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Paulson sticking around - on $$ bill

Former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's signature will still appear on currency, even for months after next secretary is confirmed by Senate.

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By David Goldman, CNNMoney.com staff writer

five_dollar_bill.03.jpg
Paulson's signature will live on awhile longer.
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NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Henry Paulson left his post as secretary of the Treasury on Tuesday, but his signature will for some time be printed on tens of millions of dollar bills every day.

The Bureau of Printing and Engraving only makes changes to U.S. currency notes in three instances: when the design of the bills change, the Treasurer has been replaced, or a new Secretary of the Treasury has been confirmed by the Senate.

Alas, Treasury Secretary-designee Tim Geithner still awaits confirmation from the Senate, so Hank's name will still adorn the bills for a little while longer.

That also means the signature of Acting Treasury Secretary Stuart Levey will not appear on bills. Levey, the former Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, has taken the reins while Geithner's fate still awaits a congressional thumbs up.

But even with a Geithner confirmation expected as soon as Thursday, the bureau said Paulson's name will still appear on new bills for many months after the next secretary takes over at the Treasury. So will the signature of Treasurer Anna Escobedo Cabral, even after President Obama appoints a replacement.

The process of transferring the new secretary's signature can take three months. The bureau must first receive the new secretary's signature and the new treasurer's signature. Then they create a new series of bills, with new serial numbers and suffix letters, and they design a new plate - all before they begin printing new bills.

Though the John Hancocks of the treasury secretary and treasurer may seem like a small detail, according to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, they are required to make the bills approved for use.

So even as Paulson starts his post-Treasury career at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies, he's still making your money legal tender. To top of page

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