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US Treasury Secretary Geithner to step down. What if Hillary Clinton stepped up?

  • Author: Thomas Mucha
  • Updated: September 29, 2016
  • Published November 13, 2012

With the Nov. 6 presidential election disappearing into our foggy and distant past, the speculation over who will do what in Obama II has arrived.

Of course one of the most important jobs for the US and global economies will be filling the chair soon-to-be vacated by US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

Jack Yew, the current White House Chief of Staff, and close Obama pal? (Dr. Doom — aka Nouriel Roubini — predicted that pick on Twitter).

What about Lael Brainard, Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs? She's already at Treasury, and has a good handle on things.

Sheryl Sandberg, the current COO of Facebook — as well as a former executive at Google after stints at both Treasury and the World Bank — is another intriguing choice now making the speculation rounds on the web.

So, too, are familiar names like Erskine Bowles, Roger Altman, Sheila Bair, Larry Fink, among others.

But the most interesting argument I've heard today comes from Mark Dow of the blog Behavioral Macro, published today on Business Insider.

His pick?

Hillary Clinton.

Now stay with him here:

"The last four years, actually five, were about financial repair. The Treasury Secretary was in triage mode, trying to fix the plumbing of our financial system and trying to support an environment that would allow balance sheets to heal ASAP. You wanted someone with deep financial expertise. Today, as I see it, our future challenges will be predominated fiscal, not financial. Fiscal issues are profoundly political. And the only path to sound fiscal policy runs straight through Capitol Hill."

And that means political skill may end up being more important than a resume featuring top jobs in Treasury or on Wall Street.

But that's not the entire argument Dow is making.

The most compelling part is his analysis that America's greatest economic challenges are global in nature. No single country — and certainly not one with the fiscal and structural problems of these United States — can work alone to fix its problems.

Again, here's Dow:

"The world is getting smaller, our trading partners are getting wealthier, global competition is fiercer than ever, and the world’s international economic infrastructure is at the leading edge of an overhaul to reflect these emerging realities. This overhaul matters critically to us, as raw imposition of our will is no longer a viable alternative."

Who better, then, than the woman who just spent four years leading America's foreign policy, and who also knows her way around politicians and Capitol Hill, as well as spawning one of the year's best internet memes?

Hillary for Treasury.

You heard it here first.

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