Timothy Geithner has agreed to stay on as Treasury Secretary through the fall of 2012.
Since every other original Obama economic advisor has jumped ship (and gone into hiding), keeping Geithner at the wheel while the ship of state plunges bow first into the briny deep will have the salutory effect of having someone around to blame when things get real bad.
Geithner, who has been battling financial crises since 2007 as a top Federal Reserve official and then Treasury secretary, considered leaving the administration after Congress raised the federal debt ceiling and reached an agreement with Obama to tame the national debt.
But several developments have made his departure more difficult. The debt ceiling was raised with only hours to spare. The deal to tame the debt fell short of what Geithner and Obama wanted. The economy has suddenly taken a turn for the worse. And on Friday, Standard & Poor's downgraded the U.S. credit rating for the first time. And the White House, worried that it would be hard to find a suitable replacement, pressured him to stay.
Geithner told the president Friday morning that he would remain in his post. Hours later, he had to go to the White House to meet with Obama again and tell him the nation would likely lose its AAA credit rating.
On Sunday afternoon, Geithner joined an emergency conference call involving the seven major economic powers to discuss the impact of the downgrade.
Geithner is a loser, a toady of the big Wall Street banks, a loose money man who might make things very difficult for the president during the fall campaign if he were to be out from under the White House's thumb. The spectacular failure of Obama's policies are due in no small part to Geithner's pushing the wrong buttons at every turn during the recession.
But I suspect political interference in many of those decisions which would lay the failure of our economy at Obama's doorstep. Geithner telling tales out of school could easily sink Obama's re-election chances.