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Captain's Blog: Once and future Treasury Secretary?

Larry Summers is in the lead to get Obama's most pressing appointment as head of the Treasury, says Fortune Managing Editor Andy Serwer.

By Andy Serwer, managing editor
Last Updated: November 6, 2008: 12:33 PM ET

NEW YORK (Fortune) -- There has been much talk of whom President-elect Barack Obama will name as his Treasury secretary. The guessing game on Wall Street and in Washington, serious stuff even before the election, has become even more intense. A job that was once a good part ceremonial - with the ultimate perk being your signature on the nation's currency - has become full-time serious. The new Treasury secretary is probably Obama's most significant appointment, and arguably the first significant decision the next president will make.

Fortune believes that former Treasury Secretary Lawrence (Larry) Summers is in the lead to get the job. Summers, who served in the Clinton Administration, wouldn't be a surprise pick. He along with other economic experts, ex-Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin and former chairman of the Federal Reserve Paul Volcker, have advised Obama during the campaign, especially as the economic crisis unfolded. Volcker is said to be highly interested in the Treasury job, but Summers, with support from Rubin, has the inside track.

Volcker isn't out campaigning for the post, but wouldn't mind getting it because he believes he could help Obama figure a way out of this mess. Still energetic at 81, Volcker thinks he has the mojo to do so.

One knock on Summers are some controversial comments he made about men and women and innate intelligence and other subjects while serving as president of Harvard. Even so, don't be surprised if Larry Summers is named the next Treasury secretary. To top of page

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