers expanded payrolls by 200,000, twice the rate of the previous month and an indication that the job market is gaining momentum.
On Europe, Geithner said leaders there are “making some progress. They got a lot of work to do.” He said he tells European leaders that they need to “put in place a stronger, more credible firewall.”
Geithner travels from North Carolina to Davos, Switzerland, tonight for the 42nd annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, his sixth trip to the continent since September. Germany, Europe’s dominant economic power, signaled on Jan. 23 that it might back an increase in the region’s overall rescue capacity to 750 billion euros ($983 billion) from 500 billion euros.
Geithner last visited North Carolina in October when he spoke at a Corning Inc. factory and touted the president’s jobs bill that later stalled in Congress.
North Carolina was one of two Southern states -- the other was Virginia -- that swung for Obama in 2008 after decades of voting for Republican presidential candidates. Obama edged Republican rival John McCain by 14,000 votes of almost 4.3 million ballots cast.
Higher Than U.S.
Employers decreased staff by 4,400 in North Carolina in December, the eighth largest drop in the nation, and unemployment dropped by 0.1 percent to 9.9 percent, compared with the U.S. rate of 8.5 percent.
The biggest payroll reductions in the state last month were in the professional and business sector, with 3,900 cuts.
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