Tim Geithner considering leaving White House

@CNNMoney June 30, 2011: 8:23 PM ET
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Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is considering leaving the Obama administration.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Tim Geithner is considering leaving his post as Secretary of the Treasury after a deal to raise the debt ceiling is reached, a source familiar with the discussion told CNN Thursday.

Geithner is the lone remaining member of President Obama's original economic team.

Asked by former President Bill Clinton on Thursday at a Clinton Global Initiative event about his future plans, Geithner said he would be doing his job "for the foreseeable future."

A Treasury official said that Geithner will not make any decisions while he's focused on negotiations over the debt limit and deficit reduction.

Another source familiar with the discussions between Geithner and the White House said it could be a while before Geithner's ultimate departure. "You have to have somebody lined up for the job -- you can't just leave," this source said. "And there's a relative scarcity of people who would fit the bill."

Obama nominated Geithner to be the 75th Secretary of the Treasury, and the Senate confirmed him on Jan. 26, 2009.

Geithner went on to spearhead the administration's response to the financial crisis that threatened to unravel economic growth around the globe.

That response included a bailout of the U.S. auto industry, a massive economic stimulus package and a landmark Wall Street reform effort. So-called stress tests of the nation's largest banks in early 2009 also helped shore up confidence in financial markets.

Geithner's first days in the administration were not without stumbles, as markets met his efforts to support the banking industry with skepticism, and giant bonuses paid to executives at bailed-out insurer AIG sparked public outrage.

But Geithner emerged as one of the strongest voices on Obama's economic team.

"I think he has done a great job in a backbreaking position," Clinton said Thursday.

Another member of Obama's original team, Council of Economic Advisers chairman Austan Goolsbee, has said he will leave the administration in August to return to the University of Chicago.

That leaves the administration with two holes to fill in the months leading into the 2012 presidential race, where the economy is expected to be issue No. 1.

National Economic Council director Lawrence Summers, and Office of Management director Peter Orszag left the administration last year. Christina Romer, the original chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, has also left.

Before joining the administration, Geithner held the top post at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, where he played a crucial advisory role during the financial crisis of 2008.

Before joining the Fed, he held posts at the IMF and worked in the Clinton administration Treasury Department.

-- CNNMoney's Jen Liberto, CNN's Gloria Borger, Chief Political Analyst, and Jessica Yellin, Chief White House Correspondent, contributed to this report. To top of page

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