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Timothy Geithner, US Treasury Secretary

Thursday 13 January 2011 - by Andrew Hickley


Being in a top job opens you up to criticism and Geithner has had his fair share. But this hasn't affected his dogged determination and he has been a key driver of financial reform this year. Geithner is at number 10 in the GFS Power 50.

President Obama's right-hand man, Tim Geithner was at the forefront of driving through the financial reform bill this year.

Though there have been power shifts in 2010 with Paul Volcker appearing to muscle in at the start of last year, Geithner remains one of Obama's inner circle.

Unafraid of making himself unpopular, he has in the past conceded that "we saved the economy, but we kind of lost the public doing it".

Responsible for administering the TARP system which bailed out a number of failing financial institutions during the height of the crisis, Geithner has been somewhat tainted by the public's perception that he is on the side of the rich bankers.

Having been in the post for two years, he has resisted calls to resign over various issues including the handling of the AIG bailout, allowing Lehman Brothers to fail, the lack of growth in the US economy and rising unemployment.


As chair of the new Financial Stability Oversight Council, Geithner is in a more powerful position than ever as he is charged with monitoring risks in the financial system.

At the G20 meeting in November 2009, Geithner firmly quashed the idea of a global financial transaction tax and has managed to keep the subject off the international table, though there are signs from Europe that the US may now be ready to discuss this again.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Geithner spent much of his youth in other countries including Zimbabwe, Zambia, India and Thailand. He started at the Treasury in 1988 and was a protégé of Larry Summers. He left and spent some time at the International Monetary Fund before becoming president of the New York Federal Reserve in 2003.

Learn more about the GFS Power 50, a countdown of the most influential people in worldwide financial regulation in 2010.



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