This doesn’t exactly come as a big surprise, but it does send a signal about the direction of the White House — and it’s not toward private-sector experience:
President Barack Obama plans to name White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew tomorrow as his choice for Treasury secretary, replacing Timothy F. Geithner, a person familiar with the process said.
Lew, 57, who also has served as director of the Office of Management and Budget, has been offered the Treasury post by Obama, according to the person, who asked for anonymity to discuss personnel matters.
Geithner, 51, the only remaining member of Obama’s original economic team, has told White House officials he doesn’t’ want to serve in a second term and intends to leave the job by the end of the month.
As Bloomberg points out, Lew has worked almost his entire career in government, with just a “brief detour” to Wall Street:
As a former aide to the late House Speaker Tip O’Neill, a Massachusetts Democrat, and a two-time director of the Office of Management and Budget, Lew has experience on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue. He’s spent most of his career in government, with a brief detour to Wall Street, where he worked as a managing director for Citigroup from July 2006 until joining the administration when Obama first took office.
So much for that private-sector outreach in 2011-2, eh? Lew’s predecessor as chief of staff, William Daley, was supposed to facilitate connections to the private sector. Instead of getting a Treasury Secretary with extensive experience in financial markets, we’re going to get one with extensive experience in expanding government control and manipulation of markets. I’ll bet Wall Street will be overjoyed with this development … but probably not surprised.