President-elect Barack Obama has moved with unusual speed to select officials for his administration, and senior Democratic officials say he intends to name Timothy Geithner, the president of the New York Federal Reserve, as his treasury secretary as soon as Monday.
It was not clear when Obama intended to formally unveil any of his other picks for the administration that takes office at the stroke of noon on January 20. One Democrat said John Podesta, a leader of Obama's transition team, had told Senate aides yesterday that Obama hoped for speedy confirmation so the new administration could get to work quickly thereafter.
The news sent the US stock market soaring on Friday.
If nominated and confirmed by the Senate, Geithner, 47, would assume chief responsibility for tackling an economic slowdown and credit crunch that threaten to create the deepest recession in more than a generation. In his current post in New York, he has played a key role in the government's response to the financial crisis and has worked closely with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve.
As a Treasury Department official during the Clinton administration, Geithner dealt with international financial crises and played a major part in negotiating assistance packages for South Korea and Brazil.
Word of Geithner's likely selection emerged as New York Sen Hillary Rodham Clinton, in line to become secretary of state, said through a spokesman that discussions were on track for her appointment but no final arrangement had been made.