Treasury: Geithner Out, Jamie Dimon In?

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The speculation over the fate of Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Fed chief Ben Bernanke has grown as Congress has become more troubled by rising federal deficits and unemployment. The $787 billion stimulus package has done too little to create jobs. GDP growth is anemic. Soomebody will  have to take the fall between now and the mid-term elections.

The theory is that the President will fire Geithner and pull he support for reappointing Bernanke to show that he is concerned with the problem and is willing to bring in new blood.

The latest in speculation is the Geithner will be gone soon and  JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon will become the next Secretary of the Treasury.

The New York Post reports that “a number of policy makers have begun mentioning Dimon as a successor to Geithner.” While other large money center banks struggled to stay in business during the credit crisis, JPMorgan did relatively well. JPM has also apparently been reasonable about the pay packages it has given to its management and top financiers, unlike Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), which will distribute record bonuses this year.

Dimon is not likely to want the job. If he leaves the banking business for a few years, there is no guarantee that he can get another position running one of the country’s top half a dozen financial firms. And, there is always the chance that if the economy continues to stagnate, he will be indentifed with the problem and his reputation will be tarnished.

Douglas A McIntyre

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